§ Mr. Peter Ainsworth
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with the Department for International Development regarding the procurement of sustainable timber for Government premises; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Margaret Beckett
[holding answer 13 May 2002]: My Department works closely with the Department for International Development on all matters of common interest to do with forest management and illegal logging including the Government's efforts to purchase its timber and timber products from sustainable sources. Officials from both Departments are members of the Whitehall Forestry Group that addresses international issues and of the Interdepartmental Working Group on Timber 3W Procurement that is monitoring implementation of the timber procurement policy. These same officials are part of the steering group that has commissioned research into the Government's timber purchasing activities and will help supervise the action to be taken following publication of the consultant's report later this summer.