asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the sale of 2,178 tons of timber at. Abbeycwmhir at 21s. per ton by the Timber Disposal Department whether he is aware that the cost of the Department putting this timber on rail at Penybont station will be at least £5 per ton; why, under these circumstances, arrangements were not made for the timber to remain on the estate; whether he is aware that there are many cases similar to this being carried out by the Department; and whether he will take steps to prevent this waste of public money in future?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The sale referred to formed only a small part of the operations in connection with the estate, the total quantity of timber purchased being approximately 14,000 tons, and it is not possible accurately to compute the labour cost of a portion of the operations. The Board were under contractual obligations to remove the timber and clear the estate within a specified time, but the owner ultimately agreed to 1,400 tons of felled timber remaining where lying in the woods. No estates are now being worked by the Timber Disposal Department. and the last part of the question does not therefore arise.
Such timber as remains to be disposed of is being disposed of by the Disposal Department, but no further operations in the way of timber cutting remain to be done.
Not in this particular case, but I am aware, having had to do with the liquidation of this particular Department, that, undoubtedly, the damage to roads forms a very heavy item in the cost.