asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport if he is aware that owing to the excessive railway rates charged on home-grown timber it is impossible to market this commodity at a profit; that great quantities of timber are being left in the woods to rot; and that three-quarters of the saw-mills in Scotland are standing idle, entailing much unemployment.; and can he say what steps he is prepared to take to secure a reduction in the railway rates?
I would refer the hon. Member to my reply of the 8th instant to the hon. and learned Member for Rushcliffe, of which 'I am sending him a copy. I have no information as to the facts mentioned in the second and third parts of the question. I understand some concession in respect of pitwood used in Scotland has been granted by the Scottish companies.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that a certain class of timber carried into Lancashire from a certain port costs 42s. 9d. per ton, while the same class of timber imported costs 35s.?