Afforestation.

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland. – in the House of Commons on 10th March 1931.

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Major WOOD:

32.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether, after consultation between the Forestry Commission and the Department of Agriculture for Scotland, as provided for by Section 3 of the Forestry Act, 1919, the Department has agreed to all lands acquired by the Forestry Commission in Scotland being withdrawn from agriculture for forestry purposes; and whether he will state how much of the land was acquired without full agreement?

Photo of Mr Thomas Johnston Mr Thomas Johnston , Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire Western

The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. Section 3 of the Forestry Act, 1919, requires the Forestry Commission to consult the appropriate agricultural Department, but it does not require them to accept the views of that Department. I must refer the hon. and gallant Member to the Commission for information as to the number of cases in which the views of the Department of Agriculture for Scotland may not have been accepted.

Major WOOD:

If consultation means simply intimation, what is the use of the Forestry Commission giving any intimation at all?

Photo of Mr Thomas Johnston Mr Thomas Johnston , Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire Western

Our information is that no permanent pasture or arable land has been taken by the Forestry Commission unless for nursery purposes.

Photo of Sir James Macpherson Sir James Macpherson , Ross and Cromarty

Is the hon. Member not aware that there are a great many complaints all over Scotland, particularly in the North, that land which is meant for purely agricultural purposes is being taken by the Forestry Commission, while there are thousands of other acres fit for forestry which they could take.

Photo of Mr Thomas Johnston Mr Thomas Johnston , Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire Western

As I have already said, no permanent pasture or arable land has been taken by the Forestry Commission, unless it has been a very small portion here or there for nursery purposes.

Photo of Mr Frederick Macquisten Mr Frederick Macquisten , Argyll

What about the Barcaldine case? Was not pasture taken?