There are 457 British persons engaged on administrative and supervisory duties at a cost of about £21,000 per month. These form the staff of the North German Timber Control which is not solely concerned with supplies of timber to this country. It is impossible to estimate the numbers and cost of personnel engaged on the actual felling, sawing and transporting of timber; the work is paid for by the Germans in marks and is done in the main by the German timber trade and forestry service whose numbers ran into many thousands augmented by some 7,000 displaced persons.
Can the Minister give us an assurance that he is satisfied that the costs of administration are not excessive and that the price of the timber in this country is truly economic?
The price of timber is agreed between the Board of Trade and the Control Office for Germany and Austria On the basis of. ruling world prices, and in relation to the results we are getting from this operation, I think the cost is very well justified.