asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has any statement to make regarding plans for the eventual rehabilitation of the devastated timber areas of North-East Scotland; and how far, in the event of present proprietors not being able or willing to re-establish the forests, the Forestry Commission are considering the necessary steps to assume the responsibility.
My right hon. Friend is fully aware of the difficulties confronting woodland owners and will consider what steps may be necessary to assist in solving them. It has seemed to him desirable to concentrate on problems relating to clearance of the timber rather than on replanting, which cannot take place on any major scale for some time. In the meantime, he would say that he hopes and expects that the majority of owners will be both willing and able to undertake the necessary rehabilitation themselves. The Commission will be prepared to negotiate, in the usual way, for the acquisition of any areas where this proves to be impossible.