Timber (Stockpile)

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5th April 1955.

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Photo of Sir Archer Baldwin Sir Archer Baldwin , Leominster 12:00 am, 5th April 1955

asked the President of the Board of Trade the present cost in rentals and supervision of strategic stockpiles of timber; and the estimated deterioration in condition.

Photo of Mr Henry Strauss Mr Henry Strauss , Norwich South

In the current year the cost of holding the stockpile of timber is estimated at £480,000. Softwood is turned over periodically and the prices obtained on sale are estimated as not more than 10 per cent. below the prices paid for replacement.

Photo of Sir Archer Baldwin Sir Archer Baldwin , Leominster

I could hardly hear what my hon. and learned Friend was saying, but it is quite obvious that we are spending considerable sums of money in this direction. Does my hon. and learned Friend not agree that it is one of the ways in which we could save considerable expense, as timber merchants can now buy freely in the world and stockpile in their own yards, yet a great timber stockpile is growing in this country?

Photo of Mr Henry Strauss Mr Henry Strauss , Norwich South

My hon. Friend will appreciate that my answer gave him only statistical information. The question of policy is different.

Mr. H. Wilson:

Are we to deduce from the Parliamentary Secretary's answer that it is still the Government's policy to maintain strategic stockpiles in this country, or are we, on the contrary, to deduce from the low level of cotton stocks that it is not their policy to maintain a strategic stockpile?

Photo of Mr Henry Strauss Mr Henry Strauss , Norwich South

Nothing can be deduced from the answer except the statistical information which was asked for and given.