Is the hon. Gentleman aware that it is very necessary to have some outlets for inferior timber and thinnings, like chipboard mills, in the South-West, and that a certain amount of sympathy from Government Departments is required on this issue?
I am aware of this. Unfortunately, this particular difficulty is not confined to the South-West. I assure the hon. Gentleman that my right hon. Friend will do what he can to help in this matter. We will most sympathetically consider any suggestions, either if the hon. Gentleman himself cares to submit proposals, or if they come from the trade.
What is the hon. Gentleman doing about this? All we have been given to understand so far is that he and his right hon. Friend are consulting various bodies and interests. Will his Department take any positive action, apart from talking?
Will the Parliamentary Secretary bear in mind the very real need that exists for a chipboard factory in the South-West, particularly in the centre of the South-West—in Winkleigh, Devon, for example—that this is urgently required and that it is something which his Department could do, although it seems that nothing is being done at present?
We are well aware of the position. Proposals are being considered now. On the other hand, if the Ministry were to rush in with large sums of public money and if it were subsequently shown not to have been economic to have done so, the hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends would be among our first and sternest critics. The Department has had only a few weeks to consider these matters. They are not matters which can be solved in a few weeks. These things are bound to take a little time.