Mr. W. A. JENKINS
asked the Minister of Agriculture if he will consider the advisability of immediately putting into operation a comprehensive scheme of afforestation, particularly in Wales, which scheme would render productive many thousands of acres of land at present unproductive, and would in due time render the coal-mining industry less dependent on foreign countries for the supply of pit-props, and would give profitable employment to large bodies of men, especially ex-service men at present unemployed?
§ Mr. FORESTIER-WALKER
I have been asked to take over this question. A State scheme of afforestation has been in operation- since 1919 and particulars are given in the First and Second Annual 1537W Reports of the Forestry Commissioners, published by the Stationery Office. In Wales the Forestry Commissioners have acquired some 11,000 acres of land, of which over 1,400 have already been planted up and 1,000 and upwards will be planted during the present season. The extent of the State scheme of afforestation for last season and the current season has been drastically reduced in consequence of the funds available to the Commission having been reduced by approximately 50 per cent.