§ Lieut.-Colonel Sharp
asked the President of the Board of Trade to what extent West African timber is now being imported into this country; and, in view of the shortage of timber for building and furniture manufacture, what action he is taking to develop this trade.
§ Mr. Belcher
West African timber is now being imported into this country at the rate of some 4,000,000 cubic feet per year. This is more than double the rate of import before the war. The maximum quantities possible are being, and will continue to be, purchased from West Africa, and it is hoped to increase imports still further in the future. Production is being encouraged as much as possible both by His Majesty's Government and by the local governments.