asked the Minister of Agriculture what was the total cost, including the value of the timber concerned, of felling, transporting and installing the flagpole in his Department's premises at Northerwood House, Lyndhurst; and for what reason it was thought necessary to go to this expense.
This exceptional pole is 108 feet long, is believed to be the tallest home-grown flagstaff in Britain, and the opportunity was taken to display the magnificent Douglas fir timber produced in the New Forest. The total cost was £372 4s. 8d.
Is it satisfactory that the Forestry Commission should spend £372 in erecting a flagpole? It seems to me that with the necessity for forestry this is the last item of expenditure which should be included. May I also ask the hon. Gentleman whether any instruction has been given to the Forestry Commission to avoid any such expenditure in the future?
On the second point I think the hon. and gallant Gentleman may rest assured that his point is taken. On the first point, it was a rather magnificent tree produced in one of our own forests, and I am sure the hon. and gallant Gentleman, having regard to his own constituency, is glad that home industries are being so advertised.
If it is so magnificent, why is it being kept at Lyndhurst?