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Volume 640: debated on Thursday 18 May 1961

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps are being taken by the Forestry Commission to acquire more land suitable for planting and so reduce the shortfall in its planned reserve of land.

The Forestry Commission is always looking for suitable land at a fair price for forestry. But with all the competing demands for land in this country, there is no easy solution for this problem.

May we take it that it will continue to acquire land when it becomes available in view of the disadvantages of having an inadequate reserve for the whole of the programme?

Yes, Sir. The disadvantages of having inadequate reserves are considerable. The Commission is about 60,000 acres down. It would like to have a reserve of about 390,000 acres. It is pressing on to get all the land it can to make good the deficiency. It is very important to the Commission.