CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - FELLING OF TREES (BRAY AREA).

To ask the Minister for Agriculture whether he is aware of the continuous felling of trees in the district around Bray, and the export of timber from Bray Harbour; whether he has power to prevent or restrict this destruction of scenic beauty and depletion of natural resources by limiting the export of timber and compelling re-planting of trees to replace those felled; and, if he has not sufficient powers at present, whether he proposes to ask for such powers to be conferred.

The felling of trees around Bray has been proceeding for many years, but this work is common to all parts of Ireland, and I am not aware that the Bray district is exceptional in this respect. The export of timber from Bray Harbour is on a very small scale at present.

A Bill is being prepared in which it is proposed to ask Oireachtas for the powers required for the preservation of woodlands, and consultations with representatives of the various interests affected are being arranged for.

I may mention that the Ministry are acquiring one of the areas near Bray from which timber has been cut. This area will be replanted as soon as the necessary preliminary arrangements have been made.