asked the Minister for Lands whether, having regard to the fuel shortage, he will revise and relax the present restrictions on the felling of trees with a view to permitting old and decayed trees, consisting mainly of uncommercial timber, to be felled by farmers for their own use.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Restrictions on Felling of Trees.
Restrictions on the felling of trees are at present imposed by Emergency Powers (No. 169) Order, which forbids the felling of roadside trees, and by the Forestry Act of 1928 which gives me a certain control over the felling of other trees. The restrictions imposed by the Emergency Powers Order are a matter for the Minister for Defence. As regards those exercised by me under the Forestry Act, I do not see any necessity for revision or relaxation. Trees which are decayed and useless for commercial purposes, or which are not necessary for the shelter or ornament of the holdings on which they are growing, and are to be used for fuel or for the repair of buildings on that holding are exempt from prohibition and, in the vast majority of cases, felling notices in respect of such trees are allowed to pass unquestioned.
Arising out of the Minister's reply, I know of several cases in which farmers who have those old decaying trees, which are an eyesore, have to go on looking at them while they are paying £2 per ton for blocks. I do not know why farmers would not be given a permit to cut those trees.
Are you putting a question to the Minister?
I am asking him a supplementary and I think you know that. I know of many cases in which farmers have applied for permits to cut those trees. They are said to be so many yards or feet from a building or from the centre of the road but they are useless and these men have to buy fuel while the trees are standing like monuments on the farms.
The question of roadside trees is a matter for the Minister for Defence. I am not aware of any cases of hardship in regard to fellings prohibited by the Department of Forestry but, if the Deputy will give me information, I shall look into the matter.
The Deputy has already given information to the Forestry Department and been turned down, although the Gárdaí certified that what the Deputy said was right.
Let the Deputy try again.