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Forestry and National Economy

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    SIR JOHN STIRLING MAXWELL, formerly chairman of the Forestry Commission, has an article on “Forestry and National Economy” in the Empire Forestry Journal (vol. 2, No. 1, 1932). He confines himself to the work of the Forestry Commission in Great Britain and deplores the economy and cuts, which he admits were inevitable under existing conditions. Sir John himself gives the obvious reason why the heavy non-productive expenditure of the Commission could not hope to escape curtailment in the words: “It is unlikely that absolute continuity in the scale of forestry operations will ever be secured except where the expenditure in the forests is wholly met from the revenue they produce. It will be 30–40 years before this happy state of things can be reached in Great Britain.” But he points out that the Forestry Commission can seize the opportunity offered and consolidate the work already accomplished and overhaul methods of organisation. In the dominions, the period at which the forests will pay their way may be reached earlier. In India it has been reached already. In the Crown Colonies, where the form of government is more autocratic, continuity ought to be easy of achievement when once the authorities realise the fatal folly of economising on productive expenditure. This latter point has already been alluded to in NATTZRE (June 11, p. 845).

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