Forestry Act 1919

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1919 c. 58

Forestry Act, 1919

(9 & 10 Geo. 5.) CHAPTER 58.

An Act for establishing a Forestry Commission for the United Kingdom, and promoting afforestation and the production and supply of timber therein, and for purposes in connexion therewith.

[19th August 1919]

Be it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

S-1 Establishment of Forestry Commission.

1 Establishment of Forestry Commission.

(1) For the purposes of this Act, it shall be lawful for His Majesty by warrant under the sign manual to appoint eight commissioners, to be styled the Forestry Commissioners, of whom one, to be appointed by His Majesty, shall be chairman, and of whom not less than two shall have special knowledge and experience of forestry in Scotland, and one at least shall be a person having scientific attainments and a technical knowledge of forestry.

(2) There shall be paid to not more than three of the Forestry Commissioners, in this Act referred to as ‘the Commissioners,’ such salaries in each year (not exceeding in the aggregate four thousand five hundred pounds) as the Treasury may direct.

(3) Subject to the provisions of this section, the term of office of a Commissioner shall be five years.

(4) On a casual vacancy occurring owing to the death, resignation, or incapacity of a Commissioner, the person appointed by His Majesty to fill the vacancy shall continue in office until the date on which the Commissioner in whose place he was appointed would have ceased to hold office.

(5) A person who has vacated office as a Commissioner shall be eligible for re-appointment.

(6) One of the unpaid Commissioners shall be a member of the Commons House of Parliament.

S-2 Proceedings, staff, and seal of Commissioners.

2 Proceedings, staff, and seal of Commissioners.

(1) The Commissioners may act by three of their number and notwithstanding a vacancy in their number, and may regulate their own procedure.

(2) The Commissioners may, subject to the approval of the Treasury as to number, appoint and employ such officers and servants for the purposes of this Act as they think necessary, and may remove any officer or servant so appointed or employed, and there shall be paid to such officers and servants such salary or remuneration as the Commissioners may, with the consent of the Treasury, determine.

(3) The Commissioners may sue and be sued, and may for all purposes be described by the name of ‘the Forestry Commissioners,’ and shall have an official seal which shall be officially and judicially noticed, and the seal shall be authenticated by any Commissioner or the secretary to the Commissioners, or some person authorised by the Commissioners to act on behalf of the secretary.

(4) Every document purporting to be an order or other instrument issued by the Commissioners and to be sealed with the seal of the Commissioners authenticated in manner provided by this section, or to be signed by the secretary to the Commissioners or any person authorised by the Commissioners to act on behalf of the secretary, shall be received in evidence and be deemed to be such order or instrument without further proof, unless the contrary is shown.

(5) The Documentary Evidence Act, 1868 , as amended by the Documentary Evidence Act, 1882 , shall apply to the Commissioners as though the Commissioners were included in the first column of the Schedule to the first-mentioned Act, and the chairman or any other Commissioner or the secretary, or any person authorised to act on behalf of the secretary, were mentioned in the second column of that schedule, and as if the regulations referred to in those Acts included any document issued by the Commissioners.

S-3 Powers and duties of Commissioners.

3 Powers and duties of Commissioners.

(1) The Commissioners shall be charged with the general duty of promoting the interests of forestry, the development of afforestation, and the production and supply of timber, in the United Kingdom, and shall exercise and perform any powers and duties which are or may be conferred or imposed on, or transferred to, them under the provisions of this Act.

(2) There shall be transferred to the Commissioners the powers and duties of the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Board of Agriculture for Scotland, and the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland in relation to forestry, and also the powers of those Departments under the Destructive Insects and Pests Acts, 1877 and 1907 , so far as those powers relate to insects or pests destructive only to forest trees and timber, but, so far as they relate to other insects or pests destructive or injurious alike to fruit trees or farm crops and to forest trees and timber, the Commissioners shall exercise such powers in consultation with the said Departments:

Provided that the Departments from whom the powers and duties aforesaid are transferred to the Commissioners shall, if arrangements are made for the purpose, continue to exercise and perform on behalf of the Commissioners such of the transferred powers and duties as may, from time to time, be agreed between the Commissioners and the Department concerned.

(3) Subject to any directions which may be given by the Treasury, the Commissioners shall have power to do any of the following things:—

(a ) Purchase or take on lease and hold any land suitable for afforestation or required for purposes in connexion with afforestation or with the management of any woods or forests, and manage, plant, and otherwise utilize any land acquired, and erect such buildings or execute such other works thereon as they think necessary:

(b ) Sell or let any land which in their opinion is not needed or has proved unsuitable for the purpose for which it was acquired, or exchange any such land for other land more suitable for that purpose, and pay or receive money for equality of exchange:

(c ) Purchase or otherwise acquire standing timber, and sell or otherwise dispose of any timber belonging to them, or, subject to such terms as may be mutually agreed, to a private owner, and generally promote the supply, sale, utilisation, and conversion of timber:

(d ) Make advances by way of grant or by way of loan, or partly in one way and partly in the other, and upon such terms and subject to such conditions as they think fit, to persons (including local authorities) in respect of the afforestation (including the re-planting) of land belonging to those persons:

(e ) Undertake the management or supervision, upon such terms and subject to such conditions as may be agreed upon, or give assistance or advice in relation to the planting or management of any woods or forests belonging to any persons, including woods and forests under the management of the Commissioners of Woods or under the control of any Government Department, or belonging to any local authority:

(f ) Establish and carry on or aid in the establishment and carrying on of woodland industries:

(g ) Undertake the collection, preparation, publication and distribution of statistics relating to forestry, and promote and develop instruction and training in forestry by establishing or aiding schools or other educational institutions or in such other manner as they think fit:

(h ) Make or aid in making such inquiries, experiments and research, and collect or aid in collecting such information, as they may think important for the purpose of promoting forestry and the teaching of forestry, and publish or otherwise take steps to make known the results of such inquiries, experiments or research and to disseminate such information:

(i ) Make or aid in making such inquiries as they think necessary for the purpose of securing an adequate supply of timber in the United Kingdom and promoting the production of timber in His Majesty's dominions:

Provided that any advance by way of a grant under this section shall be subject to the condition that any profits resulting from the operations in respect of which the grant was made shall, after allowing for a return to the owner of four per cent. compound interest on the cost incurred by him (exclusive of the amount of the grant), be charged with...

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