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Wood From Trees

Seeing the wood for the trees - The Forestry Commission’s place in modern Britain - ASI
“In every great monarchy of Europe the sale of the crown
lands would produce a very large sum of money, which, if
applied to the payment of the public debts, would deliver
from mortgage a much greater revenue than any which
those lands have ever afforded to the crown...When the
crown lands had become private property, they would, in
the course of a few years, become well-improved and wellcultivated...the revenue which the crown derives from the
duties of customs and excise, would necessarily increase
with the revenue and consumption of the people.”
Adam Smith, An inquiry into the nature and causes of the
wealth of nations, Book V Chapter II

Hardly needs updating and expanding but the ASI has done so.

The facts are simple but the political truth isn't. Of course the state forests should be sold off, but the middle classes have got themselves into such a tizzy over it that Hulme could power half of London with the backpeddling Ms Spelman is having to do. There is no chance of actually persuading the people on this one, and I suppose it isn't that important, but this is the story of every economy the Government makes. It ends up not happening.


A valid point but for the better part of the past 200 years the Crown Estates revenue has been paid to the Treasury. Adam Smith was a great thinker and economist but did not consider, I believe, the "Great Helmsman" Gollum Brown and the effect of a government borrowing £1 in every £5 spent.
However, the Crown Estates are agressively managed with a view to ensuring maximum revenue. A simple example for sailors are the dues claimed by the Crown Estate for laying a mooring.

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