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On 22 April 1903, the Honourables Charles Harper M.L.A., Robert Hastie M.L.A., William Atkins M.L.A., and William Vincent Fitzgerald and Newton Moore were appointed Royal Commissioners on Forestry. The Royal Commission's terms of reference were to inquire into and report upon:
1) The world's supplies of timber which come into competition with those of Western Australia, and more particularly the hardwood timbers of the Eastern States of the Commonwealth;
2) The supplies available in Western Australia of each variety;
3) The area of jarrah and karri forests respectively cut out;
4) The rate at which the forests were being depleted;
5) Whether the frequent reports of enormous waste were correct, and if so what steps were necessary to prevent same;
6) Whether any, if so what, steps were to be taken, and in what locality, to plant softwood in Western Australia.
The Royal Commission's report was submitted on 19 May 1904.