HC Deb 07 May 1924 vol 173 cc427-8
48. Mr. HARDIE

asked the Prime Minister whether he can give any indication of what is being done to re-organise industry in the United Kingdom; and whether he has considered the calling of a conference of iron and steel works owners for the purpose of bringing all such iron and steel plant up to date?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Webb)

I have been asked to reply. The subject raised by my hon. Friend is too large to be dealt with by question and answer in this House. In the iron and steel industry, to which my hon. Friend specially refers, very substantial reorganisations and improvements have been made in recent years, and I do not think a conference of the kind suggested would serve any useful purpose at present.


Would it not be a mockery for the Government to ask the steel makers to improve their plant when they do nothing to secure them a market?


I am afraid I am not aware that it is any part of the duty of the Government to secure a market for particular manufacturers.


Since the right hon. Gentleman made the statement that they had no Department for dealing with this question, and since he says that this is not the place to do it, and since I have tried every other avenue, can he tell me now in what way I am to approach the Government to get anything done in order to reorganise industries in this country?


Surely it is the first duty of the Board of Trade to look after the industries of the country.


Industry is not nationalised yet.