HC Deb 08 July 1925 vol 186 cc410-1

asked the Prime Minister whether the Government have under consideration the granting of subsidies to any trade; whether it proposed to set up a Committee to consider the question; and, if so, whether any members of such Committee have yet been appointed?


The general question of sustaining certain of our basic industries will be examined by the Committee of Civil Research in connection with the inquiry which that body is making into the individual case of steel. Such an investigation does not commit His Majesty's Government to any particular remedy, whether by subsidy or other form of State aid, and it may well be that all such remedies will be found by the Committee to carry with them evils not less serious than those they seek to cure. But no reason able proposal will be excluded from consideration, and I hold most strongly that it is the duty of His Majesty's Government to make an organised and unprejudiced examination of the whole situation.


In the appointment of Committees will the workers be represented?


In answer to a question, I think it was yesterday, on the subject of the investigation by the Committee of Civil Research, I told the House that, as in the case of the Committee of Imperial Defence and Cabinet Committees, no publication was ever made of the constituent parts of a Committee.

Captain BENN

Has the steel inquiry begun?


I do not think it is usual to ask questions about the work of such Committees, but, knowing the extreme interest that my hon. and gallant Friend takes in the matter, I do not mind telling him that I have had a preliminary meeting.