HC Deb 11 March 1925 vol 181 cc1323-4
70. Mr. HARDIE

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can give the amount of royalties, per ton, paid upon the raw materials necessary to produce a ton of steel in Germany?

Mr. A. M. SAMUEL (Secretary, Overseas Trade Department)

I regret that I am unable to furnish precise information, as the total royalties paid vary according to the source of the ore used, and a good deal of ore is imported. So far as relates to materials raised from mines, other than iron mines, in Prussia, I understand that royalties charged are at a rate of 2 per cent. of the value of the minerals.


Where does the money go?


It will probably go to the Prussian State but I believe that the effect on the price of steel, owing to the difference between the English and German royalty, is trivial.


When the hon. Gentleman expresses the opinion that the difference is trivial, is he referring to a difference of 10s. 10d. per ton on steel as made from hematite ore being trivial?


I am merely dealing with the difference arising out of royalties charged here compared with those charged in Germany.


In view of the unsatisfactory answer which I have received, I will raise this question of royalties on the Motion for the Adjournment.

71. Mr. HARDIE

asked the President of the Board of. Trade whether, in view of the fact that other countries are producing steel cheaper than our own, he will introduce legislation to abolish royalties on the nation's raw materials?

The SECRETARY for MINES (Colonel Lane-Fox)

I am not sure whether the hon. Member's proposal is one for the confiscation of royalties or for their purchase by the State. A policy of confiscation would not only be morally line justifiable but economically disastrous in its general influence and effect. State purchase extinguishes one set of liabilities by the creation of another; and it is difficult to see how this change could materially affect present costs.


If the Government are really anxious to get a, reduction in the cost of the nation's raw material what objection have they to abolishing these royalties?


That question does not arise.