§ 9. Sir PARK GOFF
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, with reference to the recent decision of the Trade Facilities Act Committee to provide a guarantee of £650,000 for the extension of the works of the Appleby Iron Company, the matter was submitted to him before the Trade Facilities Act Committee approved the guarantee; and whether, seeing that the productive capacity of rolling-mill plant already in existence exceeds the actual requirements at the moment or the estimated requirements for some years to come, this matter can be reconsidered?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Ronald McNeill)
I have been asked to reply. My right hon. Friend was aware of the scheme, but the guarantee was given, as usual, on the recommendation of the Trade Facilities Committee. The answer to the second part of the question is in the negative. At the present moment there are large imports of foreign steel into this country, and if, by cheaper production resulting from modern equipment, we can reduce these imports, I think it will be for the general advantage.
§ Sir P. GOFF
Is it not the fact that evidence was given before the Imperial Research Committee, in reference to the heavy steel trade, to the effect that the production of steel, and particularly of steel plates, is far in excess of the demand?
§ Mr. McNEILL
I should not like to make a statement with regard to the evidence without having had an opportunity of reading it.
Mr. TREVELYAN THOMSON
Are there not many mills of the newest construction and with the most modern plants standing idle for want of orders, and what advantage will it be to put up other new plants?