§ 91. Colonel Baldwin-Webb
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the shortage in the iron and steel industry, he will, until such date as the Iron and Steel Federation can supply, suspend the quota position in a manner which will leave the market with absolute freedom without the intervention of the federation?
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Dr. Burgin)
The quota regulation of iron and steel imports has been adopted by the Government on the recommendation of the Import Duties Advisory Committee in pursuance of arrangements made between the British Iron and Steel Federation and the Continental Iron and Steel Cartel. The present system aims at an equitable distribution of iron and steel supplies at reasonable prices, and its abandonment at this moment would, in my view, increase the existing difficulties both as to supplies and prices. I am advised that every effort is being made to obtain increased supplies in this period of world shortage, and in these circumstances my right hon. Friend is not prepared to take the course suggested by my hon. and gallant Friend.