HC Deb 13 December 1939 vol 355 c1198
57 and 58. Mr. Stokes

asked the Minister of Supply (1) by what sums the iron and steel industry has decreased its indebtedness to the banks, by way of debenture or otherwise, between 1st January, 1936, and 1st April, 1939, or alternatively, between 1st April, 1936, and 1st April, 1939, no account being taken of debentures created in that period to finance newly created assets;

(2) the present capital value of the steel industry as covered by the 1939 Import Duties Advisory Committee's Report, and the total expenditure, other than that covered by special issues of capital or debentures, on new fixed assets between 1st January, 1936, and 1st January, 1939, or between 1st April, 1936, and 1st April, 1939?

Mr. Burgin

I regret that the information asked for is not available either to me or to my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade.

Mr. Stokes

Is the Minister aware that the policy at present being followed is to make the steel industry an effective monopoly under the control of the Bank of England, and is he satisfied that that is in the public interest?

Mr. Burgin

No, Sir, I do not think that that is the policy or that it would be satisfactory.