HC Deb 07 April 1943 vol 388 cc617-8
50. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Minister of Supply whether he is aware that the chairman of Messrs. Stewarts and Lloyds and another director of the same firm have joined the board of Messrs. Wellman, Smith, Owen Engineering Corporation, having previously joined the board of Messrs. Davey, Brothers, of Sheffield; that these two firms are the only two qualified to carry out the manufacture of rolling mills for steel tubes; that Messrs. Stewarts and Lloyds, the largest steel tube manufacturers in the country, are now controlling both Wellman's and Davey, Brothers; whether this amalgamation of interests has been carried out with his knowledge and approval; and whether any consideration has been given to the fact that this amalgamation may be used to monopolise this trade after the war?

Sir A. Duncan

I understand that directors of three steel companies have been appointed to represent the steel industry on the boards of the two engineering companies referred to. I am informed that the sole purpose is to further co-operation between the steel industry and that section of the engineer- ing industry specialising in the design and construction of iron and steel plant, and that there is no question of control by any firm.

Mr. Hopkinson

Is it not the policy of the right hon. Gentleman to continue his life's work of fostering the formation of monopolies of every sort?

Sir A. Duncan

No, Sir. I was neither asked to give, nor did I give, approval.

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