HC Deb 10 November 1952 vol 507 cc572-3
14. Mr. G. R. Strauss

asked the Minister of Supply whether it is proposed that the members of the board to be established under the Iron and Steel Bill, whose statutory duty it will be to supervise this industry, may, while serving on the board, engage personally in activities as producers of iron and steel or as manufacturers of its products.

Mr. Sandys

The Bill does not prohibit this.

Mr. Strauss

As this is a very important aspect of Her Majesty's Government's proposals, may we take it that it is the intention of the Government that these people, who are to have the duty of seeing to the economic and adequate production of steel and of supervising 2,400 firms, may be engaged in earning their livelihood in this industry and will be carrying out this duty as part-time work?

Mr. Sandys

I do not think that this is the occasion to go into great detail about this. We shall have many opportunities of doing so in the near future. There is nothing new at all in this. The late Government appointed two steel producers and one manufacturer to the postwar Iron and Steel Board, and the right hon. Gentleman himself appointed to the Steel Corporation one manufacturer who is still a member of it.

Mr. Strauss

I do not want to debate this now. It is, nevertheless, desirable before we debate it to have some of the facts and to know what the Government's intentions are. Is the Minister aware that the functions which the new Steel Board are supposed to carry out in their duties are far wider and deeper than those which the temporary Steel Board set up under the last Administration ever attempted to carry out?

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

Order. This is rather anticipating discussion on the Bill.