HC Deb 29 June 1953 vol 517 cc8-9
11. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Supply whether in view of the second annual report of the Iron and Steel Corporation, he will give an assurance that he will not name the appointed day under the Iron and Steel Act, 1953, before the next General Election.

14. Mr. Summers

asked the Minister of Supply if he is yet in a position to fix the appointed day under the Iron and Steel Act, 1953.

Mr. Sandys

I regret that I do not feel able to accede to the suggestion that the appointed day should be postponed so long. Before fixing the date, I thought it right to seek the advice of the Chairman of the Board and the Chairman of the Agency. The joint recommendation they made to me was that the appointed day should be either 6th July or 13th July. Out of regard for the views of the party opposite I have selected the later of these two dates.

Mr. Willey

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that as recently as Friday the Civil Lord of the Admiralty, replying to the debate on the Adjournment, pointed out that one of the great advantages which shipbuilders have at the moment is cheap steel? In those circumstances, in view of the excellence of this report and the steps that the Corporation have taken for the industry, he should not give way to his doctrinaire colleagues but should stand up to them and postpone the date.

Sir H. Williams

Is my right hon. Friend aware that when the party opposite nationalised the iron and steel industry they did it in such a way so that it could be denationalised easily? Nobody who was a director really felt that he was nationalised.