HC Deb 14 February 1956 vol 548 c2141
1. Sir H. Roper

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, with a view to co-ordinating existing knowledge and formulating a policy which will ensure for the future an adequate supply of metals and minerals, he will appoint a Minerals Advisory Board to assist him.

The President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Peter Thorneycroft)

It is not clear that the appointment of a Minerals Advisory Board at the present time would be advantageous but I thank my hon. Friend for his suggestion, which I will bear in mind.

Sir H. Roper

Has my right hon. Friend considered the prospect in the years ahead of a steadily expanding world demand for metals and the great opportunities for meeting that demand from within the Commonwealth? Can he assure the House that the policy of Her Majesty's Government is to help industry to make full use of those opportunities, if possible with British capital? Will he bear in mind that the first step is to make the facts available, and will he press the Chancellor of the Exchequer to do what he can in the sphere of taxation?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I will certainly bear in mind the important considerations which my hon. Friend has mentioned.

Mr. Bottomley

In speaking of considering the proposal to have a Minerals Advisory Board, did the President mean that he is not satisfied with the present arrangements?

Mr. Thorneycroft

No, Sir. I did not mean that.