§ 19. Mr. Chapman
asked the President of the Board of Trade what agreement he has made with the steel industry regarding its imports and exports in 1956; and how this agreement differs from 1955.
§ Mr. P. Thorneycroft
The steel industry is free to import semi-finished steel, such as ingots and billets for further processing, on its own account. Finished steel is imported by steel consumers and merchants. Exports of sheet, plate and tin-plate are limited by export licensing, and the steel industry has undertaken to restrict its total exports to the 1955 level or slightly lower.
§ Mr. Chapman
What estimate, after discussion with the industry, does the Minister make of the net effect on our balance of payments?
§ Mr. Thorneycroft
I do not know about the net effect on our balance of payments. It means that the policy with regard to steel exports in 1956 will be broadly the same as that followed in 1955.