HC Deb 04 June 1956 vol 553 c710
49. Mr. Dugdale

asked the President of the Board of Trade what consultations he had with the iron and steel industry and with the scrap-metal merchants before he decided to raise the price of scrap metal by £2 a ton.

The Minister of State, Board of Trade (Mr. A. R. W. Low)

In accordance with the provisions of Section 10 of the Iron and Steel Act, 1953, my right hon. Friend consulted the Iron and Steel Board before making the Order increasing the maximum prices of ferrous scrap by an average of £2 a ton. The Iron and Steel Board informed us of the views of representative bodies of the iron and steel industry. The iron and steel industry and the scrap merchants were consulted by the Board of Trade about the manner in which the average increase was to be applied to individual prices.

Mr. Dugdale

Would it not be correct to say that not only the iron and steel industry but the scrap metal merchants themselves were against this rise, and would it not be worth while considering whether the Government might not make proposals for a decrease down to the figure which existed before the rise? Is not this one case, at any rate, where a rise might be prevented by the Government?

Mr. Low

The views of the scrap merchants and the iron and steel industry were given to us through the Iron and Steel Board, and it is not the usual practice to disclose the advice given to Ministers by statutory boards.