HC Deb 20 March 1956 vol 550 cc993-4
38. Mr. Spence

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the shortage of suitable steel, especially in the lighter sections, for the repair and construction of agricultural equipment in Scotland; and whether he will endeavour to make supplies available in the near future having regard to the importance and urgency of the matter.

Mr. Low

I am aware that there has been a shortage of small sizes of steel products in Scotland and in other areas. The Iron and Steel Board informs me that there is some evidence of improvement in the supply of these kinds of steel as a result of the increases made last November in maximum prices for small sizes of steel.

Mr. Spence

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that a very little now would be the greatest help to the agricultural industry?

Mr. Low

I will certainly bear that in mind. I understand there has been some improvement.

Mr. Stokes

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the difficulty arises from the fact that the rolling mills like rolling heavy sections rather than light, and that the Government do absolutely nothing to induce the rolling mills to roll the lighter sections? They ought to do something about it.

Mr. Low

It is not the Government who have to do something about it but the Iron and Steel Board, and it has done something about it. The proper thing is to adjust the balance of prices between the two sorts.