§ 29. Mr. G. R. Strauss
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much of the iron and steel industry previously publicly-owned remains to be sold after the recent issue of £ 40 million shares in the Steel Company of South Wales.
§ Mr. Strauss
In view of the enormous waste of public money incurred by making these issues to the public, amounting to £ 1,200,000 in the case of the Steel Company of Wales, and the probability that this industry will go back to public ownership at an early date, will the right hon. Gentleman advise the Iron and Steel Holding and Realisation Agency to postpone the sell-back to private investors of the remainder of the steel industry?
§ Mr. Strauss
If the Minister does not accept my statements, may I ask if he is aware that in the prospectus for the issue of this company's shares it was stated that the commissions and expenses relevant to that issue amounted to £ 1,200,000 of public money?
§ Mr. Beswick
Could the Minister at least tell us what contribution to the welfare of this industry is being made by these shareholders in return for more than £ 1 million which is being paid out to them? How does the right hon. Gentleman expect the country to take seriously the so-called economies in welfare milk and school meals when much more is being wasted in the form of extra money paid out to shareholders?