HC Deb 07 July 1958 vol 591 cc8-9
3. Mr. Palmer

asked the Paymaster-General if he will request the Iron and Steel Board, under Section 16 (2) of the Iron and Steel Act, 1953, to furnish a special report on the industry in the light of the present recession and falling output.

Mr. Maudling

No, Sir. The Iron and Steel Board made a special report to my noble Friend last summer on the development of the iron and steel industry. Further information will be found in the Board's Annual Report which will be published shortly.

Mr. Palmer

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the recession has developed since that time? Was it not for this kind of purpose that the Iron and Steel Board was established, to look at special difficulties? Does the right hon. Gentleman suggest that the Iron and Steel Board is not effective for this purpose?

Mr. Maudling

No, Sir, not at all. The steel situation is dominated, first, by the very steep fall in the export demand, which I do not think the Iron and Steel Board could really do much about, and, secondly, by the substantial destocking in the home market. Therefore, I do not think that a special report by the Iron and Steel Board would be appropriate in the present circumstances.