HC Deb 26 July 1960 vol 627 cc1286-7
36. Mr. Ginsburg

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what negotiations have taken place or are contemplated between the Iron and Steel Holding and Realisation Agency and Mr. Charles Clore in connection with the sale of any part of the equity of Richard Thomas and Baldwins, Limited.

Mr. Amory

I cannot comment on rumours about bids for prospective sales of particular steel companies in public ownership.

Mr. Ginsburg

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for that reply, may I ask whether he does not feel that a more categorical assurance is required? Is he not aware that, after the last debate on Richard Thomas and Baldwins, Mr. Clore's spokesman announced that he would be interested in acquiring a substantial share of the equity if he were approached? Does not the Chancellor feel that a statement on this matter is therefore merited?

Mr. Amory

I do not think that I could regard it as right to make a statement on hearsay evidence of that nature.

Mr. H. Wilson

Was it not categorically denied just before we adjourned for the Easter Recess that there were any dealings going on at all with Mr. Clore? Secondly, in the recent debate, was it not stated that the Government would not proceed with this act of vandalism either? [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] In present circumstances, that is. In those circumstances does not it mean that the right hon. Gentleman's refusal to be more specific will give rise to a number of rumours that there is something very unsavoury going on?

Mr. Amory

I take note of the right hon. Gentleman's views.