HC Deb 23 June 1960 vol 625 cc647-8
2. Mr. Ridley

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will now state when he proposes to complete the denationalisation of the steel industry.

Mr. Barber

I regret that there is nothing that I can usefully add to the statements which my right hon. Friends and I have recently made about this matter.

Mr. Ridley

As there are still ten companies valued at some £40 million in I.S.H.R.A., will not my hon. Friend press on with this matter, since it is now seven years since the Iron and Steel Act, 1953, was passed?

Mr. Barber

I have said before that it is the Government's hope that within the lifetime of the present Parliament the Agency will complete its duty of substantially returning the industry to private enterprise. I might add that we are very hopeful that conditions will be such that the Agency will be able to make significant progress during the course of this year.

Mr. Chetwynd

Have not the Government yet learned that it would be better for this industry to be held in public hands as a great national asset?