HC Deb 23 April 1964 vol 693 c1495
22. Mr. Bence

asked the Minister of Power if, in view of the proposed reduction in the price of coking coal for the steel industry, he will now direct the Iron and Steel Board to reconsider the maximum prices chargeable for heavy steel used in the shipbuilding industry.

Mr. Erroll

No, Sir. When the date of the forthcoming coal price reduction has been settled by the National Coal Board, the Iron and Steel Board will take account of this and of any other changes in costs, in keeping maximum steel prices under review.

Mr. Bence

In view of the fact that, from time to time, the right hon. Gentleman and his right hon. Friends countenance the passing on of increased costs in increased prices, will he now, being responsible for pricing in the steel industry, give a general direction to the Iron and Steel Board that the economies brought about by the Coal Board's reduction of the price of coking coal by 2s. 6d. a ton will be passed on to consumers, particularly the shipbuilding industry which is now paying much more for its steel than Continental shipbuilders?

Mr. Erroll

Maximum prices are a matter for the Iron and Steel Board, and I cannot consider using my powers to require the Board to vary maximum prices until the Board has been able to make its own decisions.