HC Deb 06 July 1965 vol 715 cc1335-7
23. Mr. Edward M. Taylor

asked the Minister of Power when he will introduce the Bill relating to the nationalisation of the steel industry; and if he will make a statement.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Power (Mr. John Morris)

I have nothing to add to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 24th June, 1965.

Mr. Taylor

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that this rather ambiguous Answer conflicts strongly with the Prime Minister's statement in the House on 18th March that steel would be nationalised this Session? Does he not think it is un- reasonable and outrageous to expect the industry to continue operating under this difficulty? Will he not state clearly and precisely whether or not it is the intention of the Government to bring in a Bill to nationalise steel?

Mr. Morris

I have no evidence that the normal operations of the industry are not proceeding smoothly. If the hon. Gentleman has any evidence to the contrary I shall be very interested to hear it. As to the earlier part of the question, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made abundantly clear on 24th June what the situation was. He referred to the amount of legislation before the House this Session and said further that it would be a matter of convenience whether to extend this Session to get this and other necessary legislation through or whether to make a clean start with an early new Session".—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 24th June, 1965; Vol. 714, c. 1939.]

Mr. H. Hynd

Will my hon. Friend note the impatience of the Opposition in this matter and do his best to bring in this Bill as soon as possible to meet their desire?

Mr. Morris

I appreciate that some right hon. and hon. Members opposite have been appointed to shadow my right hon. Friend and myself. I always have great sympathy with the unemployed, especially those genuinely seeking work.

Mr. Peyton

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is no impatience on this side of the House to find ourselves confronted with the horrid Measure with which the Government have threatened the country and the industry? Is he also aware that we do not share the illusion, which he evidently does, that the Prime Minister ever makes anything clear? Will he kindly bear in mind that though we are prepared to wait for ever, we are nevertheless optimistic enough to expect that every now and again—

Hon. Members

Ask a question.

Mr. Peyton

I am asking a question.

Mr. Speaker

Let there be less noise or we shall never get to this Bill.

Mr. Peyton

I am simply concerned to find out whether the Parliamentary Secretary can answer my hon. Friend's question which was quite simple: yes or no, do the Government intend to introduce this horrid Measure?

Mr. Morris

I thought I had made the matter abundantly clear. As my hon. Friend indicated on 24th June, it will be a matter for the convenience of the Government whether the Bill will be introduced this Session or whether we shall have a clean start with an early new Session.