HC Deb 22 July 1968 vol 769 c13
14. Mr. Hooley

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works whether, in the light of the announcement of a 14½ per cent. increase in the pre-tax profit by Tunnel Portland Cement for 1967–68, he will now remove the special 2s. per ton surcharge on cement authorised in 1967.

Mr. Mellish

I refer my hon. Friend to the Answer I gave him on 27th May, 1968. As a result of the statement by my right hon. Friend on the fuel oil surcharge, the Cement Makers Federation has reiterated its undertaking to remove the 2s. surcharge as soon as all the extra costs have been recovered.—[Vol. 765, c. 1212.]

Mr. Hooley

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this company, which accounts for only 14 per cent. of cement manufactured, has recently announced profits of £2,600,000? Does not my right hon. Friend agree that profits of this order do not require an unearned bonus of a 2s. per cent. surcharge? Is it not high time that this temporary arrangement was seen to be temporary and removed?

Mr. Mellish

The N.B.P.I. investigated this company and its claims for increases and agreed same. I have an assurance from the company that the moment that it is practicable so to do this surcharge will be removed. I very much hope that we shall be hearing more about that within the next three months.