22. Mr. Eddie Griffiths
asked the Minister of Power if he is satisfied with the arrangements for consultation with the National Coal Board and British Steel Corporation on matters relevant to regional policy; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Mason
Yes, Sir. My officials are frequently in touch with both boards on regional matters, and have regular joint meetings with their officials. I discuss the main issues from time to time with the chairman. There is thus both close co-operation and a wide exchange of relevant information and experience.
Will my right hon. Friend say whether a good relationship exists between the National Coal Board and the British Steel Corporation?
§ Mr. Mason
Yes. A recent example of their co-operation, particularly in regard to the initial Question, is that they have jointly commissioned Political and Economic Planning to do research on methods of attracting industry to remote areas. Recognising that there may be some steel plant closures in areas where 1137 coal mines have closed, both are eager to work together, to co-operate and to learn from each other's experience.
§ Mr. Wingfield Digby
Have there been consultations with the British Steel Corporation in the shipbuilding areas about steel prices, which are vital to the future of the industry?