HC Deb 05 July 1939 vol 349 c1305W
Sir W. Edge

asked the President of the Board of Trade to what extent he proposes to use his powers to buy up scrap iron in this country and prevent export of this material?

Mr. Cross

I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to the powers conferred upon the Minister of Supply under the Ministry of Supply Bill now before Parliament to buy or otherwise acquire articles required for the public service. It is not possible at this stage to indicate in what circumstances those powers would be used. As regards scrap iron, an agreement is already in existence between the British Iron and Steel Federation and the Scrap Merchants' Federation, under which all ferrous scrap arising in the United Kingdom dealt with by scrap merchants who are members of this federation is offered to the Iron and Steel Federation at an agreed price and is only exported when not required in this country. Exports of scrap iron are now quite small.