§ 80. Mr. Warbey
asked the Minister of Supply what steps he is taking to stimulate an increase in the output of sheet steel above the present level of 80 per cent. of capacity.
§ Mr. Wilmot
Until the proposed new continuous strip mill comes into operation, the problem of increasing sheet steel production is primarily one of attracting more labour to the older handsheet mills which were concentrated during the war. My Department is in close touch with the Ministry of Labour, the industry and the trade unions concerned and special arrangements have been made by the industry for the training of new entrants and for the payment of a bonus above the unskilled rate to trainees retained in the industry. Production from the two existing continuous strip mills is already very near its maximum, but efforts are being made to increase it.
§ 82. Mr. Kirkwood
asked the Minister of Supply if he is aware that unemployment in Scotland is being aggravated by the shortage of steel; and if he will take immediate steps to remedy this in view of the disproportionate amount of unemployment in Scotland.
§ Mr. Wilmot
Yes, Sir. I regret that in Scotland, as elsewhere, the general steel shortage is adversely affecting employment In authorising supplies of steel, departments pay special regard to the requirements of the Development Areas, including the Scottish areas