§ Mr. Piratin
asked the Minister of Supply why the iron and steel industry was paid a subsidy of £7,500,000 during 1947–48; and to whom and how this sum was disbursed.
§ Mr. G. R. Strauss
Payments amounting to about £11,500,000 were made from public funds in 1947–48 in respect of the following:
- (a) The difference between the prewar cost of freight on foreign ore plus 50 per cent. and the cost of such freight at present.
- (b) The difference between the cost (including freight charges and import duty) of imported steel and the controlled price in the United Kingdom.
- (c) Uneconomical production of home ore.
- (d) The difference between the cost of imported scrap (including freight) and the controlled prices in United Kingdom.
Payments in the case of (a) and (b) are made to the British Iron and Steel Corporation, Ltd. which handles the transactions as agents of the Ministry of Supply. Payments under (c) are made to the firms mining the ore. Transactions under (d) appear in the accounts of Iron and Steel Disposals, Ltd. which is a Government-owned company.