HC Deb 18 June 1951 vol 489 cc10-1W
77. Mr. Edward Davies

asked the Minister of Supply how far the present production of iron and steel is falling short of the country's requirement; to what extent limited supplies of ore, scrap iron, coke and shipping are contributing to the difficulty; and what measures are being taken to overcome them.

Mr. G. R. Strauss:

We are producing rather less steel than last year against a rising demand, but it is impossible to state the exact extent of the short-fall. Production has fallen because of a substantial decline in imports of scrap and a shortage of imported iron ore due to shipping difficulties. Every effort is being made to increase imports of raw materials and an extensive drive is being undertaken to recover the maximum amount. of scrap at home.

78. Mr. Edward Davies

asked the Minister of Supply the estimated increased tonnage required of iron and steel to meet the re-armament programme in 1951, 1952 and 1953.

Mr. G. R. Strauss:

It would not be in the national interest to disclose this information.

79. Mr. Edward Davies

asked the Minister of Supply to what extent unemployment of men and plant at present exists in the iron and steel making industry owing to the shortage of raw materials.

Mr. G. R. Strauss:

Low stocks and shortage of raw materials are causing interruptions in production at various steel works, but they are mainly temporary and there is at present no serious unemployment.