§ Sir H. Williams
asked the Minister of Supply when the Iron and Steel Board will assume responsibility for supervising iron and steel prices.
§ Mr. Sandys
I have decided that the time has come for the Iron and Steel Board to take over full responsibility for supervising the prices of iron and steel products. Under Section 8 of the Iron and Steel Act, 1953, the Iron and Steel Board are empowered to fix the maximum prices which may be chargedin the United Kingdom by iron and steel producers. However, Section 10 of that Act provides that the Board may not exercise these powers in respect of any product, the price of which is being controlled by the Government.
In order, therefore, to put the Board in a position to exercise their responsibility for the supervision of prices, I have made an Order bringing to an end all existing Iron and Steel Prices Orders, as from tomorrow. The Iron and Steel Board have informed me that they intend forthwith to fix maximum prices covering approximately the same range of products as those at present controlled and that for the present, except in a few minor instances, no changes in the existing price schedules will be made. The Board's powers under the Act do not extend to the control of scrap prices. Consequently, I am not revoking the Iron and Steel Scrap Orders, under which the prices of scrap will continue to be controlled.