HC Deb 06 March 1956 vol 549 cc181-2W
70. Mr. G. Darling

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that there is a shortage of small section mild steel in the engineering industry, particularly in vehicle building; and whether he will make representations to the Iron and Steel Board to see what can be done to improve supplies.

Mr. Low

The Iron and Steel Board is aware of this shortage and for that reason certain maximum prices were raised last November to encourage producers to increase their output of small sizes. I am informed by the Iron and Steel Board that there is some evidence that supplies of small sizes are now improving.

71. Mr. Champion

asked the President of the Board of Trade what measures he proposes to overcome the shortage of steel plates and rolled rod steel at the Derby carriage and wagon works of British Railways, since this shortage is affecting output there.

Mr. Low

I am informed by the Iron and Steel Board that the British Transport Commission are already in touch with them about the steel requirements of the railways.

74. Mr. B. Taylor

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the Mansfield Town Council was unable to obtain the necessary steel for improvements to the Rainworth Waterworks Pumping Station; and if he will take steps to secure that supplies are available for this and other essential local authority works.

Mr. Low

Notwithstanding substantial increases in output British producers are not able to meet all of the heavy demands made on them and imports are still necessary. Steel-making capacity is being further expanded, but I am afraid that until supply and demand are in balance, local authorities, like other consumers, will experience difficulties. I understand that the necessary steel has now been obtained for this pumping station.