§ Mr. Deakins
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if the European Coal and Steel Community has laid down guidelines for the size of any one steel producer within the European Economic Community, which would serve to prevent any expansion in steel production by the British Steel Corporation.
§ Mr. Ridley
No. However, the European Coal and Steel Community has laid down guidelines to explain competition policy in the steel industry; its more recent statement appeared in the Community's Official Journal in January, 1970, Article 66 of the E.C.S. Treaty subjects concentrations and mergers of iron and steel undertakings falling within the jurisdiction of this Treaty, to the prior author-risation of the Commission as the successor of the High Authority—and the Commission is required to have regard to the duties of the Community as defined in Article 5 to ensure the maintenance and observation of normal competitive conditions. In the absence of any specific limitations on the maximum size of concentrations of the iron and steel industry either in the Treaty or its derived legislation the Commission proposed these guidelines to indicate how it would approach its duty under Article 65 and 66 of the Treaty. These guidelines do not inhibit the growth of any individual iron and steel producer.
§ Mr. Spence
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will give his estimate using 1970 as the base year of the projected ingot tonnage of crude steel production upon which the 152W investment plans of the British Steel Corporation are based over the next 10 years; and if he will give his estimate of the comparative figures for Japan, the United States of America and West Germany from information available from international sources.
§ Mr. Ridley
The B.S.C.'s plans envisage the possibility of a crude steel production capacity of up to 42–43 million tons in 1980–81. We do not have comparable figures for other countries as far ahead as this but the international environment will be one of the key elements in the current long-term review.