HC Deb 05 July 1948 vol 453 cc22-3
62. Mr. Geoffrey Cooper

asked the Minister of Supply why, in starting period 3 on 1st July, no allocation has yet been notified by his Department to some sections of the steel industry for either their home or export trade.

Mr. G. R. Strauss

Steel tube manufacturers could not be notified of their allocations until it was know how much steel would be available, both from home production and imports. They were advised of their allocations on 2nd July. Preliminary advice of export allocations was issued on 12th June and formal licences on 28th June.

Mr. Cooper

Does my right hon. Friend appreciate that when manufacturers are kept waiting in this way for vital information it plays havoc with the home and export trade, and can he prevent a recurrence of this type of thing?

Mr. Strauss

There were special circumstances on this occasion in view of the number of bilateral trade negotiations pending. My information shows that it has not meant any serious difficulty for the manufacturers.

Mr. Cooper

In view of the tremendous importance of this matter and the key position which allocations of steel hold in the home and export trade, I beg to give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment.