§ Mr. O'Malley
Is it not true that under the existing organisation of the steel industry the Federation has a bureaucracy of about 500 staff and the Iron and Steel Board has about 120, whereas previously under public ownership there were never more than 20 civil servants working for the organisation?
§ 19. Mr. J. H. Osborn
asked the Minister of Power if he will request the Iron and Steel Board under Section 16 of the Iron and Steel Act, 1953, to report to him on the value of each major capital project being undertaken by steel companies scheduled in the Iron and Steel Bill, the method of financing of each such project, and the estimated cost in the years ending 31st December, 1966, 231 and 31st December, 1967, respectively; if he will tabulate this information in the OFFICIAL REPORT; and which projects will be cut back or postponed as a result of the measures to cut back capital expenditure in the public sector.
§ Mr. Marsh
Section 16 of the Iron and Steel Act, 1953, does not empower me to call for information of this kind.
§ Mr. Osborn
Can the Minister state how the capital projects already announced for the steel industry will now be financed, whether his Ministry will be called upon to finance projects already announced, and whether there is enough money in the "kitty" for doing so? If not, is he not well aware that people in the industry will suffer from loss of capital investment in an industry which last week the Minister stated needed it?
§ Mr. Marsh
There is no reason why the industry cannot continue to raise finance in this way. Projects are going through at this moment and finance is rising. The difficulty I am in in answering the Question is that the Act which the hon. Member's party passed gave me no power to require the information for which the hon. Member asks.