§ Mr. Philips Price
asked the Minister of Supply whether he is aware that the demand for arc welding electrodes which rose to a wartime peak of 45,000 tons per annum has continued at that peak during the past three years and that there is a serious shortage of steel wire for their manufacture; and whether, in view of the fact that one ton of electrodes can save an average of ten tons of steel in fabricated work and that the present shortage of wire for the manufacture of electrodes is restricting many engineering industries from using welding as widely as they would wish, he will take steps to ensure an early increase in the supply of the necessary steel wire for this purpose.
§ Mr. G. R. Strauss
Electrode wire is produced from a high grade carbon steel of a rigid specification requiring a high degree of purity. Production of this high grade steel has increased during the past year and has been supplemented in the case of electrode wire by special electric furnace production; it is hoped that this increased production will result in the delivery of electrode wire during the current quarter at the rate of 40,000 tons a year which is the estimated demand for essential purposes.