§ 144. Mr. Erroll
asked the Minister of Supply, in view of the growing supply difficulties, whether he will make a statement about the steel situation.
§ Mr. G. R. Strauss
I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Stechford (Mr. Jenkins) on 7th December and to the statement I made in the debate on 7th February. Because of raw material difficulties, there is little hope that total steel supplies in 1951 will exceed the 1950 level. There does not, however, appear to be any acute general shortage of steel, although marginal shortages of some types, including semi-finished steel, appear to be developing. The position is being closely watched, and, if necessary, measures will be taken to deal with the situation. There is, of course, a serious shortage of sheet steel and tinplate, and supplies will not improve until the new South Wales plants come into production later this year.