§ Mr. Gregor Mackenzie
asked the Minister of Power when he will make a statement about the future of the Round Oak and Brymbo steel works.
§ Mr. Marsh
With my approval, the British Steel Corporation and Tube Investments Limited have concluded an agreement under which immediately after vesting the Corporation will transfer half the equity of Round Oak Steel Works Ltd., to Tube Investments and Tube Investments will transfer to the Corporation the right to half the compensation stock to be issued in respect of Round Oak. Thereafter, to secure equal control, the Corporation and Tube Investments will nominate equal numbers of directors on the board of Round Oak Steel Works Ltd., and the chairmanship will be held by them in turn. The agreement provides for arrangements to facilitate co-ordination of the heavy steel production at Round Oak with similar activities in the public sector of the industry and for the maintenance of close technical links between Round Oak and Tube Investments in the production of tube solids. As part of the agreement Tube Investments will sell to Round Oak Steel Works Ltd., the assets and facilities of their Brierley Hill laboratory which is working on promising developments in the production of tube solids by continuous casting. The Corporation are satisfied that these arrangements will safeguard the legitimate interests both of themselves and of Tube Investments in Round Oak and will provide the basis 285W for fruitful co-operation between them and one of the largest undertakings in the engineering industry.
The Park Gate Iron and Steel Company Ltd., which was also a subsidiary of Tube Investments, will remain fully in the ownership of the Corporation. With its modern plant Park Gate should have good prospects in the nationalised sector of the steel industry. Arrangements have been made between the Corporation and Tube Investments to safeguard the position of Park Gate in the supply of tube steel for Tube Investments.
Discussions are continuing with Guest, Keen & Nettlefolds Ltd., about the future of the Brymbo works.