Orders of the Day — Steel Industry and Road Haulage

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th November 1951.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr William Robson-Brown Mr William Robson-Brown , Esher 12:00 am, 12th November 1951

Yes, more labour, and this is the kind of industry which can attract it. Great strides have already been made in the five years since the war, but greater strides have to be made. It is to the expansion of the steel industry that more than any other industry we should look for the extension and expansion of our export trade.

I would leave another thought with the House. If we can increase our steel production by one million tons we could make it possible to export another £50 million worth of goods per annum made out of the products of steel. That is a very conservative estimate. We want a big expanding programme. We have got to capture—I should use the word "recapture"—and expand our overseas markets, because in the five years gone by our deliveries in many cases have been merely token deliveries, and while we have concentrated on our re-armament other countries are taking over our markets in other lands. We cannot be left behind.

Some time or other we shall have to go to an international round table to discuss international steel. I may be considered aggressive, but I want to feel that when we sit round that table we will not be there begging for a share of the world's trade, but we shall be there by right because of the quality, the price and the performance of our products.

My final words on this matter are these. Leave steel alone and let it breathe freely again. End, once and for all, the six years of anxiety and uncertainty which the nationalisation of steel has imposed upon the industry and let us get on with the job in the interests of steel and of the nation.