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.

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Photo of Mr Roland Jennings Mr Roland Jennings , Sheffield, Hallam 12:00 am, 12th November 1951

I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the Prime Minister and his Government have no intention of rushing any Bill through here. [Laughter.] Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. The hon. Member for Fulham, East (Mr. M. Stewart), can rely on the wisdom and the judgment of the Prime Minister and the Government to see that any Bill brought before this House receives the fullest possible consideration.

I am one of those Members who believe that if we are to maintain our export trade in the world there are three fundamental principles in this great industry which have got to be fulfilled. The first is that we have got to supply our steel at the right price; secondly, we have got to supply it at the right quality, and thirdly, we have to supply it at the right delivery. If anybody can tell me that the action of the Corporation in getting, rid of eminent directors who have spent their lives in the industry is going to be helpful, then I am sorry to have to assure hon. Members opposite that the future of the steel industry will be black.

It is with conviction that I make my appeal to hon. Members opposite to adopt another line. The Prime Minister has appealed for less party politics. [Laughter.] Of course, whatever hon. Members opposite may say, such an appeal is in the national interest. If hon. Members opposite do not make that contribution, then I am quite satisfied that they will be putting party politics before the interests of the country. There can be no doubt about who put this great industry into the political arena. It was the party opposite, and when we were in opposition we tried to persuade them, in the national interest, to delay the action they proposed to take.