Stocking

Oral Answers to Questions — Coal – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th April 1959.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Palmer Mr Arthur Palmer , Cleveland 12:00 am, 13th April 1959

asked the Paymaster-General what directions have been given to the National Coal Board in relation to stocking policy, particularly in the matter of steel purchases.

Photo of Mr Arthur Palmer Mr Arthur Palmer , Cleveland

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in a public speech at Middlesbrough recently his hon. and learned Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury accused the National Coal Board of grossly over-ordering steel when steel was short and of now living on stocks? Does he agree with that criticism, and does he think it right that Ministers in the Government should criticise the policy of the nationalised industries?

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet

I have seen the very offensive remarks the hon. Member made about my hon. and learned Friend. That the Coal Board's reduction of steel stocks was greater proportionately than that of steel-users generally is a matter for its commercial judgment.

Photo of Mr Arthur Palmer Mr Arthur Palmer , Cleveland

Will the right hon. Gentleman answer my question? Is it right that a Minister should criticise the policies of nationalised industries?

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet

If those policies are open to criticism, Ministers should consider criticising them.

Photo of Sir Gerald Nabarro Sir Gerald Nabarro , Kidderminster

There is a two-way traffic as well.