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Steel Allocation

Volume 465: debated on Monday 23 May 1949

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asked the Economic Secretary to the Treasury whether, in view of the increased production and stocks of steel, he is now in a position to permit a relaxation of the present system of steel allocation.

There has been a considerable relaxation of the system of steel allocation during 1948 and 1949, as a result of periodic reviews of the scheme, which will continue. Products in easier supply have been removed from allocation, and since January, 1949, consumers of not more than 100 tons of steel per annum have been covered by a special scheme whereby licences to acquire steel are issued directly by regional controllers independently of the main scheme. Despite increased production and stocks, there is, however, still a shortage of certain categories of steel and as long as serious shortages exist, the need for

units have not been recorded. The numbers of British men, women and children who sailed, whether under organised schemes or otherwise, for settlement in the four Commonwealth countries named, during the period from 1st April, 1947–31st March, 1949, are given in the table below. There are no separate statistics of the numbers of aliens who have migrated to these several destinations before January, 1949. I am endeavouring to collect the information sought in the last part of the Question and will write to the hon. Member.

allocation remains. We are also still importing steel from hard currency countries.