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Iron Foundries (Supplies)

Volume 497: debated on Monday 10 March 1952

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2, 3 and 6.

asked the Minister of Supply (1) what arrangements he is making to assure continuity of supply of raw materials to the iron-founders for production of approved domestic solid-fuel burning appliances, both in respect of the new housing construction programme and in respect of replacements for old-type open domestic grates;

(2) whether, in view of the controversy between ironfounders and steelmakers upon allocation of available resources of scrap and pig-iron, he will state what steps he is taking to assure continuity of the flow of iron-castings to the engineering and allied industries;

(3) whether he is aware that 25 per cent., approximately, of the output of iron foundries is devoted to the provision of gutters, drain and soil pipes, baths and cookers for the housing programme; and what steps he is taking to assure adequate supplies of scrap and pig-iron for iron foundries to meet this requirement.

I am examining with the industry the whole question of the division of available raw materials between iron founding and steelmaking. Every effort is being made to meet the requirements for housing and other essential purposes.

In view of the fact that these three Questions are not entirely related to one another, may I ask my right hon. Friend two supplementary questions? First, in connection with Question No. 2, is he satisfied that all steps will be taken to ensure full conservation of our coal resources by making sufficient cast iron available for a million solid-fuel burning appliances during 1952? Second, in view of the importance of the high conversion value of iron castings for the engineering industries, will he pay special attention to the conversion value aspect of the problem?

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asked the Minister of Supply the number of Royal Ordnance factories in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, respectively.

There are 17 in England, three in Scotland, three in Wales and none in Northern Ireland.

Does not the Minister think it is a pity that there is none in Northern Ireland? Will he bear in mind

As the first question is very detailed I should like to see it on the Order Paper. As regards the second, I certainly can give my hon. Friend the assurance he seeks.