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Steel Company Of Wales (American Coal)

Volume 643: debated on Tuesday 4 July 1961

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asked the President of the Board of Trade when he expects to make a statement on the application of the Steel Company of Wales to purchase coal from the United States of America.

I have at present nothing to add to the reply which my right hon. Friend the Minister of Power gave on 15th May to my hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro).

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us when he is to give a final answer on this question? Why is he taking so long to make up his mind on a simple issue of principle? Will he give an undertaking that before he accepts any such proposal as the Steel Company of Wales is putting forward he will take into account the injury which the coal industry has suffered over several years purely because of Government policy?

I hope to make a statement before the House rises for the Summer Recess, but the matter is not as simple as the hon. Member appears to think it is.

Since I last asked about this matter, has the right hon. Gentleman had any application from the Steel Company of Wales for the importation of cheap Russian oil to this country?

That is a rather different question. I think the answer is "No", but I would rather see the question on the Order Paper.