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Steel Industry

Volume 890: debated on Monday 21 April 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry what views he has received from the British Steel Corporation about the desirability of Great Britain remaining in the European Economic Community.

I understand that the chairman and corporation take the view that it would benefit substantially from continued United Kingdom membership of the ECSC.

I am grateful to the Minister for that reply. Can he say, in the event of Britain's leaving the Community, what would happen to the substantial loans which have been allotted by the Community to the British steel industry, amounting, according to my information, to £94 million at favourable rates of interest? Would they have to be repaid?

That would fall for consideration by the Government after the vote. The amount of the United Kingdom's gross contribution to the Community greatly exceeds receipts.

I appreciate that the Minister's original answer to the Question will then have been approved by the Foreign Office. Can he assure us that the supplementary answer was, too?

I have nothing to add to the speeches made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, South-East in other parts of the country.