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British Steel Corporation

Volume 984: debated on Monday 12 May 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether any salary or fees will be paid to the chairman or other members of the committee which is to review the performance of Mr. Ian MacGregor and the amounts to be paid to Lazard Frères; and what the total cost will be to public funds of this committee.

It is not intended that the chairman or members of the review committee will receive any salary, but it may be that certain of them will receive fees. The Department of Industry has agreed to pay the reasonable fees of United Kingdom-resident members of the committee and the reasonable expenses incurred by the members of the committee in attending meetings. No estimate has been made of the likely total cost to public funds of this committee.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry to what extent he discussed with the trades unions in the industry the appointment of the new chairman of the British Steel Corporation board.

Mr. Sirs, chairman of the TUC steel committee and general secretary of the ISTC, was told on 27 February that I would welcome any suggestions he might have about possible candidates, and on 11 March that I would be content to discuss with him the question of the chairmanship in general terms. Mr. Sirs replied on 23 April, by which time negotiations for the appointment of Mr. MacGregor were almost complete.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will state the statutory authority, and the Vote which authorises the arrangements reached for the employment of Mr. MacGregor as the new chairman of British Steel.

[pursuant to his reply, 9 May 1980, c. 281]: Mr. MacGregor's salary, first as deputy chairman and then as chairman of the British Steel Corporation, will be paid by the corporation as provided for in paragraph 7 of schedule 1 to the Iron and Steel Act 1975. For the first payment to Lazard Frères due on 1 July, parliamentary approval will be sought by means of a Supplementary Estimate under a new sub-head in the Central and Miscellaneous Services (Department of Industry) Vote (Class IV, Vote 24). Authority for payment will rest on the Estimate and on the confirming Consolidated Fund Act. Pending that approval the necessary expenditure will be met by repayable advances from the Contingency Fund. Authority for any subsequent payments to Lazard Frères related to performance will similarly rest on the estimate and the confirming Consolidated Fund Act.

Steel production Million tonnesChairman's salary £/Year
British SteelUnited Kingdom17·548,500 in 1980
ThyssenWest Germany13·5n. i.*
FinsiderItaly12·4n. i.
UsinorFrance9·4n. i.
Hoesch-WerkeWest Germany6·0n. i.
HoogovensEstelNetherlands5·5n. i.
Nippon SteelJapan33·5
U.S. SteelUnited States of America27·0242,000 in 1978†
BethlehemUnited States of America17·6362,000 in 1978
Nippon KokanJapan14·1n. i.
KawasakiJapan12·9n. i.
SumitomoJapan12·9n. i.
Jones & LaughlinUnited States of America10·4207,000 in 1978
National SteelUnited States of America9·7285,000 in 1978
Republic SteelUnited States of America9·1248,000 in 1978
Broken HillAustralia8·1n. i.
Kobe SteelJapan7·6n. i.
Inland SteelUnited States of America7·5221,000 in 1978
ArmcoUnited States of America7·3249,000 in 1978
StelcoCanada5·3n. i.
* n. i.=No information readily available on salaries of senior executives in the other major EEC-OECD steel companies listed.
† Salaries in dollars converted to £ at average rate of exchange prevailing in 1978 $1·92=£1·00.