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British Steel Corporation

Volume 13: debated on Monday 16 November 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry, in view of the fact that the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation is currently without worker-director representation upon the main board of the British Steel Corporation and that in June 1981 the executive council of the Confederation nominated to the British Steel Corporation main board Messrs. D. Caddich and T. Butterworth, if he will direct the chairman of the British Steel Corporation to appoint Mr. D. G. Caddich of the Shotton works to the main board; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend is responsible for appointments to the BSC board, in consultation with the BSC chairman. There are no plans to appoint either Mr. Caddich or Mr. Butterworth. Five employees of the corporation, including Mr. J. McLaren of the ISTC, were offered re-appointment as part-time board members in August. All have accepted except Mr. McLaren, who is reluctant to do so without ISTC support.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will publish in the Official Report the total amount of public subsidies given to the British Steel Corporation in each year since 1970; how much was allocated for specific capital investment projects; and how much covered operating losses in each case.

The amount of Government finance provided to BSC each year is set out in the corporation's annual report and accounts, copies of which are available in the Library of the House. Government finance is not allocated to specific capital investment projects, nor to cover operating losses. Total spending on capital investment for each year, and operating losses when these have occurred, are also shown in the BSC annual report and accounts.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what was the total number of employees of the British Steel Corporation on the last date for which figures are available; and what were the figures on that date in each of the preceding 10 years.

Information on the total numbers employed by the British Steel Corporation at the end of each financial year is contained in the Corporation's Annual Report and Accounts for the years in question, copies of which are available in the Library of the House. I understand that since March 1981 employment has fallen further, from 120,900 to about 109,000 now.