The Steel Industry, 1939-1959: A Study in Competition and Planning

By Duncan Burn | Go to book overview

Chapter IX
THE BRITISH INDUSTRY SINCE DENATIONALISATION: THE RECORD, 1953-1959

1. BOARD AND AGENCY

The members of the new Iron and Steel Board were appointed at the end of May 1953, those of the Agency to dispose of the state-owned companies to private ownership a fortnight later. Sir Archibald Forbes came back to be chairman of the second Board, and Sir John Morison, a member of the firm of accountants Thompson McLintock and Co., who handled the business of several steel firms, and were accountants of the Iron and Steel Corporation of Great Britain, became chairman of the Agency. Morison was Director General (Finance and Contracts) in the Ministry of Supply during the war. Both Forbes and Morison had been close advisers of Sir Andrew Duncan on the strategy of denationalising. The Scots ascendancy in administrative bodies dealing with steel remained undisturbed. Sir Lincoln Evans was also back, as a full-time member of the Board; a hard pill for many Socialists.1 Mr Shone was its other full-time member--a subtle translation which threw the balance between Board and Federation much in favour of the first. The steelmakers were represented on the Board by Sir Andrew McCance from Colvilles and Mr Rollason from John Summers, who was also on the Board of United Steel. Thus there was a

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1
It became known through an action which Sir Lincoln Evans took against an attack upon him by Tribune that the executive committee of the Iron, Steel and Kindred Trades Association had decided to associate with the Board a year before Sir Lincoln Evans accepted the invitation: that the committee had circulated the minute of this to all branches: that he had asked and obtained the approval of the Executive Committee before accepting the invitation, and would not have accepted otherwise--and that only 24 out of 662 branches passed resolutions deprecating his acceptance (Law report in The Times, 12 Oct. 1954).

-537-

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