Film ID:
YFA 3310



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A critical examination of the Socialist (Labour) Party's attitude to industry with special regard to the proposed nationalisation of iron and steel.

Titles: Nationalisation - take it away
An examination of the Socialist Party's attitude to industry, with special regard
iron and steel
Presented by the Conservative and Unionist Films Association

The film opens with people giving various views of nationalisation and copies of the Bill as a background. Endcliffe Park and Shepherd Wheel in Sheffield, representing traditional industry, are followed by the interior and exterior of a modern steelworks, including a drawing office. A man representing 'local opinion' gives his views on the subject.

The names of some of the 96 firms to be nationalised are displayed and are followed by the interior of a steelworks, including teeming and forging processes. Examples of some of the steel products for which the Government would be responsible are shown, including pig iron, steel ingots, nuts and bolts, needles, hair grips, umbrella frames, bicycles and perambulators and also shipbuilding and bridge building.

A 'small contractor' gives his views on dealing with nationalised industries. Mr. John Summers of John Summers & Sons talks about the impact on his firm and an 'overseas buyer' gives his opinions, followed by 'Mr Wellerby' of 'Wellerby Iron and Steel, Saville Street (sic), Sheffield.' The commentary refers to the effect of nationalisation on other industries, showing the National Coal Board in session, workmen on strike, the coal, transport and electricity industries, workmen leaving a factory, a mine lamp room and a works manager's office. There are views of Whitehall, government ministers and a 'civil servant' who will be responsible for iron and steel. The interior of a steel works, including a Bessemer Converter, charging an open hearth furnace, ingot handling and rolling mills. A graph shows output of steel between 1929 and 1948 and there are more interiors of a steel works. The commentary refers to the Bill coming into effect in May 1950 and a 'manager' asks what his position will be. The commentator quotes from a Times article on the Bill and there are more interiors of a steel works with Churchill's (?) voice over.

End titles: Nationalisation - take it away

Background Information:
Unlike other major post-war nationalisation programmes, the proposed nationalisation of the iron and steel industry provoked a great deal of controversy. In Sheffield, where nationalisation was opposed by the steel firms, Sir John Green of Firth-Brown was ostracised for agreeing to serve as the only 'steelman' on the board of the Iron and Steel Corporation of G.B. The Act was passed in 1949 but the establishment of the Corporation was delayed until February 1951. A Conservative Government was elected in 1951 and steel was denationalised in 1953 and firms gradually returned to the private sector.

Donated to Sheffield Libraries by the English Pewter Company in January 1987. The film was found on the Princess Street premises formerly occupied by the Brown-Firth Research Laboratories.