STEEL: Ebbw Vale Again

About five years ago Sir William Firth, handsome kinetic chairman of Richard Thomas & Co., Ltd., £23,000,000 British steel firm, decided that Britain should have at least one modern continuous strip rolling mill, U. S. type. He got his mill (at Ebbw Vale, South Wales), but in financing it he lost control of Richard Thomas & Co. First his own bank, Lloyds, refused a loan, called in an overdraft, nearly strangled Thomas & Co. with a working-capital shortage. The Bank of England agreed to make the loan, but extracted an issue of prior-rights...

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