HC Deb 30 May 1945 vol 411 cc213-4
47. Colonel Sir Arthur Evans

asked the Prime Minister if His Majesty's Government will set up a Welsh Office to be administered by a Secretary of State.

The Prime Minister

I am not in a position to make any statement on this subject.

Sir A. Evans

In view of the approaching Election, does my right hon. Friend not agree that the people of Wales are entitled to have some indication of the views of His Majesty's Government on this very vital matter, before they have the opportunity of recording their votes?

The Prime Minister

I think that all these matters have to be considered in due course, but the choice of the moment at which to make any declaration must naturally rest with the responsible Ministry of the day.

Mr. A. Bevan

Will the Prime Minister, in making any statement about this particular matter, have regard to long-term considerations and not to short-term electoral considerations?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir, I certainly think so. I should not be prepared, for instance, to make a decided departure at this moment, in the hope that it would get more votes for this side of the House at the coming Election. I would like it to be freely discussed.

Professor Gruffydd

Can the Prime Minister say whether the Committee appointed by the Cabinet have sat at all?

The Prime Minister

I cannot carry in my mind all the different Cabinet Committees which are appointed from time to time, still less how many times they have sat.

Mr. Rhys Davies

If the right hon. Gentleman is lucky once again to be Prime Minister in a new Government, will he bear in mind that the real issue in connection with the claims for Welsh Home Rule, is the different constitutional treatment meted out as between Scotland and Wales in that in Scotland there are a State office and separate Ministers and there are not a similar office or Ministers for Wales?

Mr. Kirby

When the Prime Minister is considering these special offices for Wales and Scotland, will he also consider a special office for England?

Mr. Speaker

That is another question.