71. Squadron-Leader Emrys Roberts
asked the Minister of Agriculture what are the precise status and functions of the Welsh Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries; what administrative responsibilities are delegated to the Welsh Department; and what are the channels of communication between the head of the Welsh Department and the Minister of Agriculture.
§ Mr. T. Williams
The Welsh Department is responsible for advising on the Welsh aspects of the formulation and administration of the Ministry's policy generally, and in particular for administering in Wales the Ministry's policy in regard to livestock improvement, education and advisory matters, and land management (including the constitution and functions of county agricultural executive committees in Wales). For this 35 purpose the Welsh Secretary is kept in close touch with the work of the Department generally, and the heads of the various divisions of the Ministry are under instruction to consult him at the appropriate stage to ensure that any particular Welsh aspect of policy with which they are dealing is taken into consideration before a final decision is reached. This consultation is facilitated by the Welsh Secretary's frequent visits to headquarters and by a direct telephone line and a teleprinter service. The Welsh Secretary, who ranks as an Assistant Secretary of the Ministry, is directly responsible to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry for the general conduct of the work of his Department, and through him has the right of access to the Minister.