HC Deb 26 April 1956 vol 551 cc1961-2
31. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Minister of Education when he proposes to implement the recommendation of the Advisory Council for Wales, that the Secretary of the Welsh Department of his Department should be stationed at Cardiff.

Sir D. Eccles

This recommendation was very carefully considered before my predecessor made the arrangements described in Circular 17, which are now in force and which I see no reason to change. It is very important that the Permanent Secretary of the Welsh Department should be readily available in London to advise me on educational policy as it concerns Wales, but he also uses the Cardiff Office for such of his work as can best be done there.

Mr. Thomas

Is the Minister aware that the present position is leading to inconvenience and delay and that we are having to wait at this end for decisions to be taken at Cardiff? Does he not think that he ought to take the advice of the Welsh people on this matter?

Sir D. Eccles

I consider the interests of the Welsh children, and I am inclined to think that the Secretary of the Welsh Department gets more out of me if he is near me than if he is a long way off.

Mr. Gower

Has my right hon. Friend noted that since the war, and in recent years particularly, several Departments, including the Ministers of Agriculture, Health and Housing and Local Government, have concentrated more and more of their Welsh work in Cardiff? In any future reconsideration of this problem, will my right hon. Friend consider the possibility that there appears to be a greater separate problem in education than in any other sphere?

Sir D. Eccles

The one consideration I have in mind is what is best for the Welsh children.