HC Deb 09 December 1965 vol 722 cc581-2
15. Mr. S. O. Davies

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what are his plans for ending the depopulation of the rural counties and the industrial valleys of Wales.

Mr. James Griffiths

As my hon. Friend is aware, I outlined the Government's proposals for dealing with depopulation problems in Mid-Wales in the Welsh Grand Committee on 24th March. With regard to the industrial valleys, my hon. Friend will know that there has been a considerable extension of development district facilities in South Wales and a number of advance factories and other industrial developments have already been announced for the area.

Mr. Davies

Is not my right hon. Friend aware that, since he made that statement to the Welsh Grand Committee, infinitely greater gloom has been cast on the South-Wales coalfields and that a considerable number of miners will be out in the ranks of the unemployed in the comparatively near future?

Mr. Griffiths

I am, of course, fully aware of and share the concern of my hon. Friend about this matter. As one who has spent his life in the area, I assure him that we have faced equally difficult problems in the past. We have overcome them and we will overcome this one.

Mr. Thorneycroft

Will the right hon. Gentleman's plans include the preparation, at any rate, of plans for a double carriageway road from Newtown to Machynlleth and Cardigan Bay?

Mr. Griffiths

I would require notice of that question.

Mr. Probert

In considering the provision of alternative work, will my right hon. Friend particularly consider the problems of the disabled workers and perhaps have consultations with the National Coal Board to see what can be done about this?

Mr. Griffiths

Yes, Sir. I am fully aware and deeply conscious of this problem. As my hon. Friend knows, the Ministry of Labour is setting up a rehabilitation centre at Neath and, in establishing this centre, has very much in mind the problems of the disabled.