HC Deb 15 December 1966 vol 738 cc632-3
6. Mr. Gwynfor Evans

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will now give a date for the introduction of legislation which will incorporate the principle of equal legal validity of the Welsh and English languages.

Mr. Ifor Davies

I have nothing to add to the Answer my right hon. Friend gave to a similar Question from the hon. Member on 3rd November.

Mr. Evans

Is the hon. Gentleman aware of the frustration felt in Wales at this protracted inaction of the Government, that this is only one of the estimated two thousand official forms published in Welsh and that it has been possible for Mr. Justice Widgery, in the meantime, to compare the status of the Welsh language in the courts of Wales with that of Polish in the Central Criminal Court here?

Mr. Davies

The legal and other difficulties concerning this legislation were fully explained in the Welsh Grand Committee, when it discussed the Report. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that my right hon. Friend is equally anxious to make progress in this matter, and a great deal of work has been done. In the meantime, it is not too much to ask those who care for the Welsh language to exercise a little more patience. I would appeal also to those people making unjustified and deplorable attacks on my right hon. Friend to cease doing so.

Mr. William Edwards

Is my hon. Friend aware that, in the scale of priorities for legislation, many people in Wales would like to see the leasehold reform Bill given priority to this kind of thing?

Mr. Davies

We are fully aware of the need for exercising priorities in this matter.