§ 7. Mr. Thorneycroft
asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will give an account of the effect of recent Government decisions on the state of the road programme in Wales and Mon mouthshire.
§ Mr. James Griffiths
The deferment measures announced last year will result in a reduction in Exchequer expenditure of about £200,000 in the current financial year and £400,000 in 1966–67. These reductions are small in relation to the total expenditure of nearly £23 million in the two years.
§ Mr. Thorneycroft
Is the Secretary of State aware that the cutting down of the road programme in Wales is regarded very seriously by those who have the interests of the Principality at heart? We have noticed the predisposition of the Minister of Transport for the United Kingdom to make increases in the road programmes where by-elections are going on. Is it necessary to have by-elections in Wales in order to achieve this end?
§ Mr. Griffiths
Elections seem to take care of themselves in Wales. The fact is that the proportionate reduction in Wales was very much smaller because, following their policy, the Government announced that the cuts would not apply to development areas—and large portions of the Principality are development areas.