HC Deb 30 June 1966 vol 730 cc2188-9
Q3. Mr. Anderson

asked the Prime Minister what additional administrative responsibilities it is proposed to transfer to the Welsh Office in order to bring the Office progressively into parity with the Scottish Office.

Q4. Mr. William Edwards

asked the Prime Minister when he proposes to transfer additional departmental responsibilities to the Welsh Office in accordance with the proposals of the second memorandum of the Council for Wales.

The Prime Minister

This matter is kept under continuous review but I have no new proposals to make at present.

Mr. Anderson

Does my right hon. Friend agree that there exist several anomalies in the present administrative structure in Wales, including division of responsibility between the Secretary of State and the Ministry of Public Building and Works, and does not he also agree that there should be consideration of the strong case for further devolution, especially in education, health and agriculture?

The Prime Minister

These are questions which should be worked out as we go along, because the establishment of the Welsh Department with a Secretary of State for Wales is something entirely new. As I said in my original Answer, we do not follow in every case the Scottish model. Our test throughout is what is best for Wales, and it does not necessarily follow that a greater degree of devolution is in every case best for Wales.

Mr. Stodart

Is the Prime Minister aware that since October, 1964, his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland has found it necessary to recruit 550 extra staff at the Scottish Office? Will he protect the Principality from that particular parity?

The Prime Minister

I would have thought that the achievements of my right hon. Friend in respect of unemployment in Scotland, the lowest for ten years, housing in Scotland and also what has been done in respect of the Highlands and Islands fully justified the recruitment of the staff.