HC Deb 03 November 1966 vol 735 cc631-2
6. Mr. Elystan Morgan

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will now consider setting up a Welsh Water Board within the structure of a Development Corporation for Rural Wales.

Mr. George Thomas

No, Sir.

Mr. Morgan

Does not my hon. Friend agree that, in addition to the negative powers and authorities that were granted to the Welsh Office this summer, it is essential for affirmative powers for the development of water resources to be given to Wales, and that this is an integral part of the concept of Wales as a land and nation?

Mr. Thomas

We are looking at the whole question of the water resources of Wales, and I do not think that my hon. Friend will be disappointed when we reach our conclusions.

Mr. Hooson

Does not the Minister of State agree that, in view of the extreme unhappiness felt in many parts of Wales, there is an overwhelming case for a Welsh water resources board? Does he not recall that right hon. and hon. Members opposite before joining the Government were advocates of a Welsh water board?

Mr. Thomas

The hon. and learned Member has a long memory, and it is right, at least on this occasion. We did advocate it, and perhaps he will support us when and if it comes to the nationalisation of water supplies in Wales.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

I have an even longer memory, I remember the right hon. Gentleman the late Member for Ebbw Vale, who was a much respected Welsh Member and Minister, saying that, whether we nationalised water or not, it would not produce one single extra drop.