HC Deb 02 April 1968 vol 762 cc157-8
19. Mr. Gwynfor Evans

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to increase to the proportion of population the 2 per cent. in value which is the present Welsh proportion of all the goods and services purchased or hired by the Government in Wales.

Mr. Diamond

I could not accept that the proportion of Government purchases from a particular area should be related to the proportion of the population resident there. Firms in the Welsh development area will gain a competitive advantage from the general measures of assistance now being given by the Government to those areas.

Mr. Evans

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that on a basis of population about 5 to 6 per cent. of the Government's expenditure on goods and services of this kind would be in Wales, and that the undue concentration of expenditure on the more affluent parts of England goes far to explain their prosperity and the high rate of unemployment and emigration in Wales?

Mr. Diamond

With respect, the hon. Gentleman is quite mistaken. There is no relationship between those two items. There is certainly a relationship in terms of public investment, for example, where the amount invested in new construction in Wales was 6 per cent.