HC Deb 04 February 1970 vol 795 cc412-3
24. Mr. Gwynfor Evans

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of the total expenditure of his Department was incurred in Wales in 1968–69.

The Minister of Defence for Equipment (Mr. John Morris)

About 3 per cent. This figure does not include expenditure by the Ministries of Technology and of Public Building and Works on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.

Mr. Gwynfor Evans

In view of the very small proportion of Government expenditure by this Department which is incurred in Wales, will the hon. Gentleman ensure that in the hypothetical Welsh budget which the Government are preparing an equally small proportion of the Welsh costs of defence will be attributable to Wales?

Mr. Morris

I find it difficult to reconcile the hon. Gentleman's pacifist views with his demand for increased expenditure of this type in Wales. I have made strenuous efforts to increase the share of firms in development areas in Government expenditure by having a crash programme to try to identify firms that have not hitherto supplied us. I have also written an article in the journal "Industrial Wales". We also have a preference scheme for firms in development areas.

Mr. G. Elfed Davies

As the Welsh Nationalist Party said in a recent T.V. broadcast that the proposed £70 million defence expenditure in Wales was crazy, will my hon. Friend tell the House how many civilians are employed in defence establishments in Wales?

Mr. Morris

More than 11,000 civilians are employed in Ministry of Defence establishments in Wales. This number does not include those employed by the Ministry of Technology. In Cardiganshire the Ministry of Technology is the second largest employer. Perhaps the hon. Member for Carmarthen (Mr. Gwynfor Evans) will explain to his constituents how he was able to vote against the Navy Estimates on the last occasion and yet campaign for increased defence expenditure in Wales.