HC Deb 16 February 1970 vol 796 cc12-3
18. Mr. Gwynfor Evans

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will now seek to raise the Welsh language in Wales to a status of equality with English in Wales.

Mr. George Thomas

The Government have already raised the legal status of the Welsh language in Wales to that of equality with English.

Mr. Evans

Is the Secretary of State aware that some people may admire the lion-hearted way in which he has stood up, with nothing more formidable than the British Government behind him, to the great bully the Welsh Language Society and the way in which he is resisting any advance in Wales to national status? Is he also aware that I am not among his admirers?

Mr. Thomas

I feel heartbroken by the hon. Gentleman's last remark. I am well aware that the hon. Gentleman does what he can to stir up members of the Welsh Language Society to indulge in the sort of hooligan exercises which we have recently witnessed. I share the opinion of Lord Justice Arthian Davies that they can do nothing but bring shame and disgrace to Wales.

Mr. William Edwards

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the implicit misrepresentation about the status of the Welsh language in that supplementary question is typical of the kind of misrepresentation taking place in Wales by people who should be more responsible and which is leading young people who are misrepresented to take unjustifiable and unwise actions?

Mr. Thomas

My hon. Friend speaks for a very wide representation of opinion in the Principality. Major constructive steps have been taken in an endeavour to succour the Welsh language, and no good at all will ensue from the sort of militant action of which the hon. Member for Carmarthen (Mr. Gwynfor Evans) is so proud.