HC Deb 17 February 1970 vol 796 cc185-6
6. Mr. Gwynfor Evans

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how he proposes to calculate the amount of defence expenditure attributable to Wales in the mock Welsh Budget which is being prepared.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. John Diamond)

Defence expenditure is undertaken for the benefit of the United Kingdom as a whole. As in the recent preparation of a Scottish budget, the share of Wales in that benefit can only be apportioned on an arbitrary basis—such as population.

Mr. Evans

Is the Minister aware that the fairest and most reasonable way of making this calculation would be to anticipate what a Welsh Government would spend on defence, which would be nearer Finland's or Ireland's proportion of gross national product; that the most unreasonable way is to calculate on a per capita basis the Welsh share of the present inflated expenditure, and that the middle way is to ensure that we have attributed to us our present share of expenditure on defence in Wales?

Mr. Diamond

Expenditure has no relationship to the benefits derived from defence. As to whether I would be prepared to imagine a Welsh Government, that is more than even a Treasury Minister should be called upon to do.