HC Deb 02 November 1970 vol 805 cc651-2
34. Mr. Elystan Morgan

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will invite the Welsh Economic Council to make an estimate of the likely effect upon Wales of the reductions in public expenditure announced on 27th October 1970.

Mr. Peter Thomas

The Industry and Communications Panel of the Welsh Council will be considering the White Papers "New Policies for Public Spending" (Cmnd. 4515) and "Investment Incentives" (Cmnd. 4516) at its next meeting on 10th November 1970.

Mr. Morgan

Does the Secretary of State appreciate that there are widespread fears in Wales that the effect of the cuts announced by the Government on 27th October will be to weaken the Welsh economy in relation to the very complex problems which it has to face and that the withdrawal of investment grants and the termination of R.E.P. in 1974 will have the effect of emasculating the attractiveness of an area such as South Wales?

Mr. Peter Thomas

The question relates to the Welsh Economic Council's estimates of the likely effects. I cannot anticipate what view the council will take. My view is that the fears which the hon. Gentleman expresses are unfounded.

Mr. Gower

Is it not a fact that nothing is more likely to depress the Welsh economy than the persistence of successive financial crises and economic difficulties which we have had in the last six years?

Mr. Peter Thomas

Yes, Sir.

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