HC Deb 01 February 1971 vol 810 cc1232-3
16. Mr. Gwynoro Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what was the number of firms which inquired about industrial sites in Wales as a result of the Enterprise Wales Exhibition at the Hilton Hotel in November, jointly sponsored by his Department.

Mr. Peter Thomas

I understand from the Development Corporation for Wales that 20 firms made definite inquiries at the exhibition itself. It is not possible to say how many of the inquiries received since that date were a direct result of the exhibition.

Mr. Jones

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that at a time when industrial inquiries in Wales are at their lowest for three years, when redundancies are averaging 1,000 per month, and when unemployment, since this Government have been in power, has increased by 28 per cent., the figure of 20 inquiries at a luxurious and probably expensive exhibition was certainly inadequate and is equally a manifestation of the fact that the industrialists of Britain are dissatisfied with the regional development policy and are not now interested in coming to Wales as a result of 18th June?

Mr. Peter Thomas

The Government fully support the work of the Development Corporation. As I announced last Friday, we intend to continue Government support for it.

Mr. Fred Evans

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman now tell me why the Development Corporation for Wales is very heavily represented at the protest meeting to be held next Wednesday by all the regional councils against this Government's regional policies?

Mr. Peter Thomas

I met the Board of the Development Corporation for Wales at Swansea on Friday. We had a very long, detailed and useful discussion. I cannot remember any of the exaggerated protests which have come from the Opposition today being voiced by the Development Corporation.