HC Deb 01 March 1971 vol 812 cc1200-1
6. Mr. Barry Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Wales when he next proposes to visit East Flintshire.

Mr. Peter Thomas

I visited East Flintshire last Friday. I hope that there will be opportunities for further visits in the future.

Mr. Barry Jones

When the Secretary of State visited my constituency last Friday, he charmed and impressed everyone he met. But when he next comes there, would he be prepared for the advice which he will get, that as a Tory politician he must make the supreme sacrifice and resign his party chair? Is he not aware that the Welsh Office merits the full-time attention of the Secretary of State for Wales? In Wales it is a grave provocation that he should come to us as Tory Party Chairman.

Mr. Peter Thomas

That was certainly not the impression which I gained when I visited the hon. Gentleman's constituency. Everyone I met there was very helpful, and no complaint of that nature was made. The county council and I were discussing matters seriously and were not engaging in petty partisan politics. We were discussing serious matters. When the Minister of State in the previous Government was Chairman of the Labour Party Executive, no one criticised her, and the right hon. Gentleman the then Secretary of State felt proud that one of the people in the Welsh Office held that position.

Mr. George Thomas

While congratulating the right hon. and learned Gentleman on having had a kindly reception in Flintshire, may I, on St. David's Day, say to him that he need not be so reluctant about visiting Wales, because he could walk through Cardiff and no one would trouble him, because they would not know him.

Mr. Speaker

Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman wish to answer?

Mr. Peter Thomas

I do not think that it is worthy of any answer.