HC Deb 18 October 1971 vol 823 c353
14. Mr. Roy Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Wales when he intends to reply to the letter dated 6th September, 1971, from the hon. Member for Newport calling for measures to deal with the spread of Dutch elm disease in South Wales.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

I wrote to the hon. Member on behalf of the Secretary of State on 15th October telling him of the measures approved by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture and announced by the Forestry Commission on 7th October inviting local authorities in areas worst affected to take powers under the Plant Health Act, 1967.

Mr. Hughes

Does the hon. Gentleman appreciate that it is felt in Wales that this matter should have received more urgent attention? Will he bear in mind that both the Bow Group and the Monday Club have indicated that the Conservative Party cannot afford a part-time Chairman? Wales cannot afford a part-time Secretary of State, particularly in view of the chronic unemployment which has been caused by the policies of the Government.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

The hon. Gentleman is a parliamentary wizard if he can bring the question of the Conservative Party Chairmanship into this difficult problem of Dutch elm disease.