HC Deb 19 June 1972 vol 839 c11
14. Mr. McBride

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he has examined the forecasts of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, wherein they apply to Wales; and what action he intends to take as a result.

Mr. Peter Thomas

I always read the reports of the Institute with care. Wales will continue to benefit from the measures the Government have taken to stimulate the economy.

Mr. McBride

That reply was fallacious. Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman not realise that in terms of this forecast storm signals are flashing for the economy of Wales, because, if the forecast proves true, there will be at the best 35,000 to 40,000 unemployed in the Principality? Is he further aware that the forecast is of a lower growth rate than the Government admit? Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that value added tax will add 1 per cent. to Welsh prices? How can he support a Government so failing in their duty, as indicated by a vote of no confidence in them, since on Friday they required £500 million to support the pound?

Mr. Thomas

What I am aware of is that there is in Wales a universal consensus, which I find in my meetings with people in Wales, including industrialists and members of the Welsh Council, that things are improving rapidly in Wales.