HC Deb 01 May 1972 vol 836 c17
22. Mr. Roy Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will pay an official visit to Newport, Monmouthshire.

Mr. Peter Thomas

When a convenient opportunity arises I shall be very pleased to visit Newport again.

Mr. Hughes

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman come to this part of Wales and tell the electors about the "Better Tomorrow" which his party promised two years ago? Does he appreciate that that will be of interest to the 3,000 men who are unemployed, to the 1,500 others who are to be made redundant and to the dockers who are finding the bulk of the local trade being taken away, this at a time when the area is faced with great competition from the Bristol West Dock which the Government recently authorised? Does he appreciate that his fairy tale has an unhappy ending because by Government decree the County Borough of Newport is being wiped out?

Mr. Thomas

As the hon. Gentleman knows, when I go to Newport I do not do so to make political speeches to the electors. I go there to act in my capacity as Secretary of State for Wales. Some of the remarks which the hon. Gentleman has made recently about Newport have not helped the situation. For example, for him to describe, presumably for political motives, Newport as about to become a ghost town is not only untrue but does a great disservice to the fortunes of the electors he represents.