HC Deb 01 May 1972 vol 836 c11
12. Mr. John

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what representation the Welsh Office sends to planning conferences in Wales.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

This depends on the nature of the conference.

Mr. John

Does not the hon. Gentleman realise that the failure of the Welsh Office to respond to an invitation from the Town Planning Institute to attend a recent regional planning conference caused the gravest disappointment to members of that Institute—as the hon. Member for Cardiff, North (Mr. Michael Roberts) will no doubt confirm—and has inculcated the impression that the Welsh Office just does not care about regional planning? That impression is reinforced when one realises the miserable economic record of the present Government in Wales.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

I cannot agree with any of the hon. Gentleman's comments. The chief planner from the Welsh Office was invited to attend this conference. He explained to the chairman of the branch that, as a civil servant, he could not accept the invitation because that conference seemed likely to develop along party political lines. The chairman of the branch said that he quite understood the reasons for this decision.