HC Deb 12 November 1973 vol 864 cc21-2
21. Mr. Elystan Morgan

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will now issue a White Paper giving the fullest and most up to date information concerning the effects upon Wales of the Chancellor's statement of 21st May on his plans for the reduction of public expenditure.

Mr. Peter Thomas

I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to a similar Question on 13th June.—[Vol. 857, c. 340.]

Mr. Morgan

Does the Secretary of State agree that it is now high time that the new local authorities in Wales were in a position to know what advances they will be able to draw from central Government when they commence their duties in April next? Will he confirm what he has refused to confirm up to the present, namely, that in 1974–75 sewerage schemes in Wales will be cut by 2¾ million, and that that information has already been given by the Welsh Office to a House Committee?

Mr. Thomas

The Government accept that the local authority expenditure must continue to grow, but the rate of growth recently has been above that of public expenditure as a whole, and it is necessary for there to be some restraint on less essential items. The hon. Gentleman will know that a circular was sent to local authorities on 8th June indicating the savings which the Government would expect to be achieved in that expenditure.