HC Deb 02 December 1974 vol 882 cc1087-8
1. Mr. Tom Ellis

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what proposals he has for making use of EEC funds in carrying out investigations into the changing employment situation in Wales.

The Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. John Morris)

I have no immediate proposals for sponsoring research jointly with the European Commission but where appropriate I would be happy to do so.

Mr. Ellis

Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that substantial funds which the European Commission was prepared to spend in 1974 on studies on the unemployment situation in Wales have not been taken up by Her Majesty's Government and will now have been diverted to finance studies in other countries? Will he say whether he was consulted by the Secretary of State for Industry before the decision was made not to make use of the funds and before Parliamentary Questions on the matter were tabled?

Mr. Morris

I can assure my hon. Friend that the two offices concerned— my own and that of my right hon. Friend—have been in consultation on these important matters. What my hon. Friend suggested is not entirely accurate, in that my right hon. Friend has set out fully what occurred. One scheme is under way. Another is still being considered by the Secretary of State for Employment. A third one, where the British Steel Corporation is the sponsor, is also being considered. I have nothing to add to what my right hon. Friend has set out.

Mr. Wyn Roberts

May we have a firm assurance from the Secretary of State that he will be consulted by his right hon. Friend before any of these grants are turned down?

Mr. Morris

As regards the present proposal—the one which the Welsh TUC is considering—I can assure the hon. Gentleman that my office is in consultation with the Department of Industry to ensure that a proper scheme is fully worked out.

Mr. Wigley

If there are funds of this type forthcoming from the EEC for these projects or for any others, will the right hon. and learned Gentleman assure the House that he will welcome on behalf of Wales any funds which can be used to help solve the unemployment problem?

Mr. Morris

I always welcome any new money. What is important is that no scheme has been stopped in Wales. That was made clear by my right hon. Friend.

Back to