§ Q2. Mr. Gwynfor Evans
asked the Prime Minister whether he is satisfied with the co-ordination between the Secretary of State for Industry and the Secretary of State for Wales on collection of information relating to economic and industrial policy.
§ Q3. Mr. D. E. Thomas
asked the Prime Minister whether he is satisfied with the co-ordination between the Secretary of State for Industry and the Secretary of State for Wales on the collection of information relating to economic and industrial policy.
§ Q9. Sir A. Meyer
asked the Prime Minister if he is satisfied with the co-ordination between the Secretary of State for Industry and the Secretary of State for Wales as regards the preparation of information for the EEC on industrial and regional matters in Wales.
§ Q1. Mr. Wigley
asked the Prime Minister whether he is satisfied with the coordination between the Secretary of State for Industry and the Secretary of State for Wales on the collection of information relating to economic and industrial policy.
§ The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Edward Short)
I have been asked to reply.
§ Yes, Sir.
§ Mr. Evans
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the misgivings in Wales about the failure of the Secretary of State for Industry to take advantage of a £60,000 grant from the EEC to help an inquiry into industrial and economic problems in Wales? Is he aware of the deep anxiety felt in Wales about the fate of three great steelworks at Shotton, Ebbw Vale and East Moors, Cardiff, and the 1345 resentment that is felt owing to the fact that the Welsh Council's report has not been published? Further, is he aware of the impact of EEC policy on these matters and allied matters in Wales, and will he ensure for Wales a voice in Brussels to protect our national interests?
§ Mr. Short
The first part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question was a travesty of the facts. There are four studies financed jointly by the EEC and the Government costing £213,000, and another three studies are under consideration costing £120,000. In one case only, that of the study put forward by Professor George, did my right hon. Friend feel—I believe quite rightly—that the people who are to benefit from the research should be involved in formulating and executing it. For that reason he invited the Welsh TUC and the Research Department of Ruskin College to combine on this project. I believe that this was a very sensible thing to do. This is one project out of the many research projects now going on in Wales.
§ Mr. Kinnock
Will my right hon. Friend take it from me that the misgivings of which the hon. Member for Carmarthen (Mr. Evans) speaks are confined almost entirely to himself and his Plaid Cymru colleagues and a couple of gremlins in Brussels who are doing their best on all occasions and in every respect to undermine support for the Government's policy of putting the issue of the Common Market to the people? Is it not significant that the hon. Gentleman has completely forgotten the £20,000 that the Secretary of State for Industry is giving to the Welsh TUC for just this kind of study?
§ Sir A. Meyer
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that suspicion is hardening in Wales that the Secretary of State for Industry is at all times prepared to subordinate the interests of Wales to his own personal prejudice in the matter of the Common Market? Will he arrange for the Secretary of State for Industry to be 1346 notified by his right hon. Friend the Prime Minister that it is now the policy of Her Majesty's Government to pursue renegotiation with a view to succeeding, and that they will not take "No" for an answer?
§ Mr. Short
I do not think that the hon. Gentleman can have been listening to what I said. All these projects are being financed jointly by the EEC and this country. We as a net contributor hope very much that when this project reaches fruition it will be financed in a similar way.
The hon. Gentleman asked for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Industry to be informed that it is the policy of the Government to renegotiate with a view to success. Of course that is the policy of the Government. After we complete the renegotiation process in the spring, the people of Britain will decide whether we stay in or come out of the EEC, and the Government will abide by the result.
§ Mr. Ioan Evans
Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is general satisfaction in Wales at the co-ordination between the Department of Industry and the Welsh Office in the setting up of the Welsh development agency to carry out in Wales the work of the National Enterprise Board? Does he agree that this will do much more than the study referred to by the hon. Member for Carmarthen (Mr. Evans)?
May I remind my right hon. Friend that the nationalists were rejected by 90 per cent. of the electorate of Wales, and that it will appear very strange to the people of Wales that whereas London is too far away for the administration of Wales, according to the hon. Member for Carmarthen, he is nevertheless prepared to go to Brussels?
§ Mr. Nicholas Edwards
Will the Lord President give a categoric assurance that the Secretary of State for Industry consulted the Secretary of State for Wales before taking the decision on Professor 1347 George's study? Did the right hon. Gentleman intend to imply, as I thought he did earlier, that TUC members are the only beneficiaries and the only people interested in the outcome of the study?
§ Mr. Short
I did not say that. I said that the people who work in Wales are those who would be affected by the results of this research, and all of us who have had a great deal to do with research know quite well that a great deal of it is irrelevant and that much of it is never implemented. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Industry rightly felt that for research to be relevant and for it to have any chance of being implemented the people who are going to benefit should have some share in planning and carrying it out. It was for that reason that he decided to approach the Welsh TUC. My right hon. Friend consults his colleagues on all these matters, and his Department consulted both the EEC and Professor George in this case.