HC Deb 29 July 1974 vol 878 cc11-2
8. Mr. Wigley

asked the Secretary of State for Wales from how many district councils, from how many county councils in Wales and from what other bodies he has received comment on the recently published Government discussion paper "Devolution within the United Kingdom".

Mr. John Morris

I have received submissions from three district councils, two county councils and 23 other bodies.

Mr. Wigley

Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman therefore confirm that he may have received evidence from district councils and county councils supporting the establishment of a legislative assembly in Wales and that these bodies are particularly concerned about the effect of an executiveonly assembly on the functions of local government? With that in mind, can he give the date when a White Paper on this matter may be published.

Mr. Morris

I have of course received a whole variety of opinions about what should be done. I hope that the Government will publish their proposals in the early autumn. I am sure the hon. Gentleman would want me to stress that only a Labour Government will carry out any worthwhile devolution and that a vote for the hon. Gentleman will diminish the chances of a Labour Government being formed. The House and Wales will need to be reminded how he and his colleagues voted on the Queen's Speech, when the Labour Government were fighting for their lives. The hon. Gentleman will shortly be fighting for his political life.

Mr. Ioan Evans

Does my right hon. and learned Friend realise that in the discussion paper itself and in all the discussions in Wales there is complete rejection of a separatist policy, and that although there is an argument for devolution what the people of Wales really want now is to be part of a Socialist Britain with our colleagues in England and Scotland?

Mr. Morris

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Separatism has been rejected both by Kilbrandon and generally in Wales, save for a tiny minority.