HC Deb 23 February 1976 vol 906 c6
4. Mr. Wigley

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what financial aid he has made to the Welsh Development Corporation during the present year; and what is the planned level of aid for the year 1976–77.

Mr. John Morris

Provision has been made for the payment of £67,500 to the Development Corporation for Wales in 1975–76. It will be for the Welsh Development Agency, in consultation with my Department, to determine the level of grant aid for 1976–77.

Mr. Wigley

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that the Scottish Council (Development and Industry) already has a grant going through to 1977 at a level double that which the Development Corporation for Wales has had for the year to which he referred? Is he aware that, as a result, with the two bodies competing in exactly the same sphere of attracting industry, the Scottish Council has a decided advantage? Will he press the Welsh Development Agency to ensure that the funds available to the Development Corporation for Wales are the same as those available in Scotland?

Mr. Morris

If the hon. Gentleman is relying, as he seems to be, on simple arithmetic, perhaps I should point out to him that the population of Scotland is different from that of Wales. I am confident that he will know that 1976–77 is the last of the three years for which the grants have been agreed. The matter is now in the court of the Welsh Development Agency, which I am sure will do its best, within its resources, to meet the needs of Wales.