HC Deb 09 March 1976 vol 907 cc240-1
Q1. Mr. Wigley

asked the Prime Minister when he next intends to visit Wales.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Wilson)

I hope to be in Wales in June. I have an engagement for a further meeting with the Wales TUC, Sir.

Mr. Wigley

When the Prime Minister has the oportunity to visit Wales will he explain to the people there what steps he will take to increase the powers of the proposed Welsh Assembly, in view of the fact that between 70 per cent. and 80 per cent. of the correspondence received by the Secretary of State for Wales has called for more powers for the Welsh Assembly, compared to those proposed in the White Paper?

The Prime Minister

We debated this subject for four full days, and every conceivable point of view was put. As I made clear, my right hon. Friends and I are considering the points raised in the debate before we make further statements to the House.

Mr. Kinnock

Is my right hon. Friend aware that people of all shades of political opinion in Wales require a policy that is effective in dealing with the real problems of Wales? Is he further aware that one way of ensuring that we get the right kind of constitutional settlement for the people of Wales is that a referendum should be conducted there, because it is the only means of ensuring accurate measurement of opinion and that the people understand fully what is being offered?

The Prime Minister

I know that on this matter different views are held in Wales, as they are held in Scotland and England. I am not sure that the views expressed by my hon. Friend are the same as those expressed by the Wales TUC. However, we do not believe that there would be advantage in a referendum on this matter. It is a very different subject from the last subject on which a referendum was held.

Mr. Wyn Roberts

Will the Prime Minister say why he is determined to foist a scheme of devolution on Wales when there is very little demand for it in Wales?

The Prime Minister

As I said in the debate, different views have been expressed by hon. Members for Welsh, Scottish and English constituencies. We are considering those views.