HC Deb 11 July 1977 vol 935 cc8-9
5. Mr. Wigley

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what expenditure was authorised by him in the first year of his responsibility for those sections of the Industry Act 1972 that were transferred to the Welsh Office; and how this expenditure compares with that under the same headings in Wales during the previous three years.

Mr. John Morris

On 1st July 1975 I assumed responsibility for assistance under Section 7 of the Industry Act 1972 for undertakings in Wales. In the financial year 1975–76, offers of assistance under this section to projects in Wales totalled £16.3 million. In the financial years to March 1975, 1974 and 1973, the corresponding figures were £11.2 million, £13.5 million and £1.5 million respectively.

Mr. Wigley

I am grateful to the Secretary of State for that answer and for the progress that has been made in increasing investment under that section. In view of that, will he put pressure on the Prime Minister to transfer also Section 8 powers to the Welsh Office, since in Wales only £3 million was spent under Section 8 last year compared with £150 million throughout the whole of Britain?

Mr. Morris

What has been spent under Section 8 depends on the nature of the industries. I am quite content to have the powers under Section 7. They are the ones that I need. I am confident that where we have a good case there is no difficulty whatever in getting more money for Wales under Section 8. The important thing is getting suitable projects.