HC Deb 23 May 1977 vol 932 cc999-1001
10. Mr. Gwynfor

Evans asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is his policy regarding the representation of Wales at international conferences.

Mr. John Morris

The Welsh Office is represented at international conferences whenever it is appropriate to do so.

Mr. Evans

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that during the 25-year reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II the British Empire has been transformed into a Commonwealth of 36 separate and equal nations? Although Wales is older than any one of those nations, we have no comparable status with any of them. Will the Minister at least now make amends by giving us something like observer status at the coming Commonwealth Conference?

Mr. Morris

The hon. Gentleman really has disclosed his full hand today. He is a separatist first and last, and the sooner he makes that abundantly clear to the people of Wales the better. He really stands for an independent Wales, and it does him no good going about Wales saying that he does not. That is what he stands for, and the people of Wales should know it.

Mr. Kinnock

My right hon. and learned Friend does the hon. Member for Carmarthen (Mr. Evans) an injustice. The hon. Gentleman is not for an independent Wales; he is obviously for an observer status Wales. With regard to international conferences and associations, can my right hon. and learned Friend tell me whether he has any up-to-date details about the great sheep deal between Plaid Cymru and Colonel Gaddafi, and whether there has been any development in the last 10 months on that score? Will my right hon. and learned Friend embrace the idea of internationals at Wembley and inform the Football Association that while it may be used to sterile national anthems, many of us want to sing ours on great sporting occasions, and we shall be singing it next Tuesday?

Mr. Morris

I have every sympathy with my hon. Friend on the second part of his Question. I recall a famous occasion at Twickenham in March 1974 when our anthem was not played officially, and I and my right hon. and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor stood up when the anthem was sung unofficially, and from that moment we saw progress being made. [Interruption.] No, we won.

With regard to the sheep selling in Libya, I have responsibility for a whole host of issues but the activities of Plaid Cymru in the silly season of August, when it announced this international foray, is not one of them. It is odd that since August 1974 there has been complete and stunning silence with regard to the Libyan adventure.