HC Deb 03 April 1978 vol 947 cc14-5
10. Mr. John Stradling Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what proposals he has to assist the tourist industry in those parts of Wales that are outside the development area.

Mr. Barry Jones

The whole of Wales benefits from the Wales Tourist Board's expenditure on publicity, research and general promotion. My right hon. and learned Friend is considering the representations he has received to revise the arrangements for assistance to tourist projects under Section 4 of the Development of Tourism Act 1969.

Mr. Thomas

I welcome the fact that the Secretary of State is reviewing the matter, but will he not agree that the criterion of the boundaries which apply has no relevance whatsoever to the needs of the tourist industry in the areas outside, where the criteria are entirely different, particularly as his Government impose such vicious taxation policies upon those areas?

Mr. Barry Jones

I do not believe that the taxation policy of the Government is vicious. I would say to the hon. Member, who has raised this issue with regard to tourism a number of times, that the matter of boundaries is not for my right hon. and learned Friend but for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Industry.

Mr. Gwilym Roberts

Does my hon. Friend accept that there is some feeling outside the development areas that the Government are mixing two objectives—the real need to stimulate employment within the development areas, and the need to strengthen tourism? Will he promise to discuss this matter with his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade?

Mr. Barry Jones

I agree that there is great feeling about this. I experienced the strength of opinion when before Easter I visited the North Wales coast at Rhyl, Llandudno and Colwyn Bay, where people face the same predicament as the people in the Chepstow area to which the hon. Member for Monmouth (Mr. Thomas) referred. There that strong feeling came out very clearly, but the people were satisfied that the Welsh Office was listening as sympathetically as it could in the situation. Certainly, my right hon. and learned Friend will be having discussions in Whitehall with regard to this problem.