HC Deb 03 July 1978 vol 953 cc17-8
15. Mr. Grist

asked the Secretary of State for Wales when he next expects to meet the Wales Trades Union Congress.

Mr. John Morris

I met representatives of the Wales TUC last Wednesday.

Mr. Grist

When the Secretary of State next meets the Wales TUC, either as Secretary of State or as a party leader in Wales, will he work out with it how an extension of nationalisation and State control, according to the Labour Party programme, can actually save and create jobs in Wales as opposed to losing jobs, which it seems to have done over the last 20 years?

Mr. Morris

I doubt whether the hon. Gentleman has ever met the Wales TUC, But I can assure him that it is in the lead in making proposals both to save jobs and to ensure that there is a better balance of employment in Wales. I am most grateful to the Wales TUC for its co-operation—

Mr. Nicholas Edwards

It is a pity that the figures get worse and worse all the time.

Mr. Morris

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will contain himself. I am most grateful for the co-operation of the Wales TUC as well as that of employers' organisations.

Mr. D. E. Thomas

Will the Secretary of State take this opportunity of assuring the Wales TUC, and those of us who will be attending the one-day conference on industrial-related diseases to be held by the Wales TUC at Llanberis next Friday, of the support of his Department for initiatives to establish a compensation fund for slate quarrying?

Mr. Morris

I have listened to the representations that have been made, and I am very concerned indeed, as is my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Department of Employment. The Wales TUC is very concerned about these issues, as I am. It would bring enormous relief to the Wales TUC if it could be reassured that there would not be a Conservative Government and if hon. Members who are now on the Conservative Front Bench made it clear whether they were axemen with regard to public expenditure in Wales.