12. Mr. loan Evans
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what further action is proposed to encourage industrial development in the valleys of South Wales.
§ Mr. John Morris
I shall continue to encourage industrial development in the valleys through a variety of measures. including the provision of factory space coupled with generous financial incentives and the improvement of communications.
Mr. loan Evans
Although I appreciate what the Government have already done, may I ask whether my right hon. and learned Friend has seen the report concerning possible closures in the coal industry in South Wales? May I ask him to have discussions with the Department of Energy, which is already having discussions with the miners' union in South Wales, so that we can deal with the problems arising from possible closures and so that, where possible, closures can be avoided in the case of pits which have not been exhausted?
§ Mr. Morris
I am aware of the concern of my hon. Friend. He has already mentioned this to me and I understand that he and a number of my colleagues have met the National Union of Mineworkers. This is primarily a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy. I can assure my hon. Friend that I and my junior Ministers keep in close touch with my right hon. Friend.
Mr. Fred Evans
Is my right hon. Friend aware that there are certain black spots in Wales, such as the Rhymney valley, where unemployment is running at a tremendous rate and where threatened closures over a period of three weeks have affected nearly 1,000 people? May I ask my right hon. and learned Friend to treat this matter with the urgency with which Ebbw Vale was treated? Is he aware that in the Rhymney valley and the western valley of Gwent there is probably just as much unemployment as there is in Ebbw Vale? Will my right hon. and learned Friend appoint a task force, set it targets and use his influence to see that finance is forthcoming to implement the recommendations of such an economic task force in the Rhymney valley and the western valley of Gwent?
§ Mr. Morris
I am not sure that task forces are the answer to problems either in Ebbw Vale or in the Rhymney valley. What is important is to see that whenever a problem presents itself the resources to solve it are made available. This applies to roads, general infrastructure, factory building and land clearance. I assure my hon. Friend that the problems of the Rhymney valley will be in the forefront of my mind whenever I consider these problems.
§ Mr. Kinnock
Will my right hon. and learned Friend, when paying attention to the interests of the coal industry, as I know he always does, consider the relatively huge subsidy paid in various forms to the coal industries in other parts of the EEC? Will he associate himself with the campaign to obtain subsidies for British coal, especially Welsh coal, so as to make that coal as commercially acceptable and viable as is coal from other parts of the EEC?
§ Mr. Morris
I am aware of the fact that, as I understand it, some parts of the coal industry in the EEC, particularly in the German industry, are said to receive subsidies. This is a matter primarily for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy, but I assure the House that I always keep in close touch regarding any matter relating to the Welsh coal industry.