HC Deb 02 March 1981 vol 1000 cc7-8
6. Mr. Garel-Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how he proposes to allocate the additional £½ million Her Majesty's Government are making available for the promotion of the Welsh language in 1981–82.

Mr. Wyn Roberts

The additional £½ million will be used to provide grant support for the Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales, to assist Urdd Gobaith Cymru with new developments at its camp at Llangrannog, and to increase the grants to Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin, the Welsh Books Council and Bwrdd Ffilmiau Cymraeg. My right hon. Friend has also conditionally promised financial support to the Nant Gwrtheyrn Trust. We intend to publish details of the grants to be made next year at the time of publication of the public expenditure White Paper.

Mr. Garel-Jones

Is my hon. Friend aware that that statement will be widely welcomed by all those who take an interest in the Welsh language? Will he confirm that both the financial and moral commitment of the Government to supporting the Welsh language have not been equalled by any Government in living memory?

Mr. Roberts

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. I visited Llangrannog and the Urdd camp there on the eve of St. David's Day and addressed representatives of some of the movements that I mentioned in my reply, on Government policy towards the Welsh language, and my statement was very well received.

Dr. Roger Thomas

The Minister appears to have been even more generous to the Welsh language than the hon. Member for Watford (Mr. Garel-Jones) suggested, by several hundred thousand pounds. In Llanelli over the weekend—

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Gentleman must ask a question.

Dr. Thomas

Is the Minister aware that 80 per cent. of Welsh toddlers are in need of nursery education? What will be his degree of generosity towards those future Welsh men and women?

Mr. Roberts

The hon. Gentleman ought to know that a movement such as the Welsh League of Youth is not composed of only Welsh-speaking children. I am told that more than 60 per cent. of its child members are not Welsh speakers—initially, at any rate.

There is a substantial new element in the increase, but the reason why the figure appears so substantial may be that we have changed from November 1979 survey prices to 1981–82 outturn prices.

Several Hon. Members rose—

Mr. Speaker

We must move on.