HC Deb 16 July 1984 vol 64 cc11-2
12. Mr. Gwilym Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will estimate the number of jobs in Wales currently provided by overseas companies.

Mr. Nicholas Edwards

The most recent estimates indicate that foreign-owned companies in Wales employ some 42,000 people.

Mr. Jones

I welcome that answer and the considerable progress that my right hon. Friend has been able to achieve in attracting jobs from outside companies. Is he aware of the concern about the future of WlNvest?Can he make a statement about its future?

Mr. Edwards

Some time ago the Government announced that they were reviewing their inward investment operations. Officials have prepared a report, which has not yet been considered by Ministers. When it has been considered we shall have something to say about it. WINvest has done, and is doing, valuable work and has dealt with a large number of applications in recent months.

Mr. Rowlands

Surely the publicity about water rationing cannot be an attractive proposition to overseas companies coming to Wales. Will the Secretary of State give a categorical assurance that he will make a statement to the House before the recess about water rationing and its impact on industry in Wales?

Mr. Edwards

If I think that there is anything to report to the House, further to what I have already told hon. Members, I shall consider doing so. Far more damaging for the prospects of inward investment than any temporary water shortage is the damage being done by the industrial disputes with which the Leader of the Opposition has associated himself.