§ 11. Mr. Rogers
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he intends to visit the Rhondda to discuss industrial development.
§ Mr. Redwood
The hon. Gentleman is not very alert when inviting me to his constituency. Perhaps after what has been said he has changed his mind about whether he wants me to visit it. I can however assure him that I discussed industrial regeneration in his area on 26 September with Rhondda borough and other local authorities. I would be delighted to take up his invitation to visit—if he still wishes to invite me.
§ Mr. Rogers
Those of us who represent valley communities—probably some of the poorest, on any 654 socio-economic indicator, in the United Kingdom—certainly recognise the difficulties of attracting industrial units to our areas. But it is still important to create jobs.
When the Secretary of State comes to the Rhondda, will he take the opportunity to condemn the Welsh nationalist leadership of Taff-Ely council, which bitterly opposes jobs coming to the Rhondda and which has probably used public money to take full-page advertisements to prevent that from happening? Will he come and discuss with us this vicious attack on the people of the Rhondda valleys by the Welsh nationalists?
§ Mr. Redwood
I would certainly rather the money was spent on schools and education than on that sort of black propaganda—if that is what they are doing. The hon. Gentleman speaks for his constituents when he says that he wants more investment in the area, and I can assure him that there is no divide across the Floor of the House on this issue. I shall work positively with him and with any local councillors who want to do so to attract more industrial investment to the Rhondda and to other parts of the valleys.
The hon. Gentleman might like to know that the Welsh Development Agency is currently working on four possible schemes for his area. I just hope that they come to fruition, because I am sure that they would be welcome.
§ Mr. Ron Davies
When the right hon. Gentleman visits the Rhondda, will he take the opportunity to discuss with people there the impact that the split in the Cabinet is having on the economic prospects of south Wales? Earlier, he referred to his support for the Prime Minister, but he signally failed to mention his disagreement with the three leading policy makers in the Cabinet—the Foreign Secretary, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the President of the Board of Trade. Given the deep fissure in the Cabinet, is not the Secretary of State now merely on the outer fringes of policy making, in which position he can be of no use whatever to the people of Rhondda or of Wales?
§ Mr. Redwood
The hon. Gentleman is out to lunch again. He is not describing reality. All members of the Cabinet are central to policy making within the Cabinet. The Prime Minister speaks for us all, and extremely well, on the issues that the hon. Gentleman asks about.