HL Deb 16 February 1972 vol 328 cc149-50

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will prevail upon the Post Office to reconsider its refusal to include a stamp to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Urdd Gobaith Cymru (the Welsh Youth Movement) in their 1972 stamp programme and thereby allay the great feeling of disappointment felt in Wales.]


No, my Lords; the selection of subjects for inclusion in the annual stamp programmes is a matter for the Post Office, and it would not be appropriate for Her Majesty's Government to intervene.


My Lords, I beg leave to ask two supplementry questions. First, is the noble Lord aware that this is a non-political, cultural movement which has very great achievements to its credit, and that to show their appreciation the people of Wales are going to spend a whole week in June celebrating its 50th birthday? Is he further aware that, true to type, the Government are showing lack of imagination? I want to warn the Minister now that, as a result of his reply and the reaction of the Government, not a single Tory M.P. will be returned to Parliament from Wales at the next Election.


My Lords, may I ask the noble Lord to put his question?


My Lords, I was going to say that I am wearing a special tie on which is depicted the Welsh dragon.


Order, order!


My Lords, I am certainly aware of the nature of Urdd Gobaith Cymru, and of the very great support which this organisation has in Wales. I also know of the very great feeling that may exist because the occasion has not been selected by the Post Office for the issue of a special stamp. But I would tell the noble Lord that the Post Office get a large number of requests for special stamps. In this particular year there were over 80 requests. The Post Office came to this decision after very great consideration, and it is a matter for them and not for Her Majesty's Government.


My Lords, may I congratulate the noble Lord on his excellent Welsh accent? Is he aware of the fact that a very special opportunity exists at this critical moment to lift the morale of youngsters in Wales?—and by God they need it!


My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for his congratulations on my accent, which I understand is a South Welsh one. This is a matter for the Post Office and it would be inappropriate for the Minister to intervene. There is a Stamp Advisory Committee, and if my right honourable friend were to intervene on every occasion when a complaint was made there would be no point in having the Stamp Advisory Committee at all.


My Lords, while recognising the noble Lord's South Wales accent, may I ask him whether he does not think that it is more appropriate that this national movement in Wales should be recognised than that the explorations of the Arctic and Antarctic should be? After all, the Welsh have had to explore England.


My Lords, it would be inappropriate for me to express an opinion on that matter. The selection was made with the advice of the Stamp Advisory Committee.


My Lords, can the noble Lord tell us the pre portion of Welsh, and indeed Scots, members on this Stamp Advisory Committee?


No, my Lords.