Welsh Affairs

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th July 1963.

Alert me about debates like this

3.42 p.m.

Photo of Mr Arthur Probert Mr Arthur Probert , Aberdare

I beg to move. That this House regrets the continued failure of Her Majesty's Government to take the necessary steps to provide in Wales adequate training facilities for, and encourage apprenticeships among, juveniles; to provide greater opportunities for higher education; to deal with the unemployment position among older people; to tackle the housing situation as a matter of urgency; and is of the opinion that the solution of these problems would go a long way towards ending the depopulation of the Welsh countryside. We are choosing a most opportune time for this Motion, because this is the last Parliamentary week before the Summer Recess and it may well be the last week of the present Parliament. If that latter assumption be true, it will meet with the approval of both sides of the House. It is as well that we have this rather belated opportunity of setting before the House and Wales the problems affecting my country. Inevitably, it will not be possible for me to deal at length with many matters included in the Motion and my hon. Friends who follow me will fill the gaps which I shall leave, consciously or unconsciously, much more effectively than I could.

There are many aspects of the problems in the Motion, implicit and explicit, because my country, as are Scotland and Wales, is afflicted with a general malaise, and that malaise is something which I hope to diagnose and for which I hope to suggest some cures. This malaise is a disease which I would call mass migration, the drift of people away from their homeland and worth-while communities into areas which have been classified by the ugly word "conurbations", soulless places with no community of interest, congested areas which are attended by all the evils of which we heard only a week ago.

I should like for a moment to consider the problem in terms of population. Unfortunately, it is not yet possible to describe analytically, as it were, the drift from Wales since the 1961 census because, the total figures are not yet available in an analysed form. However, quite fortuitously, the figures for the most populous county, Glamorgan, were published last week. I propose to show what these figures for my own county and a number of other Welsh counties are, and my hon. Friends may have an opportunity of dealing with their own counties.

Between 1951 and 1961 the population of Glamorgan increased by 27,147, an increase of 2 per cent. The important factor is that the balance of births and deaths between the two census dates produced a natural increase of 53,000, so that there has been a loss by migration from the county of almost 26,000 during that period. I stress that Glamorgan is probably the most industrialised county in Wales. The population of Rhondda, for example, fell from 111,000 to 100,000 and in Pontypridd alone from 36,000 to 35,000 while in my own constituency it fell from 72,000 to 68,000.

The figures of insurable population are illuminating. The insurable population of Merthyr Tydvil in 1951 was 39,000, but by 1961 it had fallen to 36,000. The comparable figures for Aberdare are 26,000 and 24,000; for Mountain Ash, 24,000 and 18,000. There was an appalling drop of 8,000, from 71,000 to 63,000 in the Rhondda.

It is only this form of statistics which can truly indicate the real extent of unemployment. It is this kind of concealed unemployment which is the indirect cause of many, if not all, of the problems mentioned in the Motion. To be completely fair, the insurable population for Wales has increased from 919,000 in 1948 to 970,000 in 1961, an increase of 5·5 per cent. but for Great Britain as a whole the increase was 9·7 per cent. and we have to remember that that includes Scotland and Northern Ireland, so that the figure for England must be double if not treble that for Wales.

It is well to remember—and I mention this because it is important—that since the end of the war, at least, since 1948, Wales has lost well over 100,000 jobs in its basic industries. Unfortunately, this decline will undoubtedly proceed to some extent in the future. We also have to remember, as was pointed out by my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North (Mr. Jay), in an admirable speech some months ago, that the creation of 100 jobs in an area really means the addition of almost another 100 because of the increased spending power. But the reverse is also true and if we lose 100,000 jobs, we lose additionally a considerable proportion of 100,000 jobs.

Since 1951, an extra 1½ million jobs had been created in Great Britain as a whole. Where have they gone? They have certainly not gone to Scotland where there is a net loss and only 40,000 of them have gone to Wales. I repeat that Wales has lost more than 100,000 jobs in its basic industries alone.

Last week, figures were published to show that 27,551 people are without jobs in Wales. The Western Mail says that this was a reduction of 1,460, but if we read further we find that this was actually an increase of 1,000 over the equivalent period last year. In my constituency there are 772 people out of work. In 1962, the figure was 544, so there has been an increase of 50 per cent. Despite the fact that 772 people are unemployed in my constituency, there is an exceptional demand there for female labour because of the expansion of two electronics factories.

What can the Government offer in terms of jobs: and factory space to meet this terrible draining of my country's great skill and talent? Let us consider the statistics, which I now put forward, unaffected by any political considerations or exaggerations. These figures have been taken from Board of Trade Journal and the Monthly Digest of Statistics. They reveal one or two rather telling points.

The amount of factory space allocated to London and the South-East region compared with Wales, from 1945 to the present day is as follows: 1945 to 1947, 0·1 million square feet were allocated to the L.S.E.—that is, 100,000 square feet—whereas the allocation to Wales was seven times as much—0·7 million square feet. In 1948, the figure was 1·5 million for the L.S.E. and 4·2 million for Wales—three times as much. In 1949, the figure for Wales was twice as much as that of the L.S.E. In 1950, it was over 50 per cent. as much, and in 1951 it was twice as much.

The picture changed from then onwards. In 1952, it was three times as much in the L.S.E. as in Wales. In 1953, it was 60 per cent. more in the L.S.E. than in Wales. In 1954, it was four times as much in the L.S.E. as in Wales, and in the period 1st June, 1955, to 30th September, 1962, it was three times as much again. The overall figures were 77 million square feet to the L.S.E. and just about half—44 million—to Wales.

I wonder what would have happened if the Labour Government had continued in power and the trend for the first five years of the period to which I have referred had been maintained? We certainly would not have had the problem that we are facing today.

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

Is the hon. Gentleman saying that he has given the House those figures without any political implications? He is comparing the industrial building growth for a population of 15 million in London and the South-East wth a population of 2 million in Wales. Or did I miss something that he said? I think that I must have done.

Photo of Mr Arthur Probert Mr Arthur Probert , Aberdare

The right hon. Gentleman did not miss what I was saying. The fact is that we should try to reverse the present trend of increasing the population in the south-east region. The position was different under a Labour Government, as the figures I have quoted show.

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

Is it not an extraordinary achievement that in the past seven years Wales, with one-seventh of the population of the L.S.E., has had half the building growth? Does the hon. Gentleman not recognise that?

Photo of Mr Arthur Probert Mr Arthur Probert , Aberdare

I think that the Minister is overlooking the main point of my case. I have tried to illustrate what has happened under a Conservative Government from 1952 to the present day, and what happened under a Labour Government, who had to contend with extremely difficult circumstances, from 1945 to 1951.

Let us consider the number of schemes which have been allocated to London and the South-East. I am sure that the Minister appreciates that we want to reverse the present trend, and are not doing it, as is shown from the figures I have quoted. From 1st January, 1951, to 31st May, 1961, the number of schemes given to the London and South-East area was five times the number given to Wales. I agree that the population in the two areas is not the same, but we are trying to reverse the present trend and not increase the difficulty. The figures show that 5,652 schemes were given to London and the South-East, while Wales was given 1,113 schemes. The estimated additional employment for Wales was 77,338 while for the L.S.E. it was 152,104. These figures were given in Written Answer on 2nd July, 1963.

I shall not take up the time of the House by dealing with the points which I consider arise from those statistics. I shall deal instead with the question of youth employment and its concomitant problem of apprenticeships, types of jobs available, and so on. The problem in Wales is extremely serious, but we cannot separate this problem from the general unemployment problem and the problems associated with mass migration. It is merely a symptom of this general sickness which has attacked my country.

As the Minister is aware, the problem of apprenticeships and youth employment in Wales is extremely acute. Taking 1958 as the base year, for every 100 young people under 18 who left Wales in that year, 141 left in 1961, 157 left in 1962 and 145 left in 1963. The comparative figures for England are 126, 138 and 126, and for Scotland they are even worse. It will be admitted, therefore, that whatever the reason, this increase undoubtedly makes the problem more acute in Wales, and one would have thought that the attention given to Wales would have been far more effective than it has been.

According to the Welsh Committee of the Industrial Training Council, there has been a drop of 25 per cent. in the number of apprenticeships available in Wales for the first five months of this year, compared with 1962. This means 12,500 fewer places. Wales is, unfortunately, lagging far behind the rest of the country. In 1961, the figure was 28 per cent. while that for Britain as a whole, was 37·9 per cent.—over a third more. In 1962, there was a drop from 28·2 per cent. to 25·8 per cent. This is a calamitous situation. I do not have the present figures, but I am assured by all those concerned with trying to deal with the problem that the situation is grim indeed.

I took this matter up with the Youth Employment Service, and I pay tribute to its officers for the excellent work they are doing in difficult circumstances. From 1st October, 1962, to date the Youth Employment Service in my constituency was able to offer only 47 apprenticeships in almost nine months in an area with a population of 70,000. Very shortly 400 young people will leave school, and there are only 19 apprenticeships available for them. In addition, 19 young men will be leaving the local technical college, having received some sort of technical training, and there is nothing to offer these youngsters. Again, 20 young girls will soon be leaving the local technical college, and there are only two jobs available for them.

I want to be as fair as I can about this. In my constituency there is a mining training centre, and at present there are 40 vacancies there, but this section covers a vast area, and it must be remembered that mining is not the inducement to young people that it might have been some years ago.

I should like now to mention another important point, which in some senses is heartening, and if I do not mention it, no doubt that whoever replies to the debate will use it against me. In my constituency there are vacancies for 458 young women but these are vacancies in factories and are not vacancies for apprenticeships or specialised work. They have been created by the expansion of the factories to which I referred earlier. At present we have 500 men, 68 boys and 141 older women out of work. There is not a single job for them, and this tragedy highlights the present situation. I think that that highlights the problem of apprenticeships and, indeed, of the employment of older men.

What do those of us who, unfortunately, often have to come to London, find in London? Jobs for all youngsters, varied jobs, often with exciting prospects. I take at random a copy of the Evening News and Star last week which says: If you are leaving school, and you seek a varied career in commerce, there are excellent prospects for you". Here are all kinds of jobs for young people with brains. They are offered training in engineering, physics and chemistry, vacancies for those wanting to become apprentices, interesting and progressive jobs, in consulting engineering, accountancy, costing, and salesmanship, and so on. If my constituents could see that, most of them with children would be considering giving up their jobs, if they have them, and coming to London for the sake of their youngsters. This exacerbates the position in Wales and leads to further depopulation.

I want now to refer to another vital problem which particularly besets our Welsh valleys. It is the problem of the over fifties. I feel that we could lower the age limit now and talk about the over forties as well as the over fifties. I would quote just two statistics. I am indebted to my right hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) for the excellent speech that he made to the Welsh Grand Committee in February, when he said that he had tried to discover what the size was of the problem of the over fifties in the employment exchange areas of Llanelly, Burry Port, Kidwelly, Tumble, Gorseinon and Pontardulais, and said that in January of this year there were 664 wholly unemployed men aged 50 and over, which accounted for 38 per cent. of the wholly unemployed men. This is tragic, but if the House thinks it exceptional I am sure that my hon. Friends who represent Welsh constituencies could cite similar figures, each one from his own constituency.

I have looked at the figures in the last week in my constituency and find that out of 500 men unemployed at present almost 200, or some 40 per cent. of them, are over 50. This shows how difficult it is to employ men in South Wales, particularly when they are over 50 years of age. I know that my hon. Friend the Member for Rhondda, East (Mr. G. Elfed Davies) intends to refer to this if he is called to speak. The problem of the disabled is still with us because I have 181 disabled people in my constituency and there is no prospect at all for them in the future.

This, then, is the general picture. What shall we do to arrest this grave disease? Because it is a disease which is affecting my country at present. Palliatives are not enough, and so far as I am concerned the Local Employment Act, 1960, is just such a palliative—and a poor one at that. I am indebted to my right hon. Friend the Member for Battersea, North for the wonderful speech he made on this matter earlier this year. I think that we should amend the Act, because in amending it we shall solve many of the problems to which I have referred.

We should certainly amend Part II of the Act to include office building. The number of offices built in London is absolutely extraordinary. It has been estimated by the Town and Country Planning Association that in London's central area the number of jobs his increased by 15,000 a year in the last decade, and this was almost entirely in office employment. The Association also states that in the next decade that could increase by 200,000. The Minister is Minister of Housing and Local Government, as well as Minister for Welsh Affairs, and I suggest to him that here is a rich field from which we could gain a rich harvest if effective action were taken, and then there would be ample opportunity for young girls in Wales to find jobs in their own country as shorthand typists, comptometer operators and secretaries, and there would be jobs for the young men as well, and jobs for the disabled and the over fifties.

We must widen the conception of the Act, because at present it covers only 13 per cent. of the population and is based on far too narrow limits. It tries to deal with a basic problem entirely by spot checks. It is as though a quack doctor were trying to cure measles by painting out the spots and leaving the disease there all the time. One can satisfactorily deal with the problem only on a regional scale, and I say to my hon. Friends who have scheduled areas in their constituencies that if we really want effective action and effective use of redistribution the Act must be extended.

I am sure that my hon. Friend the Member for Rhondda, East will not mind my mentioning that the Rhondda has one of the highest unemployment rates in Wales and is losing population as fast as any area, and yet it has never been off the list of development districts. I am not suggesting that it should be taken off, but I would say that areas such as this have better chances for a brighter future if the designated areas are greater than they are now. When an area is designated let us not take it off immediately. Do not let us have this on-off technique, because if we relax the pressure the trouble will break out again.

I would suggest, also, that we have one Minister in charge of the redistribution of industry. I see in the Press today that my own party suggests there should be a Minister for Production. I welcome this. He should be answerable to the Cabinet and given an armoury of effective legislation so that he, too, can put into Wales as Labour did in our short period of office, 550 factories. This is something which the Minister must answer. Indeed, since the passing of the Act only between 12 per cent. and 13 per cent. of the 138 million sq. ft. of new factory space has gone to the development district. Again, I tell the Minister that under a Labour Government consistently 30 per cent. went to development districts each year.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) has advocated, and I agree with him, what about the administrative Departments? Let us have a determined attack on redistribution there. I would suggest that the nationalised industries, too, should consider this, because I am certain that the National Coal Board does not derive its income from London, and I refer, too, to the gas and electricity industries and to the British Transport Commission.

Now I come to what is, perhaps, a minor matter, but I would ask the Minister to consider it. I know that he has it very close at heart and I applaud him for his efforts in this direction. I refer to the clearance of derelict sites. As the Act now stands those areas which are outside the scheduled areas cannot be assisted financially except where it can be shown that the site so cleared will assist an area which is scheduled. This is an absolutely ridiculous position, because areas of high unemployment which are not scheduled have many of these derelict sites.

We are all aware of them. They can be found throughout Wales, and yet the local councils are generally too poor to clear the sites with their own resources. It is possible for the areas at any time to be scheduled, and the ridiculous position then is that they are given assistance to clear sites for factory development, and then, perhaps because of the fortunes of the employment exchanges, they are descheduled. They have a site cleared and then cannot have a factory. What nonsense. Surely the right thing to do is to clear areas now ready for the time when they may want new factory development.

I think that the Minister is concerned about this, but I ask him to consider whether a better criterion for assistance, instead of whether an area is scheduled, would be the rate poundage for the area and its resources. As a point of detail I would ask the Minister, will the expenditure of areas which are not scheduled and which have cleared sites be included for rate deficiency grant? I ask because I am concerned with that at present.

I have spoken for rather longer than I intended, so I will now come to a close. I have not talked about education or housing, although housing is a subject very close to my heart, but I leave it to my hon. Friends to develop that much more effectively than I can. If we had had the determination at the top to carry out effective redistribution of industry, most, if not all, these problems would have disappeared long ago. It is our complaint that that determination and even the desire are missing and have been for a long time. It appears to me that the Government want to take the easy way out by merely tinkering with the problem.

In the valleys, because of what is happening, my countrymen are looking timidly over their shoulders to see if the ghost of the 1930s is there. That is not an exaggeration. They are worried. Many years ago the people of Wales, of Scotland and of Ireland were literally driven from their homes in thousands by starvation and the policy of enclosure, and even, to some extent, by the blandishments of unscrupulous agents for the American Continent. Their story has been told graphically and need not be told again today by me.

But that story should always be a lesson to the present. My complaint is that the Government have not learnt that lesson and have not even attempted to do so. It is true that the driving forces are no longer starvation and enclosure. They are today lack of jobs and of opportunities for our youngsters. Yet the effect is the same—a long procession over the last forty years away from their homes in Wales to the glamour of the Metropolis, wherever that may be.

It is true that, perhaps except for some people, London streets are no longer paved with gold. But in the eyes of my compatriots London streets are paved with jobs, which is perhaps more important. The Labour Government did something to halt this senseless drift. It is my complaint and criticism that the Government, with greater opportunities, have not succeeded, and are not likely to succeed, with their present policies.

4.12 p.m.

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

I beg to move, to leave out from "House" to the end of the Question and to add instead thereof: takes note of the successful measures already taken to attract new industry to Wales, thus providing far greater diversification of employment opportunities; welcomes the Government's continuing expansion of the economy and the increased provision of facilities for the training of young people and adults; recognises the full contribution being made in Wales to the national expansion of university and other higher education of all types; notes the recent heartening increase in Welsh housing activity, and the further stages now envisaged in the Housing White Paper (Command Paper No. 2050); and welcomes the decision of Her Majesty's Government to carry out a long-term survey of the prospects for Wales, and to produce plans for the economic and social development of the Principality". From the Motion and the Amendment the House will readily perceive that there are two different aspects of the same situation. The difference between the speech of the hon. Member for Aberdare (Mr. Probert) and the one that the House will hear from me is that while he has flinched from all the good sides of the Welsh story I shall not flinch from the bad. I shall try to give a balanced picture of those subjets I seek to cover. The hon. Member made an apology for covering only part of the Motion, and I hope that the House will accept my apology for not being able to cover the whole of the Motion and Amendment in detail myself. Some of the details I shall leave to my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour, who will reply to the debate on behalf of the Government.

It is a fact, of course, that there are population shifts both within the United Kingdom and within parts of it. It is a fact that during the last century there was considerable movement from England west into Wales. At that time Wales was gaining population at the expense of England. In this century there was, first, an actual movement from Wales into England, with a net decrease in Welsh population. Now that has been reduced to a net increase in Welsh population, though not as large an increase as there would have been if the natural growth in Wales had entirely stayed there.

The movements inside each part of the United Kingdom are a reflection of a world-wide phenomenon. In the developed countries there is a movement from the deep countryside. It is so in Wales. Movement from what are generally primitive conditions is normally to be welcomed, but in Wales it has a very sad aspect, because it damages the unique culture of the deep Welsh countryside.

We must recognise that what we are dealing with is not an isolated phenomenon, but one of the implications of what is generally an improvement hi the standard of living due to increased technological improvements in agriculture as in all other industries. The hon. Member totally failed to tell us the background against which all these things of which he spoke are occurring. Anyone would think, listening to him, that there was the deepest unemployment in Wales.

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

There may be serious unemployment in some parts of Wales, but in the United Kingdom as a whole the level of unemployment at the moment is 2 per cent. and in Wales as a whole 2·8 per cent. Over the last nine months, unemployment in Great Britain has fallen 20 per cent. and in Wales 29 per cent. I acknowledge, of course, that there are individual pockets in Wales which I intend to deal with.

Photo of Mr James Griffiths Mr James Griffiths , Llanelli

The Chairman of the Welsh Board of Industry has said that, from evidence available to him, 10,000 people have left Wales recently. Is the right hon. Gentleman going to deal with that aspect or wholly ignore it?

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

I thought I had already dealt with that when I agreed that, while there has been a net increase of population in Wales, it has not been so large as it would have been had the natural increase remained there. From 1951 to 1961 the net increase was 41,957—Ithink that I am right to within about 10. I shall come to the implications of that in a moment.

Several Hon. Members:

Several Hon. Members rose——

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

I hope that right hon. and hon. Members will allow me to develop my speech on these aspects, good and bad.

Photo of Mr Harold Finch Mr Harold Finch , Bedwellty

According to the census, between 1941 and 1961 there was a loss of population of 49,000.

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

Then the hon. Gentleman is indicting his own party. I have now the exact figure for 1951 to 1961, and the net growth was 41,957. If the hon. Member says that over twenty years there was a loss of population of more than 49,000, then during the period of the Labour Government there was a loss of population of 90,000. I accept that figure. It may be right.

The hon. Member can dispute my opinions, but he cannot dispute the statistical fact that between 1951 and 1961 there was an increase of population in Wales of 41,957. I am prepared to acknowledge what the Labour Government did between 1945 and 1951, provided that right hon. and hon. Members opposite recognise that the Tory Government have done since very much more. Let us have the facts and recognise the reality behind the party claims.

The picture of Wales that an impartial observer would acknowledge is that of a diversified, strengthened, vigorous, expanding prosperity, with problems, but only problems that are inescapable but not incurable in this world of rapid technological change. The dynamics of growth and of change inevitably impose certain problems of timing. It is not possible, for instance, to build, in a fully employed economy, for education, at exactly the same rate as for other sectors, for all the people who are clamouring at the doors of schools, colleges, and universities. But these are problems that one would far rather face than problems of lack or deficiency of demand for the things that a resourceful and developing economy can provide.

The problem that I want to put to the House—since it is one that both parties face—is the problem of change. All the time, all over the United Kingdom, and perhaps particularly in Wales, we face constant changes in trends of population, of demand, and of manufacturing, extractive industry and service techniques. These changes cannot be tackled in a piecemeal, ad hoc fashion. They have to be tackled as part of an integrated approach to Welsh affairs. The task of tackling these problems in an integrated way—the task of prediction and prophylaxis—is at the heart of government. It is essentially a task of government.

Ever since the war Governments have tried to prophesy and prepare for these changes in trends. The Labour Government and the Tory Government have tried. It happens every few years that a change in the instruments of prediction and prophylaxis becomes available. Governments suddenly decide to adopt a new, or accelerated, or deeper, or changed approach to these problems. The House will know that it is only a few months since my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced that such a time had come for Wales, and that a new chapter in the attempt to predict, forestall and prepare was opening for Welsh affairs.

My right hon. Friend said that he was entrusting a new Welsh Office, in collaboration with other Departments concerned, with the task of preparing a long-term survey of the prospects for Wales and for each part of Wales, so that a social and enonomic plan on a 10-year or 20-year basis, constantly revised as the assumptions changed, might be available to private and public investors alike.

The idea is that a reinforced Welsh Office, helped by an economic intelligence unit, shall co-ordinate, on an even more analytical basis than has been possible heretofore, the predictions for private and public enterprise, and shall then project the implications of those predictions for Wales as a whole and for each part of Wales. As a result, we hope that it will be possible to guide public investment to where it will be most needed, and to publish the results of these plans and public investment programmes in sufficient detail to give private enterprise the encouragement and stimulus of a future that it will be- able more clearly to envisage.

The result, we hope, will be not a dramatic change from what has occurred heretofore, but a more precise and more accurate instrument to produce success in what is really—and all parties must appreciate this—an inherently very difficult task. It is difficult enough, as all hon. Members know, from experience in their own business, professional, commercial or industrial lives, to predict within a narrow sphere what will happen next month or next year, or even five or ten years ahead. When one has to try to do this for a whole economy, with all the changes that are going on in the industries with which that economy is most concerned—steel, coal and agriculture—it will be realised that this is not a job in which perfect success can be commanded; but it is one which any Government must try desperately hard to perform, and it is in order that we should perform this service even better than we are doing now that the new Office is being set up.

The staff is being recruited, but the unit will not be fully manned until this autumn. One of the first tasks that the new Welsh Office will be asked to undertake will be to take into its thinking, for constructive purposes, the very valuable Report which I have had from Professor Beach am and his colleagues on the industrial and commercial prospects of Mid-Wales. I know that this Report is in the hands of the Mid-Wales Industrial Association, and I shall welcome its comments. This is a valuable piece of work, and it will be a good starting point for the new Welsh Office. If any decision needs to be taken before the Office can grapple with the Report the Government will be glad to consider any proposals.

Photo of Mr Tudor Watkins Mr Tudor Watkins , Breconshire and Radnorshire

Can we have an assurance that Professor Beacham's Report will be published as a White Paper?

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

I hesitate to reply only because I am not sure whose right it is to make that decision. I do not know whether the report was commissioned by my predecessor, or by the Mid-Wales Industrial Association, but my predecessor certainly provided taxpayers' money towards the research. I would like to make sure who has the right to make that decision, and let the hon. Member know.

So that the House may have the figures in the debate I shall answer some of the points made by the hon. Member for Aberdare, leaving, on the employment side, my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour to deal with the detailed analysis of individual problems. The hon. Member for Aberdare was quite right to express concern about the prospects for the employment of youth, but the House may like to know that of the 7,400 or so Easter school leavers, only 188—or 2½ per cent.—were still registered for employment in mid-July. The number of summer school leavers this year will probably be less than last summer, when the total was just under 17,000 but we do not expect the figure to be much less.

Last year, by the end of the summer holidays the proportion still reporting to seek employment was down to just over 14 per cent., and by December it was down to 2 per cent. This year there is a triple reason for being rather more hopeful: first, there will, if anything, be fewer school leavers in the summer; secondly, the number of vacancies for young people has increased this year; and, thirdly, the trend of the whole economy is upwards and expanionist at the moment. We should have a tolerable optimism about the prospects of school leavers this summer as compared with last year. I repeat that last year, four months after they left school, the proportion of those still unemployed was down to only 2 per cent. I scarcely like to use the word "only", but, nevertheless, that is the case.

I have to give the House one figure to complete that story. Between June and July of this year the number of vacancies in Wales for young people rose from 1,600 to 2,800. There are now more vacancies for young people than was the case at this time last year.

Photo of Sir John Morris Sir John Morris , Aberavon

On the point concerning the proportion of the 7,400 Easter school leavers still registered for employment at mid-July, will the Minister bear in mind that some of the difference between the two figures may arise from the fact that not all the young people have been able to find employment, but are, nevertheless, not registered because, since they are under the age of 16, there is no point in their registering, since they will not receive National Assistance or the dole?

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

I have no proof of that. It would be difficult to disprove. My hon. Friend will try to deal with that point at the end of the debate. It is certainly a possible reason for the difference, but I have no evidence.

I will leave to my hon. Friend the subject of apprenticeships, and also the very important problem of the employment of the elderly. All I wish to do is to show the House that I have carried out what I undertook to do in one of the first debates of the Welsh Grant Committee in which I had the honour to take part.

In reply to the right hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffith), I undertook to concern myself particularly with the problem of the disabled elderly and their prospects for jobs. I can tell the House that my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour has taken a deep interest in this problem and will be carrying out a further and helpful analysis and initiative to help the disabled elderly in South Wales before very long.

Purely in the interests of providing right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite with as much time as possible, I am leaving the answers to a number of labour points to be given by my hon. Friend. The hon. Gentleman did not develop at length the case for the educational part of the Motion, but perhaps I should put on record some of the rather remarkable facts about the expansion of further educational opportunities in Wales so that hon. Members may have them in mind when making speeches addressed to that subject.

Let me take a few figures—if there were bad figures I would give them too—that I think should be borne in mind. In the teacher training colleges the student population is more than twice what it was in 1952, that is to say, it is now 3,272 in the eight general colleges. In technical education, may I take, first, the Welsh College of Advanced Technology. There was a jump in the number of those taking advanced courses to 853 compared with a figure of 709 last session. The number of Dip.-Tech. students has risen from 148 to 207. On present plans it is likely that within the next few years, the total student population will rise to about 1,250, all doing advanced work.

The University of Wales is keeping pace with the expansion of universities throughout Great Britain. It is planned that the university will build to the value of £8·6 million in the four years from 1962 to 1965. This is a more than proportionate increase of £1·8 million over the investment previously planned for this period. But perhaps the most staggering figure to bear in mind is the increase in the student places. Ten years ago the number was 4,621. Today, there are 7,569 students, an increase of 64 per cent. We all know that when a university expands it is quality as well as quantity that matters. By 1970, on the university's own plans, the figure should be 11,150, so that the total increase since 1952 will have been nearly 150 per cent. I mention these figures so that hon. Members may have them in mind when they discuss education.

Perhaps the House will allow me to react with a certain amount of strong feeling to that part of the Opposition's Motion which says that we should tackle the housing situation as a matter of urgency. For the second time since I have been Minister for Welsh Affairs I can indulge my twin passions for Wales and housing at the same time and talk for a moment or two about the housing position in Wales, and the prospects. I take this opportunity to announce what is, in effect, a five-year plan for Welsh housing, which, I believe, will solve the major problems of housing, though certainly leaving a natural continuity of work for the future.

In 1951, there were 60,000 fewer dwellings than households. There were 60,000 more households than houses in which they could live. I am not for a moment blaming the party opposite. Hon. Members opposite inherited a vast task and they had to get on with a lot of things at once. But that is the fact which we found in 1951. By 1961, in the ten years intervening, there had been a population increase of very nearly 42,000. But, much more remarkable, there had been an increase in the number of households not to 40,000—which would have meant that every single additional person in the population wanted a separate house—but to 57,000.

This means that the population of Wales had become so much more prosperous by 1961 that it had been able to generate a larger effective demand for individual separate dwellings. That is what we all want. We want people who previously had to huddle together because they could not get the extra house or flat—or could not afford the extra accommodation if it were available—to make their demand for extra dwellings effective.

In 1961 there were 57,000 extra households demanding separate accommodation, compared with the figure for 1951;and that compared with an increase in the population of just under 42,000. Yet, despite that very large rise in the number of households, and the quite significant rise in population, and the fact that we started in 1951 with a deficiency of 60,000 dwellings in Wales, by 1961 there was a surplus of 4,000 dwellings over households.

Nobody pretends that this is anything like enough as a surplus. But I hope that the House will recognise it as a pretty considerable achievement. Let me explain that what I think is needed by way of surplus is at least a 2 per cent. surplus of dwellings over the number of households. As it is, we have a mere fraction of 1 per cent. and that is not nearly enough. We need at least 2 per cent. so as to provide for mobility and encourage landlords to provide value for money by ensuring that otherwise their prospective tenants will be able to get another house.

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff West

I am sorry to add to the interruptions. But I cannot follow the right hon. Gentleman's figures. He has referred to 4,000 more dwellings than households. Is he saying that there are 4,000 vacant houses in Wales?

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

Sir K. Joseph indicated dissent.

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff West

No? I thought that I must be wrong.

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

I am going on to explain that. Statistically, in Wales, including the country areas, there are 4,000 more houses than households. Of course, ten years previously, including the country areas which were suffering from depopulation then, also, there were 60,000 fewer dwellings than households. In that time an enormous deficiency has been turned into a minute surplus. There is still much to do. Clearly, there is still a shortage—I hesitate to say a severe shortage, but quite a shortage—in South Wales and North-East Wales. But, of course, there was a very much more severe shortage in both of those places, and in Wales as a whole, ten years before.

Having set out the statistical background, I wish to turn to the individual position of tenants in some of these houses. I was interested in a report in today's Western Mail of an interview with the hon. Member for Cardiff, West '(Mr. G. Thomas), and anything which the hon. Gentleman may say today, if he catches your eye, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, I shall listen to with careful attention.

I do not deny that there may well be individual cases—perhaps many individual cases—where one landlord exploits one or more individual tenants. There must be a number of houses—because of the figures which I have given—in the conurbations where there is considerable overcrowding. But I have no evidence of cases of extortion coupled with intimidation occurring in Wales. If any hon. Member has such evidence, I hope that I shall be provided with it, and that it will be sent to the local authorities.

I wish to take up two things which the hon. Gentleman is reported to have said. In respect of one of them I think that he is under a misunderstanding about the legal position, and he is such a respected Member that I should not like him to be in possession of information which is wrong. The 1961 Act is a much more powerful instrument than perhaps the hon. Gentleman realises. He is quoted as saying the city council are helpless in preventing this"— that is, overcrowding— taking place. Under the 1961 Act they can only step in when a house has already become overcrowded". That is not true. The 1961 Act empowers a local authority to step in and set a maximum on the number of people who may legally be put into any house before it is overcrowded. I know of a number of local authorities which try to anticipate where a surge of overcrowding may occur if the number of house occupants in one area is restricted. The authorities try to anticipate to where the people may move. These authorities are going to the area which is at present free from overcrowding and imposing maximum tenancy orders before any overcrowding which might occur. The hon. Member might like to bear that in mind. No doubt the Cardiff local authority is already aware of it.

I come to the future about housing. The figures I shall use are inevitably only orders of magnitude since, without the detailed results of the 1961 census, I cannot undertake to be absolutely precise. There are four major heads of housing need still in Wales today. There is, first, the absolute shortage of houses. As I have said, despite the minute surplus of dwellings over households, there is still a shortage. By adding up the waiting lists we find there is a shortage of 65,000. I think that the local authorities would agree that that exaggerates the position slightly, because there is bound to be some double counting. I am advised that a safe hard-core number to adopt as a shortage, after eliminating double counting, would be 45,000.

Then there are the remaining slums in Wales. Roughly, there are 30,000 of these still to be cleared. Of course, there will, until the end of time, always be some houses becoming slums at the end of their useful life, but, once we have eliminated the back-log on slums, we can very easily cope with the small annual excess of houses coming to the end of their useful life. I must warn local authorities, however, that unless they step up their slum clearance they may fail to overtake the tide of houses coming to the end of their useful life. At present, slum clearance is running at the rate of 3,000 per annum. I should like to see that doubled.

There is an important further need associated with the growing number of the elderly. The number of local authority houses devoted to the elderly in Wales is substantially less as a proportion than the number of houses so devoted in England. I accept that in Wales they often build two-bedroom houses and in England one-bedroom houses. I am not quarrelling with that; it may be that in Wales they have to build more two-bedroom houses for the elderly. Every time a building is provided for the elderly there is the blessing of a more suitable dwelling for an elderly person, and very often a bonus by way of release of under-occupied dwellings for other people.

Then there is a fourth limb of need for housing. This is the need to build to cope with the rising population, and even more the rise in the number of households and to provide housing for incoming workers. Here I pay tribute to Welsh local authorities for their vigorous action in providing houses for incoming workers in the mining industry and the steel industry. There have been a number of instances of healthy cooperation in this respect.

To transform the Welsh housing position we need to deal with these four elements: shortages, slums, housing for the elderly, and rising demand. I reckon that the number of houses needed to carry out this transformation over a five-year period is about 125,000. The House will realise that this will be an aggregate of 45,000 to meet the general shortage, 30,000 for slum clearance, about 25,000 for the elderly and 25,000 to cope with rising demand for various reasons. At present, Welsh local authorities, from their stock of 190,000 dwellings, dispose of 30,000 relets in a five-year period, about 6,000 a year. So we can subtract 30,000 from the 125,000 needed and we are left with 95,000 new dwellings which are needed to transform the housing position. The provision of new dwellings is now running at a near record rate. But for the bad winter we would have faced in 1963 a soaring record over any post-war year, and we cannot estimate when we shall recover the time lost.

New houses are being provided at the rate of 15,000 a year, half by local authorities and half by private enterprise. If we estimate that the rate will go on as now over a five-year period there will be built, on present rates 75,000 new dwellings. We are, therefore, left with the problem of finding 20,000 dwellings to meet the target of 95,000 needed to transform the Welsh housing situation. In other words, if we can raise the present annual rate of 15,000 to an annual rate of 19,000, and maintain it for five years, Welsh housing will be transformed.

I am assuming that, as now, this will be provided by about half local authority and half private enterprise building. I hope that it will be possible to raise the rate of building in Wales. It cannot be done this year, or next year, but I hope that it may be possible to raise it from 15,000 to 19,000 effectively from the beginning of 1966. Then, by 1971, the Welsh housing situation can be transformed. There can be much better provision for the elderly; basically no shortages and no slums—except a gradual year-by-year arrival at the end of their lives of a limited number of dwellings—and provision for an increase of population, of new households and of housing to cope with incoming workers.

I am instructing the Welsh Office to collaborate with local authorities so that the rate of house building may reach 19,000 per annum by 1966 and be sustained from then on for the following five years. When this has been done there will remain the continuing task of building to cope with the rising population and to replace houses which fall out of use, and the continuous job of building to meet rising demand. The shortage will dwindle every year and by the end of the decade it should have vanished.

Photo of Mr Douglas Jay Mr Douglas Jay , Battersea North

Is the Minister quite sure that he is statistically right to take 30,000 local authority re-lets from the total needed? If he is counting the increase of population as part of the demand, is he right to count in the relets as part of his supply? Surely they are necessary to keep the population as it is?

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

I think that I am right. I allowed, in my calculations, 25,000 to cope with the rising population. I made that part of my speech when speaking in Wales and that calculation was published. It has not been challenged since, but I shall look at it again in view of what the right hon. Member has said.

There are four obstacles in the way of this achievement. It cannot be done merely by Government say-so, and local authority willingness. There is, first and most important, the question of land, the perennial trouble of any Minister of Housing in an overcrowded country. We have at the moment a review of land needs going on in South Wales so that we can produce a survey and a plan for the use of land there over the next twenty years. In the light of what I have said, I shall want to consult all local authorities on the land problem and I hope that they will agree that this target may be set. I know that a number of local authorities feel landlocked at the moment and I agree that the Government have a responsibility for seeing that their land needs are taken fully into account.

The second condition of success is that financial conditions shall be right. At the moment, we are reviewing the subsidy. The present subsidy position, since the 1961 Act, is considerably better for most Welsh authorities than before that Act, but it may be that their needs will have to be further considered in the review of subsidies. There are two sides to the financial problem. There is the Government obligation to make sure that enough money is provided, but there is also the local authority responsibility to make sure that the rent-paying capacity of their local population is fully taken into account.

I believe that a number of local authorities in Wales have not always understood that position fairly and squarely. That is why a year ago, in the Welsh Grand Committee, I threw out the idea that it might be useful for Welsh local authorities to meet the Welsh Office in a form of seminar at which they could learn from each other how particular elements in the problem ought to be tackled.

I am glad that, thanks to the energy of the staff of the Welsh Office and the willing co-operation of the local authorities, there have, since that time, been nine seminars, which have been attended by 71 local authorities. I am told that by the end of this year all local authorities will have had a chance to attend a seminar. I am also told that much mutual benefit has accrued to the Welsh Office and the local authorities from this constructive and detailed study of the financial and other implications of the housing programme.

Local authorities which want to discharge their responsibilities, and which expect the Government to disharge theirs, must face the rent implications of a housing policy. I note, for example, that more and more local authorities in Wales are accepting the need to pool most of their housing costs. I am glad to learn that Swansea, which has been under considerable pressure from my hon. Friend the Member for Swansea, West (Mr. Hugh Rees) to adopt a pooling system for its housing costs and also a rebate system to relieve tenants who cannot afford to pay a proper rent, is reviewing its housing finance policy.

At the moment—the local authority may have changed its mind—I believe the position in Swansea to be that if two blocks of fiats are built at the same time, and are opened on the identical day, if one has had to have piling under it then the rent in that one may be more than the rent in the other. That seems to be, if I may say with respect, not a very sensible position. It means, of course, that, according to the chance of where a tenant is allocated a dwelling, so he pays less or more rent. Local authorities which have made a success of their housing policies, generally pool their costs so that it may be made easier for all tenants to afford the rents. I gather, however, that Swansea is reviewing its policy in this connection. However, in many of my remarks I shall have things to say in praise of Swansea.

The first two obstacles in the way of accelerated house building are land and finance. I now come to the third and most difficult aspect, that of craftsmen.

Photo of Mr James Griffiths Mr James Griffiths , Llanelli

As one who knows Swansea well, and has been concerned with the city for many years, may I inform the right hon. Gentleman that if there is to be some criticism of that place there must equally be some praise for the very tough job Swansea hashed to tackle in its rebuilding following the devastation it suffered during the last war?

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

Much credit is due to Swansea for what has been done. I accept that all local authorities have had a hard job to do. Some have done it better than others. It is my job to try to lead those which do not do some elements of the job as well as others. I am merely talking in terms of Swansea achieving fully the potential which the instrument put in its hands by the Government: and Parliament enables it to do.

As I was saying, the third obstacle to accelerated house building is the fact that a greatly increased number of craftsmen will be needed if traditional building is to be the only method. I believe that Wales will have to drop its prejudices and look kindly upon system building if it is to get the extra housing programme it needs. I am not trying to force down Welsh throats the multi-storey flat system we hear so much about today. It may be that some multi-storey flats will be highly suitable in certain parts, but I recognise that in Wales there is a general preference, wherever possible, for housing as opposed to multi-storey flats.

I hope that over the next months and years Welsh local authorities will find that there are systems of industrialised housing which will prove commendable and acceptable to them. If so, there is no doubt that the accelerated programme of 19,000 houses a year—roughly half private and half public—can be achieved. If system building is not accepted in any way. I do not believe that the traditional building industry in Wales can necessarily cope with what it has to do, plus an additional 4,000 houses a year. I hope therefore that, in one way or another, the Welsh local authorities will manage this task.

I turn, finally, to the most important element towards success—the management drive of the local authorities concerned. This is the most important factor of all. We are now in the midst of a general surge forward of house building enthusiasm and I hope that, as a result of this speech, local authorities will set their sights higher to achieve this larger number and clear up the backlog of the Welsh inheritance of housing built during the bad days of not enough housing in the period I have mentioned.

There will be other jobs to be done. Simultaneously, the Welsh local authorities will need to increase the pace of improvements, with improvement grants. So far, 40,000 houses have been improved with grants; that is, at a current rate of 17 a day. The new legislation which I hope to bring before Parliament to widen the powers of local authorities and to increase the pressures on landlords to carry out improvements will strengthen the hands of Welsh local authorities, as of all local authorities in England and Wales. The improvement grant record in Wales as a whole is creditable compared with England and I particularly wish to pay tribute to the acceptance try Cardiff, Abergavenny and Wrexham of their area approach to this problem as opposed to an isolated approach, which is a main point in the White Paper which was published a couple of months ago.

We have not only to increase the quantity of houses being built, but must also try to improve the design, standard and layout. There are welcome signs that local authorities in Wales are waking up to the need for improved architecture, design and standards in layout. The Parker Morris Report Homes for Today and Tomorrow set standards for the "adjustable house"—for example, partly centrally heated, which makes more sense than continuing to build the comparatively spartan houses we have had up to now—and there are encouraging signs that a number of local authorities are incorporating other Parker Morris standards and other farsighted plans.

I would like to pay a tribute to a number of local authorities in Wales in this respect. While there have been interesting and admirable developments at many other places, I would particularly like to mention Newtown, Wrexham, Swansea (Pentrechwyth), Caerphilly, Merthyr, Nantyglo and Blaina, and Penybont.

I hope that the housing situation in Wales will improve as a result of the initiative I have mentioned.

It is easy to concentrate, as the Motion does, on the problems, but the picture as a whole is one of a healthy, dynamic expanding economy in which the problems are being vigorously tackled. I hope that the House, in the speeches that will be made and which the Government will heed with careful intent, will pay regard to the sunshine as well as the shadows and will recognise that it is against the context of an expanding, dynamic economy that we can tackle successfully the remaining problems.

4.59 p.m.

Photo of Mr Harold Finch Mr Harold Finch , Bedwellty

The Motion is a reflection of the very deep concern which we on this side of the House feel about the position in Wales, especially unemployment. In view of the increase in unemployment during the past twelve months, the drop in the number of apprenticeships, the depopulation which is taking place in many parts of Wales, the migration, and the long housing waiting lists of so many local authorities, the Motion is fully justified. The Government can regard it as a Motion of censure upon their policy for Wales.

Unemployment in Wales has increased during the past year. The number of vacancies has decreased, which is equally serious. There are now fewer opportunities than there were twelve months or two years ago. This is very serious, because this is the best time of the year. In June and July there is generally more employment in Wales. If the employment figures were ever to be favourable, this would be the time of the year for it. However, there are fewer vacancies and the unemployment figures have risen.

This comes on top of the years of persistent unemployment. Apart from Scotland and some northern English counties, Wales has had the highest unemployment figures throughout the years. Time and time again, in the House and in the Welsh Grand Committee, we have had debates on unemployment and on youth prospects. The Tory Government have now been in power for eleven years. We have raised this question with them year after year. Today, we still face the fact that unemployment has increased and the rate per cent. is as bad as it was years ago.

Further, as my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdare (Mr. Probert) said, this has been going on at a time when employment prospects have increased in the London area and in the south-east of England. That is our criticism of the Government today. The Midlands and the southern areas, with 59 per cent. of the total number of insured employees, received 84 per cent. of the total national increase in employment from 1950 to 1961. The greater part of this increase was due to the migration to these parts from other areas.

I will give the House some figures for regional changes in the number of employees from 1950 to 1961. In London and the South-East there was an increase of 597,000 in the number of employees, which is equivalent to 10·5 per cent. of the population. The eastern and southern regions had an increase of 439,000, or 18 per cent. In the Midlands, there was an increase of 264,000, or 11·8 per cent. In Wales, the figure rose by 31,000, which was equivalent to 3·2 per cent. of the population. Scotland and Scotland alone, was in a worse position than Wales.

I will now give some figures of the net gains or losses of employees by migration. London and the South-East had an increase of 32,000. Eastern and Southern counties had an increase of 3,000. Wales had a loss of 4,000. These are telling figures of what has been happening to Wales its economy and its employment position in the last three years.

What can Wales look forward to? As I have said before, this is the best time of the year. I am afraid that when the winter comes we shall have more unemployment than we had before. I am particularly concerned today not only with the migration which has been taking place out of Wales, but with the migration within Wales itself. As a result of the closure of pits in the mining valleys, there is a greater and greater tendency for population to move to the seaboard. We are faced with the closure of pits, but new industries have not arrived to provide employment lost by closures of pits, so there has been an increase in unemployment.

Some people have gone to the seaboard to live. Others have found work by travelling to Cardiff, Newport and other places on the coast. As a result, for some years depopulation has been continuing in the mining valleys. The best illustration I can give is from my own district, the Bedwellty urban area. This is a typically mining town in the south Wales coalfield. What can be said of Bedwellty can be said to a greater or lesser degree of Tredegar, Abertillery in Monmouthshire, and many other mining villages. In the Bedwellty area, over 90 per cent. of the men employed in industry are employed in coal mines. Pits have been closed during the last twelve months or two years. As a result, men have become unemployed. Some have gone elsewhere. The population has declined.

With so many man employed in mining the House will realise that this is an unbalanced economy. This serious unbalance, coupled with the high rate of unemployment, has generally contributed to the migration. Between the census of 1951 and that of 1961, 3,500 people left theurban area of Bedwellty. This figure represents 12·3 per cent. of the total population. It is reasonable to assume that those who have left are the younger, the more energetic and perhaps the more ambitious, who are not prepared to remain in an area where opportunities for employment, both for themselves and for their children, are so few. Of those that remain, 3,000 are travelling by bus to and from work. Many of them travel as much as 25 miles.

This is the picture in a mining town where depopulation is taking place and where so much depends on the colliery workings. There have been closures and there are likely to be more closures over the next few years, because some of the pits are very old. There is little, if any, industry in the Bedwellty area, other than coalmining. If there were other light industries, these young people would have some chance of obtaining employment, but it is mining alone.

This position in the mining villages can result in a waste of investment. Unemployment, leading to migration, does not simply bring misery to those directly concerned. There is the broader issue that, if the present drift of population continues, large sums of money, which have been spent in the past, and which will need to be spent in the future, will either be wasted or will have to be borne by a very much smaller population. The social services, the grammar schools, the libraries, the chapels and the shops are there.

As a result of depopulation, business will slacken and our children will find it more and more difficult to find employment in these areas. If, because of the lack of Government assistance to attract industry into an area which is so unbalanced, the population is allowed to drift unchecked to other parts of the country, not only will the existing services be wasted but services in the reception areas will have to be increased.

That is what is taking place now. A motion was adopted by the Urban District Councils Association which called upon the Government to take positive action to arrest the present trend of depopulation. The urban district which put forward this motion itself had a decrease in population since 1950 of about 23,000 and this in a town with an initial population of about 40,000. It is obviously cheaper to provide an incentive to make attractive those areas where labour is available than to permit a vast drift of population to take place into areas where employment prospects are better.

That is the position in the mining areas of South Wales. Migration is taking place, pits are closing and men now have to find work outside the district. Others migrate to the coastal towns and find work in industry. Therefore, in the mining towns we are finding depopulation, migration and unemployment. I suggest to the Parliamentary Secretary that in an area where the economy is so unbalanced, where so much depends on coal mining and where there are very few other industries available to provide employment, this is a matter which should have the special attention of the Government.

It is when we come to the matter of youth employment that I take an even more serious view of the situation, because unemployment among young people in Wales has gone up during the last twelve months. As I have already said, there has been a drop in apprenticeships. Speeches are made from both sides of the House and in the country by industrialists—we had it today from the Minister—to the effect that if we are to hold our place in the world we shall have to rely more and more on the skill of our workers. Our future depends on the skill of our people. We all agree with that. But what is happening? This is precisely where the Government have fallen down.

There are fewer apprenticeships. There is no Welsh apprenticeship scheme. It is only when we come to the nationalised industries, such as the National Coal Board, which has an excellent apprenticeship scheme, the nationalised electricity and gas industries and firms like Messrs. Richard Thomas & Baldwins and South Wales Switchgear, and a few other firms that we find apprenticeship schemes. There is no co-ordination in the matter. We are faced today with the position that at a time when we are calling for more and more skill, and when the supply of unskilled labour will become less and less necessary, apprenticeships have fallen. That is a very serious indictment of a lack of Government policy.

Let us look at the position of England. According to statistics which I have for the period from January to December, 1962, we find that 103,141 boys in England entered apprenticeships leading to skilled crafts. Only 4,290 boys entered such employment in Wales. Allowing for the difference in population, that means that the chances of a boy entering a skilled craft in England are twice those of a boy in Wales. We shall get to a position where we shall have a shortage of skilled labour, and there is a great likelihood that we shall have to import young man simply because we are not training them in the Principality.

The shortage of skilled manpower will hold back the rate of economic expansion in Wales, and it is because of this that I ask the Parliamentary Secretary to give closer attention to the question of apprenticeships. This is not the first time that we have raised the matter. We have raised it in the Welsh Grand Committee. Our first Welsh debate was about unemployment in Wales, with particular reference to juveniles. Three years ago we stressed the need for greater attention being given to apprenticeships and to the necessity to employ and train young people. But nothing has been done.

It is true that there has been a report on the subject and that the Government have said that they are likely to consider the matter in the near future or when Parliament resumes after the Summer Recess. We have had such promises before in the Welsh Grand Committee, but nothing is done. In the meantime, our young boys and girls are lacking the necessary means by which they can obtain the skill so necessary to maintain and improve the economy of the Principality.

Before sitting down I wish to refer to the Youth Employment Service. Like my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdare, I wish to compliment our youth officers on the excellent work which they are doing. Take the country as a whole, two-thirds of this service is administered by the local authorities and one-third by the Ministry of Labour. There is a Youth Employment Executive which is responsible to the Minister for the efficient run- ning of the service. Therefore, there is a dual system in operation within the framework of a general policy.

The local education authorities exercise considerable influence in the day-to day work of youth employment with the result that there is an uneven pattern of vocational guidance. I hope that the Parliamentary Secretary will be able to tell us that much more attention is to be paid to the training of youth employment officers so that they can deal more adequately with those young men and women who are seeking employment where it can be obtained in the valleys.

When we look at the position from the point of view of the employment situation and the youth situation in Wales we find that we are lagging behind at a time when we need all the skill that is necessary if Wales is to take an important part in the economy of the country. We need to organise our employment potential within our limits on a scale similar to that of other countries. We all agree that we cannot hope to retain or maintain our standards of living in the future unless we utilise our resources to the very full, because if we do not we shall be overtaken by other countries.

Wales wants to use her resources to the full and is anxious to help the economy of the country, but our young boys are not being given the chance to use their labour. It is because of that fact that on this matter the Government deserve to be censured, and we hope that our Motion will be carried today. I hope that as a result of this debate the Government will really take steps to remedy the situation.

In conclusion, I wish to say that as far as the mining areas are concerned it is about time that the Government adopted a more forthright policy so that in these areas, in the scheduled and development districts where the need is so great, the assistance provided under the Local Employment Act may be used as an inducement, and that efforts will be made to relieve the high unemployment in those areas by building advance factories. I hope, too, that owing to the urgency of the problem in Wales steps will be taken, even if it means some tax allowance, to attract employers to those parts.

The idea is very prevalent that the mining valleys of Wales are miserable places. It is true that we have a lot of slag heaps in the valleys which need to be removed, but the valleys themselves are beautiful. The Parliamentary Secretary need only consult the firm of A. J. Nicholls and its staff, who have come from Birmingham and Manchester, to find out what they think of the valleys. Let him ask the staff of that firm, which is doing so much for the export trade. Its employees do not want to go back to Birmingham and Manchester. They love the valleys. What obtains in the Tredegar Valley obtains in the other valleys. If the river boards are given assistance, there can be ideal fishing in the valley rivers, These people do not want to go back to the cities and towns. At present, they are being driven from the valleys of South Wales by lack of opportunity and lack of employment.

The Government should have a bolder policy to deal with this problem and to give assistance to employers to come to the mining valleys which are now "feeling the draught". If something is not done soon there will have to be a campaign to save the mining valleys of South Wales. It is always said in debates in the House on mining that as long as there is alternative employment we can face the situation in South Wales, but if we are to have more mine closures with no alternative work the people in the mining valleys will have to fight for their position in every possible way.

We have been able to face the situation up to now, but we are reaching saturation point. If there are further closures, with no likelihood of alternative work, there is a great fear that there will be more unemployment than there has been in the past.

5.21 p.m.

Photo of Mr David Gibson-Watt Mr David Gibson-Watt , Hereford

I hope to be allowed to take part in the debate if only because I have lived in Wales all my life and I take pride in the fact that I am still a member of a Welsh county council.

So far, with one or two small exceptions, there has been remarkably little heat in the debate. I am glad of that, because the conditions which have applied in the Principality in the past might well have been responsible for a considerable amount of heat. Since the war things have much improved. The general position in Wales has shown a gradual, but definite improvement in almost every line. My right hon. Friend the Minister for Welsh Affairs was very fair to say that the Government are not alone responsible for that progress. There has been a genuine desire by all parties to see an improvement in the overall position.

In the Motion before the House, which can hardly be called a Motion of censure in spite of what the hon. Member for Bedwellty (Mr. Finch) has said, the Opposition take the Government to task on a number of points. I should like to deal with the last—the depopulation of the Welsh countryside. This is a continuing process, and it is a human problem which gives rise to great concern. I would point out, however, that whereas it occurs in Wales and has occurred there during the forty-five years I have lived in the Principality it also occurs in other parts of the country. I am certain that my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour would say that the problem in the rural areas of Cumberland takes very much the same pattern as it does in Wales, and we know that the same applies in Scotland.

What gives rise to this problem? I think that the basic reason why people leave the country areas is the mechanisation of agriculture to the point where two men and a boy today do the work done by six men twenty years ago. This has come about because of the progress of our own agricultural industry and the fact that farm workers have been able to understand the use of agricultural machinery and have displayed increasing efficiency in the process. In 1948, 43,000 people were employed on farms in Wales. Today only 18,000 people are employed. This tells a tale.

Where have these people gone? Have they left the countryside and gone into the towns, or have they migrated across the border to England? It is difficult to say. I can only say that many of them have gone just over the border and have found a good living in the border counties. Many men who are doing well in Shropshire and Herefordshire today bear names like Davies, Jones, and Jenkins.

Photo of Mr David Gibson-Watt Mr David Gibson-Watt , Hereford

Yes, and Thomas, too.

The real reason why they have done so well is that most of them migrated in the 1930s when they had been used to living hard in the hill country and were therefore all the more able to cope with the stock areas of the English counties. Some have gone to the towns and some have gone farther a field.

How shall we arrest this process? I know that Members opposite have been talking in terms of bringing a new town to Mid-Wales. Is that the right answer? They have not said where they will establish it, whether in Newtown, Moat Lane, or perhaps Llandrindod Wells, where the waters are so good. If we are to bring a new town to Mid-Wales new industries must also be brought there. Who is to bring them? Is this the right answer to the problem of halting the rural depopulation of Wales and for that matter, England, too? It may be one answer, but I submit, with respect, that there is another.

We must strengthen our villages. The picture of the population is of people coming down from the hills, no longer living at the top where the roads are not so good, but in the valleys because they have motor cars and tractors capable of dealing with the hill districts from the bottom of the valley. Should not the aim be to strengthen the village and village life? In terms of services, of electricity, water supplies, and primary schools, Wales leads England by a very long head indeed.

I could show the Minister areas of England which have made a far slower rate of progress in these three basic necessities of village life than has been made in Wales Wales in these three respects continues to go further ahead than the rest of Great Britain. Whether or not it is this Government or all the Governments since the war who should take the credit, the fact remains that Wales leads the way.

If we are to strengthen the village, how can we keep the people? I look upon tourism as possibly the most important avenue of employment in Wales. The Principality starts with a great advantage. It has a natural beauty of hill, sea coast, river, wood and farm- land, except in the areas to which the hon. Member for Bedwellty rightly referred where there has been spoliation of the natural beauty and contours of the valleys by coal tips. Spoliation has been limited to the valleys of the South and to a smaller extent to the slate quarrying areas of the North.

We have this natural beauty, but that is not enough. We require three things. First, we want capital to be invested in good hotels. That does not mean Government capital; it means private capital, from Welshmen as well as from Englishmen and Scotsmen. We want a good deal more capital invested in good accommodation.

I make my next point in all humility. If Wales is to cater for a growing tourist trade—and I say this not as a very good cook myself—we must ensure that our standards of catering are high. People will not come to areas where they are not looked after and where they cannot eat reasonably well.

Thirdly, how are we to get tourists to visit Wales? I must now touch on the controversial subject of railways and say that few tourists come to Wales by train. I think that most tourists bring their families and luggage by car, and that is why I have always favoured the policy of east-west roads rather than north-south roads.

It may be said, "It is all very well for the hon. Member for Hereford to speak. He has gone across the border, and perhaps he is looking at this matter from a different point of view than when he was living in Radnorshire." But what sense is there in making roads and continually harping on the theme of north-south roads when the real necessity to encourage and improve tourism is to have east-west roads of bigger and better proportions? The structure of roads which I would like to see would link Aberystwyth with the Midlands and the North-West with Merseyside.

I join with the hon. Member for Bedwellty in hoping that the rivers in parts of Wales which have been polluted will have money spent on them to put them into good fishing condition. Do not let us forget that fishing is the second largest sport in the whole of this country, and that there is nothing more relaxing and health giving. If we are to have, as the hon. Member for Bedwellty suggested, an increase of piscatorial activity as an added attraction for tourists we may well bring into the rural parts of Wales a degree of employment which will help the general Welsh economy.

I was glad to hear my right hon. Friend speak so forcefully about the future plans for housing. Here we have, succinctly put, a five-year plan for dealing with Welsh housing. Without going through the story again, I should like to say to my right hon. Friend that this picture, realistic as I hope it will be, will make a tremendous difference in all parts of Wales, both rural and urban, and I wish my right hon. Friend good luck. I hope that his remarks on the provision of houses for the elderly will have particular effect. There are today many examples of originally-planned homes for old people, and I hope that we shall pay particular attention to the provision of such homes in order to improve the situation in these days of an increasing population of old people.

I have referred to the country parts of Wales because I probably know them better than the industrial areas. I repeat that what is being done in Wales today and has been done in the past compares very well with some of the counties across the border which sometimes look with a certain amount of envy to the amount of work which has been done in the Welsh country districts.

5.35 p.m.

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff West

The hon. Member for Hereford (Mr. Gibson-Watt) is a man of considerable courage. We have known that for a long time, but for him to gain precedence over the Welsh Members on the other side of the House, I would have thought, places him in some jeopardy. When the hon. Member, who is a worthy son of the Principality, referred to primary schools in Wales it was a pity that he did not look at the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Education, who shrank lower and lower into his seat till I thought that he would disappear.

Photo of Mr David Gibson-Watt Mr David Gibson-Watt , Hereford

My reason for making that remark was that I have had the benefit of opening two primary schools in my own county, Radnorshire. In fact, there has not been a single primary school opened in the whole of Herefordshire since the war. That includes both the Labour and Conservative Governments,

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff West

Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings! The hon. Gentleman condemns his Front Bench more effectively than I could. Perhaps he did not have the advantage of going to one of the primary schools, but he has had the second best advantage. He has opened two for other pupils.

I propose to confine my remarks briefly to education and to turn to the subject of housing. It is a pity that none of us are able in this debate to cover the terms of the Motion, as has already been made clear. I should like to congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdare (Mr. Probert) on the able and outspoken way in which he advanced our case against the Government. He had marshalled his facts; he had done his homework, and we are very grateful to him.

It would be churlish not to appreciate the success in Welsh affairs to which the Minister referred. He is a strange Welshman who does not welcome success in any field. But, of course, there are still aspects of the Government's policy in Wales to which we must refer. First, I believe that the Minister was unjustifiably complacent in what he had to say about education. The truth is that 130,000 of our children are being taught in oversized classes in the Principality; 28 per cent. of the children in Wales are in classes that are too large for a teacher to do his proper job. This is made worse by the fact that a great proportion of these oversized classes are in outmoded insanitary buildings.

I should like to take the hon. Member for Hereford on a tour of Wales, outside the parts where he opened new schools. In view of the state of our schools in Wales today, it is incomprehensible that the Minister of Education has told eight Welsh counties that they may not be allowed to build a single school in 1964–65. This is not exactly a success story for the counties of Anglesey, Breconshire, Flintshire, Merionethshire, Montgomeryshire, Pembrokeshire and Radnorshire, to say that not one new school can be afforded in 1964–65. It is a pity that the hon. Gentleman could not bring his influence to bear on his Front Bench to see that a better deal is given to the children of rural Wales than they are at present getting. I understand that the slogan of the party opposite is "Forward into the 'Seventies". For rural Wales, it will be forward into the 1970s with the schools of the 1870s, for they are still there.

A word now about higher education. Last year, one out of every four Welsh boys and girls who applied for a place in the university were turned away because there was no room. The Minister talked complacently today about the wonderful expansion which is under way. If there were no expansion under way, he and his colleagues ought to be in gaol. For eighteen years, they have known that the bulge in the school population would be reaching the universities this year. The truth is that the expansion has been undertaken too late for one generation. There are young people today who will never have a second chance, and because of the lack of vision on that side of the House they will suffer for the rest of their days.

This year it will be worse. There is a bigger increase in the number of young people seeking places in the universities, bigger than the increase in the number of places available, as the Parliamentary Secretary knows and will, no doubt, tell his hon. Friend who is to wind up. Even with the Government's present proposals for the expansion of the universities, the principal of one of our largest university colleges can write to us and say: A college can only realise its student target for 1967 by accepting a considerable measure of under-staffing and overcrowding or else running seriously into debt. That is no success story. I believe that we ought to have an apology rather than a boast today.

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

I am very interested in the hon. Gentleman's reference to that letter. For my information, please, what was its date?

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff West

I had this information last week. It comes from the Principal of the University College of Cardiff.

Education could occupy us all day, but I wish to turn to housing. Our difficulty is that the Government give us only one day a year on the Floor of the House, and the rest of our business has to be done in Committee. The Welsh Grand Committee, important though it be—I should be the last to underestimate its importance—cannot take the place of the Floor of the House. One day a year for Wales is pitiful.

A week ago, I wrote a letter to the Sunday Times in which I dealt, in the main, with the leasehold problem. Two-thirds of the letter, which, no doubt, the Minister has read, dealt with the way in which the people of South Wales are being blackmailed and held to ransom by ground landlords. My hon. Friends can bear testimony to this, too. In the opening paragraph of that letter, I referred also to the fact that in South Wales the Rachman type of landlord is not unknown and that it has become almost a commonplace for people who have lived in their homes for fifty years to be evicted. The hon. Member for Cardiff, North (Mr. Box) took great exception to this. He had not heard of it. He denied it. He said that there was no extortion and no intimidation in Cardiff and that our record of evictions was better than that in the rest of the country. I hope that I am not doing him an injustice. The hon. Gentleman never hesitates to come to the rescue of ground landlords. He came to the rescue of Western Ground Rents.

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff West

Yes.

The hon. Gentleman ought to be aware that the 1957 Rent Act has been a tragic blunder in the City of Cardiff and, I believe, all over the land. Despite the high rents which directly resulted from the passing of that Act—even the Minister will agree with that—landlords of tenanted property still have to be driven by statutory notice to undertake repairs to their houses. The creeping decontrol which results when a change of tenancy occurs has opened wide the door to exploitation and malpractices by unscrupulous persons. I am able to give examples of intimidation, of tax evasion, I believe, and certainly of extortion.

I saw in the Western Mail of Friday last a report of a reply given by the Minister last week to the hon. Member for Cardiff, North. I could not find this among the Written Answers in Hansard, so I quote from the Western Mail of Friday, 26th July: Sir Keith said he had received no complaints from Cardiff of exploitation by landlords by overcrowding properties and charging excessive rents or of intimidation to force people out of their homes. If any evidence was available, he would be grateful to receive it. I know the right hon. Gentleman well enough to know that he is aware of the scale on which the multi-occupation of property in. Cardiff is growing and is being exploited by undesirable people. When he visited my constituency, in November last, we stopped the car in Riverside and I drew the Minister's attention to a house where a person who has come from the Commonwealth had a family in every room and was charging extortionate rents. Since then, I have made more detailed inquiries. There is a gentleman called Mr. Shak, who is a property owner in Cardiff. He was a bus conductor not long ago. Good luck to him—he can get on—but I wonder who is financing him. He now owns a considerable number of houses, and he has multi-occupied property at his disposal.

Last Saturday, when I was having my interviews, folk came to me with further evidence which I propose now to give to the House. I have here a list of nearly 100 multi-occupied houses in the city of Cardiff, and multi-occupied in a way to which we have not been accustomed in a city which knows overcrowding. Once a tenant has been wheedled out, either bribed with a sum of money to get out and leave the house vacant, or got out on some other pretext, the landlord is able to put a family into every room and charge as much as £3 for one basement room up to £5 for a room at the top. I have an instance of 18 people living in a house with one toilet, and these people are paying as much rent for one room as I am paying to buy the bungalow in which I live. This is shocking, but there is more to be told yet about what is happening in Cardiff.

On 28th November, 1962, the Western Mail reported a case of 16 people living in a six-room house. My hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan), has consistently agitated about this and other similar houses. I am giving this example which happens to be in his constituency in Portmanmoor Road, Sploot, Cardiff. The hon. Member for Cardiff, North must have been aware of the list of cases published by the Western Mail last November. The landlord of that house is Mr. Singh. Within the past fortnight, he has asked the tenants of the house—again, there is a family in every room—to say, when inquiries are made, that, in one case, they are paying £4 a week instead of £5 and, in the other case, that they are paying £3 a week instead of £4, and in each case that they have three children and not five. We have our own ideas about why he wanted these figures and facts to be altered, but to me it presents a prima facie case of someone up to something which he ought not to be up to, and I believe that it justifies the charge which I have made.

I could give to the House many other cases, in Neville Street, Ordell Street and Fitzhammon Embankment, where people are being exploited because of the housing shortage. The Minister, when he spoke this afternoon, referred to my statement in the Western Mail yesterday. The Minister drew my attention to the 1961 Act and the powers that it gives to local authorities to say how many families should be in a house. It so happens that it was my responsibility to listen to every word that was said in Committee on that Bill, because I presided over its proceedings in the Committee upstairs.

Is it not a fact that the Cardiff City Council approached the Minister through the A.M.C. and asked him to give it the power to compel people who intend to have multi-occupied property to register the fact before they started on it, and that the Minister declined to give his permission? The fact that the Minister said that a local authority can say how many families ought to be in a house means nothing at all. Unless its officials go all round the city, how are they to know where this multi-occupation will take place? It is happening in some of the better houses in our city. It is not confined to one single part; it is not confined to dockland. We have it in the South Ward, in Splott, in Grangetown, in Canton and in Riverside. People are horrified to know how their neighbours are being exploited.

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

It is quite true that during the passage of the 1961 Act a number of local authorities and hon. Members; on both sides of the House suggested that there should be registration. The Government said, "No", and then reconsidered it and said, "Yes, but have experience first". They then wrote into the Bill power to have registration from 1964. Now I am having urgent consultations with local authorities to see whether that power should be introduced earlier.

I want to make these other points. Local authorities find out about multi-occupation without registration by complaints, including complaints from hon. Members. Cardiff has already inspected about 120 premises and served about 80 notices under the 1961 Act, including a number of maximum tenancy notices. So they have power to do this.

The hon. Gentleman himself asked me a Question about this in February this year—whether there was evidence of exploitation—to which I replied that I had no evidence, but that if he had any evidence I would very much like to have it. He has not sent me such evidence.

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff West

The Minister is quite right, but in the cases that I gave him the people were out by the time that the Answer was reached in the House, and there was no point in sending the cases to the Minister because those people had to be rehoused by the Cardiff authority.

What is happening when local authorities are faced with the question under the 1961 Act of making an order saying, "The house is overcrowded"? Very often the unfortunate victims of these overcrowded conditions are people who have come to the city in recent years—not all of them, but many of them. It means that the local authority will have to rehouse them, out of turn, before people who have been on the waiting list for years in the city. This heartbreaking problem is causing anxiety to responsible city councillors of all parties which are represented on the council.

It is all very well to give the council powers to act. I do not know whether the Minister is bringing that date forward from 1964.

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff West

I earnestly hope that the right hon. Gentleman will give this weapon to local authorities, because it would stop the creeping multi-occupation of more houses and prevent more people from being exploited. I quote a public health spokesman in Cardiff. It is the third quotation from the same article. On 28th November last, he said: 'We have a list of 102 such properties already, although we feel sure there will be a lot more,' a spokesman for the city public health department, told me yesterday. Because of the possibility of evictions by the landlords we have to work through this list carefully. … So far no statutory notices have been served on landlords, only preliminary notices telling them what their responsibilities are under the new regulations. These properties are not concentrated in any particular district in Cardiff. This weekend the city council drew my attention to another case of an old couple who were decontrolled tenants and who were told by their landlord that if they asked to have any repairs done at all then he would see that the rent was increased. I do not hold the Minister responsible for a person like that, but I call it intimidation when people of poor means are told that unless they do not ask then-council to take up the question of repairs they will be faced with an increase in rent.

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

Does the hon. Member know why these elderly people of poor means were k decontrolled property? Had they moved voluntarily out of controlled property?

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff West

I do not know, but many people of poor means are in decontrolled property. One does not need to be well off to be in decontrolled property these days. If the right hon. Gentleman visits Cardiff again, I will take him to see these people in multi-occupied property.

I hope that the House feels that I have given enough evidence to show that things are not as they should be. I realise that the majority of landlords are good, honourable, decent people. We are dealing with a minority, as we had to deal with a minority in London the other day. Until the Rent Act, 1957, is repealed it will be possible for this sort of exploitation to continue.

Linked with the housing problem is the right of people to own their own homes. That right does not belong to a great many people in South Wales who want to own their own homes. I know that the Minister has told us that he thinks that the prices being asked for freeholds and leaseholds in South Wales are reasonable. He is entitled to his judgment. We do not share his opinion, and I say to him that the Landlord and Tenant Act needs radical alteration or social injustice to good and decent owner-occupiers will continue.

Welsh people, like the English, Scots and Irish, are great lovers of their homes. We are a clannish people, but we have a special regard for the homes in which we live. We have a higher proportion of owner-occupiers than any other part of the land and we have a right to say that this House should protect the thrifty people who are struggling to own their own homes and, equally, to protect those who are tenants in the property of other people.

6.2 p.m.

Photo of Mr Donald Box Mr Donald Box , Cardiff North

Unlike the hon. Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. G. Thomas), I intend to confine most of my remarks to education and to refer very briefly to housing as the hon. Member has raised that subject and as it has been adequately dealt with by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government.

I was glad to hear the hon. Member for Cardiff, West say that the bad cases to which he referred concerned a very small minority of landlords in Cardiff. I took exception to his remarks because he tried to give the impression that we have a spate of Rachman-like landlords in Cardiff. In Monday's debate we heard something of the methods of Rachmanism. They include strong-arm methods, terrorism, putting in prostitutes to squeeze out statutory tenants, undesirable clubs in the basement and noisy coloured families, all done with the intention of squeezing out legitimate tenants.

As far as I am aware, the hon. Member did not produce one fragment of proof that that sort of thing was going on in Cardiff. He referred to multi-occupation, which undoubtedly exists in Cardiff, as it exists in every big city in the United Kingdom, but I suggest that the handful of cases which he mentioned—I was delighted to hear that none of the landlords concerned had a Welsh name—form a very small minority in a city which has a population of about 250,000 people.

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff West

I think that the hon. Member is being less than just, to say the least. If he had wished, I could have given 100 cases in which a rent of £4 and £5 a room was charged. Does not the hon. Member think that that is an undesirable type of landlordism?

Photo of Mr Donald Box Mr Donald Box , Cardiff North

Undoubtedly the hon. Member has bad cases, and if he can prove that there is any Rachmanism in Cardiff I will gladly support him in his efforts to stamp it out. But I wonder why he has not seen fit to put the proof which he claims to have before the Socialist-controlled Cardiff City Council, or to pass it to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government for his attention.

The hon. Member gave no substantial evidence of the wholesale evictions to which he referred of people who had lived in their houses for fifty years or more. If there are these people, why is he publicising them only now and why was his letter published on the eve of the, Rachman debate? Is the hon. Member aware, for example, that the Cardiff City Housing Committee keeps a record of all evictions and is obliged by its resolution to examine every case on its merits. I understand that it rehouses in virtually every case of a genuine person being evicted in Cardiff. But it certainly does not rehouse people who systematically refuse to pay their rent or who are notorious in other ways.

The hon. Member referred to the eternal problem of leasehold reform to which we have referred in many past Welsh debates. I wonder whether this was merely a smoke screen to divert attention from the utter confusion in which the Labour Party in Cardiff finds itself on the question of leaseholds. Recently the hon. Member attacked his own Socialist-controlled council because it is charging a premium when it wants to lease a piece of land. As the hon. Member knows, we are surrounded in Cardiff by Labour-controlled councils which systematically refuse to do what he wants to do so badly, namely, to allow every owner-occupier to buy his own freehold. There is a certain amount of confusion on this subject in the hon. Member's mind concerning the situation in Cardiff.

To come to the main theme of my speech, the terms of both the Motion and the Amendment offer scope for a wide-ranging debate on Welsh affairs. I am sure that in this respect you, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, will not be disappointed today. The Motion and the Amendment refer to two important subjects which some hon. Members have mentioned already. One is further education and the other youth employment.

I make no apology for prefacing my remarks on these two important subjects with a few words about the general education position in Wales, for the primary, secondary and grammar schools of Wales play an important part in the training, developing and shaping of the undoubted wealth of talent which we have as represented by the youth of Wales. Fortunately, there has been considerable progress in the measure of school building since the war. In my opinion, it has shown rather more progress in the last twelve years than it did before that. The net result is that today one schoolchild in every three is occupying a school place built and provided since the war.

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting some of the schools in and around Cardiff. In each case I was struck by the freshness, liveliness, enthusiasm and sense of well being shown by the vast majority of schoolchildren in Wales. I noticed this particularly at a secondary modern school which I visited. I mention that one particularly because the secondary modern child is the child who has faced the first obstacle in a child's life, the 11-plus, to which some people refer as a crisis.

I have no special affection for the 11-plus examination, but it is a great problem and very topical in Wales. I certainly do not want to see it abolished until we have a suitable alternative for it. I certainly do not want the abolition of the 11-plus to be used as an excuse to abolish our excellent grammar schools in Wales. In this respect, I should cross swords with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Education, who, in a recent "quote", appeared to give his blessing to the abolition of the 11-plus without stating what was to take its place.

I recognise that comprehensive schools are a cornerstone of Labour policy, but I dare to suggest that some hon. Members opposite would agree that whilst certain areas are particularly suitable for comprehensive schools, equally there are other areas where these schools would be quite inadequate.

In that respect, I deplore the rather indecent haste with which some authorities, when they change their political complexion—my own party has done it recently—suddenly decide to announce that they are abolishing the 11-plus without giving a reasonable replacement. Most people connected with education would say that if there has to be a change—and it may be that a good case can be made for a change—it must be a gradual, stage-by-stage process, otherwise there is great danger of chaos ensuing if it is done hurriedly.

The most popular of the suggested alternatives to the 11-plus seems to be a process of selection undertaken by the teacher in conjunction with the carrying out of a number of tests. I am assured, incidentally, that the results of this type of selection would be 99 per cent. the same as the results for the 11-plus. I envisage a big snag arising, however, when a parent believes that his or her child is suitable for a grammar school place but the teacher does not. If this method is used, a fairly cumbersome form of arbitration machinery might have to be set up to give a decision when a dispute occurs.

Another idea which is canvassed is that there should be separate schools for separate areas. I find the strongest opposition to this, however, because if it were carried out it would seem to me to be a direct invitation to perpetuate the sort of class distinction and snobbery that, I hope, we are getting rid of in the improvement of our schools.

The improvement in schoolchildren and their well-being which I have described is also a logical reflection of the improved premises, school buildings and playing-fields, better methods of teaching and, in some cases, a better standard of teaching. Unfortunately, this position cannot be described as applying overall in a place the size of Wales. I refer, of course, to the variation in the quality of teachers.

A clue to that variation might have been given in a revealing series of articles which recently appeared in the national Welsh daily, the Western Mail, on the methods of teacher selection, which are adopted in some parts of Wales. There have been allegations of canvassing, favouritism, nepotism, jobs for the boys and jobs for the girls, which must be highly disturbing not only for the schoolchildren, but also for their parents and, I suggest, for the teaching profession.

If, as seems generally admitted, some of these abuses occur—and they are to some extent confirmed by the fact that hon. Members opposite have not taken strong objection to the series of articles which appeared in the Press—surely the time has come when the National Union of Teachers, the National Association of Schoolmasters and the Ministry of Education should get together and try to devise a new way of providing a more impartial selection committee when the selection of teachers takes place.

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff West

The hon. Member has advertised in the national Press seeking people to give him information on this question of corruption. Perhaps he would tell the House how much evidence he has acquired.

Photo of Mr Donald Box Mr Donald Box , Cardiff North

I am not sure that the hon. Member is quite correct. I certainly have asked the editor of the newspapers concerned to provide me with any information that is obtainable, so that if there is substance in it, it will be passed to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Education. This is something new. I am still awaiting the information. As soon as I get it, I will pass it to my right hon. Friend. [Laughter.] Hon. Members opposite may well laugh. This series of articles appeared only in the last few weeks. I assure hon. Members that a dossier on the matter is being prepared.

We recognise that in a selection committee for teachers, there must be good representation of the local authority and the director of education concerned must be represented. At the same time, it should be remembered that a good deal of Government money is spent on paying the teachers' salaries and, therefore, it is reasonable that the Minister should be represented. I should also like one or two outside people of complete impartiality to be included in the committee.

Hon. Members opposite must be aware of the story currently circulating in Wales about a man who went before a selection committee for a job as head- master in a certain part of Wales. Amongst the many questions which he was asked were these three: was he a member of a union, did he shop at the Co-op. and was he a supporter of the Labour Party?

Photo of Mr James Jones Mr James Jones , Wrexham

That is not true.

Photo of Mr Donald Box Mr Donald Box , Cardiff North

It appears that his reply to each of those questions was in the negative. When the interview terminated and he had left the room, the chairman is reported to have turned to his colleagues on the committee and to have said, "He has a cheek. Fancy applying for a job like this and no qualifications."

Photo of Mr James Griffiths Mr James Griffiths , Llanelli

Will the hon. Member charge his memory before he begins hunting another hare in South Wales? Not long ago he was full of complaints, grievances and all kind of charges about Cynheidre and what was happening there. He was then invited to visit the place. He went down the pit for three hours. When he came back, all the charges were dropped. I hope that he is not pursuing the same course this time.

Photo of Mr Donald Box Mr Donald Box , Cardiff North

Certainly not. I am always willing to admit when I am wrong. There are: certain of the complaints which I made about Cynheidre which I will stand by today, but I certainly learned a great deal on my visit and I was glad to admit in this House where I was wrong.

It is impossible to over-emphasise the importance of selecting for the post of head teacher the right man or woman of ability, personality and drive rather than by relationship or whether they are good canvassers or are affiliated to any political party, no matter which party it is. Rarely, if ever, does one find an indifferent school with a good headmaster or, indeed, an indifferent headmaster with a good school.

In that respect, I pay special tribute to the devotion and care of teachers in Wales in what are known as the special schools for the handicapped or mentally retarded child. I was fortunate recently to visit one of these schools in the Cardiff area and I saw there a remark able example of what this devotion and care can mean.

I saw there a small boy who, until a few years ago, was quite unable to speak. Doctors and specialists to whom the parents took the child advised the parents that there was something mentally wrong with the child and that he should be in a mental hospital. Somehow or other, the parents persisted. They had faith. They saw a spark of intelligence in the child, who eventually was taken to an ear, nose and throat hospital. The doctor or ear specialist diagnosed that this small boy could hear only low notes; he could not hear high notes. In other words, the words which he heard were cut across the middle.

I am happy to say that the story has a pleasant and happy ending, because the child was provided with a hearing aid which restored to him the full range of hearing. With the aid of special school teachers, he was quickly able to catch up and to speak like his fellow pupils, and today he is able not only to speak well, but is a lively and intelligent little boy who is about to graduate from the junior to the senior school.

I have not the slightest doubt that this young man will take his place as a useful member of society as a result of this partnership which existed between the child, the parents, the teachers and the doctor. Teaching children is essentially a matter of partnership, a partnership which I suggest should become very much closer when the child approaches the second obstacle in his life—the decision about what his future is to be, whether he is going for further education if suitable, whether he is going to take an apprenticeship if available, or whether he is going out into the market to try to find a job.

One of the most encouraging signs in Wales is the apparently insatiable demand for further education facilities. Although we are spending annually a capital sum of about £750,000 and most of us would like to see it very much higher, we all recognise that there are many calls on the capital sums which are available. However, in this regard I think we should remember always that further education is very much an investment in the future.

In South Wales we are perhaps more fortunate than other parts of the country, for we not only have two fine universities, both of which have been extended recently, at Swansea and Cardiff, but we also have fairly new technical colleges—that at Llandaff, already bursting at the seams; the one being extended at Newport; and a new one in contemplation for Cardiff to supply the needs of the eastern part of the city. In addition, we have the Welsh College of Advanced Technology which, if it has not already done so, is, I believe, about to acquire university status, and there is also building at the present moment the University of Wales teaching hospital, which I am glad and proud to find in my constituency.

I suppose many people would think that most of these training establishments in Wales are pupilled by Welsh students, but I have found that this is not necessarily so. Recently I met a party of twenty from Cardiff University, and I was surprised to find that only one of them came from Wales—from Ebbw Vale. I do not necessarily mean that that is a bad thing, because I think we ought to have as much interchange as we can get, and so long as Welsh boys and girls are going to English or Scottish universities, I do not see why the reverse should not happen. However, I believe that, other things being equal, Welsh students should be given priority in our universities if that is possible, because we want as many Welsh boys and girls as possible to go to our own universities.

I was glad to see on my visits to several schools in the area recently the greater emphasis on the practical skills and techniques, particularly among the senior classes. This seems to be very important in providing the bridge between leaving school and taking one's first job. I have already read with some interest in the White Paper on Education of the newly-established pre-apprenticeship courses for school leavers and also the integrated courses for first-year apprentices. By last autumn there were 17 of these pre-apprenticeship courses totally totalling 306 students and 20 of the integrated courses with a total of 518 students.

I do not think that one can over emphasise the importance of these pre-appenticeship courses, because they provide the essential bridge, which I have mentioned, between the school and the first job, and they also give the lecturers the opportunity of assessing the students' ability. At the same time, the integrated courses enable first-year apprentices to obtain academic instruction and workshop training under the same roof.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment in this respect is contained in paragraph 329 of the Report on Wales and Monmouthshire, because therein is described the under-employment of part-time day release facilities in Wales. It appears that we have a large number of centres in Wales which are not fully utilised. I do not need to remind hon. Members of the waste of time and money that this involves.

Even more disturbing is the marked downward trend in the number of apprenticeships in the first six months in Wales this year. This has already been referred to by the hon. Member for Bedwellty (Mr. Finch). The total for the first six months at 1,134 is 252 less than last year. The percentage has come down from 18·2 to 15.9. Unfortunately, as we have been reminded, the trend applies to girls as well as to boys.

This has prompted a letter from the chairman of the Industrial Training Council dated only ten days ago—19th July—to all the employers' organisations and the trade unions in Wales, stressing the need for all these organisations to do their utmost to provide jobs for the large numbers of boys and girls who are leaving school this summer. What can be done was shown by my right hon. Friend the Minister, who told us that of the 7,000 boys and girls who left school at the end of the Easter term, only about 200 were without jobs at present.

In this respect, some industrialists are very much better than others. We have the example of Mr. A. J. Nicholas—he is our star turn—of South Wales Switch-gear, who has up to 500 apprentices at a time. British Nylon Spinners is, I believe, a very good firm, and Girlings is good. The steel companies have also bean mentioned, and so have the nationalised industries. I pay tribute to them all.

However, we have in Wales, unfortunately, what I can only describe as a miserable clique who are content to do absolutely nothing, to make no contribution whatsoever to the pool of trained apprentices, and yet they are satisfied to pinch the products of other people's enterprise. They can best be described as the parasitic poachers of Welsh industry at the present time. The sooner they take a more enlightened view of the position, the better for all concerned.

I am glad to say that the trade unions are taking a more enlightened view. I am afraid that they have not always done so in the past. I understand—this is very up-to-date information—that their present approach to the apprentice situation is; both broadminded and fair. I think that it should be, because, after all, this again is a partnership between industry and the trade unions in order to take the best advantage of the situation provided in Wales.

The situation which I have described—I hope that the Parliamentary Secretary will refer to it when he speaks—is a challenge both to the trade unions and to industry in Wales. In many respects the Government have done their part in providing new jobs in Wales, in increasing the diversification in the pattern of industry and also in their present policy of providing better roads, better housing, better schools and universities and quicker telephone communication. Telephone communication is very important in business today.

The provision of jobs and apprenticeships is too urgent to wait for any legislation. The ball is at our feet. We and the industrialists and the trade unionists of Wales have to do something for ourselves. We must do something to make sure that the future trend is upwards, not downwards, and that we have an effort worthy of Wales and worthy of what I consider to be the biggest growth area in the United Kingdom at present.

6.30 p.m.

Photo of Mr James Jones Mr James Jones , Wrexham

In common with other hon. Members, I do not hope to cover the field contained in our Motion. In the course of my observations I shall have something to say about the speech of the hon. Member for Cardiff, North (Mr. Box).

I listened to the Minister with great interest. He began by referring to the great changes which have taken place. He stressed that it had been Government policy to anticipate great changes and make preparations for them. It has become a clichéto regard this period as a period of great changes. No one can deny that we are on the threshold of a great breakthrough in science, industrial techniques and technology, The kingdom of science is at hand, and the great nations are doing their utmost to capture that kingdom. I think that that is agreed on all sides.

We move from that proposition to the next, which is whether Britain can hope to retain its position in the world of scientific and technological change unless she educates her young people. There is general agreement on this, too. On 17th July, the Minister of Education expressed his opinion in these words: A second reason, however, why we need to give a high priority to higher education is that an expansion of higher education, especially higher technological education, must clearly be one precondition not only of an expanding economy but also of achieving the sort of society that we all want to see. It is when we proceed to ask the next question that we become seriously divided. If the kingdom of science and technology can be conquered only by a thorough-going system of education, are we spending adequately on our education services? Are we devoting to education as much of our national dividend as the situation demands? It is on this question that the two sides of the House differ fundamentally.

The Minister of Education justifies present policy by comparing present expenditure with past expenditure. We had a similar experience this afternoon when the Minister for Welsh Affairs compared the position in 1952 with that in 1962. The criterion of the Minister of Education is what we spent in the past. If he can prove, as no doubt he can, that we are spending far more today than ever before, he feels that his policy is fully justified. I quote his speech: … within the lifetime of a single Parliament we shall have more than doubled the annual rate of expenditure on higher education from £120 million to approximately £275 million."—[Official Report, 17th July, 1963; Vol. 681, c. 643–44.] That does not speak very well for past Tory Administrations. In 1938, under the Tory Administration, we devoted 2·9 per cent of the national dividend to education. In 1958, 20 years later and with another Tory Administration, we were devoting 3·2 per cent. of the national income to education.

Photo of Mr Christopher Chataway Mr Christopher Chataway , Lewisham North

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Education (Mr. Christopher Chataway) indicated dissent.

Photo of Mr James Jones Mr James Jones , Wrexham

It is no use the Parliamentary Secretary shaking his head. I have checked these figures. It took 20 years to increase the share of the national dividend spent on education by ·3 per cent.

Photo of Mr Christopher Chataway Mr Christopher Chataway , Lewisham North

I do not have the 1958 figure in my head, but I know that it was more than 3·2. The figure which shows the great degree of progress over the past 12 years is that, whereas in 1951 we were spending 3½ per cent. of our gross national product on education, this year we shall spend 4·9 per cent.

Photo of Mr James Jones Mr James Jones , Wrexham

That is the point I am making. According to the Parliamentary Secretary, it took 20 years for a Tory Administration to increase that figure by ·3 per cent.

Photo of Mr James Jones Mr James Jones , Wrexham

Forget that. It is part of our indictment that the Government did not awaken to the situation and have been caught up by events.

There is not much validity in this backward-looking exercise. It does not help the present situation to know what we spent eight or nine or ten years ago. That is history and history can only explain the causes of the present situation. All the figures given by the Minister prove is not how wonderful things now are, but how thoroughly inadequate past programmes have been. What we need is not an historical but a geographical analysis, and now I am more on my own subject. It is not what we are now spending compared with 1951 that is important. What is relevant is what we are spending compared with other countries; what we are spending compared with France, Germany, Russia and America.

The fact is that we are not keeping up with the American Joneses, nor the European Joneses,—if America and Europe have the honour of having Joneses. The U.N.E.S.C.O. Report for 1957 showed that we were educating a smaller proportion of our young people than any other large country in Europe. Other calculations have been made and as recently as the 17th of this month these figures were given: in the United States of America, one in four of the relevant age group gets a university education; in Canada, one in nine; in Western Germany, one in 16 and in Britain one in 24. Today we are not one of the world's leading Powers in education.

Photo of Sir Raymond Gower Sir Raymond Gower , Barry

Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that although these figures are interesting and important, they can tend to be misleading, in that they do not compare like with like? For example, in many American universities one can obtain a degree in bakery, for instance, which we would not regard as the sort of academic subject which would merit a university course. The only point I want to make is that it is not fair to take these figures at their face value.

Photo of Mr James Jones Mr James Jones , Wrexham

The margin between one in four and one in 24 is far too wide to be accounted for so simply.

Wales is an integral part of England and Wales and these figures apply to Wales just as much as to England——

Photo of Mr Christopher Chataway Mr Christopher Chataway , Lewisham North

I am sure that the hon. Member does not want to give a false impression. He has been talking about expenditure on education and said that we had not kept up with Europe. We spend a larger proportion of our gross national product on education than does any other major country in Western Europe. I am prepared to discuss with him the cases of Switzerland, Norway, perhaps Holland and perhaps Sweden, which may spend as much as we do, but about the major countries of Europe there can be no argument.

Photo of Mr James Jones Mr James Jones , Wrexham

This is the first time that the statement has been challenged. If the Parliamentary Secretary is correct, this is good news. We will wait and see.

I was saying that Wales was an integral part of England and Wales. What was the position in Wales last year? There were 13,300 applicants for admission to university colleges in Wales. Of these, 2,200 were admitted, while 11,100 were rejected. It might be argued that it was impossible for the grammar schools of Wales to submit 13,200 applicants because we do not have so many pupils in our grammar schools, and this may be true. Many of these applicants may have come from England, the reason being that there are not sufficient places for them in the universities of England. We thus have the position that 13,300 applied for places in university colleges in Wales, 2,200 were admitted, and 11,100 were rejected. And these were not all marginal cases. If they were, what a margin! A margin is the edge, the border, of a given surface. The edge, or the border, should, by logic, be narrower than the whole surface, but in this instance: the people accepted into the universities formed the margin, while the people rejected were in the majority.

We hear a great deal today about the threatened deterioration in university work. It was suggested by one hon. Gentleman opposite that we must keep up the quality of the students. The work of the universities is not being challenged by deterioration in the quality of students; it is being challenged by the lack of financial support. Indeed, all those who are in a position to know and to be able to judge say that the 1963 supplementary grant, of which we hear so much, does little more than keep pace with the increased casts for heat, fuel, light, and the employment of additional maintenance staff.

There is a need for additional academic staff, and the authorities in the universities in Wales are agreed that they are being held back for lack of financial support. Indeed they are already educating undergraduates in Wales at a cheaper rate than is being done by similar colleges in England.

I do not want to detain the House for long, but I must give this warning. As I see it, we are heading for a repetition of our experience with the so-called 11-plus examination. In other words, we are creating a similar situation with the 18-plus examination. The 11-plus examination lost its good name mainly because the majority of local education authorities in England and Wales—though mainly in England—did not regard this examination as a qualifying one, for the simple reason that the number of children selected for adminission to the grammar schools was decided by the number of grammar school places available for them. Had past Ministers of Education been prepared to provide enough grammar school places, the present position with regard to the 11-plus would not have arisen. Unless there is a change of policy, the 18-plus examination will not be regarded as a qualifying one, and the number of students selected for university colleges will be decided only by the number of places available.

I now wish to draw the attention of the House to the relationship between the grammar schools in Wales and the older universities of Oxford and Cambridge. We are familiar with the tripartite system of secondary education, a system which I am glad to say is on its way out; a system based, theoretically at any rate, on individual differences between pupils in the primary schools. But there is another tripartite system in Wales, and in England, too. I am talking about the tripartite system based on social class and social background, a system which is utterly intolerable in this democratic age, and especially in Wales, which is traditionally and instinctively democratic.

Under this system the public independent schools are assumed to be the nurseries of the future administrators in politics, in the Civil Service, in the Armed Forces, and, of recent times, in industry as well; the grammar schools are regarded as the nurseries for the professions, and the secondary modern schools are regarded as the nurseries for those people who will perform various sundry and menial jobs.

I do not intend to enter into an argument about the academic merits of Cambridge and Oxford compared with other university colleges. Indeed, I am not in a position to do so. We all know, however, that there is a prestige value attaching to an Oxford or Cambridge degree. My point is that this prestige value should not be based on privilege. What I have to say applies to England and Wales, but I propose to confine my remarks to Wales, and in particular to the young men of Wales.

We have three types of school in Wales. There is the maintained grammar school, the direct grant school, and the independent school. There are seven times as many pupils in grammar schools as there are in the other two types of school combined. In 1962, local education authorities in Wales gave grants to students to go to universities as follows: 1,010 to students from grammar schools;11 to students from direct grant schools; and 79 to students from independent schools. I do not object to this, but how were these grants distributed between Oxford and Cambridge? The answer is 26 from our grammar schools, 3 from the direct grant schools, and 16 from the 79 independent schools. Reduced to percentages, this means that 2·5 per cent. of those admitted to universities from grammar schools went to Oxford and Cambridge; 27 per cent. went from the direct grant schools; and 20 per cent. from the independent schools.

It follows from this that, although in the immediate future it will be more difficult for ordinary boys and girls from grammar schools to go to the universities of Wales, the road of privilege is paved for the boys of the independent and direct grant schools to go to Oxford and Cambridge. If the present state of affairs is due to the reluctance of boys and girls of Wales to go to Oxford and Cambridge, I would be very happy indeed, but if it is due to the fact that there is better staffing in the independent schools, it is time that we attached more imporance to the better staffing of our grammar schools, and if the method of selection is responsible, and it is based on privilege and good contacts, then it is time that the method of selection also was overhauled.

Now, I should like to say a few words about the secondary modern school and its place in the secondary system. In the near future we are to have a new examination in our secondary modern schools known as the Certificate of Secondary Education. I do not wish to dwell on the merits or demerits of examinations, because no doubt changed circumstances bring about changed policies, but what I am afraid of is for us to become an examination ridden nation, judging educational achievement by certificates.

However, one thing is certain. Not only will there be children from secondary modern schools sitting for this examination; there will also be children from the grammar schools. In due course, whether or not we appreciate the fact now, it is inevitable that the barrier between the grammar school and the secondary modern school will be eroded by this examination. The way is being prepared for the only answer—a comprehensive system of education.

I want to see this comprehensive system. I do not want to see bilateral schools or multilateral schools; I want to see a comprehensive system of education, with children moving from the primary schools to the secondary schools as naturally and simply as they go from the infants' schools to the primary schools. The primary school should do its job, which is to teach the children. The task of the comprehensive school is to assess the children who go there and to provide suitable courses for them. Up to now we have regarded the primary school as the school where selection should be made. That was what caused the 11-plus fiasco. Hon. Members on this side say that all children should go to comprehensive schools, and that those schools should arrange courses for the individual child.

Photo of Mr Donald Box Mr Donald Box , Cardiff North

I am not clear whether the hon. Member is advocating the abolition of grammar schools. If he is, he will find considerable opposition to that proposal in Wales, which has remarkably good grammar schools with excellent academic records. It would be a loss to our country and the whole of its educational system if grammar schools were to go.

Photo of Mr James Jones Mr James Jones , Wrexham

I am the product of a very old grammar school, dating back to the sixteenth century, but I have come to the conclusion that the only answer is to build comprehensive schools and let them deal with the selection of pupils.

We shall soon have this new examination for the Certificate of Secondary Education. Why has this examination been introduced? Is it to bring prestige to the secondary modern school? I suggest that that is not the answer. If the boys and girls in the grammar schools make the grade they go on to higher forms of education, in the universities and technical colleges, and colleges of advanced technology, but what about the children from the secondary modern schools? When they reach the age of 15, what then? We must bear in mind that these children are the core of our future democracy. They represent between 60 per cent. and 65 per cent. of our future population. At the present time there is no further stage of education for them.

As the Minister said, we are living in such a world of change that in the near future the ordinary working man will have to be able to switch from one technique to another. He will be the product of our secondary modern schools. Is the Ministry preparing boys of the secondary modern schools for this great age of change, or will it be caught out? We have been caught out in teacher training and in university expansion. We have been caught out with the 11-plus. Are we going to be caught out on this matter also? I suggest that it is time for us to inquire into the situation in order to see what we can do to make the secondary modern school child a worthy and useful citizen in a living democracy.

6.55 p.m.

Photo of Sir Raymond Gower Sir Raymond Gower , Barry

From the speeches that have been made in this debate by hon. Members opposite—and particularly the hon. Member for Aberdare (Mr. Probert)—I got the impression that they were speaking about a different country from the one referred to by my right hon. Friend. The Wales that was described by hon. Members opposite seemed to be the sort of Wales that I knew when I was a boy, while the one described by my right hon. Friend was far more like the country that I know today. The difference was astonishing.

I do not doubt that there are some things which are matters for concern, or even anxiety, but my main objection to the Motion is that it is couched in terms of extreme pessimism. The whole outlook of hon. Members opposite seems to be clouded with pessimism. Any stranger reading the Motion and being unfamiliar with the Wales of today would imagine that the Principality was a place where young people have few opportunities, to receive a reasonable education; where facilities for further and higher education are not generally available—a place where only a minority of our people have adequate housing, and where the industrial future is bleak and forbidding. That is not the case.

As in all communities there are unsatisfied needs, gaps to be filled and work to be done. But a far more accurate description is the one provided by the Development Association of Wales, expressed in the words of Professor Brynley Thomas, who referred to "Wales, Land of Opportunity".

Photo of Mr Donald Box Mr Donald Box , Cardiff North

And he is a Socialist.

Photo of Sir Raymond Gower Sir Raymond Gower , Barry

I do not know about that, but I know that in the booklet which he published for the Development Corporation of Wales he described Wales as the land of opportunity.

As my right hon. Friend intimated, since the war Wales has been undergoing a process of remarkable change and modernisation, the extent of which is not always apparent even to those who are aware of it. The changes extend from roads to rolling stock; from factories to coal mines. In the fairly near future our main industrial centres will be linked with London and the Midlands by wide, modern roads capable of bearing heavy industrial traffic safely and expeditiously. The provision of great power stations from Anglesey to Us mouth and from Trawsfynydd to Aberthaw will provide a major motive force for our expanding industries.

I need hardly remind the House of the extent of post-war development in the steel industry of Wales. The oil industry, in the broadest sense, is fast becoming a major industry in the Principality. The fact that this industry is so firmly established from Milford Haven to Llandarcy, and at many of our ports, should ensure further expansion. Many hon. Members with specialised knowledge will speak about the coal industry. I regard it as most encouraging that output from National Coal Board mines in 1962 was 18 million tons—an increase of almost a million tons over 1961. Particularly gratifying to those who, like myself, represent ports like Barry, was the fact that in 1962 coal exports from the South Wales ports, at 2 million tons, were almost double the 1961 figure. The result of these trends should surely be to create a new sense of confidence in the minds of our younger people. Many of our modernised industries are expanding, and they have expanding opportunities.

I accept the fact that there is a need for an enlarged provision for satisfactory apprenticeship schemes in Wales. I want to see more firms emulating the example of South Wales Switchgear Ltd.—in the constituency of the hon. Member for Bedwellty (Mr. Finch)—under the vigorous leadership of Mr. A. J. Nicholas. We wish success to the work of the Wales Committee of the Industrial Training Council also under the chairmanship of Mr. Nicholas. I hope that there will be an expansion of apprenticeship training schemes and of Government training centres, such as the centre in Cardiff.

In the past Wales has had fewer industries than most other industrial centres in the United Kingdom where there are elaborate apprenticeship provisions. Today, alongside our major industries of coal, steel, oil and engineering, we have many small firms. Therefore, I submit that there may be a case for a greater and more rapid expansion of Government training centres than has yet been contemplated. I advance that suggestion for the consideration of my right hon. Friend. I hope that it may be possible to promote training schemes by consortia of employers. I am sure that it is the experience of my right hon. Friend and is known by the hon. Member for Bedwellty, that many firms are too small to provide the sort of apprenticeship training schemes which we want. But by an arrangement, by consortia, or combination of firms, this kind of training could be provided on an increasing scale.

I agree that we must pay attention to the special needs of the school leavers, or juveniles as they are described in the Opposition Motion. We have acknowledged these difficulties, particularly in certain constituencies such as Aberdare. But there are two encouraging features, in my opinion. First, when there were general economic difficulties in the United Kingdom a year ago, it was tremendously encouraging to note that the newer industries, particularly light industries, showed themselves so resilient and strong. Most of these industries indicated that they were able to meet the demands put upon them, that they could meet bad times as well as good. A lot of people had doubts about the possibility of this being so. I had heard prophecies that these firms would be the first to fail, and particularly those which were branches of undertakings in London or the Midlands.

Secondly, while we should not deny the difficulties of many school leavers from particular areas, we may also be encouraged by the large number who, as was pointed out by my right hon. Friend, have obtained employment reasonably quickly, in most parts of Wales and in a variety of industries. In this connection—I mentioned to the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Mr. A. Pearson) that I might be referring to this because, although the factory is in his constituency, many of the employees live in mine—I hope that my right hon. Friend may be able to persuade the firm of Elliott (Treforest) Ltd. not to move from South Wales. I understand that this company acquired the South Wales factory from Simmonds Accessories Ltd. a couple of years ago. Certain assurances were given that the future of the South Wales undertaking would not be prejudiced but would even be improved. The decision already announced to move from South Wales next October is surely at variance with Government policy. Among the 200 employees concerned are some from development districts such as the Rhondda. I hope that my right hon. Friend will seek to persuade the firm to reconsider its decision.

Photo of Mr Ness Edwards Mr Ness Edwards , Caerphilly

Like my hon. Friend the Member for Pontypridd (Mr. A. Pearson) and some other hon. Members, I can say that some of these people live in my constituency. Is not the hon. Member for Barry (Mr. Gower) aware that this is a consequence of the operation of the Local Employment Act? People have been attracted from South Wales to another development district by financial inducements when originally they were located in South Wales by the working of the old Act.

Photo of Sir Raymond Gower Sir Raymond Gower , Barry

To some extent that may be true, although I have some doubt about it. I have made personal inquiries and I understand that the company is not satisfied with the results of the Treforest undertaking. But I hope that all that is in the past and that the firm may be persuaded to reconsider its decision. If that happens, I feel that the firm will have the maximum co-operation from its employees to ensure a more prosperous future for the factory.

Photo of Mr Stephen Davies Mr Stephen Davies , Merthyr Tydfil

Is not the hon. Gentleman aware that the location to which this factory will be removed will result in the company having to train people in the new skills that will be needed? Surely that is not to the advantage of the firm from the point of view of keeping up production, let alone increasing it?

Photo of Sir Raymond Gower Sir Raymond Gower , Barry

I presume that before such a big move was undertaken the firm would have gone into all that sort of thing. But I hope that after reconsideration it will be decided that there is a more effective future in South Wales than seemed apparent in the past.

In the broadest sense, educational expansion in Wales has been on a very large scale. It is important to recall that in the last ten years about £25 million has been spent on educational building in Wales. I thought that the hon. Member for Wrexham (Mr. Idwal Jones) was inclined to belittle the considerable steps forward which have been taken. The school building programme for the current year, which has been so much criticised, will be in excess of £3 million.

I wish to refer to two aspects of higher education. When we speak of the provision of higher education we are apt to overlook not only the growth in the number of Welsh students attending universities in other parts of the United Kingdom, but the considerable growth of the University of Wales and its constituent colleges. Each of these colleges, Aberystwyth, Bangor, Swansea, and Cardiff, may soon attain the size and have a student population which before the war would have indicated the need for separate university status. Recently there has been a good deal of controversy about whether we should retain the federal status of our University, or contemplate the creation of separate universities. I appreciate the arguments of those who favour the retention of the federal university of Wales, and I respect their feelings and opinions. Nevertheless, I believe that Wales should have four or five universities instead of one. I would remind the House that New Zealand has recently abandoned a federal university in favour of separate provincial universities. In England new universities proliferate and the older universities are being divided. I need only refer to the Universities of Exeter and Newcastle-on-Tyne which formerly were attached to larger units.

I also favour—perhaps with less assurance—an increase in the technical status of the Welsh College of Advanced Technology. I should like its status to be analogous to university-status and its diploma to become a degree. I appreciate that these are controversial matters but they are not unimportant.

Photo of Mr Goronwy Roberts Mr Goronwy Roberts , Caernarvon

I agree that instead of urging the need for a new university college in Wales it would be well to consider the possibility of conferring university status on the College of Advanced Technology. But I hope the hon. Gentleman will agree equally that encouraging such an establishment to cater for degrees should not result in the dropping of the present courses for a diploma in technology which are of vital importance.

Photo of Sir Raymond Gower Sir Raymond Gower , Barry

I meant the training and course to be exactly the same. I would merely change the name. I do not want anything else changed.

Contrariwise, I do not agree with the remarks of the hon. Members for Wrexham about the future of our grammar schools. Many of us are disturbed by a disposition in some quarters to take steps which must result in the destruction of our grammar schools. In Wales the grammar schools in the last 60 years or so have made a contribution quite different in output, degree and quality from that made in other parts of the United Kingdom. In a sense they have been the grammar schools of Wales and, for most Welsh people, the public schools of Wales as well. It is truly astonishing how many distinguished leaders in several spheres of Welsh life—in the law, medicine, and engineering for example—who are products of Welsh grammar schools.

Photo of Mr Goronwy Roberts Mr Goronwy Roberts , Caernarvon

There is nothing wrong with that.

Photo of Sir Raymond Gower Sir Raymond Gower , Barry

I agree; I am making that point. I recognise that they may have their limitations and other forms of schooling may be vastly superior, but let us not destroy them just for the sake of some fancied, unproved advantage. Let us experiment, yes; let us try to place them parallel, side by side, with other schools in different parts of the country; but do not sacrifice them.

Likewise, I am disturbed by propaganda in favour of abolishing impartial examinations as a test for the sort of secondary education one needs. The hon. Member for Wrexham suggested that all children should go to comprehensive schools, but who then decides in what streams they shall be placed within those comprehensive schools?

Photo of Mr James Jones Mr James Jones , Wrexham

It is the comprehensive school itself. Having had the children there, it selects on ability.

Photo of Sir Raymond Gower Sir Raymond Gower , Barry

I am indeed thankful that in my day selection was by way of completely impartial standards of examination rather than by the possibly less impartial tests which some would substitute. I prefer the somewhat harsh, salutary discipline of an examination to the decision by someone who for one reason or another may be a little less impartial. I do not agree that the examination has proved to be entirely without merit and that these new vague or varied methods of selection are incomparably better. This has not been proved.

On the one hand, Mr. Speaker, in this debate we have had painted a picture of a very unpalatable, unattractive prospect. On the other, we have what I think a much more accurate one. of a part of the United Kingdom which potentially is the biggest development area in Britain. I think that industrial Wales with its new equipment, not only with its older basic industries, modernised, but with new industries, has a greater potential than practically any part of Britain. Our people should have enoromous confidence in the future. The message which should go from this House is that they are not unlucky to be in Wales but fortunate and privileged to be there, because their opportunities today will be far greater in Wales than in most parts of the United Kingdom.

7.14 p.m.

Photo of Mr Emlyn Hooson Mr Emlyn Hooson , Montgomeryshire

The debate this afternoon has ranged over many subjects. I shall not follow the hon. Member for Barry (Mr. Gower), except on a few remarks he made in the latter part of his speech. I thought at one stage that a local war in Cardiff was developing, which threatened to escalate into a major conflict, but happily that did not take place.

I want to take up some remarks made by the Minister, who referred to the latter part of the Amendment in his name and the names of the right hon. Gentlemen opposite to: the decision of Her Majesty's Government to carry out a long-term survey of the prospects for Wales, and to produce plans for the economic and social development of the Principality". Of all the things I have heard the Government do in Wales over the past year or so, this is the only matter for unqualified congratulation. I say that because I think this a most important step that has been taken.

At the same time as I offer my congratulation to the Minister, implied in it is criticism of his predecessors. We have had successive Conservative Governments for twelve years. They have controlled the destinies of Wales and here we are still without a long-term survey of the prospects for Wales. We are still without a plan for the economic and social development of the Principality. Even those who are to draw up the plan will not be gathered together, I understand, until the late autumn. Whereas, of course, the Minister cannot take personal responsibility for the omissions of his predecessors, nevertheless this is a very important indictment indeed of the present Government.

I am sure all hon. Members will agree with the hon. Member for Wrexham (Mr. Idwal Jones) that it is profitless to compare our progress today and how much money is spent today on various things with what was achieved or spent ten or twenty years ago. It is like a young farmer boasting that he produces on his farm very much more than his father did and much more than his grandfather or great grandfather did, ignoring all the developments which have led to that production, such as the tractor and modern fertiliser techniques.

The only valid comparison is with our competitors, just as the only valid comparison for the young farmer is with the man over the hedge who is using the same techniques. Have we made the most of our opportunities in Wales? Our growth rate economically in Wales is about 2 per cent. or 3 per cent. per year. That compares very badly with some continental competitors over the last few years. There is a tendency in this Government for things to be hurriedly reversed. They used to regard any suggestion of planning as the introduction of Socialism. I am no Socialist, but I am a great believer in enlightened planning. I am sure the Minister himself now shares this view, but it was rejected time and again by his predecessors. We are now starting on the drawing up of a plan for Wales to assess the information necessary to plan our future, but it is very much later in the day than it need have been.

The Minister mentioned the Mid-Wales Committee's Report; the Committee which is under the chairmanship of Professor Beecham. No doubt he will have discovered that that Committee was set up by one of his predecessors in 1961. I should like him to say whether he intends to publish the Report so that hon. Members may have access to it at an early date. I understand that Professor Beecham became the Committee's chairman in 1962, and before that there was another chairman. I thought the Minister's reply earlier today was rather equivocal. Do I understand that if the predecessor of the Minister set up this Committee, as he did, the Report will be published by the Government?

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

Sir K. Joseph indicated assent——

Photo of Mr Emlyn Hooson Mr Emlyn Hooson , Montgomeryshire

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for that assurance. I hope that the Report will not be merely pigeonholed. One of the things from which we have suffered over the ages, as those who know Wales know very well, is a proliferation of reports. We have a special Welsh purgatory to which we eventually consign our endless committees and their reports. We have never had an elected representative body for Wales other than that of Welsh hon. Members of this House, but we have self-appointed committees. They are full of good intentions and often draft reports and have a blaze of glory sometimes for weeks sometimes for months, and sometimes they drag on for years. Eventually they go to the Welsh purgatory of committees there to await for the transmigration of their souls to committees which follow them on the same subjects.

One of the great weaknesses in Wales is that we do not have an organisation which is consistently concerned with Welsh Affairs and which is truly representative of Wales—an elected body with a mandate from the people and executive power to effect the changes necessary. For this reason, I am wholeheartedly in favour of an elected council to deal with Welsh affairs.

I readily admit that many good things have been done in Wales since 1945 by both Labour and Conservative Governments. It would be churlish and unrealistic to paint an entirely gloomy picture. Things are much better than they were before the war and there are many reasons for this. However, the development of Wales since the war has been extremely unbalanced. We have had in Mid-Wales, an area in which I have a particular interest, the terrible problem of rural depopulation, about which little has been done.

In his speech the Minister pointed out that in other parts of the world this problem has existed; that as civilisation develops, as people become more sophisticated and as agricultural and other techniques improve, so one has the movement of population from the country to the town. But Mid-Wales is only 60 miles from the Midlands conurbation around Birmingham and, therefore, only 60 miles from one of the greatest industrial areas of the country. Mid-Wales is already opened up by good roads running from east to west, although the roads from south to north are poor. It is an area with an industrial background going back many decades.

I would not so much object if the Government had said that they would or could do nothing for Mid-Wales; at least we would know where we stood. I object to the fact that they have always suggested that they intend to do something but that virtually nothing has ever been done. The rôle of the Government has been entirely a passive one towards this part of the United Kingdom. To prove this, I quote from a speech which was made by one of the right hon. Gentleman's predecessors, the present Home Secretary, when he spoke in my constituency in March, 1961. He said: There are those who believe that the build-of a whole new town somewhere in Mid-Wales, where thousands of people from Birmingham or elsewhere could come and live and work, is the only effective way of saving Mid-Wales. Whatever the attractions of that scheme, I am bound to point out that it would make harder the task of building up employment and prosperity in the existing towns of Mid-Wales, which I believe should come first and foremost My predecessor, the late Clement Davies, was a strong advocate of a new town for Mid-Wales as a solution to its problems. I know that the Labour Party also now advocates it. I concede that the right hon. Gentleman who made those remarks in my constituency had a valid point when he said that it might make the task of building up the existing towns more difficult. I also appreciate that there may be social objections to such a big town. However, I object to a Minister coming to Mid-Wales and pouring cold water on the idea of a new town by suggesting that it would impair the efforts of the Government in helping to build up the prosperity and employment situation in the existing towns, when the Government since have been and are doing nothing to build up that prosperity. Thus they reject the new town plan and yet do nothing about the other remedy.

Does the present Minister intend to do something to try to solve the problems of Mid-Wales? If he intends to do nothing, please let him say so. We shall then know exactly where we stand. We need a comprehensive development plan for the area, because one can get, economically, to the stage when it is too difficult to haul oneself out of trouble by one's own shoelaces. Mid-Wales needs help from outside, and despite our efforts to help ourselves—the Mid-Wales Development Association and so on—we are not even competing on fair terms. We are competing with the development districts which have all the support of the Government, tax reliefs and so on. How can we possibly compete successfully in these circumstances? I have written privately to the right hon. Gentleman on a previous occasion asking him to use his influence to declare the whole of Mid-Wales a development area.

What practical help are the Government prepared to give to this area? Or does the right hon. Gentleman take the view that nothing can be done to solve the problem of rural depopulation? Does he intend that a body such as a development corporation might act in Mid-Wales—a body which will be able to co-ordinate and have the resources available which are at the moment divided between many other organisations? At present there are Government agencies, private development associations, local authorities and private people who want to help. Without a properly co-ordinated development corporation or similar council, how can all these activities be co-ordinated?

So far I have been critical of the Government. Let me be perfectly fair and admit that, educationally speaking—certainly in my constituency—a great deal has been done, with the co-operation of the enlightened committee of education, the director, his staff and the Ministry of Education. Our weakness educationally concerns apprenticeships. Our greatest export from Wales is, unfortunately, young people. We pride ourselves in ensuring that if we must export them we see that they are well educated and equipped to earn a livelihood elsewhere. But there are still considerable gaps in our education system, particularly for the boy who wants to go in for engineering, technical subjects, building and so on.

We have three small firms which take engineering apprentices. Even if all of them take their full complement of apprentices—and at present only two are doing so—we can never have enough apprenticeships for boys who want to do engineering. In the 'fifties this situation was met by ensuring that they could take craft apprenticeships in the Midlands. That is no longer possible, because there are too many boys in the Midlands for the present number of apprenticeships available there. The only level at which we can now compete is at the technician's level—when a boy who has an "O" Level G.C.E., particularly in English language, mathematics and physics, can go in at this level. Boys must have that attainment before having any hope of getting an apprenticeship in this sphere.

In these circumstances the pre-apprenticeship courses have become of vital importance, for we must ensure that our young people are better than average to enable them to gain apprenticeships. That is the only way we can compete with other parts of the country.

Pre-technical courses and pre-apprenticeship courses have thus become of the greatest possible significance. Would it not be practicable to have an experiment in an area such as mid-Wales to see whether the Minister of Education could be responsible for all pre-18 education, whether at technical level or otherwise, rather than the onus being on industry itself?

In agriculture an increasing number of students are going for part-time training at our agricultural courses. But the syllabuses of the agricultural courses, whether at the technician level or at the craft level, compare very badly in con- tent and scope with the syllabuses available for building and engineering. Much could be done to make them much more interesting and of more value than they are now.

I welcome the recent proposals made by the Government for apprenticeships. It is our hope in Mid-Wales that these proposals will be speedily implemented. There is one matter of special pleading to which I ask the Minister to give some attention. I refer to the proposal that small firms should be excluded from levy schemes. The Report suggests that this should be done because of administrative difficulties. If small firms are to be excluded from the levy scheme in an area such as Mid-Wales, we may as well not have the scheme at all. The only firms we have are small ones. If they are not to make a contribution, the whole system will fall down.

Could the Minister give some attention to the difficulties in rural areas of obtaining apprenticeships for girls? There should be far more pre-apprenticeship courses for girls. Unfortunately, many have to leave areas such as Mid-Wales to find employment. The least we can do for them is to ensure that they are well-equipped to find proper and congenial employment elsewhere. I reiterate the words of the hon. Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. G. Thomas), who poignantly pointed out that a child has only one opportunity of education and training. Once the opportunity has gone, it never recurs in a child's life. Therefore, there is a heavy responsibility on the Government.

The scope of this debate has ranged far and wide. I shall not attempt to deal with any of the other points which have been raised. Suffice it to say that it is our hope that the long-term survey will be completed as soon as possible. Hon. Members on both sides will agree that what is lacking in Wales today is a feeling that the Government are planning for the kind of Wales we want in ten or twenty years' time, for the kind of distribution of population that we want, and for the use of enlightened and modern planning techniques to which we have been looking forward and which we have been advocating. The Government have persistently refused to follow our advice until the belated and last moment decision, on which I congratulate the Minister, to have this unit in Cardiff. I ask the Minister not to bury the Mid-Wales Report until the long-term survey is complete. Let us at least have some of the proposals contained in the Mid-Wales Report implemented before that.

7.33 p.m.

Photo of Mr Stephen Davies Mr Stephen Davies , Merthyr Tydfil

I shall not range very wide in the short time that I intend to speak. I know that a number of my ban. Friends hope to catch your eye, Mr. Speaker. I am sure that all my hon. Friends from Wales feel indebted to my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdare (Mr. Probert) for the masterly way in which he opened the debate. It was an amazing examination of the anatomy of our country. I cannot improve on it. I do not wish to hear anything surpassing his masterly examination of the troubles besetting our country today, troubles for which we are compelled to hold the Government responsible.

I shall concentrate almost entirely on one subject. I do not apologise for trespassing on points which have been made already. Unemployment, with the consequent depopulation which is going on not only in rural areas but in the old industrial valleys of South Wales, is the most important problem facing us today. It is absurd for the Government to tell us Welsh Members, who know our country, that in this day and age they are to conduct a detailed inquiry into the conditions of employment in Wales. Some of us have for nearly 30 years dealt with the problem of unemployment side by side with the problem of depopulation. This problem was discussed and drawn attention to by Welsh Members who preceded us. They appealed to Government after Government to help to stop the disastrous and tragic depopulation which has been going on in Wales. Now the valleys of South Wales are joining in this respect the rural counties of Wales.

The Government's Amendment makes—I will not say laughable reading, because this goes beyond any sense of humour that any of us can have today. It asks the House to welcome the decision of Her Majesty's Government to carry out a long-term survey of the prospects for Wales, and to produce plans far the economic and social development of the Principality". Where have the Government been over the years? My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson)—as a Welshman I must regard him as my hon. Friend—could have told the House the population of that county 60 or 70 years ago. Every year since then that little county has been bled white of its youth, which has been compelled to leave because of lack of employment. There has been no suggestion of planning, even though Government after Government have had suggestions made to them as to how to stop this tragic depopulation.

The House needs no telling that these are very beautiful areas. I ask hon. Members to reflect on the misfortune of the young people born and educated there. Having benefited from the splendid public-spirited work of those who have helped them whilst at school, many of them are then driven from those beautiful counties, as they have been driven from my constituency, into this sociological monstrosity of a city that has reached such a stage of growth that it has become more and more beyond human control and constructive planning.

It is awful that people should be driven from a country such as ours to come to London to seek some means of subsistence. I could say a great deal on this theme which has been so near to us. Nothing upsets Welshmen more than the growth of unemployment. We are not as sensitive to any of the other hurts that come our way as we are to this problem.

My hon. Friend the Member for Aberdare dealt with the problem of depopulation. I should like to refer to my own constituents. I hope that the Minister will not be fooled by the percentages of unemployment in my constituency and elsewhere in South Wales. I am told that in my constituency the unemployment is between 3 per cent. and 4 per cent. of the insured population, but to express unemployment in these terms is grossly and stupidly misleading.

I should like to approach the subject from another angle. The population of my constituency in 1951 was well over 61,000. Today it is about 59,000, but its natural growth would have meant an addition of between 1,300 and 1,400 on the 1959 figures. We have therefore lost 3,500 of population from Merthyr Tydfil. I hope that the Minister will pay attention to the figures given by my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdare.

What do the Government propose to do about Wales? My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Montgomery spoke, as so many of us have done in the past, about the depopulation of the rural counties. What is the apparent immediate solution offered by the Government? The first thing that the Government did was to appoint a Local Government Boundary Commission because it was alleged that many of the counties and even certain county boroughs in Wales could not sustain the standard of local government that should be expected from them. This was grossly misleading and untrue. It has been proposed that at least 11 of the Welsh counties must be destroyed as counties and must lose their identity as such for ever. Their traditions are to be buried and the personal service which has marked local government work over the years is to be ignored. This is adding the worst kind of insult to the injury which has been meted out to these areas.

The Minister can rest assured that if the Government ever contemplate carrying out the proposals of the Local Government Boundary Commission for Wales they will be asking for trouble of a kind which they have not experienced for a long time. The whole business is barbaric. The hon. Member for Swansea, West (Mr. Hugh Rees) appears to be laughing. He had better consult the Swansea local authority. It is far from being satisfied with the proposals of this precious Boundary Commission, which is simply carrying out what it thinks the Government would like it to do.

I believe that the Government will be discreet enough to realise that we in Wales will not have it. We shall resist it and fight it. This is a travesty of what should be done. My hon. Friends have stated over and over again what needs to be done to stop the depopulation. The Minister knows the answer. Why, therefore, should he indulge in this horrible scheme of destroying our Welsh life by destroying the identity of the local authorities—that is, our counties with their peculiar and interesting characteristics all in their way contributing to our Welsh way of life?

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

I am grateful to the hon. Member for giving way. I hope that he will withdraw the allegation, which he knows to be untrue, that the Boundary Commission, which is composed of distinguished people, is merely carrying out the Government's intentions. It is a completely independent body operating under a statute of Parliament.

Photo of Mr Stephen Davies Mr Stephen Davies , Merthyr Tydfil

These people may be distinguished in certain pursuits but they were never distinguished for their understanding of the problems of local government, nor have they ever understood what difficulties have been imposed on the Welsh local authorities by this Government.

7.49 p.m.

Photo of Mr Ness Edwards Mr Ness Edwards , Caerphilly

I shall take only about 10 minutes of the debate, because a number of my hon. Friends hope to take part and I want to draw attention to one point only. First, I should like to compliment my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdare (Mr. Probert) on the way he opened the debate. He made a very good speech and gave the House a potted analysis of certain things which are happening in almost every valley in South Wales. He illustrated those matters which are causing us a great deal of apprehension because of what the Government are not doing.

The Minister, in reply, covered a wide field, but instead of answering the points raised by my hon. Friend he slid off to his own Departmental specialty and gave us a long account of what he was doing in housing. I was, however, rather mystified by some of his statistics. I could not understand how it came about that there were 4,000 more houses than householders, and I am still not clear about the effect of his contention. If there are 4,000 more houses than households it will be little consolation to the 1,200 people who are waiting for houses in my valley. That will be true of most of the valleys in South Wales. This statistical satisfaction in which the Minister is glorying will be very poor consolation to the large number of people who are waiting for houses, particularly in South Wales.

The right hon. Gentleman's subsequent statistical analysis showed an approach to the problem which is completely lacking in relation to the other departments of our social life. There has been no attempt at all to apply those methods of statistical forecasting, examination and planning to economics, to education or even to the location of the houses which are to be built.

I should like the right hon. Gentleman to answer this question. In forecasting the number of houses that are required, has he also forecast the places in which they will be required, or is he proceeding as if the population pattern in Wales is frozen for the next 10 or 20 years?

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

Sir K. Joseph indicated dissent.

Photo of Mr Ness Edwards Mr Ness Edwards , Caerphilly

The right hon. Gentleman shakes his head. The Government have now decided, I take it under his inspiration, to get an economic forecast, to analyse the trends, to see the way in which industry will shrink in some parts and develop in others. In other words, the main basis of the economy in South Wales will shrink and therefore industry in the future will not be tied down to geological considerations as has been the case in the past. It seems to me that in the latter part of the Amendment the Government are now proposing to do that which they should have done before deciding even on a housing programme. In that sense the Government are deserving of censure.

The Local Employment Act seems to me to be a very reactionary Act compared with the Distribution of Industry Act which was the joint product of the Coalition Government of 1944. My hon. Friend the Member for Aberdare has indicated the way in which the Distribution of Industry Act gave to South Wales in particular a tremendous advantage in the location of new industry. He showed in the statistics that he produced that under the Local Employment Act and under the present Government's policy there has been a complete reversal of the trend. Instead of industry going to the old development area, to a far greater extent it had been going to areas that were being developed—entirely new areas altogether.

I am wondering how far the failings of the Local Employment Act are respon- sible for this change which is taking place in the shift of industry from what was a development area into those new areas which have been scheduled under the Local Employment Act. The Local Employment Act is going to be the means of taking away from what was the old development area of South Wales those industries which were established there under the Labour Government and during the subsequent years.

What we are failing to get from this Government is that dynamism in facing the general changing pattern of industry in South Wales. The solution to the problems of South Wales is not necessarily the solution to the problems of mid-Wales and North Wales. Here is an industrial conurbation that should be considered as a whole. The old basic industries are shrinking and the new industries are coming in higgledy-piggledy, here, there and everywhere, with no plan at all, and at the same time we have a housing policy that is frozen to the old economic order.

We have to concede that the Government have done things; they are building houses. But this is not the lyrical outlook of the hon. Member for Barry (Mr. Gower); neither is it a dismal failure. It is neither of those things. But we do not see co-ordination or integration. We do not see an estimate of the number of new jobs which will be required in 10 years time. We do not see any attempt to plan the location of industry within South Wales. We do not see the drive to get industry to South Wales.

We do not see any estimate of the number of people required to be retrained. We see that single training centre in Cardiff turning out people without regard to the needs of industry or the needs of the future. Our schools are not being linked to the economic trends that may develop. There is no plan, and in that sense the Motion ought to be supported.

Photo of Mr Stanley Awbery Mr Stanley Awbery , Bristol Central

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy-Speaker. May I draw your attention to the fact that there are only two Members on the Conservative side of the House listening to this important debate on Welsh affairs?

Photo of Mr Robert Grimston Mr Robert Grimston , Westbury

That is not a point of order for me.

7.57 p.m.

Photo of Sir John Morris Sir John Morris , Aberavon

The point of order which has just been raised is probably one which should have been directed to the Patronage Secretary. It is not often that we see not one back bench Member on the Conservative side of the House.

Photo of Mr James Griffiths Mr James Griffiths , Llanelli

There will be far fewer of them after the election.

Photo of Sir John Morris Sir John Morris , Aberavon

As my right hon. Friend says, there will be fewer after the election. We look forward to the day when there will be no representation whatsoever from Wales among the party opposite.

Time is getting short and some of us, therefore, wish to keep our speeches to a minimum duration. I had planned a speech which would last for 25 minutes, but I hope to resume my seat after ten minutes to allow others to take part in the debate.

The last sentence in the Government's Amendment to our Motion asks the House to welcome their decision to carry out a long-term survey of the prospects for Wales … If that phrase had appeared in the Queen's Speech of a new Administration it would be welcome to both sides of the House, but to an outside and impartial observer words of this kind seem ludicrous after twelve years of Tory administration. To couple such a phrase with with words: and to produce plans for the economic and social development of the Principality at this late stage seems to be a sort of death bed repentance on the part of the Government. Our only consolation is that they will not have time to put those so-called plans into operation.

I must confine myself briefly to what I thought were the main themes of the Motion—the prospects of youth, employment and education. I have the good fortune to represent an area of reasonably good employment. It is not often that, apart from some areas, notably Porthcawl, we have unemployment. Today I come to this House when a very dark cloud has descended upon my area. For the first time in many years we have short-time working, with 3,000 or 4,000 men on short time. The pay packets that they will be taking home from the steel industry in the coming weeks will be £3 or £4 a week less. There is a very dim prospect for those men in this coming holiday season.

I could speak for a long time about housing. Only the other day, I was at Glyncorrwg in my constituency where a whole street is now faced with the prospect of being taken over by a new property company. No doubt, the Minister is a proud man today. Of the 46 houses in that street, only ten, so I was told, are still controlled. There are 36 households who are afraid of what decision may be taken by their new landlords. They have no security of tenure. They have no controlled rents. The Minister can take pride in the fact that so much progress has been made in decontrol since 1957 that now, in that village, 36 families in one street are today praying for the return of a Labour Government who will do something to alleviate their circumstances, a government pledged to repeal the Rent Act of 1957.

Now, may I come to the problem of unemployment among school leavers in my constituency? In an area of high employment, we have the specialised problem of very high unemployment among boys and girls. It is a great tragedy for a young lad, when he comes to the time when he leaves school, the time which he regards, quite wrongly, as the threshhold of manhood, and he looks for a new status, for the chance to earn money himself for the first time, to find that there is no one who wishes to employ him. This is a great blow to his self-esteem which will take many years to erase. This is the situation in my constituency now.

I shall not discuss inequalities which arise from the accident of birth. There are, however, great inequalities which arise from the accident of the place of one's birth. In some parts of the country, one can find employment easily. In other places,, where there is unemployment, where there are no skills to be learned and no apprenticeships to be obtained, inequalities are perpetuated. We on this side of the House are pledged to do all we can to abolish these inequalities as soon as it is possible to do so.

In my constituency there is always a permanent pool of between 150 and 300 young men and women under 18 who are unemployed. They are not unemployed for a short time. In April this year, in answer to a Question I asked about how long these young people had been out of work, I was told that 50 per cent. had, at that time, been unemployed for six weeks or more. Now, of course, it is expected that the figures will be bumped up because 650 young people in Port Talbot and Porthcawl are due to leave school. In a few years, the figures will rise rapidly and, over the next 15 years, we expect that the number of school leavers in my constituency will be well over 1,000 annually.

It is impossible to plan for some accidents of nature. Floods, fires, wars, and other disasters take one by surprise and it is very difficult to make worthwhile plans, but there is very long warning of the problems which will be created by the need to find employment for boys and girls. There is 15 years' warning. In every part of the land, we can give the number of the boys and girls who will need employment each year until 1978. It seems very strange that, after a great basic industry has been sited in my constituency, no plans have been made—certainly, none have come to fruition—to provide ancillary industries and suitable employment for young people.

Our great basic industry does not have a tradition of apprenticeship. The Steel Company does what it can, but our boys and girls, born and bred in the area, have very little prospect indeed of obtaining suitable apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are like gold. The tragedy for boys and girls leaving school in my constituency now is that they are the victims of the battle of the bulge. This battle has been lost at every stage. They were squeezed into the primary schools. They had less opportunities and fewer places open to them at grammar schools. Now, as they leave school and go on to the labour market or want to go to colleges of further education or the universities, there are fewer chances for them in every case than there were for their predecessors.

No plan has been made. It is all very well for the Government to say now that they will make plans. They have had 12 years to make plans. No plan has been made from my area, and, as the Board of Trade must know, all our eggs are in one basket and there is nothing done either for women or for the boys who cannot be employed in the steel industry. I blame the Government for their 12 years' lack of forward thinking. It is not good enough, at the end of their far-too-long tenure of office, to ask the House to support a Motion which states that they will, at last, carry out long-term surveys. Their record over the last 12 years shows that they have dismally failed the young people in my constituency in particular.

I call, first, for an immediate survey of present black spots of youth unemployment in Wales and in Glamorgan and Port Talbot in particular. Second, we should look forward to the future needs of industry. If automation will mean anything at all, it will mean a reduction of the demand for labour especially in those industries which at present have a high labour content. Unless there are vast expansion plans—I see no immediate sign of them—the steel industry in my constituency, I am certain, will need fewer men in the future than it employs at present. Indeed, if one compares the plant recently constructed in Newport with the plant in my constituency, one finds that the labour content there is far less even than in the modern plant which we have. Plans should be made to meet the estimated labour demands of the future. If fewer men will be needed in the great basic industries, suitable employment must be found for them elsewhere.

Now, as regards apprenticeships. Private industry, with some startling exceptions—we are very proud of what has been done in South Wales, notably by South Wales Switchgear—has, by and large, failed dismally in its duty to provide sufficient facilities for apprenticeship. There should be an immediate crash programme. The battle of the bulge in apprenticeships must not be lost. As one of my hon. Friends pointed out, a boy or girl has only one chance, and, once that chance is lost, it is far too late to learn a new skill.

The Government should examine the areas of specialised unemployment. There have been references to one case of a company which, as a result of the Local Employment Act, is being attracted away from the area in Wales where it is now to another development district. We have similar instances in my constituency. I fully appreciate the plight in which others find themselves, but it seems that, because of the blanket financial incentives of the Government, no consideration is being given to places where there is specialised unemployment, particularly among young people.

The problem at the universities is similar. One of the tragic features of the present situation is that boys and girls with the same qualifications as their predecessors have smaller chances of going to university than there were in 1955. The rate of expansion—this is the acid test—does not keep pace with the increase in demand. My hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. G. Thomas) told us that of all the qualified boys and girls who applied to go to university in South Wales last year one out of every four was rejected. The position will be similar this year. There will be a clamouring at the doors of the universities, and this will be a major political issue in South Wales during the next few months. Girls and boys armed with their certificates and qualifications will be unable to go to universities, while knowing that their predecessors in 1955 and 1951 could, with the same qualifications, go there.

What little is being done in the expansion of the universities, the provision of apprenticeships and the finding of work for boys and girls is not sufficient. Here I pay a magnanimous tribute to the work which is done everywhere by our youth employment officers. They work in extremely difficult circumstances, doing what they can with very limited resources. Sometimes, they are in despair, not knowing what more they can do. Despite all the efforts which are now made, the chances for a boy or girl needing further education in Wales, needing an apprenticeship or just needing a job are not good enough.

8.10 p.m.

Photo of Mr Neil McBride Mr Neil McBride , Swansea East

The Minister for Welsh Affairs made reference to the housing position in Swansea. The post-war record in that respect is a magnificent one. I share the views of my right hon. Friend the Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths) when he talked about the building of a magnificent shopping centre after war devastation. But I put it to the Minister that his is the party which pushed up interest rates and altered subsidies. Had things been different Swansea's already proud housing record would have been finer still.

The position of apprentices has been high-lighted in this debate. The difficulty to which my hon. Friend the Member for West Bromwich (Mr. Foley) referred in a brilliant maiden speech the other day is to give a child the chance of a job at the trade he wants. We have heard a great deal about this. Let me give the voice of the apprentice. I am a member of the second most powerful union in this country, the Amalgamated Engineering Union. At the Youth Workers Conference at Eastbourne on 21st and 22nd March a resolution was moved: That this Youth Conference notes with alarm the many areas of large-scale unemloyment of school leavers and young people, which is the result of the Government's restrictive economic policy. We request National Executive Committee to instruct the Executive Council to demand urgent action be taken to ensure that every young person has a job to go to, and an opportunity for training, on leaving school. To secure this the following measures should be adopted: (a) that industry takes the full quota of apprentices; (b) that provisions for specialised education and training facilities be provided, with the cost charged to the Government and industry; (c) that financial assistance be given to school leavers until work is found for them. In the capital city of Wales, in the struggle for apprenticeships, we find that the South Wales Electricity Board received 852 applications compared with 600 during the preceding year. All the applicants were interviewed and 57 were offered employment as apprentices. The Central Electricity Generating Board, South Wales Division, received 600 applications compared with 350 during the preceding year and appointed 25 apprentices. Guest, Keen & Nettlefold of Cardiff had 177 boys make application for craft apprenticeships, 146 replied to requests to attend interviews and 28 appointments were made.

We can understand the very severe position which occurs in the fight for the chance to obtain an apprenticeship and achieve the status of a craftsman. If I understand the Minister aright he said that the solving of the problem of unemployment was an integrated one. I agree with him. We have to solve first the problem of general unemployment and then the problem of youth employment. Perhaps the Minister will tell his right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade that attention was drawn to this in relation to a recent tripartite conference held in Swansea when unemployment was discussed. There are two things which I think will prevent the bringing to Wales of more and diverse industry. These are that there has been a lower capital expenditure in industry and no indication of a revival of investment. Capital expenditure in the first quarter of 1936 was the lowest since the last quarter of 1959, a total of only £231 million—and the bad winter cannot be blamed for all that because the greatest drop was in manufacturing machinery which is not affected so much by weather.

One hon. Member suggested that not much heat had been generating the debate. The Government's record in providing work for the young people of Wales, and Swansea in particular, was one of the issues at the by-election in Swansea, East when the Government's policy, and their candidate were humiliated and ground into the dust. I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman will care to remember that, but that is the fact.

As to the serious employment position of young people of under 18 in Swansea, I have here a letter from the Director of Education, Mr. L. J. Drew. He says: The lowest number registered as unemployed between 1st August, 1962, and 31st January, 1963, was 138 in December, 1962, rising to 368 by 31st January, 1963. This figure represents approximately 5 per cent. of the population between the ages of 15 and 18, more than half of whom were still unemployed when the Easter leavers entered the market. The Committee was deeply concerned about the position of boys entering apprenticeships. Only 17 per cent. in the year ended October, 1962, obtained apprenticeships. These facts were brought to the knowledge of the Welsh Committee of the Industrial Training Council and a reply was received that: The remedy for the deficiency must be sought within the existing pattern. I put it to the right hon. Gentleman that we are seeking to alter the existing pattern by bringing more and diverse industries to South Wales. In this ever-hastening age of speedy electronic development the Government are approaching this problem with a mentality long since out of date. It is a very serious problem. I have consulted with the national officials and the Welsh officials of the trade union movement in all Wales. The whole of the trade union movement in Wales is united in one demand—the demand for more diverse industry. It believes that recruitment of apprentices tends to be haphazard and related to current needs to the exclusion of the long-term needs of industry. Many firms in Wales are unable to provide adequate training. They do not recruit craft apprentices and further consideration should be accorded to group apprenticeship schemes which would permit such employers to recruit the apprentices they desire.

The responsibility for recruiting and training craft apprentices is a national one. The establishment of a national craft apprenticeship system is recommended. I believe that in order to present greater opportunities to school leavers we must with the trade unions press for more industries in Wales, greater diversification and, at the same time, review the problems, recognising that changes are necessary in rapidly changing circumstances. The introduction of new industries in Wales in the post-war era has done much to strengthen the country's economy, but there must be an extension of diversification and this must include industries employing a higher proportion of skilled labour. This is necessary on social as well as economic grounds. I put it to the Minister, who is, after all, the Minister for Welsh Affairs, that the problems of the young people affect the real wealth of Wales. He has an opportunity which is at once a challenge and I say to him that he cannot, and he must not, squander the wealth of Wales.

8.20 p.m.

Photo of Mr David Williams Mr David Williams , Neath

This debate has ranged over a very wide field, but it has, or at least it is supposed to have, two main themes: first, employment, with special reference to the employment of young people, and, secondly, education, particularly higher education, which, I suppose, includes technical education. These are matters of the greatest importance to Wales. They are of special interest to the Welsh people and they have a direct and immediate relevance to some of the most acute problems which face us in Wales.

I had hoped to say something about education, but, in view of the time, I think that I should confine myself to some observations about unemployment. I begin with general unemployment, about which I want to say only one thing. For a great many years, in spite of what the Minister has said this afternoon, general unemployment in Wales has been well above the national average. At no time since the Government came to office in 1951 has the unemployment rate in Wales come down to the national average.

Whatever the state of the national economy, whether buoyant or depressed, unemployment in Wales is always above the national average. In all phases of the national economy—in expansion, in recession or in stagnation—unemploymentin Wales is always above the national average. In spite of all the changes and developments which have taken place in Wales since the war, in spite of all the claims of the Minister and his predecessors about what the Government have for Wales, and in spite of the considerable migration of people from Wales, our unemployment figure has always been about a third above the national average.

Youth unemployment is a very acute problem in Wales. It is much more acute in Wales than in the country generally. Like general unemployment, youth unemployment in Wales is above the national average. It is one aspect of the general unemployment problem, and it springs from the same kind of malaise in the economy—lack of development, lack of planning and lack of growth. These are the factors which produce both general unemployment and youth unemployment.

However, youth unemployment does not always follow the trends and patterns of general unemployment. It is quite true that in some places where there is a very high level of general unemployment there is also a high level of youth unemployment. That applies in certain parts of Wales. In other parts of Wales where the general unemployment level is relatively low there is a very high level of youth unemployment and it is exceedingly difficult for school leavers to find suitable jobs. This is the case in my constituency.

We have a fairly average level of unemployment in my constituency—about the national average;—but we have a very high level of youth unemployment. It has been exceedingly difficult for a very long time to find jobs for school leavers. In the area of South Wales which I represent, the level of youth unemployment is much higher than the level of general unemployment. I have a very serious and difficult youth unemployment problem in one part of my constituency. This is in the Dulais Valley. I have raised this problem on previous occasions. I mentioned it in the last debate that we had on Welsh affairs, I raised it again in the debate on unemployment in the Welsh Grand Committee, and I make no apology for raising it again. The problem is still there. Nothing has been done about it, and it is causing deep and acute concern throughout the valley.

The problem is this. The Dulais Valley is wholly dependent on coal mining. It is now the only mining valley in South Wales which is still wholly dependent on coal. This creates very serious employment problems and, above all, it creates a very difficult youth employment problem. Because we are dependent on one industry, the opportunities of employment for young people are very restricted. There is, no choice of employment and no chance of changing employment. This is a specially acute problem for boys and girls leaving school and growing up. For boys there is only one chance of employment—to go to the pits. There is no choice of employment and there can be no change in employment. For girls there are no opportunities of employment of any kind. They have no chance of employment, no possibility of a change of employment and no possibility of a choice of employment.

The only answer to this problem is to bring new industry to the Dulais Valley. This would provide the Valley with a healthy, balanced and diversified economy. It would provide opportunities of employment for young people. Without a new industry the present drift of young people from the valley is bound to continue, and this will have disastrous consequences for the old-established communities in the Dulais Valley.

8.28 p.m.

Photo of Mr Goronwy Roberts Mr Goronwy Roberts , Caernarvon

I hope to be as brief as others of my hon. Friends have been to enable other colleagues of mine to take part in this important debate, and I will confine myself to two of the points which are mentioned in the Motion and, indeed, in the Government's rebuttal of that Motion: that is, a point on employment and one on education.

I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdare (Mr. Probert) on the excellent speech with which he opened the debate and particularly for bringing into perspective the permanent nature of our unemployment problem in Wales. I also entirely agree with my right hon. Friend the Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Ness Edwards) that, while the position causes anxiety, it would be madness to pretend that it is anything like catastrophic or like the position which was reached before the war. We have made very great strides in new industry and the diversification of industry in Wales.

The point is, however, that with Scotland and the north of England we are still at the top of the league table of unemployment and we are still faced with the old problem of congestion of industry and population in the centre while whole districts on the periphery are in danger of withering away. The Government have had 12 years in which to arrest this drift from the perimeter to the centre and we are more anxious about it in Wales today than we were 12 years ago.

I have never seen so much anxiety and hopelessness as I meet in certain parts of rural Wales today about the perpetual drift of population into the conurbations of England. The people who are leaving are, of course, the young, and often the very young. They are leaving simply because there is no prospect of work for them at home.

My own county is a typical example of what is happening, and has been happening, in the vast majority of Welsh counties for the past 12 or 20 years. We in Caernarvon have an excellent youth employment service. A recent report by its chief officer brings out a number of points which apply with almost equal force to practically every other Welsh county. First, we have the illusory improvement in spring and summer. It is almost entirely seasonal, and the result is that after a few weeks' work during the summer many of our young people find themselves facing their first winter not only out of school but out of work. This is a frustrating and dangerous situation for any young person.

Secondly, the position is not improving with the years. In the first quarter of last year, 258 school leavers found work in the county. In the first quarter this year, the number was 222, or a reduction of 36 as compared with last year. The figures of unemployment of young persons in the county reflect this.

In addition, the number of apprenticeships is not only inadequate, but is falling from year to year. Last year, we apprenticed 55 boys and girls in the first three months. This year, the figure was 39. That is the 25 per cent. drop which my hon. Friend mentioned as being the rule throughout Wales. We are continuing to export our young people at such a rate that the population of Caernarvonshire is less today than it was in 1931.

The solution must be a radical policy of the redistribution of industry throughout the country as a whole. It is idle to talk of apprenticeship and training schemes for areas which lack industry. I do not think that we fully realise yet the immense change that has come over rural Wales—this means 10 out of the 13 counties of Wales—over the past quarter of a century. I do not remember which hon. Member mentioned the growth of automation, but one could fairly say that before the war a number of Welsh counties depended upon agriculture and quarrying, which traditionally were two industries with a high labour force. It is precisely those two industries, which are so vital to many of our counties, which have shown the greatest increase in automation since 1945. The slate-quarrying industry in Caernarvonshire and Merioneth is an example. In 1939, we had 8,500 jobs for slate quarrymen. Today, the number is barely 1,500.

To take the place of the old industry which is either disappearing or contracting, we must have new industry. Unfortunately, so much of the new industry is going into London and the South-Eastern area that we in Wales and our comrades in Scotland and Northern England are not getting our fair share. Hence the fact that 2·8 per cent. of the insured population is unemployed in Wales as compared with 1·1 per cent. in London and the South-East.

I should like briefly to refer to the educational position and to the university. I had wished to say something about the college of advanced technology. If the hon. Member for Barry (Mr. Gower) were present, I would follow up the point which I tried to deal with when he was speaking. If the college of advanced technology is given university status, as is quite possible and feasible, it should not for that reason jettison its courses leading to diploma qualification, especially the vital qualification of the diploma in technology, which we so obviously need in Wales.

I am being asked in university circles to put these questions to the Minister. First, there seems to be a glaring disparity in the expenditure by the Government per student in Wales as compared with similar expenditure in England. According to figures which have been worked out from data given in the last Report of the University Grants Committee, the average amount spent on a student in England was £661. In Wales, it was £533. These figures are being discussed in Wales and I put the point to the Minister that the situation needs to be looked into and answered.

Secondly, the question of university places is of extreme importance. A survey conducted last year by the Association of University Teachers, during which appropriate questions were put to the headmasters of secondary schools in Wales, revealed that 47·6 per cent. of the sixth formers of Wales wished to enter university and had obtained at least the minimum entrance qualification. That figure compares with 40 per cent. in the country as a whole. Of that 47·6 per cent., more than one quarter—to be exact, 426—failed to obtain a place. These were 426 pupils in Wales who had the minimum requirements for entry. I take this to be three A-level passes, two of which were certainly over 50 per cent.

Worse still, it was found that 164 of the 426 had higher than minimum requirements. That is to say, they had obtained a mark of 10 per cent. over the normal pass mark. So we had pupils possessing three A-level passes with 60 per cent. in each failing to get into a university. It is fair to say that this 60 per cent. pass section contains the probable honours graduate in arts and science and the probable researcher, and these figures represent a serious loss to the country as well as a profound disappointment to the applicant.

The situation is not so difficult in Scotland, for the following reasons. Scotland, with twice the population of Wales, has three times the university places. We have a university population of 7,000 or a little more, and the Scots have a university population of 18,000 and the grants are, accordingly, different. I hope that the Scots continue to avoid the terrible problem of seeking but failing to find university places for pupils who are remarkably well qualified for them. I hope that the Government will take to heart the plea of the university authorities in Wales for a review of financial grants made to the four colleges and the school of medicine.

The Motion condemns the Government for failing to do for Wales what could have been done if there had been the will to share the wealth and education facilities of the country. We have not had a fair share of either employment or education facilities in Wales, and on these two grounds alone the Government should pack up and go and leave room for a Government more in tune with the needs and views of the Welsh people.

8.41 p.m.

Photo of Mr Arthur Pearson Mr Arthur Pearson , Pontypridd

I wholeheartedly join those who have spoken from these benches today in complimenting my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdare (Mr. Probert) upon the very able way in which he moved the Motion. He flayed the Government with statistics which the Minister for Welsh Affairs absolutely failed to refute. That does not mean to say that one is unmindful of the enthusiasm of the Minister and his efforts to do his best to solve many of the problems that face Wales. We know that he will do his best.

I consider it entirely right that the Opposition's main influence should be exerted on the flaws visible in the Report on Government Action in Wales and Monmouthshire. A measure of allowance, though, must be made on these occasions for the sense of flawlessness that pervades a small group of Tory Members of Parliament representing Welsh constituencies. Perhaps it is just innocence—the voice of a sage from the North contends that it certainly applies to the hon. Member for Cardiff, North (Mr. Box)—or it might well be political ecstasy, as in the case of the hon. Member for Barry (Mr. Gower) who, when he sees blue patches in a protracted, clouded political sky, at once thinks that the heavens are going Conservative.

But, here below, the fancies have to give way to realities. So it is better for us to seek, as far as we can, what is the explanation for the incorrect assessment of the defects and shortcomings mentioned in the Motion. In many sectors one can see the erroneous character and harmful nature of the courses being followed. The measures taken have been nothing but an enumeration of disjointed and anæmic proposals dressed up more and more in White Papers supposedly designed to take us sailing joyously into the 'seventies. They are divorced from the realities of the deeds and are mere tickets to nowhere.

Twelve years of Tory Government leaves so much undone that should have been done. Interspersed have been national scandals rudely shocking the House and the public because the Government have been lax, tolerant of bad standards and neglectful of their duty to give the country good leadership. The impression is plainly given that right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite are more concerned with shielding their party and only as a subsidiary matter with the general national interest. The struggle for personal power goes on apace within the crumbling edifice, but, fortunately, not far off is awaiting the tribunal of the nation which many pointers show will speed the liquidation of the guilty men. The internal cold war of the Tory Party will not die; it will just fade away and leave a strange alchemy of loyalties with the light and shade of it all deeply staining the national canvas.

That aside, we all feel that our true prospects ultimately depend much on the performance of the economy. Say what we will, there lie the means of success. During each outcome of the Government's stop and go policy we watch the rise and fall of our industries with anxiety as they waver with the strength or weakness of the economy. Never are we sure who takes the decisions. Nor do we know the basis upon which the Government's minds operate and change. Perhaps the authority is being transferred to N.E.D.C., or N.I.C., or the employers' associations plus President Kennedy and the Cabinet. The one thing clear is that it is safer to be doubly sure, doubly cautious of the effects, rather than to trust the mere word of a Government who can change their minds too easily.

The Motion mentions only a few of the flaws in the Government's record. My own register of their imperfections would certainly recount that unemployment still stalks far too many homes, an indication that more factories are needed in Wales. The houseless march from pillar to post without avail. Substandard houses sharply prick the conscience. Careerless youths and school leavers are left without sure openings to a livelihood. Too many worthy student applicants are unable to gain admittance to university because there is no room.

The aged still lack security. The unequal battle between landowner and leaseholder is still unresolved. The cost of land goes up unabated, and no action is taken. The problems of distributive justice mount up. As we know, a sensible prelude to planning demands longer anticipation of when industries are likely to close. There is no firm lead about the wisdom of local authorities to pioneer industrial estates as against it being the proper province of the Industrial Estates Corporation for Wales.

There is widespread concern in Wales, too, that too much of the Welsh economy is based on serving the motor car industry. There is no industry in Wales to absorb the electronic output from Bangor and the trained personnel from the Advanced College of Technology and other colleges of technology. A promising industry in the automation field, Elliott of Treforest, is moving away. Greater concentration is needed to get empty factories into production again. Such is a formidable list of flaws in Government action in Wales. For some it may mean no more than a nuisance, but for those whose prosperity and livelihood depends on the success in keeping Wales' economy on the move, it means everything.

It is a shame that Elliott (Treforest) Ltd. of the powerful Elliott Automation Group is planning to move its Treforest factory to the north of England. Only 18 months ago Firth Cleveland Fastenings Ltd.—formerly Simmonds Aeroccessories Ltd.—sold the instrument section of its activities to the Elliott group. For over 20 years the men and women making up this instrument section had made instruments for a large number of companies, the Air Ministry, and Admiralty. It was a first-class section, doing a first-class job of work of the highest possible standard. It was a growth industry, we thought, doing work of the highest standard.

At the time of the transfer to the Elliott Group agreements were drawn up between the company and the Amalgamated Engineering Union. The latter was assured that the future of the factory was to be a permanent one on the Treforest Trading Estate. With this assurance, 280 of the A.E.U. members agreed to join the Elliott undertaking. With the labour force now reduced to 186, should the factory close, the great majority will be thrown on the scrap heap as there are no similar jobs available in the vicinity for the men.

During the last 18 months thousands of pounds have been spent by the Industrial Estates Corporation in making alterations to the factory. A fine test house, financed largely by the Government, was installed, and within the last three months a grant of £7,000 was made for testing flow meter gear, a most promising development, with a further grant pending.

The reasons circulating amongst the employees for this transfer was that the Board of Trade would give a 10 per cent. grant to the firm for moving to Cumberland. And this when the overwhelming proportion of the employees of Elliott (Treforest) Limited is drawn from the Rhondda, where the employment figure is 8 per cent. How can we talk about the Employment Act of 1961 when we allow this driving to the north to be carried out in spite of the fact that we need the work, and after all the experiences that we have had in the past? It is beneath contempt.

The House should be told whether it is true that grants are being given to firms to leave South Wales. If it is, I say that it is downright damnable, and I protest strongly against it. Surely the great Elliott Automation Group does not want this fine body of men and women at Treforest to be treated in this way. Let the firm continue its activities there, and let work be brought from their factories in other parts of the country, where then; is a labour shortage. I am sure that the firm will never regret it. I make a fervent plea to the Minister and to the President of the Board of Trade to bend all their efforts towards influencing this firm to remain where it is.

I am not without an element of anxiety about the British Overseas Airways Corporation repairs factory at Treforest. This is another factory with a fine record of work and achievement. Now, with the extension of aircraft engine life-hours and the greater seating accommodation in new aircraft such as the V.C.10s, the engine repair work done at this factory will tend to diminish. Should this trend go too far real difficulty may be experienced in maintaining this base at a sufficient high economic efficiency with the existing staff. A run-down can be successfully achieved through normal wastage, and by inducing those who are near pensionable age to leave prematurely. While the situation may be tolerably held for a time in this way, any further contraction may lead to unfortunate redundancy. Every effort should be made to avoid this possibility. Work is available which could be admirably carried out by repair factories.

In this connection, I understand that it would be economical for B.O.A.C. repair factories to overhaul fuel system components. A study shows that Treforest could do this work successfully if the initial outlay for equipment was made. Why is not this work being put into Treforest? The B.O.A.C. ought to consider a change of policy with regard to outside subcontract work which could be economically carried out at this repair factory. This would benefit Wales and the Corporation. The Corporation should go ahead with the overhaul not only of its own engines but also the components. I seek expansion and not contraction, and I seek help from Ministerial quarters in achieving it at Treforest.

I have dwelt in the main upon uncertainties, which are a record of pitchy black in the increasing tensions and hardening attitudes. In short, the Government have failed to work out the terms upon which the people of Wales may live happily together. By failing to act in time and failing to take thought in time, concern has grown lest Wales may not secure the future that it has a right to expect. Let us seize the willing hands ready to contribute to the full to the national resources so as to ensure and protect as far as possible the future. In this sphere let intelligent support be forthcoming from responsible quarters for traders and merchant venturers in their quest for overseas markets, with a resultant build-up in Wales bringing prosperity and happiness to its fine hardworking people.

9.0 p.m.

Photo of Mr Ifor Davies Mr Ifor Davies , Gower

I am obliged to my hon. Friends for the opportunity to say a few words in this debate in which I have heard every speech. I wish to give the Minister credit for trying at all times to speak to the point and for being blunt. I wish to draw his attention to a phrase in the Amendment referring to "the increased provision of facilities for the training of young people. …"

The debate was initiated esentially to deal with the situation of the youth in our country and to draw attention to the lack of training facilities. The words in the Amendment are not true. The Minister referred to Wales as a land of opportunity and mentioned the good things there. None of us denies that. We welcome the industrial improvement in the Principality. But let us face the fact, emphasised by my hon. Friend the Member for Pontypridd (Mr. A. Pearson), that there is a fear of unemployment. I will refer to the present situation compared with that which obtained twelve months ago and make no mention of the intervening period of heavy unemployment. There is an increase of 12 per cent. in the men unemployed and 31 per cent. of the boys. The figure for women shows an increase of 12 per cent. and for girls 42 per cent. The average figure is 14 per cent. Therefore, the case is established. The figures speak for themselves.

There is a remarkable situation in respect of young people. The number of apprentices in Wales is 10 per cent. less than in England. I do not propose to make a national issue of this, but that is the fact. The number of young people taking employment for which there is no training amounts to 53 per cent. for boys and 62 per cent. for girls. That means that over half of our young people take up employment without any training. What is the reason? I think it is that the Government have failed to face one essential fact—whose is the responsibility?

We have been trying to argue where responsibility lies. The Government say it rests with industry. I am glad to recognise that recently, through the Lord Privy Seal when he was Minister of Labour who introduced the first apprenticeship training scheme, the Government have recognised that they must take some positive action. Last night there was a discussion on television about the need for positive Government and we think that this is a matter in which the Government should intervene. I recognise that the Government have accepted our argument to a certain extent that it is part of Governmental responsibility to see that training is carried out properly. I welcome the Government White Paper on Industrial Training. It is not good enough to say when debating this matter that training is a question for industry to consider. It is not a matter only for industry; it is a matter for everyone concerned and essentially a matter for the Government.

I draw the attention of the House to a matter referred to this afternoon in connection with Swansea. Although my constituency is not in Swansea, I am proud to say a word on its behalf and to re-echo what was said by my hon. Friend the Member for Swansea, East (Mr. McBride) and also my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdare (Mr. Probert), who opened the debate. This refers to the importance of giving assistance to derelict areas. In Swansea there is a remarkable experiment known as the Swansea Valley Project. In an area of approximately three miles long by one mile wide there is one of the most extensive examples of industrial dereliction to be found in the United Kingdom. As my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdare said, there are areas such as this because they are not in development districts and they cannot obtain help through the proposal made—which I accept as important—in the Budget.

This is a scandal. There are 800 acres of derelict land which could provide good sites for industry. A number of university departments have been mobilised to survey the copper smelting region of Landore to see how it can be reclaimed. I recognise that the Minister of Housing and Local Government has provided £5,000 for research, but Swansea Council has beaten him by giving £7,500. It is not good enough for the Government to leave areas of this kind and not give them the benefit of a grant. Whereas we have been criticising the method by which the Government sort out the development districts, I draw to the attention of the Minister the fact that the Industrial Association of Wales and Monmouthshire said in its memorandum what we have been saying for a very long time. It said: While it is appreciated that further additions to the list of development districts would probably reduce the amount of aid for any one project, it is felt nevertheless that a review should be made of the criteria which governs the designation of such areas. We have been saying for a long time that if, for example, the Government would include the Morriston Exchange that would solve the problem of the Swansea Valley Project. I express the hope that the Government will give heed to the pleas we have made today, especially on behalf of juvenile employment.

9.9 p.m.

Photo of Mr Gwilym Davies Mr Gwilym Davies , Rhondda East

I add my congratulations to those of other hon. Member son this side of the House to my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdare (Mr. Probert) for the excellent way in which he opened the debate today. He marshalled his facts and put them over in such a way that the Minister in his reply was glad to slide over them and deal with matters which my hon. Friend had not raised, but about which the Minister is very much concerned.

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

And which are in the Motion.

Photo of Mr Gwilym Davies Mr Gwilym Davies , Rhondda East

The Motion has been put down by hon. Members on this side of the House, but when we consider the last sentence of the Amendment we see that it condemns the Government, for it says that they have failed to do these things for twelve years but will now start to do them. There is no need for a Motion, for the Government condemn themselves.

The debate today is both timely and necessary. It is timely in the light of the publication by the Registrar General of the census figures for the counties of Breconshire and Glamorgan. It is necessary because of the contents of those reports in relation to the population figures and the trends which are clearly shown. I understand that figures published so far are in respect of only those two counties.

It all represents, once again, the sad tale of depopulation, not only from the rural areas and the countryside of Wales, Mid-Wales in particular, but also from the old mining valleys and other communities of the South. It is the continued migration of our people who have failed to find employment within travelling distance of their homes. It is the story of those who, by force of economic circumstances, are compelled to leave the valleys and townships they love to seek work elsewhere.

The figures show that in Brecon the population fell in the 10 years from 1951 to 1951 from 56,508 to 55,185, a drop of 1,323. But the balance of births and deaths during that period showed an increase of 1,369. This shows that migration from the county offset the birth and death figures to leave a net loss. This applies to almost all parts of Brecon and shows that urban and rural areas have suffered a loss of population. This decline has continued the trend which has been apparent since 1931.

While depopulation in Glamorgan, including the county boroughs of Cardiff, Swansea and Merthyr Tydfil has increased by 27,147 in the same 10-year period, the balance of births and deaths again shows a natural increase of 52,957. This indicates a movement out of the county of 25,810 people. It is significant, particularly in Glamorgan, that there has been a considerable movement within the county itself. This movement has been, in the main—as has been forecast by my hon. Friends in recent debates—taking place away from the industrial valleys, where employment in mining and the steel industry has been reducing, into the coastal areas of South Wales. This was forecast in the House and in the Welsh Grand Committee. In the Rhondda, a part of which I have the honour to represent, there was a drop of 11,102 during this period. I could give the figures for many other areas in South Wales, but I wish to leave the Minister ample time in which to reply.

It is significant that of the areas in which the drop has occurred all have a long and proud association with coal and steel. The only increases have taken place in areas near the coastal belt, such as Barry, Port Talbot, Porthcawl and Bridgend. These reports cause disquiet and misgiving among the people of Wales. To allow this trend to continue cannot be in the best interests of Britain as a whole and the Principality in particular. Local authorities in these areas are worried about the trend, and it must be remembered that this is a problem not of figures but of people. Their lives, future, social well-being and the very culture of the country is at stake.

A grave responsibility rests on the Government to take measures to prevent these localities becoming dormitories for the aged of Wales. It is reasonably safe to assume that when the figures for the rest of Wales are published they will, by and large, follow the same pattern. It is one of the results of the much lauded Tory freedom. If there had been sound economic planning of industry on the lines advanced by Members on this side from time to time during the past twelve years, I am convinced that much of this decline need not have happened.

It is almost twelve months since the House last debated Welsh affairs, on 2nd August, 1962. In that debate hon. Members expressed the same anxieties, the same problems, the same fears, as have been voiced today. I know that, because I sat here and listened to all of it. That this is so is due in the main to the fact that the problems of the people of Wales are the same today as they were a year ago. Very little has taken place to change them. We still have unemployment far above the national average. We still have areas where unemployment is as high as from 6 per cent. to 10 per cent. We still have large numbers of young persons who have left school and have yet not found work. There are still too few apprenticeships for school leavers. There are still too many disabled men and women unable to find suitable work. There are still too few places for those who desire university training. The provision of technical and technological education still lags far behind that existing in England.

In Wales on 10thJune, 1963, there were 29,011 on the unemployed register, 3 per cent. of the insured population, as against 2 per cent. for the whole of Great Britain. What is more important is that this figure of 29,011 is nearly 4,000 more than that on the corresponding date in 1962 and over 7,000 more than that in 1960. Let me say at once that there has been a drop in the July figures published last week of 1,460. We are still far above the position last year and that in 1960.

Yet in the debate on 2nd August, 1962, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, opening the debate, forecast a tremendous and vigorous expansion in British industry that would bring great advantage in employment to the people of Wales. I will not quote the hon. Gentleman's exact words. They can be found in cols. 827–8 of HANSARD of that date. What has happened to the tremendous expansion in British industry that we were promised? In spite of the measures introduced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and in spite of this year's Budget, British industry shows little sign or evidence of the promised boom. It is time that it was realised that industry cannot be turned on and off like a tap at the behest of Tory Chancellors. My hon. Friend the Member for Carmarthen (Lady Megan Lloyd George) said this in last year's debate: This is one in a long succession of debates in which successive Ministers have told us how well we are doing in Wales, that a good time is coming, that expansion is round the corner and that boom conditions will arise at any moment in Wales."—[Official Report, 2nd August, 1962; Vol. 664, c. 829.] Was not that what the Minister told us today? Is it not a repetition? Will the same position exist when we debate this matter twelve months hence? We in Wales are still waiting for the expansion, for the good time that is round the corner. The trouble is that we shall not turn the corner under this Government.

What is the real position in Wales today? My hon. Friend the Member for Aberavon (Mr. Morris) told the House that in Port Talbot the gigantic Margam steel works are now working four days a week. Men are working four days—short time—in one of the industries that is fundamental to the industrial prosperity of Wales. The gearing of Welsh industry to the steel industry is causing some concern in Wales. Greater diversification is of the utmost importance. This was recently emphasised by the chairman of the Industrial Estates Management Corporation for Wales in his evidence to the Estimates Committee contained in answers to questions 868–72 of the Seventh Report of the Estimates Committee published on 15th May of this year.

It would be wrong of me—indeed, it would be of no service to Wales—if I did not make it clear that I welcome, as every Welshman welcomes, the important developments that have taken place in Wales since the war.

The establishment of such projects as Llanwern, Rovers in Cardiff, Pressed Steel, and the new coal-fired power stations at Aberthaw, all on the Welsh coast, are to be welcomed as a step forward, but the Government must be made to realise that the establishment of these great works offers no solution to the problem of the high and persistent unemployment which exists in parts of Wales too far removed from these areas. What consolation is it to a man who is unemployed in my constituency, or in Aberdare, or Pontardawe, to be told that there is plenty of work in Newport? It only makes him more bitter that so little effort has been put into encouraging new industry in his own area.

The factory which is now due to leave the Treforest Trading Estate and now employs about 200 men is to close on 1st November, all production being transferred to Maryport in Cumberland. A report in the South Wales Echo on 19th July states that the A.E.U. convener at the factory had said that the managing director of the company, a Mr. S. H. Goss, had told the workers that the transfer was being made only for the sake of the 10 per cent. development grant offered to firms moving into development districts. In fairness it should be said that this was later denied by Mr. Goss, but I ask the Minister to inquire into the matter. It is rather significant that today's Western Mail publishes a report of another movement, that of the Metal Box Company from Dafen, near Llanelly to Newcastle. I do not know what relationship there is between these moves but, as some of our fellows would say, it is highly suspicious. I ask the Minister to look seriously into the matter because it would be a tragedy if a factory were allowed to leave the area.

Fifty of those who are employed in the factory live in my constituency, which is scheduled as a development district. I do not know what good that is. My constituency has been a development district, a distressed area, a special area, and a development area, in the past 30 years. It has never been off one list or the other. Here is a situation where a factory now employing 50 of those living in the area is likely to be moved north to another area where there is high unemployment.

I have had a number of letters from my constituents on this subject. I do not intend to quote them now, but in addition a deputation came to see me on Friday night. I appeal to the Minister to do all he can to help prevent this further tragedy. I hope that he will probe into this suggested closure so that the real reasons for the move can be examined and the transfer prevented. The problem of the North-East should not be solved at the cost of worsening the employment situation in this or any other part of Wales which is already burdened with unemployment figures far above the average for Britain.

Whilst there is concern about the overall unemployment position, the situation in certain types of employment within the total is far more worrying. Those aged 55 and upwards are finding it increasingly difficult to find a job. Many of these, who become redundant in the steadily contracting industries, view the future with despair. The closing down of many branch railway lines in Wales will add to the problems. Most of those who become redundant as a result are also within this higher age group. They have given many years of loyal service to the railways and they find themselves now with no future prospects.

We need a tremendous increase in the facilities for the training of these men to meet the challenge of the second industrial revolution. The scars of the first are still to be seen in many of our valleys, and there can be no justification or excuse for the same mistakes to be repeated today. The labour force is too valuable to the nation for those in it to be permitted to waste their lives in enforced idleness. If we are to meet the challenge presented by the industrial countries of Europe and the rest of the world the Government must act now. We cannot solve these immense problems with promises. They require immediate and vigorous action.

If the situation is bleak for these people, what about the vast numbers of disabled men and women who remain without work in Wales today? This is one aspect of the unemployment problem in Wales which has been bypassed for far too long. For too long have they been regarded as the forgotten army of British industry. I regard this as one of the most distressing and heartrending features of the unemployment situation in Wales. If the general situation improved and more work became available, some of these disabled men might have some chance of being squeezed into a job, but while the fit are unemployed what hope is there for men who are disabled? If a new industry comes to the area some of the lighter work can be performed by them.

Another way in which this section of people can be dealt with is by the provision of additional Remploy factories. Wales still has a greater proportion of registered disabled persons than the rest of Great Britain, and the complete picture is not adequately shown. A large number of partially disabled men do not register. This, I am convinced, is due to the fact that they do not see the value of registration. They argue that those who have already taken the trouble to do so are still without a job. They have lost confidence in the desire or the efforts of the Government to measure up to their responsibility in this direction.

Most Members will be aware that there are two sections of these people. The register is divided into two. Section 1is composed of those disabled who are suitable for certain types of employment in industry generally, and section 2 consists of the severely disabled who can be employed only under special conditions. These are the people who would benefit from Remploy factory employment. They comprise about 14 per cent. or 15 per cent. of the registered disabled in Wales. There are today in Wales 13 Remploy factories employing about 1,000 people. But there are still about 700 on the register unable to find employment that they could perform.

What an indictment against the system that the Government allows to continue, that these industrial war casualties are left without any hope of work. What a bleak and miserable future they face. Remploy is their only hope. Let me pay a tribute to the work done by these factories. They have been a great success. But success cannot be measured by money alone. These people are given a new life, a new sense of being wanted by society. That is the real value of those factories. Because of this, we on this side of the House have consistently asked that the schemes be extended, that more of this type of factory be established in those parts of Wales where these people live. I again appeal to the Minister to approach his right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour to use his influence where our appeals have so far failed. We assure him that if he does so, he will earn the undying gratitude of these people who have suffered too long.

The failure of the Government to provide work for young boys and girls when they leave school is felt particularly in Wales. It is really tragic that young people full of enthusiasm, of youthful ambition, are all too often faced with the dismal prospect of being unwanted by society during these crucial years. This situation, if it is not remedied, could become a national calamity. I know nothing that could do more harm to their future and to their attitude to society than this fear of being unwanted so early in their lives. I had six months of it myself when I left school and I know what it means. When the rest of the school-leavers come on the register in the next few weeks, the situation will give cause for great alarm.

Now, apprenticeships. The Government cannot be very proud of their record here, and in Wales it is very much worse than it is in the country as a whole. In an expanding economy and with the diversity of jobs necessary in our new scientific age, effective steps must be taken rapidly to increase the number of young men and women able to take apprenticeship training. I am convinced that the solution to this problem must be one of the top priorities in our industrial system.

I was going to say something about housing, but I will conclude in this way. I am very surprised, and rather annoyed, that throughout the whole debate there has been not one Minister from the Board of Trade present on the Treasury Bench. I intended to say something about the B.O.T.A.C. system and factories in the Rhondda. Unfortunately, I have had no time and, in any case, there is no one present from the Board of Trade. These are all problems in the provision of work in unemployment areas and development districts in Wales, and they are matters for the Board of Trade. There should have been someone present to hear the case put.

I hope that I have not given the impression that Wales is down and out. Wales is not down and out. A lot has been done for Wales since the end of the war, but much more could and should have been done during the past 12 years. I believe that a Labour Government would have tackled the task with more realism and vigour. The present Government's term of office is coming to a close. When given the opportunity, the people of Brtiain will return once more a Labour Government pledged to do the things which this Government have failed to do.

9.32 p.m.

Photo of Mr William Whitelaw Mr William Whitelaw , Penrith and The Border

It must be a rare privilege for a Scotsman representing an English constituency to take part in two Welsh debates in one Session, yet this opportunity has been given to me. The experience has taught me two lessons. First, Welsh Members are prepared to treat even an interloper with whom they may disagree with the courtesy for which their nation is justifiably renowned. Second, whether or not one agrees with the points made by the various speakers, one cannot help but admire, as always in Welsh debates, the eloquence with which they are expressed.

I shall concentrate mainly on employment and training matters for which we in the Ministry of Labour are responsible. Accordingly, I shall not discuss housing, about which we heard from the hon. Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. G. Thomas), nor shall I touch on the very interesting and very well-informed speech of the hon. Member for Wrexham (Mr. Idwal Jones) on the subject of education or follow the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydfil (Mr. S. O. Davies) into the problems of the Boundary Commission.

Some hon. Members have painted a very gloomy picture of the employment situation in Wales, particularly as it affects young people. Quite fairly, the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Mr. A. Pearson) said that it was the duty of the Opposition to bring out the deficiencies, but I have fait that some speeches have painted too gloomy a picture. I thought that this was true of the forceful speech of the hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Morris), with a lot of whose remarks I otherwise agreed. The suggestion that the picture is a gloomy one is not supported by the facts, many of which have already been given by my right hon. Friend. Before dealing with the various points which have been made, I shall set out the main features of the employment situation in Wales today. In this way, I think, we shall put the problems into their proper perspective.

According to the figures for mid-July, there were 27,551 unemployed in Wales of whom nearly 20,000 were males. This total represents 2.2 per cent. of the insured population in Wales, as compared with 2 per cent. in Great Britain as a whole. There are about 1,000 more people unemployed than there were a year ago.

Turning to the youth employment figures, in mid-July there were just under 3,300 boys and girls unemployed in Wales. There are included in this figure up to approximately 1000 summer school leavers who have just registered for employment, The present total of unemployed is about 600 more than at this time last year, and about 2,500 fewer than it was last January. This substantial fall has occurred despite the advent of some 7,400 Easter school leavers and of the summer leavers who have just registered.

At this point I would refer to an intervention made by the hon. Member for Aberavon in my right hon. Friend's speech. He suggested that there might be a considerable number of concealed unemployed young people who had not registered because they were not eligible for unemployment benefit. I would make two points about this. First, we have no means of knowing exactly how many young people of this kind there are, but there is no reason to suppose that the proportion of them has changed from year to year. Therefore, it is surely reasonable to compare one year's unemployment figures with another. Secondly, it is also surely right to assume that young people register primarily to secure employment and therefore if they want the jobs they are most likely to register.

Photo of Sir John Morris Sir John Morris , Aberavon

As to the hidden factor, will the hon. Gentleman take steps to discover how many there are, and does he not agree with the report that I received from my youth employment officer that there are substantial numbers in my division? They do not register either because they do not get National Assistance because they are under 16, or do not get unemployment benefit because they do not qualify for it. Why does he not discover how many there are so that we may know the exact figure? I have asked for it on several occasions, but I have been refused.

Photo of Mr William Whitelaw Mr William Whitelaw , Penrith and The Border

The hon. Gentleman has not been refused. I have merely pointed out that at the present time we have no means of knowing if they do not register because we take our figures from those who do register. That is a perfectly reasonable point of view.

Now we have the summer leavers. Their numbers will be probably fewer than last year's summer total of just under 17,000. Last year by the end of the summer holidays the proportion still registered for employment was down to just over 14 per cent. and by December the figure was just over 2 per cent. It is reasonable to hope that in the improving economic situation this year, the prospects for the summer school leavers on the whole will be reasonably good. We can be encouraged also by the rise which has taken place in the number of vacancies for young people. Between June and July of this year, vacancies in Wales rose from 1,600 to 2,800 and there are now more vacancies than there were a year ago.

Against this background, the hon. Member for Aberdare and the hon. Member for Bedwellty (Mr. Finch) in particular, and many other hon. Members, spoke about the need for greater diversification of industry. I think that they realise, as was very fairly recognised by a number of them, particularly by the hon. Member for Caernarvon (Mr. G. Roberts) and the hon. Member for Rhondda, East (Mr. G. Elfed Davies) that much of the work that is now needed to improve the industrial structure of Scotland and the North-East has in fact already been done in Wales. The decline in the traditional industries of South Wales has not produced serious unemployment. May I give just one example. Wales had 204,000 people employed in coal mining in 1938. It now has under 83,000 and yet, as the hon. Member for Bedwellty said, we have been able to find these people employment. I think that that is a remarkable position.

Photo of Mr Harold Finch Mr Harold Finch , Bedwellty

They had to find work elsewhere and outside the mining valleys in many cases. They are leaving the mining valleys. That is the answer.

Photo of Mr William Whitelaw Mr William Whitelaw , Penrith and The Border

Changes mean some travelling to work, and I think that that is widely accepted throughout the House.

In the steel and tinplate industry a technological revolution has been carried through. Over 50 tinplate plants which together employed 21,000 in 1947 have been closed and the production has been concentrated in a few modern plants. Yet the industry now employs at least 10,000 more than it did in the best pre-war years.

Photo of Mr James Griffiths Mr James Griffiths , Llanelli

Is the Parliamentary Secretary suggesting that the three plants which now produce tinplate are employing more than the old works?

Photo of Mr William Whitelaw Mr William Whitelaw , Penrith and The Border

I referred to the steel and tinplate industry. I think that the right hon. Member will find that those were the words which I used. If I had referred purely to tinplate, I would agree with what he says.

The Welsh achievement has not been merely in the transformation of these basic industries but also in the attraction of new manufacturing industries. This is the secret of the resilience of the Welsh economy over the past few years, as was fairly recognised by the hon. Member for Swansea, East (Mr. McBride). Hon. Members will see the story set out in the Treasury Bulletin for Industry for June under the heading "Industrial Development in Wales". It must be agreed, I think, that, taken as a whole, it is a success story.

Nevertheless, we must recognise that an expanding economy is the key to a continuation of this success story, as was properly stressed by the hon. Member for Caernarvon. I remind the hon. Member for Rhondda, East that all last week's economic indicators show that the expansion which the Government have planned is now happening, and I should like to give some account of what has been happening in Wales recently.

More than 22 new firms or new factories set up by employers already established in Wales have started operation in the past 12 months. Together they provide jobs for more than 2,200 people. They vary in their products from petrochemicals to chocolate biscuits and they spread throughout the country from Amlwch to Wrexham and from Newtown to Pembroke Dock. In addition, nearly 20 firms have expanded their labour force in the same period, and, taken together, they are providing over 8,000 more jobs than they did twelve months ago.

I accept that there is another side to this story as is often the case. The hon. Members for Pontypridd and Rhondda, East and my hon. Friend the Member for Barry (Mr. Gower) referred to the problem of the firm of Elliott of Treforest. I assure them on the general policy point which they made that I will see that it is brought to the attention of my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade. On the employment position, which concerns us in the Ministry of Labour, I understand that the total number of people employed there is 190. The prospects of other work for women if this firm closes are very good, as was recognised by the hon. Member for Pontypridd, but they are not so good for men. We will have difficulty in saying exactly what these prospects are until after the holiday season, but I assure the hon. Members concerned that if the firm closes we shall be in very close touch with them and will do everything we can to find alternative employment.

The House will know of the new benefits announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and by the President of the Board of Trade which are available to firms set up or expanding in development districts. Between 3rd April and 30th June there were four applications for B.O.T.A.C. assistance in Wales, six firm applications for grants for building, and one firm and three provisional applications for grants for plant and machinery. In addition, two Government factories have been approved in principle. Nevertheless, I think that we all recognise, as many hon. Members have pointed out, that there are still areas which need help. The hon. Member for Neath (Mr. D. J. Williams), for example, referred to the youth employment problem in his valleys. Then, there are the problems of the rural parts of Wales, which were referred to by my hon. Friend the Member for Hereford (Mr. Girbson-Watt). I agreed very much with what he said about the value of tourism as a means of providing employment.

Taken altogether, I think it can be said that Wales has done well but that we must recognise that we must do everything we can to assist it to do better. Nobody, however, could deny that the economy of Wales as a whole is diversified and resilient.

Photo of Mr Iorwerth Thomas Mr Iorwerth Thomas , Rhondda West

In regard to the development districts, is it not a fact that in the last month the B.O.T.A.C. section of the Board of Trade has turned down an application by an employer for the development district of Rhondda that would give employment to 600 persons and, secondly, that there are two other applications on the register which have received no reply?

Photo of Mr William Whitelaw Mr William Whitelaw , Penrith and The Border

I am aware of that position. The hon. Member will, I think, appreciate that B.O.T.A.C. has been given the power to recommend whether such grants should be given and that the Board of Trade has no power to offer assistance except after receiving a favourable recommendation from B.O.T.A.C. That is the position and I think that the hon. Member appreciates it.

The hon. Member for Aberdare (Mr. Probert) and the hon. Member for Rhondda, East raised the problem of the older workers. They are, very properly, a matter of considerable concern, perhaps particularly in parts of Wales. These hon. Members, and particularly the right hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths), will know that we have been carrying out a special survey of the duration of unemployment at selected employment exchanges in Wales. I have promised the right hon. Gentleman that I would let him have data relating to older workers in Llanelly and I will be sending this to him this week. I have also promised the right hon. Gentleman to consider whether the survey could be published. We have not yet finally completed the analysis, but when this is done we will certainly consider publishing the main points which have emerged, possibly in the Ministry of Labour Gazette.

In the meantime, the House might like some indication of the results of the survey. It was carried out at six employment exchanges—Ammanford, Caernarvon, Llanelly, Newtown, Newport and Wrexham—which were selected to give a fairly representative cross-section of Wales as a whole. It is encouraging to learn that the information so far available from this survey shows that, generally, older workers are less likely to lose their jobs than younger people, unless—and this is the real problem—they are involved in major redundancy.

It can also be said that a fair degree of success is being achieved by the employment exchanges in finding other work for those who become unemployed. Nevertheless, the survey has shown, and we must recognise this, that it is not easy to find a suitable occupation for older people, more particularly for those who have spent their whole working lives in specialised conditions and then find that they have to take up something quite different from what they have been used to. For example, those who have worked with "hot" tinplate can seldom undertake work which is exposed to the weather. The employment exchanges, as, I think, the right hon. Gentleman knows, do all that they can to persuade employers to consider older workers on their merits regardless of age. In some cases, there has been an encouraging response to this.

The hon. Member for Rhondda, East stressed the position of disabled persons. I agreed with much that he said, but I would not go with him in saying that Remploy offered the only hope. As the hon. Member will know, local authorities have powers to open sheltered workshops and some local authorities have done this.

Hon. Members will probably remember that in the debate in the Welsh Grand Committee, I said that I hoped later to go to see the Glamorgan County Council with my noble Friend the Minister of State. I was going to Cardiff last Friday to do so, but, unfortunately, the meeting had to be cancelled because we were discussing Lords Amendments to the Offices and Shops Bill and the Contracts of Employment Bill in this House. However, I am glad to say that my right hon. Friend is so anxious to make a move in this direction that he has now decided to go himself to meet the Glamorgan County Council at the beginning of September. So, where they lost a mouse, they get something very much greater later on.

Several hon. Gentlemen have referred to the problems of facing change. One of the most important of these, as was stressed by the hon. Member for Rhondda, East, is to provide for the retraining of adult workers. My right hon. Friend has already announced that there will be an expansion in the facilities at the Government training centres for training and re-training and that Wales will share in this expansion.

The present Government training centre in Cardiff is to be moved into larger premises, and this will allow us to increase the training places available there from the present figure of 140 to about 250. We shall also be providing a second centre at Llanelly to serve the West Wales area. This will provide another 180 places. Between them, the two centres will be capable of training up to 850 persons annually.

These additions, naturally, cannot be effected immediately. Premises are available at Cardiff, but they need adaptation for use as a training centre. At Llanelly it has not been so easy to find a suitable building, but premises were inspected there last week which, with some adaptation, would suit our purpose, and I hope that a lease can be quickly negotiated so that the necessary work may be put in hand as soon as possible. We shall do everything we can to speed our preparations so that there may be no unnecessary delay.

At this point I must take issue with the right hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Ness Edwards), who knows a lot about these subjects because he once occupied the job that I now have. He suggested that there had been no planning about this adult re-training. I can assure him that that is very far from the mark.

Now let me come to the training of young people, to which hon. Members on both sides of the House have rightly attached so much importance. The hon. Members for Aberdare and Bedwellty and my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, North (Mr. Box) said that the proportion of boys obtaining apprenticeships in Wales is lower than in the country as a whole. They also said that so far this year fewer boys have obtained apprenticeships than in the corresponding period last year. Their statements are perfectly true. I do not need to go over the figures again, for they are well known. But comparisons between the proportion of apprenticeships in Wales and the proportion in the country as a whole lead some people to suggest that the training situation in Wales is much less satisfactory than in the country as a whole. That, however, is not the true interpretation of the facts.

The proportion of apprenticeships in any district reflects very largely the industrial structure of the area. In Wales, in spite of the developments of engineering in recent years, the main industries are iron and steel and coal mining. In both of those industries only a small proportion of the training is done by way of apprenticeships. But, in fact, these industries give great attention to the training of their labour force. I need not tell hon. Members from Wales, such as the hon. Member for Aberdare, for example, who mentioned the mining training centre in his own constituency, that training a man to become a highly skilled coal miner or steel worker is just as valuable to the country and to the individual con- cerned as training men in other industries in which apprenticeships are normal.

Nevertheless, no one could feel satisfied with the present position. In Wales, as in the rest of the country, the Government are determined to do all they can to improve the quantity and the quality of training, and for this purpose we are adopting both short-term and long-term measures.

In the short term, I would merely mention that local education authorities provide pre-apprenticeship and first-year apprenticeship training in technical colleges and some 1,000 young persons are so training. In addition, there are three first-year apprenticeship classes at the Cardiff Government Training Centre and when the new centre is opened at Llanelly it is proposed to add two classes there.

The Industrial Training Council has been giving attention to the needs of Wales. Until now, it has been working in Wales through its industrial development officers stationed at Bristol and Liverpool. Now, with the backing of the Industrial Association of Wales and Monmouthshire, the Industrial Training Council intends to expand its training advisory activities in Wales, and it has appointed an additional officer who will be stationed in Cardiff. This officer will take up his duties on 1st October. One of the first projects to which he will turn his attention will be the expansion and development of the Treforest group training scheme. The intention is that the scheme should cover a wider area than Cardiff and Treforest, and the British Employers' Confederation has made a special grant to enable this to be done.

I should now like for a moment to turn to the Government's plans for the longer term which were announced in the White Paper. I am grateful to the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson) for the welcome he gave these plans. For these proposals provide the answer to the hon. Member for Bedwellty, who complained about the lack of co-ordination in training, and the hon. Member for Swansea, East who said that the Government should take more part in a national training scheme for apprentices.

I believe that the House knows the basis of these plans. We have made considerable progress and my right hon. Friend hopes to initiate legislation at the earliest possible moment. In the meanwhile, we have had discussions with several industries with a view to preparing the ground for the setting up of these training boards. We do not pretend that progress will be quick or easy. If the Bill commends itself to the House and becomes an Act, there will be a great deal of hard work. Industry must continue to bear the greater burden of responsibility and it will have to look hard at existing arrangements and be ready to reform them where necessary. But the Government are coming into training for the first time and I know that that is widely welcomed.

I cannot hope to have answered all the specific matters raised by hon. Mem-

bers. Generally, it has been my purpose to give an account of the Government's action in employment and training and to set out their plans for the future. I maintain that together these provide an effective answer to the Motion and amply justify the terms of the Amendment. Furthermore, by their actions and in their plans the Government demonstrate quite clearly that they are determined to use the post-war transformation of the industrial structure in Wales as a basis for further improvements in the future. It is in that spirit that I ask the House to support the Amendment.

Question put, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question:—

The House divided: Ayes 176, Noes 247.

Division No. 178.]AYES[10.0 p.m.
Ainsley, WilliamForman, J. C.Mackie, John (Enfield, East)
Albu, AustenFraser, Thomas (Hamilton)McLeavy, Frank
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)George, Lady Megan Lloyd (Crmrthn)MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)
Awbery, Stan (Bristol, Central)Gourlay, HarryMallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Bacon, Miss AliceGrey, CharlesManuel, Archie
Barnett, GuyGriffiths, David (Rother Valley)Mapp, Charles
Baxter, William (Stirlingshire, W.)Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)Mason, Roy
Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)Griffiths, W. (Exchange)Mayhew, Christopher
Benson, Sir GeorgeGunter, RayMitchison, G. R.
Blackburn, F.Hamilton, William (West Fife)Moody, A. S.
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.Hannan, WilliamMorris, John
Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics, S.W.)Harper, JosephNoel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)
Bowen, Roderic (Cardigan)Hart, Mrs. JudithNoel-Baker, Rt.Hn.Philip (Derby,S.)
Bowles, FrankHayman, F. H.O'Malley, B. K.
Boyden, JamesHealey, DenisOswald, Thomas
Braddock, Mrs. E. M.Henderson, Rt.Hn.Arthur (RwlyRegis)Owen, Will
Bradley, TomHerbison, Miss MargaretPannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)
Bray, Dr. JeremyHill, J. (Midlothian)Pargiter, G. A.
Brockway, A. FennerHilton, A. V.Parker, John
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Holman, PercyPavitt, Laurence
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)Holt, ArthurPearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)Hooson, H. E.Peart, Frederick
Callaghan, JamesHoughton, DouglasPentland, Norman
Carmichael, NeilHughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)Popplewell, Ernest
Chapman, DonaldHughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Probert, Arthur
Cliffe, MichaelHunter, A. E.Proctor, W. T.
Corbet, Mrs. FredaHynd, H. (Accrington)Pursey, Cmdr. Harry
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)Hynd, John (Attercliffe)Redhead, E. C.
Cronin, JohnIrving, Sydney (Dartford)Reid, William
Crosland, AnthonyJanner, Sir BarnettReynolds, G. W.
Crossman, R. H. S,Jay, Rt. Hon. DouglasRhodes, H.
Cullen, Mrs. AliceJenkins, Roy (Stechford)Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Dalyell, TamJohnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Darling, GeorgeJones, Elwyn (West Ham, S.)Robertson, John (Palsley)
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
Davies, Harold (Leek)Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)Rodgers, W. T. (Stockton)
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)Kelley, RichardRogers, C. H. R. (Kensington, N.)
Delargy, HughKenyon, CliffordRoss, William
Dempsey, JamesKing, Dr. HoraceRoyle, Charles (Salford, West)
Diamond, JohnLawson, GeorgeShort, Edward
Donnelly, DesmondLee, Frederick (Newton)Silkin, John
Ede, Rt. Hon. C.Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)Skeffington, Arthur
Edelman, MauriceLever, L. M. (Ardwick)Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke N.)
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)Loughlin, CharlesSlater, Joseph (Sedgefield)
Edwards, Walter (Stepney)Lubbock, EricSmall, William
Evans, AlbertMcBride, N.Snow, Julian
Finch, HaroldMcCann, JohnSorensen, R. W.
Foley, MauriceMacColl, JamesSoskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Foot, Dingle (Ipswich)MacDermot, NiallSpriggs, Leslie
Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)McInnes, JamesSteele, Thomas
Stewart, Michael (Fulham)Thorpe, JeremyWilley, Frederick
Stones, WilliamTomney, FrankWilliams, D. J. (Neath)
Stross, Dr.Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent,C.)Wade, DonaldWilliams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Swain, ThomasWatkins, TudorWillis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)
Symonds, J. B.Weitzman, DavidWoof, Robert
Taverne, D.Walls, William (Walsall N.)Wyatt, Woodrow
Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)White, Mrs. Eirene
Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)Whitlock, WilliamTELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Thompson, Dr. Alan (Dunfermline)Wigg, GeorgeMr. Charles A. Howell and
Thornton, ErnestWilkins, W. A.Mr. Ifor Davies.
NOES
Aitken, Sir WilliamForrest, GeorgeLucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Allason, JamesFoster, JohnMcAdden, Sir Stephen
Amery, Rt. Hon. JulianFraser, Rt.Hn.Hugh (Starford & Stone)MacArthur, Ian
Arbuthnot, JohnFraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)McLaren, Martin
Ashton, Sir HubertFreeth, DenzilMcLaughlin, Mrs. Patricia
Atkins, HumphreyGalbraith, Hon. T. G. D.Maclay, Rt. Hon. John
Awdry, Daniel (Chippenham)Gibson-Watt, DavidMaclean, Sir Fitzroy (Bute & N.Ayrs)
Balniel, LordGilmour, Ian (Norfolk, Central)Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.)
Barber, AnthonyGlover, Sir DouglasMcMaster, Stanley R.
Barlow, Sir JohnGlyn, Dr. Alan (Clapham)Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)
Barter, JohnGlyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.)Maddan, Martin
Batsford, BrianGoodhart, PhilipMaitland, Sir John
Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate)Goodhew, VictorMarshall, Sir Douglas
Bennett, F. M. (Torquay)Gough, FrederickMarten, Neil
Berkeley, HumphryGower, RaymondMathew, Robert (Honiton)
Bidgood, John CGrant-Ferris, R.Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)
Biffen, JohnGreen, AlanMaudling, Rt. Hon. Reginald
Biggs-Davison, JohnGresham Cooke, R.Mawby, Ray
Bingham, R. M.Gurden, HaroldMaxwell-Hyslop, R. J.
Bishop, F. P.Hall, John (Wycombe)Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.
Black, Sir CyrilHamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)Mills, Stratton
Bourne-Arton, A.Hare, Rt. Hon. JohnMiscampbell, Norman
Box, DonaldHarrison, Brian (Maldon)Morgan, William
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. JohnHarrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles
Braine, BernardHarvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd)Neave, Airey
Brewis, JohnHarvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)Noble, Rt. Hon. Michael
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. Sir WalterHay, JohnOakshott, Sir Hendrie
Brooman-White, R.Heald, Rt. Hon, Sir LionelOrr, Capt. L. P. S.
Brown, Alan (Tottenham)Heath, Rt. Hon. EdwardOrr-Ewing, Sir Charles
Bryan, PaulHenderson, John (Cathcart)Page, John (Harrow, West)
Buck, AntonyHendry, ForbesPage, Graham (Crosby)
Bullard, DenysHicks Beach, Maj. W.Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)
Bullus Wing Commander EricHill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)Partridge, E.
Butcher, Sir HerbertHobson, Rt. Hon. Sir JohnPearson, Frank (Clitheroe)
Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn)Holland, PhilipPeel, John
Carr, Compton (Barons Court)Hope, Rt. Hon, Lord JohnPercival, Ian
Channon, H. P. G.Hopkins, AlanPeyton, John
Chataway, ChristopherHornby, R. P.Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth
Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. Dame P.Pilkington, Sir Richard
Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)Howard, John (Southampton, Test)Pitman, Sir James
Cole, NormanHughes-Young, MichaelPitt, Dame Edith
Cooke, RobertHulbert, Sir NormanPott, Percivall
Cooper, A. E.Hutchison, Michael ClarkPowell, Rt. Hon. J. Enoch
Cooper-Key, Sir NeillIremonger, T. L.Price, David (Eastleigh)
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)Price, H. A. (Lewisham, W.)
Corfield, F. V.Jennings, J. C.Prior, J. M. L.
Costain, A. P.Johnson, Eric (Blackley)Proudfoot, Wilfred
Courtney, Cdr. AnthonyJohnson Smith, GeoffreyPym, Francis
Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne)Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)Quennell, Miss J. M.
Crawley, AldanJones, Rt. Hn.Aubrey (Hall Green)Rawlinson, Sir Peter
Cunningham, KnoxJoseph, Rt. Hon. Sir KeithRedmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin
Curran, CharlesKaberry, Sir DonaldRees-Davies, W. R. (Isle of Thanet)
Currie, G. B. H.Kerans, Cdr. J. S.Renton, Rt. Hon. David
Dalkeith, Earl ofKershaw, AnthonyRidley, Hon. Nicholas
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir HenryKirk, PeterRoberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)
Deedes, Rt. Hon. W. F.Kitson, TimothyRobinson, Rt. Hn. Sir R. (B'pool, S.)
Digby, Simon WingfieldLagden, GodfreyRoots, William
Doughty, CharlesLambton, ViscountRopner, Col. Sir Leonard
du Cann, EdwardLangford-Holt, sir JohnRoyle, Anthony (Richmond, Surrey)
Duncan, Sir JamesLeavey, J. A.Russell, Ronald
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)Legge-Bourke, Sir HarryScott-Hopkins, James
Emery, PeterLewis, Kenneth (Rutland)Seymour, Leslie
Emmet, Hon. Mrs. EvelynLilley, F. J. P.Sharples, Richard
Errington, Sir EricLindsay, Sir MartinShaw, M.
Erroll, Rt. Hon. F. J.Linstead, Sir HughShepherd, William
Farey-Jones, F. W.Litchfield, Capt. JohnSkeet, T. H. H.
Fell, AnthonyLloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey (Sut'nC'dfield)Smithers, Peter
Finlay, GraemeLongden, GilbertSmyth, Rt. Hon. Brig. Sir John
Fisher, NigelLoveys, Walter H,Speir, Rupert
Fletcher-Cooke, CharlesLucas, Sir JocelynSteward, Harold (Stookpert S.)
Stodart, J. A,Touche, Rt. Hon. Sir GordonWhitelaw, William
Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir MalcolmTurner, ColinWilliams, Dudley (Exeter)
Storey, Sir SamuelTurton, Rt. Hon. R. H.Williams, Paul (Sunderland S.)
Studholme Sir Henryvan Straubenzee, W. R.Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
Summers, Sir SpencerVane, W. M. F.Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Talbot, John E.Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hon. Sir JohnWise, A. R.
Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)Vickers Miss JoanWoodhouse, C. M.
Taylor, Edwin (Bolton, E.)Vosper, Rt. Hon. DennisWoollam, John
Taylor, Frank (M'ch'st'r, Moss Side)Wakefield, Sir WavellWorsley, Marcus
Taylor, Sir William (Bradford, N.)Walder, David
Thomas, Sir Leslie (Canterbury)Walker, PeterTELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Thompson, Sir Kenneth (Walton)Wall, PatrickMr. Chichester-Clark and
Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)Ward, Dame IreneMr. Hugh Rees.
Tilney, John (Wavertree)Wells, John (Maisdstone)

Question put, That the proposed words be there added: —

The House divided: Ayes 246, Noes 175.

Division No. 179.]AYES[10.10 p.m.
Aitken, Sir WilliamEmmet, Hon. Mrs. EvelynKirk, Peter
Allason, JamesErrington, Sir EricKitson, Timothy
Amery, Rt. Hon. JulianErroll, Rt. Hon. F. J.Lagden, Godfrey
Arbuthnot, JohnFarey-Jones, F. W.Lambton, Viscount
Ashton, Sir HubertFell, AnthonyLangford-Holt, Sir John
Atkins, HumphreyFinlay, GraemeLeavey, J. A.
Awdry, Daniel (Chippenham)Fisher, NigelLegge-Bourke, Sir Harry
Balniel, LordFletcher-Cooke, CharlesLewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Barber, AnthonyForrest, GeorgeLilley, F. J. P.
Barlow, Sir JohnFoster, JohnLindsay, Sir Martin
Barter, JohnFraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (Stafford & Stone)Linstead, Sir Hugh
Batsford, BrianFraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)Litchfield, Capt. John
Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate)Freeth, DenzilLloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey (Sut'nC'dfield)
Bennett, F. M. (Torquay)Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D.Longden, Gilbert
Berkeley, HumphryGibson-Watt, DavidLoveys, Walter H.
Bidgood, John C.Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, Central)Lucas, Sir Jocelyn
Biffen, JohnGlover, Sir DouglasLucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Biggs-Davison, JohnGlyn, Dr. Alan (Clapham)McAdden, Sir Stephen
Bingham, R. M.Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.)MacArthur, Ian
Bishop, F. P.Goodhart, PhilipMcLaren, Martin
Black, Sir CyrilGoodhew, VictorMcLaughlin, Mrs. Patricia
Bourne-Arton, A.Gough, FrederickMaclay, Rt. Hon. John
Box, DonaldGower, RaymondMaclean, Sir Fitzroy (Bute & N.Ayrs)
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. JohnGrant-Ferris, R.Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.)
Braine, BernardGreen, AlanMcMaster, Stanley R.
Brewis, JohnGresham Cooke, R.Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. Sir WalterGurden, HaroldMaddan, Martin
Brooman-White, R.Hall, John (Wycombe)Maitland, Sir John
Brown, Alan (Tottenham)Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)Marshall, Sir Douglas
Bryan, PaulHare, Rt. Hon. JohnMarten, Neil
Buck, AntonyHarrison, Brian (Maldon)Mathew, Robert (Honiton)
Bullard, DenysHarrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)
Bullus, Wing Commander EricHarvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd)Maudling, Rt. Hon. Reginald
Butcher, Sir HerbertHarvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)Mawby, Ray
Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn)Hay, JohnMaxwell-Hyslop, R. J.
Carr, Compton (Barons Court)Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir LionelMaydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.
Channon, H. P. G.Heath, Rt. Hon. EdwardMills, Stratton
Chataway, ChristopherHenderson, John (Cathcart)Miscampbell, Norman
Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)Hendry, ForbesMorgan, William
Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)Hicks Beach, Maj. W.Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles
Cole, NormanHill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)Neave, Airey
Cooke, RobertHobson, Rt. Hn. Sir John (Wwck & Lmtn)Noble, Rt. Hon. Michael
Cooper, A. E.Holland, PhilipOakshott, Sir Hendrie
Cooper-Key, Sir NeillHope, Rt. Hon. Lord JohnOrr, Capt. L. P. S.
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.Hopkins, AlanOrr-Ewing, Sir Charles
Corfield, F. V.Hornby, R. P.Page, Graham (Crosby)
Costain, A. P.Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. Dame P.Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)
Courtney, Cdr. AnthonyHoward, John (Southampton, Test)Partridge, E.
Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne)Hughes-Young, MichaelPearson, Frank (Clitheroe)
Crawley, AldanHulbert, Sir NormanPeel, John
Cunningham, KnoxHutchison, Michael ClarkPercival, Ian
Curran, CharlesIremonger, T. L.Peyton, John
Currie, G. B. H.Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth
Dalkeith, Earl ofJennings, J. C.Pilkington, Sir Richard
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir HenryJohnson, Eric (Blakeley)Pitman, Sir James
Deedes, Rt. Hon. W. F.Johnson Smith, GeoffreyPitt, Dame Edith
Digby, Simon WingfieldJones, Arthur (Northants, S.)Pott, Percivall
Doughty, CharlesJones, Rt. Hn. Aubrey (Hall Green)Powell, Rt. Hon. J. Enoch
du Cann, EdwardJoseph, Rt. Han. Sir KeithPrice, David (Eastleigh)
Duncan, Sir JamesKaberry, Sir DonaldPrice, H. A. (Lewisham, W.)
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)Kerans, Cdr. J. S.Prior, J. M. L.
Emery, PeterKershaw, AnthonyProudfoot, Wilfred
Pym, FrancisSpeir, RupertVaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Quennell, Miss J. M,Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)Vickers, Miss Joan
Rawlinson, Sir PeterStodart, J. A,Vosper, Rt. Hon. Dennis
Redmayne, Rt. Hon. MartinStoddart-Scott, Col. Sir MalcolmWakefield, Sir Wavell
Rees-Davies, W. R. (Isle of Thanet)Storey, Sir SamuelWalder, David
Renton, Rt. Hon. DavidStudholme, Sir HenryWalker, Peter
Ridley, Hon. NicholasSummers, Sir SpencerWall, Patrick
Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)Talbot, John E.Ward, Dame Irene
Robinson, Rt. Hn. Sir R. (B'pool, S.)Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)Wells, John (Maidstone)
Roots, WilliamTaylor, Edwin (Bolton, E.)Whitelaw, William
Ropner, Col. Sir LeonardTaylor, Frank (M'ch'st'r, Moss Side)Williams, Dudley (Exeter)
Royle, Anthony (Richmond, Surrey)Taylor, Sir William (Bradford, N.)Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
Russell, RonaldThomas, Sir Leslie (Canterbury)Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
Scott-Hopkins, JamesThompson, Sir Kenneth (Walton)Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Seymour, LeslieThompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)Wise, A. R.
Sharples, RichardTilney, John (Wavertree)Woodhouse, C. M.
Shaw, M.Touche, Rt. Hon. Sir GordonWoollam, John
Shepherd, WilliamTurner, ColinWorsley, Marcus
Skeet, T. H. H.Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Smithers, Petervan Straubenzee, W. R.TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Smyth, Rt. Hon. Brig. Sir JohnVane, W. M. F.Mr. Chichester-Clark and
Mr. Hugh Rees.
NOES
Ainsley, WilliamHannan, WilliamPearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)
Albu, AustenHarper, JosephPeart, Frederick
Allen, Scholefield(Crewe)Hart, Mrs. JudithPentland, Norman
Awbery, Stan (Bristol, Central)Hayman, F. H.Popplewell, Ernest
Bacon, Miss AliceHealey, DenisProbert, Arthur
Barnett, GuyHenderson, Rt. Hn. Arthur (RwlyRegis)Proctor, W. T.
Baxter, William (Stirlingshire, W.)Herbison, Miss MargaretPursey, Cmdr. Harry
Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)Hill, J. (Midlothian)Redhead, E. C.
Benson, Sir GeorgeHilton, A. V.Reid, William
Blackburn, F.Holman, PercyReynolds, G. W.
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.Holt, ArthurRhodes, H.
Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics, S. W.)Hooson, H. E.Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Bowen, Roderic (Cardigan)Houghton, DouglasRoberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Bowles, FrankHughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)Robertson, John (Paisley)
Boyden, JamesHughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
Braddock, Mrs. E. M.Hunter, A. E.Rodgers, W. T. (Stockton)
Bradley, TomHynd, H. (Accrington)Rogers, G. H. R. (Kensington, N.)
Bray, Dr. JeremyHynd, John (Attercliffe)Ross, William
Brockway, A. FennerIrving, Sydney (Dartford)Royle, Charles (Salford, West)
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Janner, Sir BarnettShort, Edward
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)Jay, Rt. Hon. DouglasSilkin, John
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)Skeffington, Arthur
Callaghan, JamesJohnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)
Carmichael, NeilJones, Elwyn (West Ham, S.)Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)
Chapman, DonaldJones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)Small, William
Cliffe, MichaelJones, T. W. (Merioneth)Snow, Julian
Corbet, Mrs. FredaKelley, RichardSorensen, R. W.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)Kenyon, CliffordSoskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Cronin, JohnKing, Dr. HoraceSpriggs, Leslie
Crosland, AnthonyLawson, GeorgeSteele, Thomas
Crossman, R. H. S.Lee, Frederick (Newton)Stewart Michael (Fulham)
Cullen, Mrs. AliceLee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)Stones, William
Dalyell, TamLever, L. M. (Ardwick)Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)
Darling, GeorgeLoughlin, CharlesSwain, Thomas
Davies, C. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)Lubbock, EricSymonds, J. B.
Davies, Harold (Leek)McBride, N.Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)McCann, JohnThomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Delargy, HughMacColl, JamesThompson, Dr. Alan (Dunfermline)
Dempsey, JamesMacDermot, NiallThornton, Ernest
Diamond, JohnMcInnes, JamesThorpe, Jeremy
Donnelly, DesmondMackie, John (Enfield, East)Tomney, Frank
Ede, Rt. Hon. C.McLeavy, FrankWade, Donald
Edelman, MauriceMacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)Watkins, Tudor
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)Weitzman, David
Edwards, Walter (Stepney)Manuel, ArchieWells, William (Walsall, N.)
Evans, AlbertMapp, CharlesWhite, Mrs. Eirene
Finch, HaroldMason, RoyWhitlock, William
Foley, MauriceMayhew, ChristopherWigg, George
Foot, Dingle (Ipswich)Mitchison, G. R.Wilkins, W. A.
Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)Moody, A. S.Willey, Frederick
Forman, J. C.Morris, JohnWilliams, D. J. (Neath)
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
George, Lady Megan Lloyd (Crmrthn)Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, S.)Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)
Gourlay, HarryO'Malley, B. K.Woof, Robert
Grey, CharlesOswald, ThomasWyatt, Woodrow
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)Owen, Will
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Griffiths, W. (Exchange)Pargiter, G. A.Mr. Charles A. Howell and
Gunter, RayParker, JohnMr. Ifor Davies.
Hamilton, William (West Fife)Pavitt, Laurence

Main Question, as amended, put and agreed to.

Resolved,That this House takes note of the successful measures already taken to attract new industry to Wales, thus providing far greater diversification of employment opportunities; welcomes the Government's continuing expansion of the economy and the increased provision of facilities for the training of young people and adults; recognises the full contribution being made in Wales to the national expansion of university and other higher education of all types; notes the recent heartening increase in Welsh housing activity, and the further stages now envisaged in the Housing White Paper (Command Paper No. 2050); and welcomes the decision of Her Majesty's Government to carry out a long-term survey of the prospects for Wales, and to produce plans for the economic and social development of the Principality.