I see no reason for modifying the arrangements I explained in some detail in the answer I gave to a Question by the hon. and learned Member for Cardigan (Mr. Bowen) on 19th November.
Is the Prime Minister aware that his creation of the office of Secretary of State for Wales led in Wales to expectations of far greater constitutional changes than those so far announced? Will he recognise that the long-standing autonomy of the Welsh Department of the Education Ministry and the vital question of the Welsh language together create a very strong case for this transfer?
What we have to consider here is what would be best for education in Wales. I think that the solution, which was announced after a great deal of thought and consultation, on 19th November, was the right one. We all recognise the very distinguished work done by the Board of Education in Wales under Sir Ben Bowen Thomas and others over the years. We shall now have a Minister in the Cabinet and in the House capable of speaking in the interest of education in Wales.
The Prime Minister has appointed three Ministers to the Welsh Department but at the moment they have very little executive responsibility. All shades of opinion in the Principality are concerned about education, so surely responsibility for education in Wales is an obvious case for transfer to the Secretary of State?
As the hon. and learned Gentleman knows—because, originally, my statement in November was in reply to a Question by him—there has been a very substantial degree of transfer. But in studying every single function we have to consider whether the interest of Wales would be better served by transfer, as in some cases, or by keeping the central machinery. Sometimes, trying to run a service for Wales as a separate undertaking would mean less good for Wales.