Welsh Book Grant

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th December 1965.

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Photo of Mr James Jones Mr James Jones , Wrexham 12:00 am, 9th December 1965

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the future of the Welsh Book Grant.

Photo of Mr Goronwy Roberts Mr Goronwy Roberts , Caernarvon

My right hon. Friend intends to recommend to the House an increase in the grant from £5,000 to £7,500 per annum from the start of the next financial year and to propose that this rate be maintained for a period of five years.

Photo of Mr James Jones Mr James Jones , Wrexham

Is my hon. Friend aware that his statement will be very welcome indeed in publishing circles in Wales, particularly since the former Government had decided to discontinue the grant in March of this year?

Photo of Mr Goronwy Roberts Mr Goronwy Roberts , Caernarvon

The grant was indeed to come to an end in March of this year, but my right hon. Friend decided that it should be continued during the current financial year so that a new examination of the position might be undertaken. On the results of that examination, it was decided to make the recommendation which I have just announced.

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

Would the hon. Gentleman agree that, although the grant was to come to an end on the date he gave, that did not necessarily mean the end of the matter altogether, since it had been decided that the matter should be reconsidered?

Photo of Mr Goronwy Roberts Mr Goronwy Roberts , Caernarvon

I do not want to deal with this matter in a partisan way, because I know that there is support for it on both sides of the House. The position was that it was expected that the grant would, over a period of years, have attained its object by March, 1965. It is possible, of course, that it would have been reviewed in the way the present Government have reviewed it, but I doubt whether it would have been reviewed in quite as favourable and generous a way as we have reviewed it.