asked the Secretary of State for Wales if, in view of current shortages of water in certain parts of Wales, he will give an assurance that he will refuse consent to the acquisition of water from Wales by any outside undertaking until the water needs of every locality in Wales are satisfied.
I can assure my hon. Friend that in considering any proposal put to me I shall see that Welsh interests are fully protected. But, as the Welsh Advisory Water Committee demonstrated in its report of 1961, there is available in Wales ample water to meet all foreseeable internal requirements, and to provide a considerable surplus for other needs. Moreover, the construction of regulating reservoirs will improve the availability of supplies locally as well as further downstream.
Would not my right hon. Friend agree that in many areas of Wales which have suffered water shortages this summer people rightly feel that it would be invidious if further concessions of Welsh water were made to outside undertakings, which already take three-quarters of the man-made resources in Wales, unless and until there is established a prior right of Welsh people to Welsh water?
I do not think that the supply of water to areas outside Wales has anything to do with the supply of water within Wales. I would remind my hon. Friend that since the war £49 million has been spent by Welsh undertakings on capital works. Demand is continually rising, and there are areas where new works will be necessary. The provision of new water supplies for Wales will be given priority but, the needs of Wales being satisfied, I see no reason why England should not receive water supplies as well.