Does my hon. Friend see any connection between the present difficulties of small firms in Wales and the proposals for a national bank, which some argue could lead to more flexible credit procedures.
The situation with regard to small firms is naturally one of the matters being taken into account by the Finance Panel of the Welsh Council during its current study of the availability of finance in Wales.
The hon. Gentleman will know that, with regard to the restriction of credit, the Bank of England issued a statement on 23rd May last year showing the various priorities for lending, which included agriculture. Why did it not include a reference to tourism? In view of the importance of tourism to the economy of Wales, will his right hon. Friend take this up with the Bank of England?
The importance of tourism is fully appreciated on this side of the House. That is why the Government have their very interesting and important new proposals about the establishment of a new Welsh Tourist Board. The assistance given to the Tourist Board is recognised, but I will take note of the hon. Gentleman's remarks and follow this up.