asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on his examination of the effect on the future of Wales of Great Britain's membership of the European Economic Community if the present member nations of the European Economic Community reach agreement on future economic and monetary union projects.
Participation by Her Majesty's Government in the progressive development of these policies in the Community will take account of all relevant considerations, including those relating to Wales.
First, is the Secretary of State aware that Welsh prospects will be severely injured if Britain becomes a member State of the European Economic Community and aligns herself with the Community's economic and social policies? Reports emanating from the Continent indicate that the E.E.C. partners differ over this question. Secondly, does he consider it right that, as will happen, we should delegate decisions for solving industrial disputes to an inter-governmental committee of the E.E.C.? Lastly, will the right hon. and learned Gentleman consider the effect of the importation into all these considerations of the fact that there are over 2 million unemployed in the Community? How will this matter affect Wales which has languished under Conservative rule with 56,000 unemployed, the highest figure for 25 years?
The hon. Gentleman's Question refers to the matter of
agreement on future economic and monetary union projects".
It is widely accepted in the Community that a major element in achieving closer economic and monetary harmonisation is the development of effective policies for its regions, and the existence of such policies would be one of the pre-conditions for a satisfactory final solution. That is where Welsh interests lie.
Without paying regard to the problem referred to by the hon. Member for Swansea, East (Mr. McBride), may I ask my right hon. and learned Friend whether he will confirm that if the member States of the European Economic Community are able to agree on an expanded regional programme it will be of very considerable assistance to development projects in Wales?