Industrial Assistance

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 31st October 1983.

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Photo of Mr Ted Rowlands Mr Ted Rowlands , Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney 12:00 am, 31st October 1983

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is his estimate of the total value of Government assistance to industry in Wales in the current financial year; and if he will ensure that this level of assistance will not be less in the financial year 1984–85.

Photo of Mr Nicholas Edwards Mr Nicholas Edwards , Pembroke

This information is not available since the level of regional assistance for industry in any one year is determined by demand.

Photo of Mr Ted Rowlands Mr Ted Rowlands , Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney

Will the right hon. Gentleman make available to Opposition Members the report that will be presented to the National Economic Development Council next Wednesday, which could have a profound effect on the resources available for Welsh development aid? Will the right hon. Gentleman give us the simple assurance that he will not be party to a transfer of resources from Wales or any other region in desperate need to solve the problems of the west midlands?

Photo of Mr Nicholas Edwards Mr Nicholas Edwards , Pembroke

The treatment of the document before the NEDC will be exactly the same as that of earlier documents considered by the NEDC. With regard to the second part of the hon. Gentleman's question, we are considering at the moment the basic principles of regional aid, and we shall consult the NEDC about that and issue a White Paper. We have not even begun the process of considering the map. It would be far too early to make any comment about the relative position of individual travel-to-work areas or parts of the United Kingdom.

Photo of Mr Ron Davies Mr Ron Davies , Caerphilly

Will the Secretary of State recognise that his reputation as a spokesman for Welsh interests is in tatters? In the summer he sat back and, as administrator of the regional aid programme, did nothing to prevent the closure of the Nora-knit factory at Ystrad Mynach in my constituency, which had received hundreds of thousands of pounds of Government money. The right hon. Gentleman took no action then and is proposing to take no action in future to prevent the repetition of such a disgraceful event. Will the right hon. Gentleman make a statement?

Photo of Mr Nicholas Edwards Mr Nicholas Edwards , Pembroke

The Welsh Office is being attacked increasingly by other parts of the United Kingdom for doing its work too effectively in their eyes. Our ability to fight for Welsh industry is viewed with increasing envy, which makes our job more difficult.

Photo of Mr Barry Jones Mr Barry Jones Shadow Secretary of State

In so far as incoming industry receives such assistance, will the right hon. Gentleman tell the House what has happened to the Nissan project?

Photo of Mr Nicholas Edwards Mr Nicholas Edwards , Pembroke

The hon. Gentleman, who takes a close interest in the Nissan project, will know that statements have been made by that company in Japan, but no proposals have been put to the British Government as a result of reconsideration by the company. We have no information about the company's views on location.