Rechem International

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th November 1987.

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Photo of Paul Murphy Paul Murphy , Torfaen 12:00 am, 16th November 1987

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if, in the light of Mr. Justice Garland's support for further investigation, he will reconsider his decision not to initiate an inquiry into the activities of Rechem International, Pontypool, Gwent; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Ian Grist Mr Ian Grist , Cardiff Central

No, Sir. I think that the hon. Gentleman mistook the tenor of Mr. Justice Garland's address to the jury. However, as my right hon. Friend has stated, should any new evidence come to light which would warrant further study he would reconsider the position. At present no such evidence has been produced.

Photo of Paul Murphy Paul Murphy , Torfaen

In considering that response, has the Minister taken into account the recent explosion and fire at the Rechem plant and the reports surrounding it? Does he agree that he is at variance with the weight of public opinion in Gwent and Torfaen on this matter? When will he realise that the fears and suspicions of the community will be allayed only when a public inquiry is held?

Photo of Mr Ian Grist Mr Ian Grist , Cardiff Central

As I have said to the hon. Gentleman, if new evidence comes to light the position will be reconsidered, but there has been no new evidence. The matter is hotly disputed, and the hon. Gentleman and his predecessor have done little to allay people's fears, probably unwisely.