Power to Enter into Concordat

Part of Orders of the Day — Government of Wales Bill – in the House of Commons at 9:30 pm on 25th March 1998.

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Photo of Mr Rhodri Morgan Mr Rhodri Morgan Labour, Cardiff West 9:30 pm, 25th March 1998

That is an interesting issue. I became a civil servant at the Welsh Office within 12 or 14 months of its being set up. Slightly older civil servants have described to me the change in relationships that took place on the setting up of the Welsh Office as a separate Cabinet Department; that change in relationships was not unlike what is being talked of now. There was a step change in the relationship and the demandeur relationship that my right hon. Friend is describing was a feature of what happened to the Welsh Office when it became a separate Department of state.

I remember that, when we were trying to demand that the Royal Mint be moved to Llantrisant, that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Centre be moved to Swansea and that a section of the Department of Trade and Industry be moved to Cardiff, all at the same time, we could not work out whether it was a good or a bad thing to aim at all three. In the end, we aimed at all three and got all three. That was an example of a new Department of State being able to do a great deal of demanding all at the same time.