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Welsh Language Certificates

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 11th March 2009.

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Photo of Hywel Williams Hywel Williams Shadow PC Spokesperson (Education), Shadow PC Spokesperson (International Development), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Health) 11:30 am, 11th March 2009

What recent discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on the provision of birth, marriage and death certificates in the Welsh language.

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Photo of Wayne David Wayne David The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues on a range of issues affecting Wales, including the Welsh language. Wales Office officials have discussed the provision of Welsh language certificates with colleagues as part of work on recent and current legislation.

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Photo of Hywel Williams Hywel Williams Shadow PC Spokesperson (Education), Shadow PC Spokesperson (International Development), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Health)

I thank the Under-Secretary for that answer. He may be aware of the Bill published by our former colleague, Gareth Thomas, the former Labour MP for Clwyd, West on this subject some years ago. Does the Under-Secretary agree that circumstances have not changed? There is a demand for Welsh language certificates. Will he strive to make parliamentary time available for a Bill on this matter, should one be presented?

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Photo of Wayne David Wayne David The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

I can tell the hon. Gentleman that the Government remain firmly committed to producing Welsh language certificates, and the General Register Office is exploring the best way to do that. I am happy to take forward discussions with the Home Office to find the best solution, but it is not a simple matter. It is not a question of introducing a Bill; we have to explore the best possible way. I reiterate that we are firmly committed to pursuing that path.

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