Mr Elystan Morgan: Will the Leader of the House arrange for the Prime Minister early next week to make a statement on a matter of considerable social and constitutional importance? I refer to the Prime Minister's remarks in the BBC "Panorama" programme on Monday of this week—
Mr Elystan Morgan: —when he said that he was considering the withdrawal of national insurance benefits from persons taking part in an unjust strike. Will the Leader of the House arrange for the Prime Minister to explain which criteria are to be employed in deciding whether a strike is unjust and who is to make that decision?
Mr Elystan Morgan: Does not the Minister agree that there is something grotesque in talking about political union when our partners in the EEC are reneging in the most shameless way on the question of a regional fund, which was much trumpeted by the Conservative Party when Britain entered a year ago?
Mr Elystan Morgan: The Minister has referred to the publication of a report in the spring. In view of the grave hardship suffered by so many students and of the anomalies which exist regarding students' grants, of which those Members who have colleges in their constituencies are well aware, will he do everything possible to accelerate the publication of the report?
Mr Elystan Morgan: Mr. Elystan Morgan (Cardigan) rose——
Mr Elystan Morgan: I appreciate that considerable latitude is traditionally given to right hon. and hon. Members who take part in a debate such as this. I crave the indulgence of the House in exercising that latitude on this occasion. I intervene briefly to raise a specific matter, but one which I am sure the House will agree is of considerable public importance. I refer to the rapidly worsening situation...
Mr Elystan Morgan: As it is obvious that any prospects of a meaningful re- gional fund have been destroyed by the aggressive selfishness of our partners in the EEC, would the Minister care to tell the House, so that we may evaluate the prospects of a regional fund in a more general context, what concrete benefits have come to Britain in the 13 months of our membership of the EEC?
Mr Elystan Morgan: As the rise in commodity prices has been fairly constant in the last 12 months, and this was well known to the right hon. Gentleman, why was he so euphoric about our balance of trade prospects up to last October?
Mr Elystan Morgan: Not in the last 12 months.
Mr Elystan Morgan: Will the Leader of the House tell us when a statement will be made about the agriculture annual price review? Does he appreciate that there are grave apprehensions in the industry concerning escalating costs, particularly in the dairy section where there is great gloom and despondency, and that the Government's failure to bring forward this statement is the cause of great uncertainty which...
Mr Elystan Morgan: I will try to observe the self-denying ordinance that is traditional on Third Readings, especially at this late hour. On Second Reading on 12th November I sought to draw the attention of the House to what I regarded as basic weaknesses and deficiencies in the Bill. I certainly agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Widnes (Mr. Oakes) that it has been improved in Committee, but those...
Mr Elystan Morgan: May I correct the hon. Member on one point? I was serving on another Committee which met at the same time. It has been the contention of my hon. Friends all along that there should have been two separate Bills, one for England and one for Wales.
Mr Elystan Morgan: The Minister of State will not be allowed to bolt into the same warren as that into which the Secretary of State has escaped on so many occasions with regard to this provision. I respect the Minister of State as a man of great integrity. He knows the figures. He knows that there will be a loss of millions of pounds for Wales. Will the Minister now not escape behind any technicality but spell...
Mr Elystan Morgan: Why not?
Mr Elystan Morgan: The Minister is bolting away from it.
Mr Elystan Morgan: This is a very important matter. I am sure that even at this late hour it is right that it should be cleared up. Does the right hon. Gentleman deny that by the new formula, resources which otherwise—under the old formula—would have gone to rural areas are diverted to urban areas? Can he give a calculation for the whole of England and Wales in respect of the amount that will be diverted...
Mr Elystan Morgan: Does the Secretary of State appreciate that the matters which we are discussing today constitute one of the gravest blows struck at Wales in modern times? Does he appreciate, further, that the proposals will bring about the ruination of Welsh local government? Will he be honest with the House and admit that Wales will be receiving a sum probably in excess of £10 million less than she...
Mr Elystan Morgan: Will the Secretary of State take note of the exceptional needs of Cardiganshire? Does he appreciate that the amount spent per mile on trunk and principal roads in Cardiganshire is very much below the average for the adjoining counties? Will he pay particular attention to the contribution which road improvements can make to strengthening the county's economy?
Mr Elystan Morgan: Has the Secretary of State any policy whatever with regard to the imposition of these cuts? Is it that 10 per cent. will be cut off the budget of every local authority, is it to be in the form of a lottery depending on the date on which schemes come in, or does he propose to delegate the whole matter to senior officials?
Mr Elystan Morgan: But will there be any appreciation of the differential needs of various localities, or will it be a flat-rate cut over the whole of Wales?