asked the Secretary of State for Wales what proposals he has to safeguard the jobs and economic security of firms and individuals displaced by the first phase of the Cardiff city centre plan project.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. and learned Friend to my right hon. Friend the Member for Anglesey (Mr. Hughes) on 20th December 1974. Payment of compensation arising from the central development area proposals is the responsibility of the city council.—[Vol. 883, c. 749.]
Does the Minister's Department accept that it has a moral responsibility for ensuring that the city authorities have the loan sanction that they require? After all, it was an assumed moral responsibility when it agreed to the CPO in the first place. Does the Minister realise that unless his Department persuades the Treasury to make the money available to save the individuals and firms now threatened with going under, the good name of both local government and central Government will be dragged in the mud?
I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's concern. The decision was taken by our predecessors in the light of the circumstances then prevailing. We make no criticism of that, because it may well have been a perfectly sound decision. But that does not mean that the approval of the compulsory purchase order guarantees the availability of funds. That is a matter for the city council.