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Welsh Language

Volume 979: debated on Thursday 21 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Wales in what ways his Department gives recognition to the Welsh language; and if he will list the statutory forms used by his Department which are either bilingual or have Welsh versions.

The Welsh Office gives strong support to the Welsh language. It makes grants in support of many aspects of the language, amounting in 1979–80 to over £½ million. There is a proposal now before Parliament to pay specific grant towards the cost of bilingual education. Under the powers given by the Welsh Language Act 1967, increasing provision is made for official forms, documents, reports, publicity leaflets, posters and notices to be Welsh or bilingual; statutory notices are placed bilingually in the press; and simultaneous translation or interpretation facilities are made available in appropriate circumstances for public meetings. Bilingual road signs have been provided on trunk roads since 1974. All correspondence received in the Department in Welsh is replied to in Welsh. Staff in the Department who wish to pursue courses in Welsh are given every facility to do so.As the list of statutory forms used by the Welsh Office which are either bilingual or have Welsh versions is lengthy, I have placed a copy in the Library of the House.