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Welsh Language

Volume 502: debated on Monday 7 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish before 9 December 2009 all correspondence his Department has received on the Welsh Language Legislative Competence Order other than from Welsh Assembly Government Ministers and officials. (304685)

The correspondence the Wales Office has received falls into two broad categories—first, the responses received to my predecessor’s call for views on the proposed legislative competence order. Those responses which could be made public were sent to the Welsh Affairs Committee and the First Minister and were copied to the National Assembly for Wales Committee that scrutinised the LCO, on 14 May 2009, and I will place copies of that correspondence in the Library of the House.

The second category is correspondence received either before or after the call for views. This includes:

some 300 e-mails from members of the public seeking a swift publication of the Welsh Affairs Committee report. The vast majority of these were a standard text;

correspondence from members of the public and Welsh language bodies. This totals some 37 letters and e-mails;

some eight items of correspondence from parliamentary committees or committees of the National Assembly for Wales, or from individual members of those committees; and

some 10 letters from businesses or their representative bodies.

We have not sought the permission of these respondents to publish their correspondence, and to do so would incur disproportionate cost. Releasing correspondence from businesses and their representative bodies would also prejudice commercial interests.