12. Mr. Fred Evans
asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will withdraw his departmental opposition to a meeting between the Rhymney Valley District Council, the Pontygwindy Housing Association and the Housing Corporation aimed at amicably resolving the financial situation of the Pontygwindy Housing Association and avoiding a High Court Action.
§ Mr. Alec Jones
The Department has at no time expressed any opposition to a meeting between the Rhymney Valley District Council, the Pontygwindy Housing Association and the Housing Corporation.
Is my hon. Friend aware that I have with me a letter from the Housing Corporation to the Rhymney Valley District Council which says:I have just heard from the Welsh Office by telephone"—
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. I am afraid it is not customary to quote from documents during Question Time. The hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Evans) should be seeking information rather than imparting it.
Is the Secretary of State aware that there is evidence from the Housing Corporation that the Welsh Office has put obstacles in the way of the parties to this complex dispute meeting together and that I am prepared to furnish him with that evidence? Does he agree that it is sad when people who are engaged in an argument are told by civil servants in the Welsh Office that they must continue arguing, rather than settle the matter? Is he aware that they have been ordered to go on quarrelling when an amicable settlement would have been possible? Is he further aware that this is not now possible, because the hearing in the High Court starts tomorrow morning?
§ Mr. Alec Jones
I should be most grateful for a sight of the letter from 16 which my hon. Friend sought to quote. It would not be right for my Department to participate in any such meetings at present, because as long as the matter is before the High Court it is sub judice. As for the difficulties in this matter over the years, the primary responsibility for overseeing the affairs of the Housing Association lies with the Housing Corporation.