§ Mr. Nicholas Edwards
This survey gives a very encouraging picture of American companies' experiences in Wales in terms of productivity, labour relations and other factors. Its message needs to be widely publicised.
§ Mr. Best
Is my right hon. Friend aware that one of the summaries of the report was that labour relations in Wales were better than was expected? Will he urge the Wales TUC and Labour Members to make sure that that reputation is not impaired? Will he particularly urge Labour Members not to engage in party politics in the House just for the sake of cheap headlines but, particularly in the next six months, to give support, rather than criticism, to the Government and the BSC in the hope that more jobs will be saved rather than lost?
§ Mr. Edwards
My hon. Friend is right. The consultants said:Industrial relations without exception are much more constructive than might be imagined from many reports in the media.The record of those 100 companies is outstanding. Most have single-union structure plants and their performance compares with that of plants anywhere in the world. The sad fact is that that is too little known, and the false description put about by Labour Members is doing grave damage to Wales.
§ Mr. Roy Hughes
Is the Secretary of State aware that numerous major American multinational companies, such as Standard Telephones, Monsanto Chemicals and Black Clauson, have been settled happily in Newport for many years and enjoy good industrial relations? Is he aware that what we need from the Government is extra money for the preparation of new sites so that we can encourage more firms to come to our area?
§ Mr. Edwards
I confirm what the hon. Gentleman says about the record of those companies. A number of significant overseas companies are looking at the possibility of setting up new plants in his area. I hope that before long we shall have some further good news for him.