§ Mr. William Ross
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many people in Wales(a) speak the Welsh language and (b) are learning Welsh; what sums of Government money were spent on (i) teaching the language and (ii) otherwise promoting it during the current financial year; how much this represents per capita in Wales; how much per Welsh speaker and student; what were the figures five and 10 years ago; and what are his projections for the next three years.
§ Sir Wyn Roberts
Information from the 1991 census on the numbers of Welsh speakers will be published shortly by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys in a monitor for Wales. I will then write to the hon. Gentleman and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House. Information on the number of Welsh speakers five years ago is not available. The 1981 census recorded that out of a total population of 2,749,600 there were 503,500 Welsh speakers in Wales.
Direct Welsh Office financial support for the Welsh language in 1992–93 amounts to £7.6 million. Comparable figures for 1982–83 and 1987–88 were £1.8 and £2.8 million respectively. My right hon. Friend intends to announce shortly our direct support in 1993–94. Details of local education authorities' expenditure on the language, and the number of learners, are not held centrally.