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PLAID DELEGATES PONDER ATTITUDE TO ASSEMBLY REFERENDUM

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The annual conference of Plaid Cymru, the Welsh National Party, opens in Llandudno this afternoon with the issue of...
The annual conference of Plaid Cymru, the Welsh National Party, opens in Llandudno this afternoon with the issue of devolution likely to dominate proceedings.

Delegates will decide their approach to Labour's proposals for a referendum on devolution in Wales through an executive Welsh Assembly. Many believe the plan does not go far enough while others are reluctant to pass up what may be the last chance of devolution for at least a generation, reported BBC Radio 4 Today.

Most delegates accept that their only hope of taking any steps towards self-government would be under a Labour government.

The conference will undoubtedly criticise Tony Blair's plans for an assembly in Cardiff deprived of legislative powers or the power to raise tax. That is the only proposal which would be offered in Labour's referendum.

Memories of the last devolution referendum are bitter. Plaid supporters campaigned for devolution only to see prominent Labour politicians, including Neil Kinnock, attacking the plans, Today reported.

Shadow Welsh secretary Ron Davies said Labour's proposed referendum 'was the only game in town' - a statement described as an 'arrogant attitude' by Plaid Cymru Leader Daffyd Wigley.

He added that an assembly without law-making powers was not good enough and the party would not campaign for it. It was inconceivable that Labour had made no progress in its thinking on an assembly since 1979.

The conference is likely to demand a poll which would include a number of options, from the status quo to a fully fledged parliament. The party's leaders realise not that is not likely and if Labour wins the next election the political dilemma in Llandundo will become a very real one in future.

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