HC Deb 13 March 1956 vol 550 cc195-6
3. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland in view of Her Majesty's Government's plans for evacuating 12 million people if he will make a statement on how far these plans will be operated in Scotland.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. J. Nixon Browne)

Of the 12 million people referred to about a million would be evacuated in Scotland. The arrangements will be discussed with the local authorities as soon as possible.

Mr. Hughes

Can the Joint Under-Secretary give us any idea to what part of Scotland it is practicable to evacuate one million people, in view of the lack of housing in most parts of Scotland?

Mr. Browne

My right hon. Friend cannot at this stage announce detailed plans, since the whole scheme has to be discussed with the local authorities. However, certain areas on Clydeside and in the industrial belt will obviously have to be classified as evacuation areas from which the classes covered by the scheme would be moved into other areas to the North or to the South.

Mr. Woodburn

As that will be very difficult to do when an emergency arises, would it not be more sensible to have considerable redistribution of industry and population for the good of the peace-time population as well as of the war-time population? Would the hon. Gentleman consider advising some of these heavily populated areas to evacuate some of their industries and population to parts of the Highlands where they will be safe and healthy?

Mr. Browne

I will draw my right hon. Friend's attention to that suggestion.