HC Deb 24 February 1960 vol 618 cc341-2
1. Mr. Dempsey

asked the Minister of Labour how many people from Scotland have been placed in employment in England, through the medium of employment exchanges, during the year 1959.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Edward Heath)

The Answer is 1,826.

Mr. Dempsey

Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that this unfortunate trend is causing grave disquiet in Scotland? Although he and his right hon. Friends may not wish to apply the principle of physical compulsion with a view to bringing industry to the North, does not he realise that the Scottish people are being subjected to a form of economic compulsion? Will he take the appropriate steps to reverse this regrettable trend?

Mr. Heath

The policy of the Government is to encourage industry to go to Scotland but, as the House knows, we must also be prepared to offer opportunities elsewhere to those in Scotland who wish to take advantage of them. In fact, the figure I gave is only 1.1 per cent. of the total placings by our offices in Scotland.

2. Mr. Dempsey

asked the Minister of Labour the total number of unemployed in Scotland at the end of 1959; to what extent there was a national increase; and what was Scotland's share.

Mr. Heath

At 7th December, 1959, there were 92,311 persons registered as unemployed in Scotland, a decrease of 3,229 compared with December, 1958. This decrease represented 2.9 per cent. of the total decrease of 110,844 in Great Britain during the same period.

Mr. Dempsey

Does not the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that, according to these figures, Scotland, which has 10 per cent. of the country's population, has 20 per cent. of the unemployed population? Will he consult his right hon. Friends in order to do more than try to take every step possible to provide employment prospects for the people who live north of the Cheviot Hills?

Mr. Heath

I assure the hon. Gentleman that my right hon. Friends the President of the Board of Trade and the Secretary of State for Scotland are doing their utmost to encourage industry to go there.

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