HC Deb 15 March 1960 vol 619 cc1099-100
18. Mr. Boyden

asked the President of the Board of Trade what recent consultations officers of his Department have had with firms having large offices in London, with a view to their being assisted under the impending Local Employment Bill to move part or the whole of their offices to areas of high unemployment such as the North-East.

Mr. J. Rodgers

As the hon. Member will be aware from the debates on the Bill both here and in another place, while the Board have no powers to control the building of offices we nevertheless attempt wherever possible to suggest offices might move out of London and other congested areas. I am shortly taking steps to bring the facilities available under the Bill to the attention of a very large number of concerns using office space, and I hope this may have the desirable effect the hon. Member mentions.

Mr. Boyden

Could the hon. Gentleman say how many consultations he has had in 1960 with firms which might be persuaded to move their offices to the North-East and how many firms were involved? Is it not time that the hon. Gentleman took the initiative in persuading firms?

Mr. Rodgers

No, I cannot give exact figures, but it might be some consolation to the hon. Member to know that the headquarters of the Management Corporation under the new Local Employment Bill will be in the North-East.