HC Deb 11 July 1961 vol 644 cc192-3
17. Mr. Boyden

asked the President of the Board of Trade what additional measures his Department has taken, since receipt of the inter-regional migration statistics for the period ended May, 1960, when the loss of insured workers from the Northern Region totalled 15,000 and the increase of insured workers in London and the South-Eastern, Eastern and Southern Regions totalled 53,000, to check this migration.

Mr. Maudling

The duty laid on the Board of Trade under the Local Employment Act is to seek to promote employment in regions where high and persistent unemployment exists or is threatened, rather than to check migration as such. But as I told the hon. Member on 4th July, I hope that the new employment in prospect in the Northern Region will have the effect of checking migration.

Mr. Boyden

On 4th July the Minister deliberately avoided answering the Question. He did not understand the supplementary question and did not seem to understand the Question on the Order Paper. Has his Department made no study of the extra cost to other Government Departments caused by 100,000 people pouring into London and Greater London every year? Has no account been taken of the cost to education and transport, as compared with the very much lower cost of stimulating industry more effectively in the North-East?

Mr. Maudling

The hon. Member's supplementary question begs a number of important questions. I do not think that it would be wise to use the powers of the Local Employment Act, even if it were proper to do so, to try to freeze the present pattern and distribution of population.

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