25. Mr. Slater
asked the Postmaster-General what inquiries he has made of the North-East England Development Council about a possible sire for a Post Office Engineering Research Organisation.
§ 36. Mr. Gourlay
asked the Postmaster-General if he will take steps to investigate the possibilities of sites in Scotland for a Post Office Engineering Research Organisation.
Will not the hon. Lady agree that by setting up such an organisation, she would assist in giving opportunities to many of our young people who would like to be graded for this type of work? Is she further aware that, at the moment, we have 5,386 young people unemployed in the North-East, an increase of over 3,000 since 1st November? Does she not think that her Department, along with other Government Departments, ought to be concerned very greatly indeed in combating this scourge of unemployment in the North-East as soon as possible?
§ Mr. Lawson
Does not the hon. Lady agree that the Post Office could do a very valuable job for the nation if it were to lead the way in ensuring that these research departments were not all concentrated in the South and South-East? Would not the hon. Lady and her right hon. Friend on this occasion look closely into this matter to see if some other part of the country, other than these crowded areas, could benefit through the Post Office having these research stations installed?
§ Miss Pike
We recognise the desirability of moving away, but the difficulty is that we must keep our research department and our development department very closely integrated. Our developments are current developments, and, for that reason, it is essential to have our research department in very close touch with the headquarters staff.