HC Deb 02 April 1963 vol 675 c247
Q8. Mr. Gourlay

asked the Prime Minister when he received a letter from Kirkcaldy Town Council, asking Her Majesty's Government to consider the town as the locus for any Government Departments which might be transferred; what was the nature of his reply; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister

I replied on 22nd March, the day I received it, to the Town Clerk's letter and noted the request that Kirkcaldy should be favourably considered as a location for Government work. All the headquarters work of Government Departments located in London is at present being reviewed by Sir Gilbert Flemming who has been asked to advise the Government what work could be moved elsewhere.

Mr. Gourlay

Is the Prime Minister aware that of the 750,000 new jobs created since 1951 more than half have been in the London area? In view of this, will he not seriously consider transferring the Stationery Office to Scotland and particularly to Kirkcaldy?

The Prime Minister

It was on this very question, for two reasons, first, to obviate the great overcrowding of office space in London and, secondly, with the object of giving employment outside, that we have had a further inquiry made. So far, 25,000 headquatrers staff in the Civil Service, that is to say, about 20 per cent. of the whole, work outside London. What Sir Gilbert Flemming is looking into for me is whether we can add to that number.