HC Deb 29 April 1964 vol 694 cc380-1
9. Mr. Bence

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what expansion has taken place in the Scottish Development Department since January, 1963.

Mr. Noble

The strength of the Department increased from 642 at 1st January, 1963, to 690 at 1st April, 1964.

Mr. Bence

Are we to take it from that Answer that the Scottish Development Department will immediately set up plans to implement the development of the central area of Scotland, so that we can show some initiative before developments in the South-East take away more of our population?

Mr. Noble

The increases of staff have been made largely because of the extra work which these plans for Central Scotland have necessitated.

Mr. Ross

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that we have adequate qualified staff to deal with the increased work that is necessary? Is it not the case that since the issue of the Central Scotland plan we have been promised that studies will be carried out in all the other areas as well? Have we sufficient people to do that?

Mr. Noble

I can tell the hon. Member that I am happy about the position. Of the additional staff that we took on last year—numbering 48—17 are professional and technical officers, of whom six have qualifications in planning and economic research. In the course of the present financial year we expect to recruit another 25 professional and technical staff. I think that this will be adequate.