HC Deb 13 July 1964 vol 698 cc841-2
39. Mr. Millan

asked the Minister of Labour what was the nature of the information supplied by his Department for the preparation of the South-East Study; and, in particular, how far it dealt with migration of unemployed workers from Scotland to London and the South-East.

55. Mr. Lawson

asked the Minister of Labour what data regarding the migration of unemployed workers from Scotland to the South-East was supplied by him in connection with the preparation of the South-East Study.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. William White-law)

Our Department acted in close consultation with the other Departments concerned in the preparation of the Study and provided information about the growth and structure of employment. We have no comprehensive information about the migration of unemployed workers from Scotland.

Mr. Millan

How can the Government get this information? How do the Government expect us to treat the Central Scotland Study and the South-East Study as parts of a national plan if we cannot get this information about migration from one region to another? In particular, how can we accept the sincerity of the Government's protestations that they want to cut down the migration rate of between 25,000 and 35,000 a year population lost from Scotland if they cannot even provide these figures and, apparently, are not taking any steps at all to get information of these migration movements?

Mr. Whitelaw

The migration figure is based on a broad assessment of the total situation and is not an arithmetical calculation. In framing it, as the hon. Gentleman will know, account was taken of the Government's policy for development in Scotland and for the growth of employment in Scotland. Within this broad estimate, it is not possible, nor, I suggest, is it necessary, to speculate on how many people might come from Scotland.

Mr. Lawson

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the plan for Central Scotland and the plan for the South-East in this respect appear to contradict each other and that, if he has given information on both accounts, someone has given wrong information to one or other of those engaged in the planning?

Mr. Whitelaw

I assure the hon. Gentleman that that is not the case. The Government's policy for the growth of employment in Scotland is perfectly clear. It has been set out and is already achieving considerable success. It is on that that the Study for the South-East is based.