HC Deb 26 March 1964 vol 692 cc655-7
Q6. Mr. Brockway

asked the Prime Minister what co-ordination he proposes between the Ministers concerned to provide the housing, schools, hospitals and transport required by the findings of the report on the future of South-East England and to prevent the rise of land values due to the proposed community development.

Q12. Mr. Prentice

asked the Prime Minister what steps he is taking to coordinate the plans of the ministers concerned with providing the additional housing, transport and social services that will be required to meet the needs of the large increase in the population of South-East England forecast by the recent Report.

Q13. Mr. Lipton

asked the Prime Minister to what extent he is coordinating the plans of the Ministers concerned with the further housing, schools, hospitals and other services that will be needed when the Report on South-East England is carried out.

The Prime Minister

The Ministers concerned will co-ordinate these matters through the existing machinery of Government.

Mr. Brockway

Does the right hon. Gentleman consider that to be enough? Are not five Ministries very intimately concerned? Is he aware of the housing shortage, the condemned schools in rural areas, waiting lists for hospitals, suffocation in trains, queues for buses and soaring land prices? Will not this become intensified by the South-East Plan unless there is effective integration of the Ministries?

The Prime Minister

My Answer was that there is the necessary integration. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has already announced the setting up of a steering group to advise Ministers on this. When necessary the Ministers may see that action is coordinated.

Mr. Prentice

Will the Prime Minister say why the Government have accepted the defeatist assumption that all the problems to which my hon. Friend the Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway) referred are to be further aggravated by a further migration of over 1 million people to the South-East before 1981? The Government have rightly accepted the idea that London itself should have growth restraint, and there must be growth elsewhere and big public investment. Why cannot it take place in areas such as Scotland and the North-East where it is needed instead of in areas like Newbury where people do not want it?

The Prime Minister

Our regional policies are designed just for this purpose, to help people to stay and work in those areas, but we cannot stop people coming to these areas if they want to do so.

Mr. Lipton

In view of the thousands of homeless and the rocketing land prices in London and the South-East, will the Prime Minister do something to encourage emigration from the South-Eastern to the under-developed. Under-populated and backward areas to be found in many parts of the country, such as Perthshire and Kinross? Let us have some emigration from the South-East to the Prime Minister's constituency.

The Prime Minister

Yesterday we sent the Post Office to Glasgow. That is the beginning. I will consider what I might do about Kinross and West Perthshire, but I hope that the hon. Gentleman himself will stay away.

Mr. P. Williams

Is my right hon. Friend aware that those of us from the North-East Coast of England welcome the wisdom of the Government in planning for the next 20 years' development in the South-East? Will he give publicity to the statements of the hon. Member for Eton and Slough (Mr. Brockway) and the ex-citizen of Sunderland, the hon. Member for Brixton (Mr. Lipton), in advising the nation of the squalor of the South-East and the advantages of the North-East?