§ 16. Mr. K. Lewis
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what instructions he has issued to secure the further dispersal of Government Departments out of the Greater London area.
§ Mr. Diamond
The Government will be making a substantial direct contribution to the relief of congestion in London. We plan to move over 19,000 Civil Service jobs away from the London area during the next few years, which will mean that out of a total of some 130,000 headquarters staff over 50,000 will be right outside Greater London. 821 In addition, we are studying the possibility of dispersing a substantial number of jobs from the Ministry of Defence.
§ Mr. Lewis
From what the hon. Gentleman has said, it would appear that fewer people are to be moved out of London by this Government than were moved by the last Government. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Yes. That is according to the figures the hon. Gentleman has just given. If the Government are restricting office building in London, would they not make a considerable contribution towards easing office congestion in London by getting large numbers of civil servants out of the capital?
§ Mr. Diamond
The figures I have given indicate that the Government are making a very serious contribution to the solution of a very serious problem.
§ Mr. F. Noel-Baker
Can I have an assurance that discussions which have already taken place on the part which Swindon can play in helping to deal with this problem will not be overlooked?