HC Deb 10 November 1964 vol 701 cc820-1
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. 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. Royle

Will the Government reconsider the position of the Post Office Savings Bank employees at Kew, who are being forcibly asked to move to Glasgow in the coming two years?

Mr. Diamond

That question is under active consideration at the moment.

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?

Mr. Diamond

Nothing to do with Swindon could possibly be overlooked.