HC Deb 26 April 1965 vol 711 cc4-5
3. Mr. John Page

asked the Minister of Labour what reports have so far been issued by the Manpower Research Unit; and what further reports he is expecting before the end of the year.

Mr. Gunter

The Manpower Research Unit's first report "The Pattern of the Future" was published in August 1964. A report on "The Metal Industries" will appear on Wednesday and I hope two further reports, on the construction industries and on the effects of the introduction of computers on office work, will be published before the end of the year.

Mr. Page

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for that reply, may I ask whether he is aware that we shall look with interest at the reports which are shortly to be published? May I further ask whether he has considered giving the Manpower Research Unit a particular interest in looking ahead and providing careers advice in the form of a long-term forecast over a wide range of industries?

Mr. Gunter

I would not have thought that that was part of the Unit's job, but I take note of what the hon. Gentleman has said.

Mr. Godber

Could the right hon. Gentleman explain why he has been sitting on some of these reports for so long? He must be aware as well as I am that at least two of these reports were at a very advanced stage at the beginning of October last year. I was trying to bring them out before the election but I was not able to do so. However, six months have elapsed since then.

Mr. Gunter

It appears to me that there was so much that the right hon. Gentleman was not able to do before the election in October. I would very much like to see an increasing flow of results from the Unit's work, and I expect that this will occur now that the Unit has had time to plan and launch its programmes. But the work of this Unit cannot be judged solely on published results. For instance, it is doing a tremendous amount of work for the Department of Economic Affairs in the development of national economic planning.

Mr. Merlyn Rees

Can my right hon. Friend say whether it is intended that at least some of the reports of the Manpower Research Unit will be geared strictly to some of the new areas of the regional planning boards?

Mr. Gunter

Yes, indeed, that is very much in our minds.