HC Deb 22 February 1965 vol 707 cc27-8
32. Mr. Atkinson

asked the Minister of Labour what action he proposes to take to implement the policy of Her Majesty's Government to restrict to Londoners the filling of employment vacancies in the London area.

Mr. Marsh

The policy of Her Majesty's Government is not as restrictive as the hon. Member suggests, but vacancies are only offered to registrants outside daily travelling distance if they cannot be filled from within daily travelling distance. My Department is, of course, playing its full part in Her Majesty's Government's policies for the better distribution of employment which provide the real answer to the problem my hon. Friend has in mind.

Mr. Atkinson

Will my hon. Friend consider issuing a statement giving full details of this policy, since there is, as I am sure he recognises, a great deal of anxiety in the London area because of the present unsatisfactory relationship between homes and jobs? We are not altogether satisfied that houses are being allocated according to housing needs, and we should like to have a much broader discussion of the whole matter.

Mr. Marsh

My right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government is dealing with the problem of housing. Many jobs cannot be moved out of London. There are those employed in many of the services, for example, hospitals and transport, and their jobs cannot be moved out of London. The Government's distribution of industry and office building policies will reduce the number of vacancies being created within the London area.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

On the other hand, will the hon. Gentleman accept that we must not have a "dog in the manger" attitude towards this policy? Will he have regard to the case in my constituency, for instance, of a young draughtsman attracted down to Hawker Siddeley in Kingston to work on the building of the P 1154 who, only three or four weeks ago, moved his family down but who is now unemployed and is, of course, looking for work in the London area?

Mr. Marsh

No doubt the hon. Gentleman will immediately let my Department have details of the man he has in mind, who, as a skilled craftsman, is unable to obtain work in the London area.

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