HC Deb 21 December 1966 vol 738 cc1410-1
33. Mr. Monro

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what consultations he has had regarding measures to assist the redeployment of labour in Scotland.

Mr. Ross

Responsibility for administering the Government's policies affecting redeployment rests with a number of Ministers, notably my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour. I am naturally in close and regular consultation with him and other Ministers concerned.

Mr. Monro

Would the Secretary of State say how many people have actually been redeployed since July? Would he say whether they have moved to manufacturing industries or to service industries.

Mr. Ross

Not without notice.

Mr. Steel

How many retraining centres will be set up in Scotland outside the central belt?

Mr. Ross

I can give the hon. Gentleman the whole list. I think that it is about seven, and one is being built and one was announced last week. I am sorry that I could not give him the actual locations off the cuff.

Mr. Maclennan

In so far as redeployment has occurred out of areas largely dependent on service industries, has the Secretary of State had consultations with his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer about the possible relationship of the Selective Employment Tax with this phenomenon?

Mr. Ross

I have assured my hon. Friend before that the question of the Selective Employment Tax and its effect in the first year is a subject that certainly closely concerns me.

Mr. G. Campbell

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that we have been urging a regional investigation of S.E.T. since May and for action to be taken regionally in this matter? If the first year is to pass before the Government consider this, may not the effects of S.E.T. have gone too far, so that it will then be too late?

Mr. Ross

The hon. Gentleman can rest assured that the present Government will not take any action too late. [Interruption.] The trouble with the former Conservative Government was that they did not take any action at all.