HC Deb 05 April 1967 vol 744 cc215-6
6. Mr. MacArthur

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate he has made of probable emigration from Scotland in each of the years 1967 to 1970.

Mr. Ross

No estimates of net emigration losses have been made for each of these years because such losses result from a great many factors affecting both inward and outward movements of population, and it is impossible to make any reliable prediction of the net result of all these for a single year.

Mr. MacArthur

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that figures which emerged only last week show that the population of Scotland has fallen yet again, and that this constant trend of falling population and rising emigration flies in the face of all his promises and those of his hon. Friends to the people of Scotland?

Mr. Ross

It was predictable that the emigration while hon. Gentlemen opposite were in office—400,000 people leaving Scotland—would have a long-term effect on population. It is a pity that the hon. Gentleman did not raise his voice about the matter at that time.