HC Deb 06 December 1967 vol 755 cc1419-20
10. Mr. Dewar

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what has been the net emigration loss from Scotland to England in each of the last three years; and what is the latest information available regarding the present position.

22. Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the latest figures he has regarding the level of emigration from Scotland.

Mr. Ross

I refer my hon. Friend and the hon. Gentleman to the reply that I gave the hon. Members for North Angus and Mearns (Mr. Buchanan-Smith) and Perth and East Perthshire (Mr. MacArthur) on 4th December.—[Vol. 755, c. 239.]

Mr. Dewar

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the figures, representing as they do the first drop in the net immigration loss since the war, demonstrate a remarkable break through, and confirm the very optimistic trends which were discovered by the Scottish Council (Development and Industry) recently in its survey of long-term unemployment?

Mr. Ross

The figures are indeed a very welcome change, although we are not complacent about them. When one breaks them un one discovers a very dramatic change, which I think is a measure of the success of our policies on drift south, which used to worry us. There is still a considerable headache over emigration overseas, but that is not confined to this part of the United Kingdom.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

Will the right hon. Gentleman take it that we shall not congratulate him for making, with his colleagues, England so unattractive under Socialism that nobody from Scotland wants to go there? Will he bear in mind that the level of emigration overseas is now running at 2½ times its level at the beginning of the decade and that the people concerned, unlike those who go south, are lost to Scotland for good?

Mr. Ross

I am glad that the hon. Gentleman did not congratulate me—the shock would have been too much for me.