19. Mr. Edward M. Taylor
asked the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs what study he has made of the dispersal of the offices of new Government agencies, boards, commissions and councils throughout the United Kingdom in promoting regional development; and if he will make a statement on the progress which has been made in this direction.
§ Mr. Urwin
We promote regional development by establishing the offices of Government Departments and other public bodies outside London whenever it is feasible to do so. Each case is studied on its merits and I will circulate a list of the offices planned for location outside London since 1st January, 1965. in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
Has the Minister seen the report of the Location of Offices Bureau, which shows that no London firm or agency employing a significant number has moved to Scotland last year? Is he aware that the Government are creating new civil servants at the rate of 45 every day? Why cannot we get a fairer share? Will the Government take steps to halt emigration from Scotland, which was at a record level in 1967?
§ Mr. Urwin
It is unfortunate that the Administration supported by the hon. Gentleman failed to halt emigration from Scotland over a very long period of years. As to Government policy, I have already said that since 1965 we have 721 given a much greater impetus to the dispersal of Government offices into the provinces, with specific emphasis on development areas. The hon. Gentleman will appreciate that Scotland already has its own administrative offices and that the possibilities of further new offices are often limited by operational requirements of the offices concerned. Nevertheless, Scotland is always considered when offices are to be dispersed or new ones are built in the provinces.
§ Mr. Roy Hughes
Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that in South Wales we are particularly grateful for the Government's policies of dispersal, particularly for the Royal Mint at Llantrisant, the motor taxation offices at Swansea and now the census offices of the Board of Trade at Newport—all projects which will alleviate unemployment in this area?
§ Following is the information:
|MAJOR NEW OFFICES OUTSIDE LONDON|
|(from the beginning of 1965)|
|Inland Revenue (Schedule E Centres)||East Kilbride|
|Investment Grants Organisation, Board of Trade||Southend|
|Crosby (will, later on, move to Bootle)|
|Land Registry (Provincial Offices)||Swansea|
|Land Commission, Head-quarters:||Newcastle|
|Post Office (Giro)||Bootle|
|H.M. Stationery (Printing Works)||Office Gateshead|
|Ministry of Social Security:|
|Tokens for Welfare Milk||Blackpool|
|Ministry of Transport (Licensing work)||Swansea|
|Meat and Livestock Commission||Milton Keynes|