HC Deb 23 February 1976 vol 906 cc21-2
31. Mr. Canavan

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what reactions he has received from Civil Service representatives about the Government's plans to transfer more Civil Service jobs to Scotland.

Mr. Charles R. Morris

No representations about the Government's plans to transfer more Civil Service jobs to Scotland have been made directly to Civil Service Ministers by Civil Service representatives within the last 12 months. However, I understand that Ministers in the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Overseas Development have received representations from their Departmental Staff Sides.

Mr. Canavan

Taking into account the transfer of more Civil Service jobs to Scotland and the inevitable loss of Civil Service jobs as a result of the savage cuts announced in the White Paper on Public Expenditure, will there be a net increase or a net decrease in the number of Civil Service jobs in Scotland by 1980?

Mr. Morris

At this stage I am in no position to comment on the hypothesis put forward by my hon. Friend about the future number of Civil Service jobs in Scotland. Hon. Members representing Scottish constituencies should bear in mind the extent of dispersal of civil servants to Scotland. At present there are 66,000 civil servants in Scotland. In terms of the Hardman Committee's proposals of July 1974, out of the 31,000 Civil Service jobs that were dispersed 7,000 were designated to go to Scotland.

Mr. Guy Barnett

Is my hon. Friend aware that the dispersal of the Ministry of Overseas Development to Scotland could have disastrous consequences for that Ministry? Is he also aware that there is no more argument for dispersing the Ministry of Overseas Development than there is for dispersing the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to Glasgow? Does he agree that, inevitably, the Ministry needs to be in contact with experts in London and that overseas specialist personnel need to make similar journeys? Does he agree that as the Ministry must work in an integrated fashion it will be extremely difficult if part of it is dispersed and the other part is left in London?

Mr. Morris

I have noted my hon. Friend's comments and will bring them to my right hon. Friend's attention.

Forward to