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London Population

Volume 437: debated on Tuesday 20 May 1947

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77.

asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning if he is aware that the populations of London and Greater London are increasing at the rate of 45,000 persons a month; that the 1938 population will be exceeded by the end of this year; and how he proposes to check this excessive flow of people to the London area which promises to negative the intentions of the decentralisation proposals of the London plans.

I am aware that this was the rate of population increase in the Greater London area during the last three months of 1946, but I understand that the rate decreased somewhat during the early months of this year. The Government have, of course, no powers to prevent people returning to London if they so choose. The Government are, however, restraining the overall increase of population by examining critically any proposal for industrial expansion in Greater London and by encouraging industrial development in other parts of the country which are in need of additional employment.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say how an overall increase of population differs from an increase of population?