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Migration, Scotland

Volume 721: debated on Thursday 25 November 1965

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asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs what factors were taken into account in arriving at the estimates in Appendix A of the National Plan that 206,000 people would migrate from Scotland in the next seven years and that the population of working age would fall by 86,000 in that period.

In fact, a net migration of 178,000 people over seven years is anticipated in the Plan. The Government's policies are aimed at ensuring a steady fall in the annual loss from the peak of over 40,000 achieved in 1963–64.

Does the hon. Gentleman accept that these figures have caused great concern in Scotland where, although migration problems have existed for many years, we have never planned to create them? Are these figures in the Government's plan? If not, why are they included?

I believe that people in Scotland are glad to know that we are now moving away from the accelerating rate of migration which was characteristic of the period up to the peak of 1963–64. I am satisfied that the Government's policies will keep the reversal of this trend well maintained.