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Scottish Affairs

Volume 975: debated on Wednesday 5 December 1979

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asked the Minister for the Civil Service how many civil servants are wholly employed on Scottish affairs.

On 1 July 1979, the latest date for which figures are available, there were 70,594 civil servants employed in Scotland, of whom 13,571 were in Scottish departments.

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Will he assure the House that there will be no question of reducing the number of Civil Service jobs going to Scotland? Will he also ensure that the first 650 of those jobs will be established in Scotland by 1980–81?

I assure my hon. Friend that the statement that I made at the end of July about the dispersal of Civil Service jobs to Scotland still stands. It is still our intention to begin the move of 650 posts from the Overseas Development Administration to Scotland next year.

Is the Minister aware of the anger and disquiet felt in Scotland about the delay in the dispersal programme, and of the feeling that the year 1986 is beginning to look somewhat like the Greek Calends? Will the Minister bring his plans forward and get on with the commitment to effect the dispersal of jobs to the West of Scotland?

The hon. Member may have seen the statement by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland that he is exploring the feasibility of an earlier more general move to temporary accommodation. I shall discuss this matter with those of my right hon. Friends who are concerned.