Mobility of Labour

Oral Answers to Questions — Economic Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd December 1964.

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Mr. Edward M. Taylor:

asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs if he is aware that greater mobility of labour must be achieved if regional development is to be successful; and what steps he is taking to encourage such mobility.

Photo of Mr George Brown Mr George Brown , Belper

Yes, Sir. This is vital for greater efficiency generally in the use of labour which is fundamental to growth of the economy. The Government are taking steps to improve the financial provision for redundant workers and expansion of facilities for retraining is under way.

Mr. Taylor:

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that two of the greatest deterrents to the mobility of labour, particularly of key workers and executives, are the non-transferability of pension rights and the high cost of house purchase? Will he consult his right hon. Friends concerned to secure early legislation for the transfer of pension rights and also consult the legal profession to see whether house purchase can be simplified?

Photo of Mr George Brown Mr George Brown , Belper

Yes, Sir. We were glad to have the hon. Gentleman's support in the election campaign for that part of our manifesto.

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the last Administration achieved great mobility of labour by shifting thousands of workers from Scotland to the South-East?

Photo of Mr George Brown Mr George Brown , Belper

Yes, Sir. One of the objectives of national and regional planning is to see that not only is that situation prevented from continuing but that there is a move in another direction.

The Earl of Dalkeith:

Does the right hon. Gentleman's Answer mean that the Government have dropped their hag—ridden ideas of direction of industry?

Photo of Mr George Brown Mr George Brown , Belper

The Government never had these hag-ridden ideas. All the hag-riding is on the benches opposite.