§ MR. BROADHURST (Nottingham, W.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will now state to the House what proposals the Government intend to make with regard to an increase in the staff of Factory and Workshop Inspectors?
§ MR. LENG
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in adding to the staff of Inspectors of factories and workshops, he 1209 will consider the special qualifications of well-educated women to act as assistant Inspectors of establishments where women and girls are chiefly employed?
§ MR. MATTHEWS
I will answer both of these questions at the same time. It would be premature to make proposals in regard to an increase in the staff of Factory and Workshop Inspectors until it is ascertained that the existing staff will be insufficient to carry out efficiently the new duties which the proposed changes in the law involve. In some respects their duties will be lightened, in others increased. With regard to the appointment of female Inspectors, I stated, in reply to a question on February 26 last, that there were practical objections to such a step, and I must refer the hon. Member for Dundee to that answer.
§ In reply to further questions by Mr. MUNDELLA (Sheffield, Brightside), Mr. LENG and Mr. SUMMERS (Huddersfield),
§ MR. MATTHEWS
said: I have no doubt there are a great number of women employed in factories and workshops, but to have the same district separately inspected by men and women would be a waste of power, and besides there are various difficulties of detail in the way.