HC Deb 01 March 1906 vol 152 cc1305-6
MR. H. J. TENNANT (Berwickshire)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, under the newly proposed scheme of admission to the factory department, candidates will be permitted to administer the Factory Acts for two years before their knowledge of factory law and sanitary science has been tested; and whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that a knowledge of mathematics, economics, chemistry, physics, or practical mechanism need never be acquired by candidates for the inspectorship of factories.


The Answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative, but I may point out that under the old scheme now superseded the test of a candidate's knowledge of factory law and sanitary science was a mere test of book-knowledge; and the new inspector was obliged, then as now, to gain his much more important practical knowledge of these subjects in the actual work of inspection under the guidance of experienced inspectors. By deferring the examination in factory law and sanitary science until an inspector has done two years actual work, it will be possible to test his practical as well as his theoretical attainments. As regards the second part of my hon. friend's question I may point out that the selection of inspectors is not done merely, or even mainly, by the competitive examination. It is done chiefly by the Secretary of State, who scrutinises closely the qualifications of the candidates on his list, and satisfies himself that every one whom he nominates to take part in an examination possesses such attainments as are likely to fit him for the inspectorate.

In answer to a further Question,


said that some time must elapse before he could come to a final decision.