§ MR. J. RAMSAY MACDONALD
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he can lay Papers upon the Table containing a statement of the new and more important duties for assistant factory inspectors which he foreshadowed in answer to a Question on the 28th November last;†and whether he can now state if those duties include that of inspection of factories.
§ MR. GLADSTONE
There are no Papers which I can lay upon the Table, but I can state, in a few words, the effect of the new arrangements which have now been approved by me. All Inspectors' Assistants of the Higher Grade will, in addition to their ordinary work of inspecting workshops, be employed on certain more responsible duties which include the inspection of factories for certain purposes, the inspection of docks†See (4) Debates, clxvi., 51.552 and the enforcement there of the Home Office regulations, the inspection of outwork with reference especially to the requirement of particulars of work and wages, and other matters. It is not proposed at present to utilise these Assistants in connection with the safeguarding of machinery, mechanical ventilation, and other matters requiring special qualifications; but otherwise they will, acting under the directions of the District and Superintending Inspectors, be called upon to perform such duties as can be most usefully assigned to them, having regard to the particular circumstances of the districts to which they are severally alloted. For example, in the cotton districts, the Assistants will be required to give special attention to time-cribbing; in districts with large docks to the enforcement of the dock regulations, and so on. The arrangements are, of course, provisional, and experience of their working will no doubt suggest developments.