HC Deb 26 February 1907 vol 169 cc1433-4
MR. SUMMERBELL (Sunderland)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he can see his way to introduce a change in regard to mines inspectorships, whereby all Applicants having colliery managers' certificates may in future be allowed to sit for examination, and so allow the best men to come to the top, and thereby abolish the present method of selection and nomination by the Secretary of State.


I do not think it would be at all advisable to adopt the hon. Member's suggestion. I protest strongly against the implication in the Question that the present system prevents she best men from coming to the top. In the appointment of inspectors of mines I attach great importance to practical experience, and other special qualifications, which cannot satisfactorily be tested by an open competitive examination. Under the present system anyone who chooses can apply for a nomination to compete. All such applications are most carefully scrutinised, and the best of the applicants personally interviewed before the nominations are made.


Is it a fact that the application forms supplied by the Home Office are of such a character that they cannot ascertain what ability is likely to be displayed by the applicants? I should like to know how without examinations the best men are to be got for the positions indicated in the Question.


I am not quite sure on behalf of whom my hon. friend is speaking. I have had up to the present no representation on the subject from either representatives of the miners or mine owners. The question is one quite within the purview of the Royal Commission, and on which they can make any suggestion they like.