§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
The Secretary of State has had under consideration the question of strengthening the factory inspectorate. As far as the district staff was concerned, he came to the conclusion that the most important need of the Department was to relieve the larger districts which, in consequence of the growth in the amount of work, had become unwieldy. The Treasury have now approved a scheme for increasing the number of districts from fifty-two to sixty-two, and an addition to the staff of ten inspectors of district rank for the purpose of manning the new districts. Four junior inspectors, however, will be withdrawn, making the net addition six inspectors. Two inspectors' assistants are also to be added. Further, my right hon. Friend came to the conclusion that the time had come for strengthening the special branches of the inspectorate, and the Treasury have sanctioned the addition to the staff of another medical inspector, two lady inspectors, and an inspector of junior rank to assist in the work of electrical inspection. The total increase, therefore, is twelve.
§ 73. Mr. GILL
asked what expenses are allowed for travelling to factory inspectors and inspectors' assistants when engaged on the work of inspection; whether both travel by the same class of carriage on the railway; whether hotel expenses are similar in each case; and, if there is any difference, for what reason is it made?
§ Mr. McKENNA
Superintending inspectors and certain special inspectors receive for subsistence when away from home a night allowance of £1; inspectors below the rank of superintending inspector receives 15s. and assistants 10s. When travelling by rail inspectors are authorised to travel first-class, and assistants second-class, or third if there is no second. The distinctions are based on distinctions in the character of the posts and the scales of salary attaching to them, and are in accordance with the rules prevailing throughout the Civil Service.
§ 74. Mr. GILL
asked how many factory inspectors' assistants have been promoted to the higher grade of assistants; what districts are they allotted to; whether they are engaged exclusively on special work, and, if so, what kind of work; and whether any restrictions are placed upon them in the full inspection of factories?
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
There are twenty-six assistants at the present moment in the higher grade, but thirty-two in all have been promoted to that rank. I cannot within the limits of an oral answer give a list of the districts to which they are attached, but I shall be happy to send one to my hon. Friend if he desires to have it. All assistants of the higher grade have special duties assigned to them in connection with the inspection of docks, detection of time-cribbing, enforcement of particulars or other matters; but they are not exclusively or even mainly employed on these special duties. The main duty of the assistants is the inspection of workshops, and it would not be possible to employ them in general factory inspection without largely neglecting the workshop inspection.
§ 75. Mr. GILL
asked how many factory inspectors' assistants have been appointed since the commencement of the system; how many have been promoted to the post of junior inspector and how many have been refused nominations to sit at examinations for such post; and whether the whole of the assistants, previous to their appointment, had a practical experience in factories and workshops?
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
Seventy-five persons have been appointed to be inspectors' assistants since the establishment of this class in 1893. Six of these have been appointed to junior inspectorships, of whom one obtained the appointment by success in the ordinary examination. Further promotions are now under consideration. I am unable to say how many have asked for and been refused nominations to compete for inspectorships. Of the present staff of fifty-three assistants thirty-two had experience in factories or workshops, five had been employed as sanitary inspectors, and most of the others had had experience in the offices of the factory inspectors.