HC Deb 15 April 1926 vol 194 cc462-3

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been directed to the appointment of a lady inspector to the post of deputy superintending inspector of factories for Birmingham and the district; and if in future, when making appointments to the post of deputy superintending inspectors of factories, he will consider the desirability of appointing a male inspector, preferably with actual experience of the most important industry in the district to which the appointment relates?


The appointment referred to was made by me after very careful consideration. I could rot agree to the suggestion that it is desirable that all the higher divisional posts should be filled by men. Under the present system of organisation, the women inspectors are placed on the same footing as the men, and it is both desirable and necessary that they should share in the higher appointments. If all that is suggested is that in making an appointment the fitness of the inspector should be considered in relation to the particular character of the division that is already the practice, and was observed in regard to the particular appointment in question. There are, however, various other considerations which have to be taken into account, and which, from the point of view of the general efficiency of the service, may be of equal or greater importance.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that representations have been made by manufacturers that, owing to the peculiar nature of the trades carried on in these factories, it would be much more appropriate to have a man inspector rather than a woman inspector?


No, Sir. I have had no details as to the reasons why particular Birmingham factories require a man inspector rather than a woman, but if the hon. Member will let me have the reasons I will consider them,