HC Deb 30 March 1950 vol 473 cc536-7
8. Mrs. Eirene White

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will take steps to bring the factory inspectorate in Wales into line with the organisation of the rest of his Department, instead of basing it on the West Midlands and Western divisions, for North and South Wales, respectively.

Mr. Isaacs

As at present advised there do not appear to be sufficient grounds for altering the well established arrangement under which, in view of the location of factories and means of communication, the groups of factory inspection districts covering North and South Wales respectively are linked with different divisional offices.

Mrs. White

While acknowledging the historical reasons for the present arrangements, may I ask my right hon. Friend to remember that we in Wales prefer to be run by a Welsh office rather than from Wolverhampton and Bristol, estimable as those places may be; and that so far as North Wales is concerned, we do not think that a division which includes Derby and places as far distant as Anglesey and Caernarvon is really a very efficient organisation?

Mr. Isaacs

I hope my hon. Friend will notice that I said, "as at present advised." I am not at all antagonistic to the idea which the hon. Lady has in mind.

Mr. Emrys Roberts

Can the Minister give an assurance that inspectors carrying out these duties in Wales are conversant with the Welsh language?

Mr. Isaacs

No, Sir, and in view of the very severe tests which these inspectors have to pass it would be unreasonable to make it compulsory that they should learn Welsh.

Mr. George Thomas

Is my right hon. Friend aware that Welsh people are much more concerned with the efficiency of the factory inspector than with the location of the office? Will he insist upon English-speaking Welshmen having equal opportunity with those who speak Welsh?