HC Deb 23 November 1950 vol 481 cc482-3
11. Miss Irene Ward

asked the Minister of Labour what steps he proposes to take to safeguard the welfare, health and safety of the industrial worker, having regard to the fact that the establishment of His Majesty's Inspectorate of Factories is considerably below strength.

Mr. Isaacs

I am making every effort to safeguard the maintenance of industrial health and safety.

Miss Ward

Would the Minister say what the efforts are and whether he is absolutely certain that the conditions offered to attract recruits into His Majesty's Inspectorate of Factories are adequate and proper to attract the right kind of man? Could he state what are the steps?

Mr. Isaacs

I think the second part of that supplementary question does not arise out of the Question on the Order Paper. The first part of the supplementary arises especially out of my answer. The steps we are taking are to ensure that every complaint of any risk to health or danger in any factory reported to us is promptly attended to and to take care, by such redeployment of our existing forces as can be made, that everything is done to ensure that prompt attention is given to every complaint.

Mr. Gibson

Would it not be better if the owners of the factories themselves applied modern methods of safety and welfare so as to make it unnecessary for the inspectors to do the work?

Mr. Isaacs

Questions and answers of this sort can easily be misunderstood, as is evident from one of my answers this afternoon. I think it is only proper to say that, in the main, the Factories Acts are well observed by employers generally and that our main work today is not overcoming old time difficulties but giving advice on new methods of production, new machinery, new chemicals used and so on. We are having all possible co-operation from employers.