HC Deb 28 June 1951 vol 489 cc1567-8
30. Mr. Janner

asked the Minister of Labour whether, in view of the fact that many accidents in factories would not happen if operatives used the safety devices provided, he will suggest to local authorities that exhibitions on the lines of the Industrial Safety Exhibition, in Birmingham, should be held by towns in industrial localities.

Mr. Robens

I am very pleased with the efforts made in Birmingham in showing how the various safety devices can help to prevent accidents, and I would like to congratulate the Birmingham and District Industrial Safety Group on their exhibition. Exhibitions of this nature would seem to be a matter for industry rather than local authorities, but the co-operation of my officers is freely available at all times.

Mr. Janner

While thanking my right hon. Friend for his reply, may I ask whether he is aware that the chief Inspector of Factories emphasised in his recent report that this was an extremely important matter? Could he encourage, by some means or other, the establishment of further industrial safety exhibitions throughout the country?

Mr. Robens

Yes, Sir, I am glad to be able to do something on those lines. In fact, the Chairman of the Birmingham and District Industrial Safety Group is His Majesty's Superintendent of Factories for that area.

Mr. Harmar Nicholls

Would the Minister bear in mind the necessity of increasing the establishment of factory inspectors to prevent accidents in factories and consider making their working conditions really effective?

Mr. Robens

I am most anxious that the complement of factory inspectors should be adequate to meet their statutory obligations, but it is a little embarrassing from time to time when hon. Gentlemen opposite are wanting us to slash the Civil Service.

Mr. Nabarro

Is the Minister aware that for over 15 years conscientious endeavours have been made to increase the number of safety committees in factories and that we have still not achieved success? Will he consider introducing legislation to provide for a safety committee in every factory employing more than a certain number of people?

Mr. Robens

I always understood that the Opposition prefer the voluntary method to direction.