HC Deb 20 October 1953 vol 518 cc1797-8
37. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Minister of Labour how many wage inspectors there are in Great Britain; and what is the annual cost of their salaries and expenses.

Mr. Watkinson

The number of wages inspectors employed by my Department is 186: the annual cost of their salaries and expenses is £180,000.

Sir W. Smithers

Does the Minister consider that the cost to the taxpayer justifies the continuance of these snoopers, and is it not time that this particular form of Gestapo ceased?

Mr. Watkinson

I do not accept my hon. Friend's remark about Gestapo. He probably does not realise that in 1952 these inspectors resulted in the collecting of arrears of remuneration amounting to no less than £166,000 paid by 12,000 establishments.

Sir H. Williams

Will my hon. Friend say why it is necessary to have these inspectors, having regard to the fact that trade unions in this country are quite efficient and quite capable of doing the job without them?

Mr. Watkinson

That is not our view in the Ministry.

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