HC Deb 30 October 1956 vol 558 cc1238-9
34. Mr. Lee

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will consider extending the powers of factory inspectors so as to enable them to invite fire prevention officers to accompany them in their visits to factories.

Mr. Carr

We are encouraging joint visits to factories by inspectors and fire prevention officers. I do not think any extension of the powers of inspectors is needed to carry out this policy.

Mr. Lee

Would the hon. Gentleman agree that where the employer does not invite the fire prevention officer to go into the factory, the factory inspector himself has not the power to insist on him going? Is he further aware that in the case of the Keighley incident, if this sort of thing had been possible it is quite probable that that tragic incident would never have happened ; and will he study again the implication of the Question?

Mr. Carr

What the hon. Gentleman requires to meet his point is not extra powers for factory inspectors, but extra powers for fire prevention officers, which is not a matter for my right hon. Friend but for the Home Secretary. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that we are on the point of issuing new instructions to encourage co-operation between these two sets of inspectors. I believe that with the new instructions the matter will work out and we shall get what we want by persuasion and without any more powers.

Back to