HC Deb 09 July 1958 vol 591 cc376-7
19. Dr. Stross

asked the Minister of Labour whether he has now succeeded in trebling the size of the Chemical and Engineering Branch of the Factory Inspectorate; and if he will state the number of new inspectors recruited for the General Inspectorate since the survey of 1955.

Mr. Iain Macleod

Since the publication in October, 1956, of the White Paper on the Staffing and Organisation of the Factory Inspectorate the number of engineering and chemical inspectors in post has been increased from 18 to 24 and 6 more are in process of appointment. An open competition to fill the remaining vacancies will shortly be advertised.

Since the same date, 61 inspectors have been recruited into the General Inspectorate.

Dr. Stross

In view of the fairly reassuring figures which the right hon. Gentleman has given to the House, may I ask him if he can guarantee to us that his Department is getting a sufficient priority in obtaining these highly skilled people, such as engineers and chemists?

Mr. Macleod

I can give the hon. Member an absolute assurance that the comparative slowness of recruiting, which I regret very much, has nothing to do with economy or anything of that sort. I have always had full support from the Treasury in this matter.

Mr. Slater

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he will publish in the report the areas which are covered by the chemical inspectors?

Mr. Macleod

I am not quite sure it would be possible to do that; but, if I may look into that point, I will write to the hon. Member.