asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that in many county districts sanitary inspectors have been appointed at a small salary inclusive of travelling expenses; and whether, in view of the fact that by compelling the inspector to meet his travelling expenses out of his own salary the tendency is to discourage him from incurring any more expenses than he can help, to the detriment of the efficient discharge of his duties, he will issue an instruction that in all future appointments the salary paid must be exclusive of travelling expenses?
The reply to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. If the unsatisfactory conditions to which the hon. Member refers arise, I think that they are probably due in the case of these particular officers not so much to the fact that travelling expenses are not excluded from the salary as to the possible inadequacy of the total remuneration. In such a case it is for the local authority to review the position and to propose the necessary steps to remedy it.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the appointment of these officers by the local authorities is subject to the jurisdiction of his own Ministry, and why does he not see that they receive a salary exclusive of travelling expenses?
Is the Minister of Health not aware that his Department provides part of the salaries, and therefore he is responsible?
I will look into the matter.
Is it not a good thing to discourage servants of the State from incurring more expenses than are necessary?
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the St. Austell Rural District Council advertised for a full-time qualified sanitary inspector at a salary of £175 per annum, to include travelling expenses; whether the Ministry sanctioned the appointment at this salary; and whether, in view of the present cost of living and the fact that the inspector in question will have to find his own travelling expenses out of the £175 per annum, he will for all future appointments lay down a scale which would he more in keeping with present-day needs?
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the Little Lever Urban District Council published an advertisement in connection with the joint appointment of a qualified whole-time sanitary inspector and assistant surveyor, the salary for the joint appointment to he £175 per annum, inclusive of bonus; whether the Ministry sanctioned the appointment at this salary; and whether, in view of the important work of a sanitary inspector, the Ministry will, in future cases, insist upon the payment of a salary commensurate with the duties and with the cost of living?
The answer to the first two parts of these questions is in the affirmative. The candidates, who are properly qualified, themselves applied for the respective posts with full knowledge of the salaries offered. In present circumstances, I cannot require local authorities to pay salaries in excess of what they themselves consider necessary and what enables them to obtain qualified officers.