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Factory Inspectors (Salaries)

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 10 April 1951

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asked the Minister of Labour by what percentage the present maximum salary of each grade, men, in His Majesty's Inspectorate of Factories is higher than the 1939 maximum for the same grade, disregarding inspectors who have received the Chorley increases and specialist inspectors.

The percentage increases (London) are: Superintending Inspector, 31.8; Deputy Superintending Inspector, 32.8; Inspector, Class I A, 32.6; Inspector, Class I B, 28.6; Inspector, Class II, 31.9. Inspectors serving outside the London postal area have been subject to provincial differentiation since 1946. The percentage increase in their case varies from an average of 25 per cent. to 28 per cent.

Bearing in mind the shortage of recruits for this important inspectorate and in view of the inadequacy of the margin—round about 30 per cent.—between pre-war and current remuneration, will the Minister re-examine the scales of remuneration for this service, if only to secure an adequate flow of recruits?

We are, of course, extremely concerned that we are not up to full strength in the service. I cannot give the hon. Member the undertaking for which he asks. On the other hand, I will see that the point is looked at again.

Will my hon. Friend take notice that there is some apprehension on this subject on these benches? Will he take notice also that our view—whether there is anything in the belief—is that the salary is not sufficiently attractive to the young graduate coming from the universities and for suitable men in industry in their early 20's?

When the hon. Gentleman talks about provincial areas outside London, does he include Scotland? If so, would he say of what Scotland is a province?

Will the hon. Member bear in mind that pressure of this kind has been brought forward from these benches over a very long period? Is the hon. Gentleman in a position to say what action will be taken?

It is a remarkable thing how pressure can now be brought to bear by people who could have done so much when they had the opportunity.