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Chief Inspector Of Factories (Salary)

Volume 527: debated on Tuesday 4 May 1954

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the salary of the Chief Factory Inspector has been raised since 1938 from £1.650 to £2,125, whereas the salaries of the Chief Inspectors of Mines and of Taxes has risen from £1,650 to £2,750 and the salary of the Senior Inspector of Education from £1,650 to £3,000; and why there is now such a disparity between these salaries which were all similar in 1938.

The facts are not quite accurately stated by the hon. Member, but I agree that there is now a greater disparity between these salaries than there was in 1938. In each case the current salary is fixed in the light of the current duties and responsibilities of the post, which have increased in some cases more than in others. I understand that my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of Labour has a claim for an increase in the salary of the Chief Inspector of Factories at present under consideration.

While thanking the Financial Secretary for the way in which he has answered this Question, may I ask him if he is aware that, if there is such a disparity so patent as this, even if I am not absolutely correct in my figures, it does mean the degradation of the scale for the whole of the Department as compared with other Departments, and this may explain why, in the entry group for the factory inspectors' rate, almost no one is now entering with scientific or technical qualifications but merely with an Arts degree, and that it is not reasonable to make this the Cinderella of all the Departments?

I certainly cannot agree that there is any degradation in the status of this most important Department, but in view of the last part of my answer, perhaps the hon. Gentleman would prefer not to press me now on this particular point.