Factory Inspection, West Riding.

Oral Answers to Questions — National War Effort. – in the House of Commons on 18th June 1942.

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Photo of Mr Benjamin Riley Mr Benjamin Riley , Dewsbury

asked the Minister of Labour how many factory inspectors are now being employed in the heavy woollen district of the West Riding; and whether he is aware of the complaints being made by operatives regarding sanitary arrangements in some factories?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

Factory inspectors' districts do not exactly correspond with heavy woollen areas and district staffs are assisted to some extent by inspectors from divisional offices. Excluding the latter, the district staffs concerned with heavy woollen areas in the West Riding total roughly seven. I am not personally aware of the complaints mentioned. If my hon. Friend will send me particulars, I will have inquiry made, but I would point out that while the responsibility rests on me to lay down standards as to the sanitary conveniences required, the Factories Act places on the sanitary authority the responsibility for enforcing these provisions. It is only if the sanitary authority fails in its duty that the factory inspector has power to take action.

Photo of Mr Benjamin Riley Mr Benjamin Riley , Dewsbury

Is my right hon. Friend satisfied that there is an adequate number of inspectors?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

I am not satisfied with the total number of factory inspectors at all, but I am handicapped by the present war situation with regard to personnel. I feel that at a later date the numbers of factory inspectors will have to be overhauled.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

Is it not the duty of local authorities to see that factories are in a satisfactory condition?.