Sanitary Inspectors

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Health – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th April 1955.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Blenkinsop Mr Arthur Blenkinsop , Newcastle upon Tyne East 12:00 am, 4th April 1955

asked the Minister of Health whether he will seek to obtain a reliable and up-to-date estimate of the shortage of sanitary inspectors for local government employment; and what further action he proposes to take to meet the situation.

Photo of Miss Patricia Hornsby-Smith Miss Patricia Hornsby-Smith , Chislehurst

No, Sir. A fresh estimate would not, in my right hon. Friend's view, help to relieve the situation. He is proceeding as quickly as possible to conclude discussions on the implementation of the Report of the Working Party on Recruitment, Training and Qualification of Sanitary Inspectors, which included recommendations directed towards overcoming the shortage.

Photo of Mr Arthur Blenkinsop Mr Arthur Blenkinsop , Newcastle upon Tyne East

Is the hon. Lady aware of the anxiety caused in local government circles by replies given in this House a short while ago, which seemed to indicate a lack of appreciation of the seriousness of the shortage in view of the very great importance of preventative health work being done for which these sanitary inspectors are well qualified? Does she fully understand how urgent it is to get more sanitary inspectors?

Photo of Miss Patricia Hornsby-Smith Miss Patricia Hornsby-Smith , Chislehurst

I should have thought that the sanitary inspectors would be much more concerned to see that my right hon. Friend was taking prompt action without spending time pursuing more surveys which would probably come to the same concluion as that at which we have already arrived. We have received deputations from eleven of the bodies concerned, and we are about to put out revised proposals in an endeavour to reconcile the conflicting interests of the bodies concerned. Certainly there is no delay on our part.

Photo of Mr Arthur Blenkinsop Mr Arthur Blenkinsop , Newcastle upon Tyne East

Does the hon. Lady appreciate that the last reply given in this House suggested that the Ministry was unaware of the situation and thought that it was not as serious as we know it to be? It was to that question that I wanted to draw attention.

Photo of Miss Patricia Hornsby-Smith Miss Patricia Hornsby-Smith , Chislehurst

I do not accept the hon. Member's comments, because I had the honour to make the last replies and I said quite plainly that my right hon. Friend accepted in principle the findings of the Working Party and was acting upon them.