§ SIR J. GORST (Cambridge University)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department has the post of Deputy Superintending Inspector of Factories been recently instituted; and, if so, when; was the institution thereof notified at the time by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Factories to the inspecting staff, according to previous custom in the Department; and, if not, why not; and will he explain why the person appointed to the new office was afterwards promoted to be a full Superintending Inspector of Factories over the heads of some of the Inspectors, senior to himself, who hold records of the highest character as to the zeal and ability with which they have performed the duties of their office?
§ MR. ASQUITH
In consequence of the increased duties of the Department, it was deemed advisable last May to select one of the Factory Inspectors to act, as a temporary arrangement, for any of the Superintending Inspectors who might be absent on leave or for other causes; but this was a purely temporary Departmental arrangement, which it was not considered necessary to notify to the 436 staff generally. A vacancy among the Superintending Inspectors is filled by the selection of the Inspector who is considered most suitable for the post, and not merely by seniority. In the recent appointment the same course has been adopted as on former occasions, and the selection of the particular Inspector involves no disparagement or want of appreciation of the ability or the services of the Inspector senior to himself. I may observe that the most senior of these gentlemen was less than a year senior to the Inspector who was promoted.