§ 28. Mr. Arthur Davidson
asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity what increases there have been in the size of the Factory Inspectorate over the past three years.
§ Mr. Harold Walker
The number of factory inspectors in post increased from 497 on 1st November, 1966, to 611 on 1st November this year. The figures for the same date in the intervening years were 515 and 573 respectively.
§ Mr. Davidson
The increase will be greatly welcomed, but can the hon. Gentleman say whether he is satisfied that the amount offered as a starting salary to factory inspectors is not too low, and perhaps acts as a disincentive to persons to take up this important work?
§ Mr. Walker
The current rate of recruitment is encouraging and the figures I have given the House show an increase of about 10 per cent. per annum in the last two years. This is consistent with the current rate of recruitment. None the less, the recruitment is not going perhaps as well as we would like and we are prepared to look at factors which might provide an incentive to speeding it up.