HC Deb 10 March 1876 vol 227 c1797

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If he will, in compliance with the recommendation of several of the Inspectors of Coal Mines in the Report issued yesterday, introduce this Session a small Bill to prohibit the use of blasting powder in mines where the safety lamp has been ordered to be used; if he will not introduce such a Bill will he consent to the appointment of a Select Committee of this House to inquire into the whole subject; and, further, seeing that several Inspectors have stated there is power in the existing Act to discontinue the use of powder "where it is necessary," whether he will enforce the existing Law?


, in reply, said, that Her Majesty's Government did not intend to introduce any Bill of the nature referred to by the hon. Member, because it was, in their opinion, a measure which would tend rather to the increase of danger than otherwise and to the disuse of safety lamps. He wished that the men employed in mines would only be as earnest in putting the provisions of the Mines Act in force as the Inspectors were. If they would only give their assistance to the Inspectors in carrying into effect the existing Act, and more especially the 1st, 6th, 8th, and 30th general rules, and would also help them in carrying out the Act in other ways, he believed a great saving of life would ensue. He had called the special attention of the Inspectors, since the recent Reports had been made to the Home Office, to those special points, and had requested them to see, so far as they possibly could, that they were enforced, and he had also called their special attention to Sections 46 and 65 of the Mines Act. He hoped by this means that the safety of life in mines would be greatly increased, and he was sure it would be still more so if the men would give all the assistance they could to the Inspectors in the performance of their duty. The matter had been so fully discussed a short time ago that he was unwilling to ask for the appointment of a Select Committee until he saw whether the measures which he proposed to take would have a beneficial effect.