HC Deb 13 April 1877 vol 233 cc1072-3

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to a statement of the Manchester Steam Users' Association that, since the sitting of the Select Committee appointed in 1870 to inquire into the cause of Steam Boiler Explosions and the best means of preventing them, 391 persons had been killed and 713 injured by steam boiler explosions, 88 of whom were killed and 103 injured in 1876; and, whether he will bring in a Bill, either in this or next Session, for the purpose of instituting a Government inquiry into all cases of steam boiler explosions, such as the inquiries already held under the Merchant Shipping Act, into explosions of boilers on board ships, and, under the Regulation of Railways Act, into railway accidents?


in reply, said, his attention had been called to the facts stated in the Question, and he had had a long interview with the Manchester Steam Users' Association. He must take the opportunity of saying what an admirable institution, in his opinion, that was, and what excellent service it had done in the case of those who employed its services. He did not think any advantage would be gained by removing from the owners of boilers the responsibility to which they were now subject of seeing that they were in safe and proper condition. Nor was it his intention to ask the Government to introduce any Bill for the purpose of having an inquiry into each particular case of explosion; but when he saw the members of the Association, he promised that, should there be an inquiry in any case in which a steam boiler explosion occurred, the Home Office should be informed, through a Government law official whom he would send down, of any legal responsibility that had not been fulfilled.