HC Deb 25 July 1878 vol 242 cc215-6



asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether, having regard to the constant sacrifice of human life by steam boiler explosions, 416 persons having been killed, and 700 others injured thereby, since the Select Committee of the House of Commons, appointed to inquire into the cause of these catastrophes, reported, in the year 1871, that— Steam boilers were placed in much frequented parts of towns and cities, under the pavements of crowded thoroughfares, in the lower storeys of houses, and in the midst of crowded dwellings; and, having further regard to the fact that, notwithstanding that report, no legislation has taken place for the protection of the public, he will take the matter into consideration with a view to the introduction of some judicious measure for arresting this sacrifice of human life?


Sir, I have not been able to ascertain whether the numbers quoted by the hon. Baronet are correct; but in any case I fear it is too true that there has been a lamentable amount of loss of life and injury to person owing to boiler explosions. I have been in communication with my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary on this subject, and we have come to the conclusion that it requires further inquiry and consideration. I hope to be in a position at the beginning of next Session to state the views of Her Majesty's Government on this matter, which I can assure the hon. Gentleman shall not fail to receive our careful attention.