§ MR. MACDONALD
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If it has been reported to him by 1812 the legal gentleman appointed to watch the coroner's inquest in respect to the loss of over 60 lives by an explosion of fire damp in the Dinas Colliery, South I Wales, that the jury had found that though the manager had been deprived of his certificate for gross negligence and incompetency, after a thorough judicial investigation, he had still been continued as manager by the owner or agent, or both; and, if he intends to take any steps to punish the party or parties, that committed an act which set at defiance the decision of a regularly constituted court?
MR. ASSHETON CROSS
, in reply, said, the Coroner's jury had only just given their verdict in the case of this explosion, and he had not yet received the Report of the legal gentleman who attended the inquest on behalf of the Secretary of State. The course that it was proposed to take was this. If, on the Report of that gentleman, it appeared that legal proceedings ought to be taken against any person connected with the mine, he would at once proceed to take them. But there was one important point connected with the case, and that was that the explosion happened so long since, and the Coroner's jury had been so long in finishing the inquiry and giving their verdict, that the time limited by the statute, within which proceedings under the Act could be taken, had expired. In order to prevent such an occurrence in future, and to guard against those cases where, no death resulting, there was no Coroner's inquest, he proposed to introduce a short Bill to allow the Secretary of State to order a special inquiry in the case of mining accidents, in the same manner as he was empowered under the Act of 1875 to order special inquiries in case of accidents from explosive substances—apower which had been of so much benefit.