HC Deb 13 June 1879 vol 246 cc1808-9

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether it is his intention to amend his instructions to the Inspectors of Coal Mines which as at present framed allow a certificated manager to have several mines under his charge, and authorise indefinite periods of absence from the mine on the part of such manager, while the Act itself, in section 26, requires "every mine to be under the control and daily supervision of a manager?"


Sir, this is a very important point to which my hon. Friend has called the attention of the House; but what I wish to impress upon him, in the first place, is this—that I have made no change in the instructions that have existed from the time of the passing of the Act of 1872. The principle of the instructions to which my hon. Friend refers is not new at all, but is copied verbatim from the instructions that were drawn up in 1872. I, of course, am not responsible for them; but I presume the Secretary of State drew them up for the purpose of insuring that the provisions of the Act should be carried out in the most practical way. The conditions necessarily vary, and the arrangements may vary also according to the size and other circumstances of the mine, but must in each case be such as to secure the real effectual supervision of the every-day working of the mine. If they fail to do so, the Secretary of State would feel it his duty at once to take steps to interfere. As a doubt has been raised, I shall cause the Question of the hon. Member and my answer to be sent to the Inspectors, in order to show that it is not the intention of the Secretary of State to interfere with the actual carrying out of the Act of Parliament in its full meaning.