§ MR. MACDONALD
asked the Under Secretary of State for the Home Department, If his attention has been directed to the fact that a large number of the bodies of those who lost their lives in the Abercarne Colliery Explosion, which took place on 11th Sept. 1878, yet remain in the mine; whether, considering that this is merely a question of cost to the owners of the mine, he will exert his influence to have the bodies restored to their relatives; and, whether he will consider the propriety of bringing in a Bill to compel owners of mines and collieries to recover bodies of those who may lose their lives in mines, and, in the event of their being unable to do so, of making provisions in the Bill to ensure this result, either by levying a rate in the district or paying from the imperial funds a sum sufficient for such a purpose?
§ MR. ARTHUR PEEL,
in reply, said, that at the commencement of 1879 a very large expenditure had been incurred in efforts to recover the bodies of those who had perished in the Abercarne Colliery Explosion. The amount had been placed at between £15,000 and £20,000, and he might safely state that the sum expended had been upwards of £10,000. The Inspector had reported to the Home Office that the works were closed, and that to re-open them for the purpose of recovering the bodies would involve an expenditure of something like £50,000. He was not able to give any assurance that the Home Secretary would propose to Parliament any measure for the recovery of bodies under similar circumstances. They could not bind the owners by Act of Parliament to do what, in some cases, would be an impossibility. It was only fair to the owners to say that, in the great majority 431 of cases, they had never been wanting in satisfying the utmost claims of humanity and generosity.
§ MR. MACDONALD
asked whether it was a fact that the mine was being approached by mines in other directions?
§ MR. ARTHUR PEEL
replied, that what he had stated was all the information the Government at present possessed.