§ Bill considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ On the Motion of Mr. CHAMBERLAIN, the following Clause read a first and second time, and agreed to:—
§ (As to costs and expenses of inquiry.)
§ "The Court may make such order as they think fit respecting the costs and expenses of the inquiry, and such order shall, on the application of any party entitled to the benefit of the same, he enforced by any Court of Summary Jurisdiction as if such costs and expenses were a penalty imposed by such Court.
§ "The Board of Trade may, if they think fit, pay to the members of the Court of Inquiry, including any assessors, such remuneration as they may, with the consent of the Treasury, appoint.
§ "Any costs and expenses ordered by the Court to be paid by the Board of Trade, and any remuneration paid under this section not otherwise provided for, shall be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament."
, in moving the following Clause:—(Person in charge of boiler to hold Board of Trade certificate.)From and after one year from this Act becoming law, every engineer or other person having charge of the working of any boiler 562 shall be in possession of a certificate from the Board of Trade certifying his competency, and, for the purpose of this section, the Board of Trade shall arrange for the examination of candidates, in such manner as regards time and place as may be considered suitable, and may employ the services of railway or other competent mechanical engineers as examiners, and shall provide them with rules for such examinations, defining therein the standard of qualification required, and fixing the fee payable by each candidate,said, he should like to call the attention of the Committee to the fact that the Bill, as it stood, simply provided for the taking note of an accident by the Commission appointed by the Board of Trade, but in no way attempted to prevent the accidents by providing for a periodical examination of the boilers, or of the men in charge of them. The object of the clause he now proposed was that the men who had charge of these dangerous machines should have some technical knowledge, and ought not to be common workmen, entirely ignorant of the management of boilers. The necessity for boilermen to be required to pass an examination had been clearly proved in many cases. The Bill itself only provided for an examination of a boiler, when it had exploded, in order to find out the cause of the explosion. That the Bill was entirely deficient was proved by the fact that the Board of Trade had the power to enforce examination if they thought fit to use it. Reports had been made in this direction; but no good had come of them. The Report of the Commission that sat by order of the Board of Trade in January, 1881, on a boiler explosion was of great interest. It recited that one of the recommendations of a Coroner's Jury which inquired into a death resulting from that boiler explosion was—That the drivers of traction engines should pass an examination as to their capabilities, and that they should be provided with certificates which they should be compelled to produce when asked to do so.Further on in the Report it was said—Shortly before the adjourned inquest was held, the manager of an engine works in Kent—entirely unconnected with this case—wrote to the Board of Trade on the subject of the qualifications of the engine drivers of agricultural engines as follows:—'The great bulk of the engine drivers can neither write or read sufficiently to understand the pressure, and most of them are totally ignorant of the nature of steam when beyond a certain pressure. Screwing down the safety valves to get from 100 to 563 140 lbs. of steam, when required, is the rule, nut the exception, and a great many never think of easing the valves to see if they will work.'Thus it was authoritatively stated that a great number of the men going about the country in charge of engines could neither read nor write, and were totally ignorant of the nature of steam, beyond a certain pressure. The time had certainly come when the Board of Trade should take care that engine drivers and men in charge of boilers should know something about what they were in charge of. In another part of the Report, and in reference to another question, it was stated—The ignorance of the proper management of steam boilers, indicated in this case, and also in the case of the boiler which exploded—which is the subject of this Report—is very great. It may possibly be found that when engine drivers of agricultural locomotives are better qualified, sounder views respecting boiler management than would appear to exist by the examples referred to, may be dissiminated amongst the proprietors.He could make many other apt quotations from the Report; but he had no wish to weary the Committee. It was, he thought, plain, that in many cases the men placed in charge of boilers were quite ignorant of their management; indeed, it was a well-known fact that one man let out on hire a large number of engines, and that the men in charge of them, as a rule, could neither read nor write. Under such circumstances, he thought the clause which he had asked the Committee to add to the Bill might very well be inserted. The trouble it would entail upon the Board of Trade would not be great. It might be urged by the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade that there would be a difficulty in finding Examiners; but he (Captain Aylmer) maintained that to find Examiners would not be anything like so difficult as the appointment of impartial men as Commissioners for which the Bill provided. Taking all the circumstances into consideration, and remembering the old proverb, that "prevention is better than cure," he begged to move the clause standing in his name.
§ New Clause (Captain Aylmer) brought up, and read the first time.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause be now read a second time."564
§ MR. BROADHURST
, in supporting the Motion, said, he was indebted to the hon. and gallant Member for Maidstone (Captain Aylmer) for bringing the matter forward. This was a subject which was discussed by the House, three or four years ago, on the Motion of his hon. Friend the Member for Morpeth (Mr. Burt), and which he believed it was the intention of the hon. Gentleman to re-introduce on the discussion of the present Bill; but, after consultation with some of his friends, it was thought rather out of place. However, if the hon. and gallant Member for Maidstone could succeed, with the consent of the Mover of the Bill, in obtaining the adoption of his clause, many hon. Members would be extremely glad. As to the necessity for the examination of the men in charge of engines and boilers there could be no question whatever. An examination into the fitness of enginemen and boilermen in the Mercantile Marine was already enforced; no man in that Marine was allowed to take charge of an engine or boiler without undergoing and passing the Board of Trade examination. That examination was not so easy and simple as some hon. Members imagined; it was a very severe one, and very properly severe. He held that if it was necessary for engineers on board ship to pass an examination, it was equally necessary for men who were in charge of engines in crowded neighbourhoods and in the highways of the country. He did not know whether he was too sanguine in hoping that his hon. Friend in charge of the Bill (Mr. Mason) would consent to the clause. If, however, the clause could not be adopted that night, he hoped they would receive some assurance from his right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade that he would, at least, on an early day, lend a willing ear to a Motion on the subject having for its object the adoption of some means of securing the end aimed at by the clause of the hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite.
§ MR. HUGH MASON
said, he felt called upon to give the most decided opposition to the clause which had been moved by the hon. and gallant Member for Maidstone (Captain Aylmer). He regretted that the hon. and gallant Member should have cast any aspersion upon a very useful and very intelligent class of servants. It was not the fact that the persons who were in charge of 565 steam boilers were not able to read the figures on the gauge.
said, he had only given the statement of the Commissioners appointed by the Board of Trade. The statement was theirs, and not his.
§ MR. HUGH MASON
remarked, that he was a member of the Manchester Steam Users' Association, and that Association had by its officers made inquiry into more than 1,000 cases of boiler explosions. It was recorded in their Reports, over and over again, that five explosions out of every six which had happened during the past 25 years, and been investigated by the engineers of the Association, were due to imperfect construction, and to the use of bad material on the part of the boiler makers, and to selfishness and indifference on the part of the boiler owners. The boiler owner worked his boiler much too long, and when it had become dangerous the poor boiler tender, who was the first to suffer from an explosion, was generally killed, and accordingly was not there to speak for himself. It was quite true that five out of six explosions were due to the causes he had mentioned; and he was unable to accept the clause of the hon. and gallant Member for Maidstone.
§ SIR WALTER B. BARTTELOT
said, he was glad to hear from the hon. Member for Ashton-under-Lyne (Mr. Hugh Mason) that he did not intend to accept the proposal of his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Maid-stone (Captain Aylmer). It was a well-intended proposal, no doubt; but his hon. and gallant Friend could not be aware of the injurious effect it would have throughout the country. He would ask his hon. and gallant Friend to bear in mind the vast amount of agricultural machinery that was employed at the present day, and the large number of boilers which the agriculturists had to deal with. They employed the best and most respectable men they could find; but where would they be able to find the men they wanted if it was necessary, in the first instance, that every man who was to have charge of a boiler should pass an examination? They took care that the boiler tenders should be instructed upon all matters connected with the engines with which they were intrusted, and it was not the fact that the men who were employed were generally unable to read and write. They were 566 men who were found, after a little practice, quite capable of tending these boilers; and it would be a serious hindrance to agriculture to require them to pass a scientific examination.
§ MR. CRAIG
wished to say a few words before the Motion was disposed of. He gathered that the object of the Bill, as it stood, was to prevent boiler explosions, as far as possible. His hon. Friend the Member for Ashton-under-Lyne (Mr. Hugh Mason) stated that a large number of the explosions which had occurred had been investigated by the Association which he represented; but he had not stated, nor did he state on the second reading of the Bill, what the causes of those boiler explosions were. The object of the Bill, as he (Mr. Craig) understood it, was to investigate the cause after the event, in order to acquire knowledge that might lead to subsequent legislation. Now, he (Mr. Craig) would venture to say that all this knowledge had already been obtained from previous investigations. If the hon. Member would direct his attention to the causes of boiler explosions, as ascertained by investigation, he would find that they were four in number. One was, that the boiler was constructed to bear a less pressure than that which it was made to bear; the second cause was, corrosion by contact with wet brick work; the third, bad water, incrusting the inner part of the boiler and causing superheating; and, lastly, and perhaps the most fruitful of all, the accidental stoppage of the passages, causing an excessive pressure, which brought about an explosion. He believed it would be found that no boiler explosion ever took place which was not attributable to one or other of those causes. What, then, was the palpable remedy? Surely it was to have competent men in charge of the boilers—men able, first of all, to examine the interior of the boiler, in order to ascertain if it was becoming corroded, or being rendered incapable of bearing the pressure at which it was customary to work it, and to see whether incrustation was taking place, so as to remove it, before it became dangerous. The driver should also be competent to examine the gauges, and see that the various passages were kept open. He was of opinion that if the clause submitted by the hon. and gallant Member for Maidstone were adopted, it would meet everything that was necessary in 567 order to prevent boiler explosions in future. It required that the men who were to be employed should be competent to examine the boiler. He had been of opinion all along that the Bill of his hon. Friend the Member for Ashton-under-Lyne was exceedingly defective, because it failed to lay down such a requirement. It would lead to no practical result. He quite agreed that boilers should be inspected by suitable engineers, and that insurance which required inspection would be of great service. He had had his boilers inspected for 17 years; and in the reports which were sent in to him quarterly, he had on several occasions noticed that defects were pointed out which, if they had not been remedied, he had no hesitation in saying would have brought about an explosion. This satisfactorily proved the urgent necessity for having the engineers employed duly certificated as competent persons, in order that they might be able themselves to detect defects, without the supervision of an extraneous Inspector. He intended to support the clause moved by the hon. and gallant Member for Maidstone; and he hoped the Committee would give to it their serious consideration.
§ MR. JAMES HOWARD
said, the hon. and gallant Member for Maidstone (Captain Aylmer) had given no information as to the number of boilers and engines in use, nor in regard to the accidents which had actually happened; and he (Mr. J. Howard) thought if the hon. and gallant Member had done so it was still necessary to show what proportion of the accidents which had happened had been occasioned in consequence of want of skill on the part of the drivers. Surely it was to the interest of all persons who owned these valuable boilers and engines to employ competent men to take charge of them. But the inconvenience of requiring none but certificated drivers to be employed would be very great in agriculture, as had already been pointed out by the hon. and gallant Baronet the Member for West Sussex (Sir Walter B. Barttelot). No necessity had been shown for the employment of certificated drivers. He (Mr. J. Howard) had been a Member of the Select Committee on road locomotives; and, if he remembered rightly, that Committee refused to report in favour of compelling the drivers of road locomotives to obtain a certifi- 568 cate from the Board of Trade. On those grounds he must oppose the Motion of the hon. and gallant Member for Maidstone, because he believed that it would entail very considerable inconvenience upon the thousands of agriculturists in the Kingdom who used locomotive and other engines, and because no necessity had been shown for it.
§ MR. SCLATER-BOOTH
thought that his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Maidstone (Captain Aylmer) had been hardly used by the promoters of the Bill. The hon. Member for Ashton-under-Lyne (Mr. Hugh Mason) had made an attack upon him which was entirely unjustifiable and uncalled for. The proposal of his hon. and gallant Friend was quite in accordance with the spirit of modern legislation. It was the custom of Parliament now-a-days to require that all persons in charge of important and expensive machinery should have certificates, in order to show that they were competent to manage it. But it might be inconvenient and expensive suddenly to require every person who was making use of a boiler to employ persons who were capable of passing a scientific examination. He would further point out to his hon. and gallant Friend that the clause now proposed was exceptionable in this respect, that no penalty was attached to it. He (Mr. Sclater-Booth) thought that any provision in this direction, if ever it was adopted, must assume a negative form, and require that no man should be in charge of a boiler who did not possess some sort of certificate of competency. He thought the time would come when these certificates would be held and easily obtained by persons who were to take charge of boilers and machinery as such boilers and machinery came more generally into use. It was most important, he thought, that all machinery should be in the charge of competent engineers; and it was only a question of time and degree how far this principle would be required by the Legislature to be acted upon. He did not know what the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade might say upon the point; but he did not think, as the clause stood, the Board of Trade could undertake to work it without further amendment. He would therefore advise his hon. and gallant Friend to withdraw the clause for the present, to 569 reconsider the matter before the Report was brought up, and, if possible, to get the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade to assist him in preparing a more satisfactory clause.
§ MR. CHAMBERLAIN
The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Sclater-Booth) commenced his remarks by saying that my hon. Friend the Member for Ashton-under-Lyne (Mr. Hugh Mason) made an attack upon the hon. and gallant Member for Maidstone (Captain Aylmer). I think he could not have followed very closely the speech of my hon. Friend. My hon. Friend made no attack whatever on the hon. and gallant Member for Maidstone. All he said was that the hon. and gallant Member had cast an unmerited stigma on the body of men who were employed to take charge of these engines. There was nothing in the remarks of my hon. Friend which could possibly be offensive to the hon. and gallant Member for Maidstone. With regard to the clause itself, I hope the hon. and gallant Member will not press it, because it would extend the scope of the Bill most tremendously. There can be no doubt that the subject to which he calls attention is of very great importance. My hon. Friend the Member for Morpeth (Mr. Burt), two or three years ago, endeavoured to deal with the subject, and it is one that is worthy of the most careful consideration. But we must understand what it is that we should undertake to do if we were to accept the suggestion of the hon. and gallant Member for Maidstone. My hon. Friend the Member for Bedford-shire (Mr. James Howard) has pointed out that we have no information before the House as to the number of these boilers or persons in charge of them; and if we take into account not only the boilers employed in factories and mines, but the boilers employed in agriculture, the locomotive boilers, the boilers employed in conjunction with tramcars and road cars, I think we shall find that they will altogether add up to a sum of probably tens of thousands; indeed, I have heard the calculation put at some hundreds of thousands. Under such circumstances, it would be a very large matter indeed to say that the State should undertake to examine some hundreds of thousands of men who are to take charge of these boilers. Of course, it may be contended that it is desirable 570 that competent persons should be appointed where human life is in their charge; but that argument would go much further than in regard to persons in attendance upon boilers. I am not certain that the strongest case of all would not be made out for the certificated examination of nursemaids, from whose negligence there can be no doubt that a great loss of life does result. If these questions are to be considered at all, they must be considered more thoroughly than it is possible for them to be in a clause brought up in connection with a Bill which really has a very different object in view. Under these circumstances, I hope that the hon. and gallant Member will withdraw the clause.
said, that after what had passed, and the promise of the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade, or, rather, his statement, that the matter was one that deserved consideration, which statement he (Captain Aylmer) hoped might be regarded as a promise that the right hon. Gentleman would take it into consideration at some future period, he would not press the clause. He did not know how it was possible for a private Member to obtain information as to the number of boilers that existed in the country; and he thought it was most desirable, in regard to all dangerous employments, that some provision should be made for providing that technical education of which they heard so much.
§ Motion and Clause, by leave, withdrawn.
§ On the Motion of Mr. CHAMBERLAIN, the following was inserted in page 3:—
§ "Report of Explosion of a Steam Boiler to be sent to the Board of Trade within twenty-four hours after the occurrence of an Explosion.
§ "See Section 5.
- "1. Name of premises or works on which the boiler exploded.
- "2. Address by the Post.
- "3. Day and hour of explosion.
- "4. Number of persons killed.
- "5. Number of persons injured.
- "6. General description of the boiler.
- "7. Purposes for which the boiler was used.
- "8. Part of the boiler which failed, and the extent of failure generally.
- "9. Pressure at which the boiler was worked.
- "10. Name and address of any Society or Association by whom the boiler was last inspected or insured.
§ "Signature of person responsible for the accuracy of the particulars contained in this form.
§ CAPTAIN AYLMER moved, as an Amendment to Mr. Chamberlain's proposed Schedule, in line 4, after "1," to leave out "Name of premises or works on which," and insert "precise locality where." He proposed the Amendment for the simple reason that the word "premises" did not deal with every case. For instance, it did not include roads; but the words he proposed to substitute—namely, "the precise locality where," would include everything.
In Schedule, line 4, after "1." leave out "Name of premises or works on which," and insert "precise locality where."—(Captain Aylmer.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Schedule."
§ MR. CHAMBERLAIN
said, he did not think that the Amendment would effect any improvement; and he would point out in reference to this and certain other proposals which the hon. and gallant Member had placed upon the Paper, and which he (Mr. Chamberlain) should feel bound to oppose, that if it was found from experience that the form of Schedule given in the Bill or the notice was not satisfactory, power was taken in Clause 5 to alter it.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Amendment proposed, in Schedule, sub-section 4, to leave out the words, "number of persons killed."—(Captain Aylmer.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Schedule."
§ MR. CHAMBERLAIN
said, the information required to be given by this sub-section was of the most important kind; and he was quite unable to conceive on what grounds the hon. and gallant Member for Maidstone moved the omission of this portion of the Schedule.
said, he objected to the sub-section because of its un- 572 reasonable effect of making the owner or other person liable to a penalty for not furnishing particulars of deaths resulting, or that might result from an. explosion, when it was out of his power to do so. The number of persons killed was required to be stated to the Board of Trade within 24 hours after the boiler exploded, by the owner or user, or by the person acting on behalf of the owner or user, and in default of complying with this provision of the Bill the person in default was liable to a penalty of £20. He (Captain Aylmer) would point out to the Committee that cases would frequently occur in which it was almost impossible that the particular information required by the Schedule could be supplied within the time named. The owner might be many miles away from the means of communication; the actual results of the explosion might not reach him, and he would probably have to visit all the hospitals in the district to find out how many persons had been killed or injured. Under such circumstances, it appeared to him a monstrous thing that a penalty of £20 should be imposed for not returning the number of killed or injured within 24 hours.
§ MR. HUGH MASON
said, he could assure the hon. and gallant Member opposite (Captain Aylmer) that this sub-section was both usual and necessary, the principle having been adopted in former legislation. He had taken the words of the sub-section from the Coal Mines Regulation Act and Metalliferous Mines Act, in both of which the period of 24 hours was specifically stated as the time within which notice had to be given. There could be no doubt prompt communication of the results of an explosion was most desirable; and on re-consideration he hoped the hon. and gallant Gentleman would agree with him that the sooner the notice of explosion was sent to the Board of Trade the better it would be for both the owner of the boiler and those who were the sufferers from the accident. He held that it was to the interest of all parties that the period of 24 hours specified in the sub-section should not be exceeded, and trusted the Amendment would not be pressed.
§ MR. CHAMBERLAIN
pointed out that the provision of the sub-section, which the hon. and gallant Member for 573 Maidstone (Captain Aylmer) wished to strike out of the Schedule, had already been sanctioned by the Committee. Besides requiring that the notice to the Board of Trade should state the precise locality, as well as the day and hour of the explosion, Clause 5, which had been passed, provided that the number of persons killed or injured should be given. It also, in sub-section 3, provided that if default was made in complying with the requirements of this section, the person in default should, on summary conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding £20. The hon. and gallant Member had alluded to the case of an owner of a boiler, or person responsible in his behalf, being absent from the scene of the explosion, and said it was a monstrous thing that he should be liable to a penalty for not returning the particulars of an occurrence of which he knew nothing; but surely hon. Members would understand that, if a person so situated proved that he had no knowledge of the event, the fine imposed would be merely a nominal one.
§ MR. J. W. BARCLAY
was understood to say that the Bill, as it stood, presented some difficulty; because, assuming that the person in charge of the boiler had been injured, the owner might not be communicated with.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
said, the next Amendment standing in his name was only formal in its character; but it would have the effect of indicating the use made of the boiler at the time of the explosion.
§ Amendment proposed, in Schedule, sub-section 7, after the word "used," to insert "being."—(Captain Aylmer.)
§ Question proposed, "That that word be there inserted."
§ MR. CHAMBERLAIN
said, he was not able to agree to the Amendment of the hon. and gallant Member to the sub-section. He did not think there was any distinction between the words of the Schedule and those proposed; but, if so, he should give the preference to the words as they stood on the Paper, because, if the boiler had been used at any time for different purposes than was the case at the time of the 574 explosion, he thought it better that the fact should be stated.
§ Question put, and negatived.
said, the Amendment he was about to move was of more importance than those which had been previously submitted to the consideration of hon. Members; and he trusted it would meet with the approval of the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade. By the terms of the Schedule, the owner or user, or the person acting in their behalf, would, under a penalty of £20, be obliged to state the part of the boiler which failed, and the extent of failure generally. No doubt, the engineer who had to make the preliminary inquiry and report upon the circumstances of the explosion to the Board of Trade would be assisted in the investigation by this information being supplied. But he (Captain Aylmer) thought there were many valid reasons why the person concerned in sending the prescribed notice to the Board of Trade should not be forced to answer the questions put to him, in effect, by this and the following sub-section, which latter would compel him to state, also under penalty, the pressure at which the boiler was worked. In the first place, with regard to sub-section 8, it was difficult to understand how a man was to ascertain the part of the boiler which had failed, after the boiler itself had been blown to pieces. The owner, or the person responsible, was, in fact, required to state within the very short space of 24 hours that which could only be ascertained by scientific and, perhaps, lengthened inquiry, if it could be ascertained at all. The effect, therefore, of the sub-section would be to put those concerned to a great amount of unnecessary inconvenience. With regard to the requirement of sub-section 9, that the owner or user should state the pressure at which the boiler was worked, he would point out that the person in charge might be killed, or he might not be able to state the pressure; but if he could do so, it should be remembered that he was not bound to criminate himself. For the reasons he had given, he should move that sub-section 8 be omitted.
§ Amendment proposed, in Schedule, to leave out sub-section 8.—(Captain Aylmer.)575
§ Question proposed, "That sub-section 8 stand part of the Schedule."
§ MR. CHAMBERLAIN
said, his answer to the arguments of the hon. and gallant Member for Maidstone (Captain Aylmer), in support of the Amendment which he had just moved, was the same as he had given to his former proposal to leave out sub-section 4. It was, in the first place, that a clause had been already passed by the Committee which provided that the Report of the explosion should contain information generally as to the part of the boiler which failed, as well as the extent of the failure. Secondly, his reply to the hon. and gallant Member, with reference to the fine to which the person concerned in making the return was liable, was that if the party in question had not got the information required, he could prove the fact before the Court, and then it was quite certain that the fine would not be inflicted.
said, after the explanation of the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade, he would ask leave to withdraw the Amendment before the Committee.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
said, the next Amendment he had to propose was the omission of sub-section 9, which required the pressure at which the boiler was worked to be stated by the person called upon to make the return. It appeared to him that this sub-section was not open to the interpretation which had been placed upon the previous subsection by the right hon. Gentleman; and therefore he trusted that his proposal to strike it out would be agreed to by the Committee.
§ Amendment proposed, in Schedule, to leave out sub-section 9.—(Captain Aylmer.)
§ Question proposed, "That sub-section 9 stand part of the Schedule."
§ MR. CHAMBERLAIN
said, the information sought to be obtained by the sub-section in question was of a very important character; and it was desirable that it should be given on the authority of the person in charge of the boiler or of the person to whom it belonged. He failed to see that there was anything in the information asked to be given which 576 necessarily criminated the person who gave it.
§ Question put, and agreed, to.
§ Preamble read a first time.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the said Preamble stand part of the Bill."
§ MR. J. W. PEASE
pointed out that whereas the Bill made all owners of coal mines and mines under the Metalliferous Mines Act report accidents which occurred to the Board of Trade, they were already bound to report such accidents, when attended with personal injury or loss of life, to the Home Office. The question was, whether it was necessary that they should be compelled to report to both Departments, and whether a double inquiry should be held in the cases already provided for. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would take the point into consideration, in order that a double notice and inquiry might, if possible, be avoided.
§ MR. CHAMBERLAIN
said, the hon. Member for South Durham (Mr. J. W. Pease) was aware that under the Acts to which reference had been made owners of mines were only required to report those accidents which resulted in injury or loss of life. But the present Bill provided that inquiry should take place, whether or not persons were injured or lost their lives by boiler explosions. He would consider, between the present stage of the Bill and the Report, whether arrangements could be made to meet the suggestion of his hon. Friend.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ House resumed.
§ Bill reported; as amended, to be considered To-morrow.