HC Deb 17 February 1887 vol 310 cc1763-4
MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Camborne)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether, in preparing the Mining Bill which he is about to introduce, he will take into especial consideration the insanitary condition of the mines of Cornwall and Devon, which, according to Mr. Frecheville's latest Report, causes the death rate among the Cornish miners to be more than double that of the minors of the coal-fields; and, whether he will consider the desirability of appointing one assistant Inspector from the class of the working miners to assist Mr. Frecheville in his increasingly arduous duties?


I do not propose in the Mines Bill, which I am about to introduce, in any way to alter the law as to metalliferous mines. I am aware of the high rate of mortality among Cornish miners, due chiefly to difficulties of ventilation arising from the irregular and tortuous character of the workings, and to the unhealthy conditions of the silicious and metallic strata, which would not be removable by an increase of inspection. I have been informed, however, on high authority that the ventilation of these mines is improving, and that steps are being taken to make the working less dangerous, so that I hope a lesser rate of mortality may result.