HC Deb 09 June 1887 vol 315 cc1439-40

With reference to the inquiry to be made into the Udston Colliery accident, I wish to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether he will exercise all the powers which Viscount Cross' Act enables him to use in reference to the inquiry—that is to say, whether he will appoint persons of special knowledge to assist the Inspector in the investigation under Section 3, Sub-section 1, of the Act; whether he would for that purpose appoint a representative of the Lanarkshire Miners' Union; whether he will exercise the power vested in him of requiring the Inspector to call for documentary evidence as to the last inspection of the mine, in whole or in part; whether he will allow representatives of the men to visit the scene of the accident in company with Her Majesty's Inspector, as well as the owners, manager, and officials of the mine?


I informed the hon. Member, or some other hon. Member, two or three days ago, that I had issued directions that representatives of the men should accompany the Inspector, and have an opportunity of seeing all that had gone on in the pit, and forming their own opinion and conclusion upon it. With regard to the Commision, it is not yet signed. My present intention is that it shall consist, according to the Statute, of an Inspector of Mines, assisted by Gentlemen of the Scotch Bar. I will consider the suggestion of the hon. Member as to having any additional Member upon the Commission; but I do not think it desirable that the Commission should be too large. The range of the inquiry will be the very fullest that the law permits.


May I ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman whether it is not a fact that among the whole body of the miners of Lanarkshire there is a strong desire that they should be represented by a member of the Union on the Commission, to assist the Inspector?

[No reply.]