HC Deb 08 June 1888 vol 326 cc1532-3

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether it is true that the colliery proprietors in Ayrshire have refused to supply their workmen with copies of the proposed Special Rules; whether the printers who printed the Rules have been prohibited from selling a copy to any except the Masters' Association; whether the Mines Inspector for the West of Scotland has found it impossible to comply with a recommendation from the Home Office to the effect that he should supply the workmen with copies thereof; and, whether he will refuse to sanction the new Special Rules till such time as the workmen have been supplied with copies, and have had time to study the same?


I have received a complaint that there has been a difficulty in obtaining copies of the Special Rules. I cannot say what instructions have been given by the Mine Owners' Association to their printers. I have directed a letter to be written to the Association, urging that every facility should be given to the Miners' Union for the discussion of the Special Rules, and that for this purpose they should be supplied with copies of these Rules, if not gratuitously, then at cost price. The Mines Inspector for West Scotland has had no spare copies which he could supply to the miners. The law does not empower me to refuse sanction to Special Rules in order to compel delivery of copies to the workmen. In accordance with the Act, the Special Rules were duly posted for a fortnight at each colliery. Various objections were made by the miners, some of which I have adopted, and on some important points arbitration is now pending.