§ MR. PICKARD (York, W.R., Normanton)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has received a Memorial from the miners employed at the Strafford Main Collieries, Dodworth, Yorkshire, which alleges that two miners lost their work in consequence of complaining of a bad and dangerous underground travelling road; whether it is a fact that these two miners, along with other miners, complained to the manager of the colliery, and to the Inspector of Mines for the district, and that immediately after this these men were under notice to leave their employment; whether he is aware of the fact that the Inspector, Mr. Wardell, was asked to intervene, and that he did make an ex parte inquiry, after which he refused to take further action; and, considering the importance of this matter, whether he will accede to the men's prayer, and order an inquiry to be made into the facts of the whole case by the Chief (or senior) Inspector of Mines, Mr. Joseph Dickenson?
§ MR. MATTHEWS
The answer to the first paragraph is in the affirmative. The Inspector informs me that he did not know the men who were deputed to lay before him the complaints of the miners; and the manager of the mine asserts that he did not know that the two men since dismissed formed part of the deputation, Mr. Wardell had the mine examined by his assistant, and met a deputation of the miners without the presence of the manager. After this inquiry he procured an alteration in the travelling roads, and received the thanks of the Miners' Association for his action in the matter. I cannot direct an inquiry into the causes of the dismissal of the two miners. That is a matter of contract with which I have no power to interfere. That was the only ground on which Mr. Wardell, who is an able 1805 and experienced Inspector, refused to take further action.