HC Deb 28 February 1889 vol 333 cc576-7

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his attention has been called to a decision given by Sheriff Orr Paterson at Ayr to the effect that the workmen employed in Knockterra Pit had no power to appoint the Secretary to the Miner's Union to make an intimation on their behalf anent the election of a check weighman, and, whether such decision is in accordance with Sections 13 and 14 of the Coal Mines Regulation Act; and, if so, what action he proposes to take in order to have this anomalous state of affairs amended?


Yes, Sir; I have seen the decision in question, which I understand to have been to the effect that the masters were not bound to recognize the check weighman on the ground that insufficient notice of his appointment had been given. No particular form of notice is required by the Act, and I think that employers would not be justified in refusing to recognize a duly-elected check weigher, of whose election they have had sufficient notice; but I concur with the Sheriff in thinking that some sufficient notice should be given before damages can be claimed from the employer. The Sheriff has determined that question of fact, and I see no reason to take any further action in the matter.


Is there anything in the 13th and 14th sections of the Coal Mines Act that empowers the Sheriff to refuse to receive a representation made on behalf of the workmen by a Secretary acting on their behalf?


I am afraid I cannot answer that Question without notice.