§ MR. CHANNING (Northampton, E.)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether replies have been received to the Circular Letter of 19th December, drawing attention to the remarks of Major Marindin as to the insufficiency of the rules applying to platelayers; and, if so, from what railway companies; whether any company has sent in to the Board of Trade regulations, either in existence before the Circular Letter or made subsequent to the Circular Letter, which give the protection to platelayers and permanent way men recommended by Major Marindin; whether his attention has been called to the fatal accident on the Cheddesden goods line of the Midland Railway, near Derby, on 24th January, and to the evidence at the inquest, that no watcher, or flagman, was posted to warn the gang of approaching trains; and, whether any further representation has been made to the Midland Railway Company since this fatal accident, that it is the duty of the company to make further provision, by regulations or otherwise, for the protection of men at work on the permanent way?
§ * THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Sir MICHAEL HICKS-BEACH,) Bristol, W.
Yes, Sir; some of the railway companies have sent in replies to the circular referred to; but I understand that the question is being considered by the Traffic Committee of the Clearing House, and I am awaiting the result of their deliberations before deciding what further action to take. As regards the accident referred to, which took place on January 24, I have seen the Coroner's Return, but not the evidence taken at the inquest. From the 1497 remarks of the Coroner I learn that it was the duty of one of the unfortunate men who were killed to send out a flagman for the purpose of preventing any accident, but that on the morning in question he had not done so.