HC Deb 07 August 1890 vol 348 cc91-2

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the complaints of the Lanarkshire miners, that they have no place to prepare their cartridges, cartridges being the only form in which they are permitted by the Coal Mines Regulation Act to take gunpowder into the mines; and whether, since the preparation of the cartridges in their own houses is attended with great danger, even when compressed gunpowder is used, which is expensive, and not always made up in suitable quantities, he will consider the expediency of legislation to amend the General Rules of the Act, and make it compulsory on colliery owners to provide magazines in which the miners can make their cartridges?


I have received a complaint from the Lanarkshire miners that places are not provided for them to prepare their cartridges. The law already forbids miners from resorting to the dangerous practice of making up cartridges in their own homes; and I have pointed out, in reply to the complaint alluded to, that there was no necessity that this practice should be continued; for the law enables the mine-owners to establish workshops where cartridges can be made up, and many such workshops have been established; and there are in Lanarkshire licensed factories for the making up of blasting cartridges; and such cartridges (whether of loose or compressed powder) can also be purchased direct from the manufacturers. I do not think it would be reasonable to propose legislation compelling all colliery owners, or owners of gunpowder stores to provide a workshop in which miners might make up their own cartridges.