HC Deb 08 March 1892 vol 2 cc321-2
MR. DAVID THOMAS (Merthyr Tydvil)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in reference to the delay in the publication of the annual Reports of the Mines Inspectors, if he will explain why these Reports, which were last year all made before the end of March, were not in the hands of Members until June, five months after the period which they covered; and how any of the delay between March and June can have been due to the fact that colliery owners are not obliged to send in Returns until the end of January?

MR. STUART-WORTLEY (who replied) said

I think the hon. Member must be confusing the summaries of the statistical portion of the Mines Inspectors' Reports with the Reports themselves. As the Secretary of State informed the hon. Member, on the 26th February, the summaries comprise statistics which, according to Statute, are, in the case of coal mines, furnished by the owners on the 21st January, and in the case of metalliferous mines, on the 1st February. These summaries are now in the printer's hands, and will be laid before Parliament in the course of a few days. The Mines Inspectors' Reports, 14 in number, are sent to the Home Office in manuscript by each Inspector before the 1st March. These Reports make up a printed volume of at least 500 pages. The correction of the proof sheets must be done by the Inspectors themselves, and this, together with the printing of the whole, including many maps and diagrams, necessarily occupies several weeks. The Secretary of State hopes, however, by an arrangement he has set on foot this year, to be able to secure an earlier presentation of the Reports than heretofore.