§ COLONEL LOCKWOOD (Essex, Epping)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War what is being done for the workman Kiff, who was injured for life last March by the explosion of a boiler at Quinton Hill, Waltham Abbey; whether this man was granted an allowance at first by the Government, which was afterwards discontinued, he being informed that his case was then under considera- 346 tion; and if he is aware that Kiff is absolutely penniless and almost starving, and in consequence has been forced to apply to the Board of Guardians for help, the Government having done nothing for him up to the present? I will also, at the same time, ask the Financial Secretary to the War Office if the father and mother of Henry Jennings, one of the men killed in the explosion the week before last at Waltham Abbey, will receive anything in the way of compensation from the Government? I will further ask the Financial Secretary to the War Office, in view of the evidence given at the inquest at Waltham Abbey on those killed by the explosion in the Government Factory, what is the nature of the inquiry it is intended to hold into the circumstances of the explosion? Finally, may I ask the hon. Gentleman if he will state what sum of money will be paid, under the Sessional Paper, No. 349, of 1887, on account of the men killed in the late explosion at Waltham Abbey; and if he can say how long it will be before pecuniary assistance is afforded, as many of the cases require immediate help?
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE WAR OFFICE (Mr. WOODALL,) Hanley
I must request the hon. and gallant Member to postpone the first question till Monday next. With the permission of the House, I will answer the next three questions together. If Henry Jennings left no widow, and if his mother was wholly dependent on him for support, the award which might have been made to the widow may be made to the mother. I may say that it is intended to hold a full inquiry into the circumstances attending the explosion in the Government Factory at Waltham Abbey; but the authorities are waiting until the coroner's inquest is completed. In answer to the last question, the cases have not yet been fully reported on; and, therefore, it is impossible at present to state what amount of compensation will be awarded; but I can assure the hon. and gallant Member that, so soon as they have been, no time will be lost in giving such compensation as may be granted.
§ COLONEL LOCKWOOD
As to the case of Jennings, I wish to know if his 347 father and mother, who were dependent on him, will receive a pension?
§ COLONEL LOCKWOOD
Then I will put the question next Monday. May I further ask whether, while in private factories more than two men are not allowed—under the Explosives Act—to work in one department, in this case 9 or 10 men were at work together?
§ MR. WOODALL
was understood to reply that he was not familiar with the conditions laid down in the Explosives Act, but he assured the hon. Member that in all Government establishments the safety of the men employed was quite as carefully considered as in private factories.