MR. J. WILSON (Durham)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, under General Rule 38 of "The Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1887," which gives the persons employed in a mine the right to appoint two of their number or any two persons, not being mining engineers, who are practical working miners to inspect the mine, the workmen are compelled to give notice to the manager of their intention to make the inspection; and, if so, what length of notice is required; and whether, in the case of a fatal accident happening within the month specified by the Act, the workmen's Inspectors can claim to inspect the place where the accident occurred, or does the inspection in this latter case depend upon the option of the manager of the mine?
§ MR. ASQUITH
The Act does not lay down any rule with regard to notice being given to the manager of the intention on the part of the persons appointed by the working miners to inspect a mine. I think, however, that it is implied that reasonable notice should be given. With regard to the second paragraph, the Act only enables the workmen to insist upon one inspection in a month. If there has already been such an inspection, there is no legal right to insist on another until the month has expired. I feel certain that such an inspection would be always granted if reasonable cause were shown. In carrying out any inspection to which they are entitled by Statute, the workmen's Inspectors can claim to inspect any place in which an accident occurred.
MR. J. WILSON
The Rule says, "at least once a month." Does that imply that they cannot inspect a mine more than once a month?
§ MR. ASQUITH
I am advised that the Rule does not give the men any legal right to inspect oftener than once a month.