HC Deb 13 August 1894 vol 28 cc885-7

Bill considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

Clause 1.


said, he had on a former occasion mentioned a small Amendment he desired to propose, the substitution of 30 for 20. If the right hon. Gentleman could see his way to accept it he would move at once, not troubling him with reasons.


indicated a negative.


said, he understood that, the Bill provided that open quarries, which now were under the Factories Act and subject to the inspection of the Sanitary Authority of the district so far as fencing was concerned, should be removed from that jurisdiction and lie subjected to Regulations under the Metalliferous Mines Act, because the getting of minerals from deep quarries was attended with some danger to the workmen. Certain quarries in a country district with which he was acquainted were perhaps 30 feet deep on the side of a hill, for instance, and were used for getting chalk or stone material for roads, and occasioned no sort of danger to anyone, except when they were near a road and required fencing, which was a matter far more likely to be attended to by the Sanitary Authority than by the Inspector of Metalliferous Mines. The object of his Amendment was to restrict the operation of the Bill to quarries 30 feet deep instead of 20, excluding the smaller quarries only used for getting chalk or stone or sand, and which would be better left under the present jurisdiction and inspection.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "twenty," and insert the word "thirty."—(Sir M. Hicks-Beach.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'twenty' stand part of the Clause."


said, it was somewhat curious that when the Bill was in another place Lord Cross took objection to the limitation of 20 feet, not, however, because he wished to substitute 30, but because he thought that 20 feet was a great deal too deep. So there was a certain diversity of counsel among authorities on the other side. He was afraid he could not assent to the substitution of 30 for 20 because—leaving out the question o' fencing—so far as quarrying for minerals was concerned, it was desirable that where a quarry had reached the minimum limit of safety, reported by experts to be 20 feet, then the Inspector should have power to enter and inspect the works in the interest and for the protection of the workmen employed. The power of the Sanitary Authority did not extend beyond requiring a quarry to lie fenced when near a highway, and the proposal in the Bill was to transfer all powers to the Inspector of Metalliferous Mines. He would be content, however, to leave with the Sanitary Authority the power to control the fencing, for he did not attach so much importance to that, and the Mines Inspectors had quite enough to do, and would not probably discharge this duty better than the Sanitary Authority did. He must, however, retain the limit at 20 feet for quarries to be subjected to inspection.


said, he did not want to stand in the way of the Bill, and all the more that he was certain that no Inspector of Metalliferous Mines would come near their chalk quarries.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause agreed to,

Clause 2.


in pursuance of what he had said, moved the omission of the words, in line 16, from "and" to "1887," thus taking out the transfer to the Inspector of the control exercised by the Sanitary Authority in regard to fencing.

Amendment proposed, in line 16, to leave out the words from "and" to "1887."—(Mr. Asquith.)

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Remaining Clauses agreed to.


MR. STUART-WORTLEY () Sheffield, Hallam

said, it was important to know what sections were repealed, but he observed that the references in the Schedule were Sections 15 to 18, 20 to 22, and so on. Did that mean inclusive?


thought there was no doubt that was the meaning, but he would look into it and, if necessary, insert the word "inclusive" on Report.

Bill reported, with Amendments; as amended, to be considered To-morrow.