§ MR. D. A. THOMAS
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps, if any, have been taken to carry out the eleventh recommendation of the Royal Commission on Mining Royalties in favour of the reorganisation of the Department of Mines in the Home Office; and whether he proposes asking for additional statutory powers to enable the Department to collect and publish accurate information with regard to mines and minerals?
§ MR. ASQUITH
The staff of Mines Inspectors under the Home Office has been strengthened since the Report of the Commission on Mining Royalties by the addition of an Assistant Inspector of Coal Mines for duty in South Wales; and the appointment of three additional Inspectors under the Metalliferous Mines Regulation Act is on the point of completion. The question whether any and what further steps should be taken for the re-organisation recommended by the Commission is engaging my attention. A Committee to consider what statistics relating to minerals should be collected and published is at present sitting, and until it reports I am unable to say whe- 801 ther it will be necessary to ask for additional statutory powers or not.