HC Deb 31 July 1894 vol 27 cc1391-2
MR. WOODS (Lancashire, S.E., Ince)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he is aware that the workmen employed at the Wyndham Pit, North's Navigation, Ogmore Valley, in South Wales, to the number of 1,200, have had to play four days during the last three weeks in consequence of the accumulation of gas in the mine owing to the lack of adequate ventilation; (2) whether Her Majesty's Sub-Inspector Lewis made a visit to this mine on the 16th and 17th of July; (3) whether he visited the following headings, "David Samuels," "Pope's," and "Samuel Jones"; (4) what was the state of the return air in this district; (5) whether this return airway is in a safe condition and of adequate area; (6) whether he is aware that the downcast shaft is 16 feet diameter, and the upcast shaft only 12 feet diameter; (7) whether Her Majesty's Inspector considers this sufficient to ventilate the three extensive mines worked at this pit; and (8) whether the Inspector's Report of his visit on the 16th and 17th can be read to the House?


I am informed by the Inspector that the number of workmen employed at the Wyndham Pit is 660, and not 1,200, as stated by my hon. Friend, which information is confirmed by the workmen themselves. Out of the 660, 470 are employed by day and 190 by night. (2) The answer to the second paragraph is in the affirmative. (3) Mr. Lewis, Assistant Inspector of Mines, visited all the workings of the four-feet seam of the colliery. (4 and 5) The return airway was found not to be in such a satisfactory condition as is desirable, but was being repaired, and is now, I believe, in a satisfactory condition. (6 and 7) The down-cast shaft is 15 feet, and not 16 feet as stated; but in the opinion of the Inspector there is no reason to believe that they are insufficient for the adequate ventilation of the three seams worked in connection with them. I may add that I have received a copy of a letter which the workmen of the Wyndham Colliery have sent to the Press for publication, in which they state that, of their own spontaneous wish, they repudiate the statements with much indignation that the colliery is not properly ventilated, and that in their opinion the colliery is in almost a perfect state of ventilation. (8) Under these circumstances, there seems no occasion to read Mr. Lewis's Report to the House.