HC Deb 25 March 1895 vol 32 cc32-3
MR. JOHN WILSON (Durham, Mid)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether he has decided to utilise the apparatus for testing westphalite, erected at Messrs. Pearson and Knowles' collieries near Wigan, for testing all other safety explosives used in mines; and, whether he is aware that efficient apparatus has been erected by the North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers at a cost of about £500, and which has been seen and approved by several members of the Royal Commission on Explosives from Coal-dust; and, if so, whether he will take steps to secure that any experiments now used in mines shall be carried out by gentlemen not connected with the manufacture of explosives.


I have not decided to cause the apparatus erected at Messrs. Pearson and Knowles' collieries near Wigan for testing other safety explosives in mines to be used for testing westphalite; but if there should be need of it I shall be very willing to accept the loan of suitable apparatus from any quarter. I am aware of the apparatus belonging to the North of England Mining Institute—in fact, some of the Inspectors of Coal Mines have been assisting at these experiments. Until the passing of a Bill dealing with the use of explosives in dangerous mines it will be premature to institute experiments on different sorts of explosives, but I am fully alive to the necessity of impartiality being secured in any experiments that may be made. And I may add I hope very shortly to introduce a Bill.