§ MR. D. A. THOMAS (Merthyr Tydvil)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his attention has been drawn to the verdict of the jury in the inquest on the bodies of the seven men who were killed, owing to the snapping of the rope of the cage by which they were descending the shaft of the Snailbeach Quartz Mine, Shropshire, on the 6th instant, namely, that the rope had not been properly looked after, and had been used too long; whether he is 18 aware that it was given in evidence that the rope had not been changed for eight years, and had not been repaired; and that John Lee, a mining expert of 30 years' experience, swore the rope was very badly corroded internally, and was not capable of carrying its own weight; and if he can state what steps the Home Office propose to take in the matter?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. H. H. ASQUITH, Fife, E.)
My attention has been called to the verdict mentioned in the question, and I have received a full report from the Inspector of Mines for the district. The rope had been used for eight and a-half years, and its breaking was due to internal corrosion. The rope had been examined daily, but internal corrosion cannot be detected so long as the outside of the rope remains sound. In the opinion of the Inspector the fault lay in using the rope too long, but he reports that no breach of any particular rule under the Mines Act had taken place. It is extremely difficult to lay down any rule on this subject, but I will like an early opportunity of consulting the Inspectors of Mines as to whether any step can be taken in this direction.