§ SIR CHARLES DILKE
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to an accident at Phœnix Mills, Batley, on Friday last, the inquest relating to which was held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, the Factory Inspector for the district not being present, and the Coroner stating that he was unable to get into communication with him; whether it is provided by the law that the inspector should have 24 hours' notice; and, if so, whether the Coroner was justified in the course he took; and whether the Home Office will instruct the inspectors in the heavy woollen district to inquire into the cause of this accident, and into the need for the employment (according to the practice of many firms) of "hangers," where long belts are used?
§ SIR MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY
Yes, my attention, has been called to this case. The action of the Coroner appears to have been irregular; he should either have given the inspector 24 hours' notice, and a telegram to the factory office of the district would have reached the inspector in charge at once, 795 or, in default of such notice, have adjourned the inquest. I am making further inquiries into the particulars of the accident, and the means of prevention that may be required.