§ SIR CHARLES CAMERON (Glasgow, Bridgeton)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to an accident which occurred at the Montgomery Pit, in Ayrshire, on the 24th ult., whereby four boys, one of them reputed to be 12 years old, lost their lives; whether any inquiry has been made to ascertain whether the age of this boy was really above the limit at which underground employment in mines is sanctioned; and whether, having regard to the youth of the victims of this accident, he will direct a formal investigation into its cause and circumstances, as provided for by the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1887, to be held?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir M. WHITE RIDLEY,) Lancashire, Blackpool
Yes, I have received a report on this accident from the Inspector. My information with regard to the age of the boy specially alluded to is that he was nearly 13; but this point will be definitely settled at the inquiry which will be held under the Fatal Accidents Inquiries Act. It would be contrary to practice, and, I think, undesirable, to order another inquiry while this one is pending.