HC Deb 10 March 1898 vol 54 cc1240-1
MR. C. E. SCHWANN (Manchester, N.)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to the finding and recommendation of a coroner's jury, who sat in the case of the death of a platelayer named Thomas Clarke, who died in the service of the London and North Western Railway Company whilst engaged in watching a landslip near Twyford Mill, namely, that the death was caused by exposure, and recommended the railway company should pay greater regard to the men employed on night duty especially during severe winter; whether he has noticed the death of five workmen on the Mallaig and Inverary Railway recently from exposure; and if he will use his influence with the railway companies concerned, and other railway companies, to protect the lives of their employees when working in winter in exposed positions?


The London and North Western Railway Company inform me that the man in question was on duty temporarily as night watchman, and that some time during the night he was seized with illness, and was discovered by the ganger in the morning. A conveyance was procured as quickly as possible, and the man was taken home, but died. A hut was provided for him, and he was supplied with a bucket suitable for a fire, plenty of fuel, and an overcoat. I have also received a letter from the Secretary to the West Highland Railway Company, which I shall be happy to show the hon. Member. I gather that when the men, who are contractors' servants, on leaving their work require refreshment, they have to go some miles to obtain it, which results in exposure to the weather. The contractors have, however, now opened a canteen at the works, where refreshments can be obtained. I will cause a copy of the hon. Member's Question and the reply to be furnished to the Railway Association.