§ MR. D. A. THOMAS
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has submitted to the Members of the Monmouthshire and South Wales Coal Owners' Association certain modifications or Amendments to the Colliery Special Rules that he proposes to make in respect to timbering, 94 under the provisions of sub-section (2), of section 54, of the Act of 1887; whether the proposed alterations have been submitted to the non-associated employers and to the colliery workmen of South Wales or to their representatives; and, if not, will he, before proceeding further in this matter, instruct the mines inspector for the district to afford non-associated employers and colliery workmen the same opportunities for considering the proposed changes as are being given to the associated owners.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. RITCHIE,) Croydon
I propose to make new rules with regard to timbering in South Wales on the same basis as those recently adopted in other parts of the country, but with any modifications which the circumstances of the district render necessary. No formal proposal has yet been made, but the draft rules are being discussed informally: and both the Coal Owners' Association and the representatives of the workmen are being consulted. I cannot at this stage, before the rules are formulated, consult the non-associated coal owners individually: but at a later stage, before the rules come into force, every owner will have an opportunity of stating any objections he may have.