MR. JOHN WILSON (Durham)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that an accident happened on the 26th May at Deaf Hill Colliery, Durham, by which one man was killed and twelve seriously injured; whether his attention has been drawn to the remarks of the jury at the inquest to the effect that more efficient inquiries should be made as to the competency of men before their engagement; and whether, in the light of such occurrences, he will consider the advisability of men, who manage the winding engines at collieries, and are entrusted with lives of men, being required to pass examinations and obtain certificates of competency before being allowed to fill those positions.
(Answer.) I have received a report of the inquest in this case, and find that the jury recommended "that more care should be exercised in engaging an engineman, and a certificate should be obtained from previous employers." The facts of the case appear to have justified this recommendation, but it does not amount to what I understand the hon. Member to propose in the last sentence of the Question. On that point I must refer the hon. Member to the answer which I gave him on a similar Question on the 4th instant † but I would add that in the case now in question the engineman held a certificate of competency from the Durham County Engine-men's Association, and had twenty-two years experience as engineman, and that the mistake which he made was one which could not have been prevented by any requirement as to examinations.—(Home Office.)