HC Deb 09 June 1904 vol 135 cc1223-4

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department will he say what are the tests required before placing high explosives on the permitted list for use in the coal mines of this country, and whether he is aware that one, if not more, of the explosives on the permitted list emits a flame on explosion; and seeing the danger constituted thereby to the lives of persons in mines where such explosives are used, will he say what steps he proposes to take.

*THE SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Akers-Douglas,) Kent, St. Augustine's

Before an explosive is placed on the permitted list it is tested at the Home Office Testing Station at Woolwich. The conditions of the test and the standard required to be reached are set out in an official memorandum, of which I shall be happy to send the hon. Member a copy if he desires to see it. As regards the latter part of the Question, it was recently reported to me that flame had been seen when a certain explosive on the permitted list was fired. I directed a special inquiry to be made, and experiments were carried out, the result of which was to show that the flame seen when the explosive was fired was not such as to constitute a source of danger. I shall also be happy to let the hon. Member see a copy of the memorandum prepared on the subject of these experiments in March last, after the inquiry above alluded to.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that one particular explosive gives off a long flame? I saw it only last week. It is like gas. Under these circumstances, will he make further inquiries?


Yes, I will see whether there is any reason to make further inquiries.