§ MR. J. WILLIAMS (Glamorganshire, W.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is in a position to make a further statement as to the Inspectorate of Mines for South Wales.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. GLADSTONE,) Leeds, W.
Yes, Sir; and having consulted my right hon. friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I think I am now in a position to propose an arrangement which will be satisfactory to hon. Members from South Wales. The special dangers of the South Wales coalfield require a strong inspectorate. It was for that reason that I appointed Mr. Atkinson to the Swansea district. But on account of the representations made 32 to me as to the desirability of having a Welsh-speaking inspector in charge of the Swansea district I have decided perhaps to anticipate a recommendation of the Royal Commission and to strengthen the staff for the whole of South Wales. The Cardiff district is already in charge of a Welsh-speaking inspector. Mr. Dyer Lewis, who speaks Welsh, will be appointed as acting inspector in the Swansea district. For the two districts there will be, as now, four assistant-inspectors. Mr. Atkinson will be superintending-inspector for the combined areas. the whole of South Wales will therefore get the benefit of Mr. Atkinson's skill and experience, while nearest to the men there will be the Welsh-speaking inspectors. I hope and believe that this plan will make for increased efficiency in the prevention of accidents. I wish it to be understood that the new arrangement involves no reflection whatever on the zeal and ability of Mr. Gray, the inspector of the Cardiff district.
LORD BALCARKES (Lancashire, Chorley)
asked the right hon. Gentleman whether he would favourably consider the desirability of appointing one of these higher superintending inspectors for the coalfield of Lancashire also.
§ MR. GLADSTONE
replied that the whole question was under the consideration of the Royal Commission, and he was not prepared to answer that Question at this moment.