HC Deb 03 May 1906 vol 156 cc696-7
MR. JOHN JOHNSON (Gateshead)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been drawn to a notice issued by the police to the miners of Durham, altering the conditions upon which police certificates for the keeping of blasting explosives, other than gunpowder, will be issued to workmen, and particularly to the requirements as to the provision of storage by the workmen; and whether in view of the difficulties that this order will impose on the workmen, he will consider the possibility of taking any action, by the issue of regulations or otherwise, in the matter.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Gladstone): I have seen the notice to which the hon. Member refers. The question of the keeping of explosives by miners has for some time engaged the consideration of the Department, in consequence of the numerous accidents caused, more especially by the practice of men taking explosives to their homes, and I recently issued to police forces throughout the country a circular impressing on them the necessity of enforcing strictly the requirements under the Explosives Act, and more especially of granting certificates for the keeping of blasting explosives only to such men as could satisfy the police that they had a place of storage entirely under their control and inaccessible to other persons, and that otherwise they were fit persons to take charge of explosives. In places, however, where these requirements had not been fully enforced, the police were recommended to give due warning, so as to prevent any hardship or dislocation of the industry. I may add that I am proposing to bring the whole question of the use and keeping of explosives for blasting purposes in mines and quarries under the consideration of the Royal Commission of Mines which is shortly to be appointed.