HC Deb 22 June 1910 vol 18 cc360-2

asked the Home Secretary whether, in view of the fact that one in three of the men working inside the Dinorwic Slate Quarry were injured in each of the last two years, he ordered a special inquiry to be made into the circumstances; and whether the inquiry was made by the gentleman, Mr. Hall, responsible for the district in which the accidents took place?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Churchill)

I must refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the question he put to me on this subject on 15th March last. The Royal Commission have now begun their inquiry and I understand they will take evidence with regard to North Wales shortly.


Was the inquiry ordered made by the gentleman in charge of the district?


I do not remember, but I am informed that the answer given him on 15th March covers the case.


asked whether the newly appointed chief inspector of mines for North Wales is also responsible for the proper inspection of quarries; and what experience, if any, he has had with regard to open slate quarries?


The inspector in charge of the Liverpool and North Wales District is responsible for the administration of the Acts relating to both mines and quarries throughout his district. He has had experience of important slate quarries in the West Scotland District, from which he has been transferred; but the inspectors are not selected for the important post of the charge of a district on the ground of their having had special experience in this or that branch of mining and quarrying, but on the ground of their general ability and experience. It would be impossible to act on the principle of only sending to the district which includes Cornwall, for example, inspectors who had had previous experience of tin mines, or to Staffordshire inspectors who had had previous experience of thick coal working, or to the district which includes Cumberland, inspectors who had had experience of haematite mines. Inspectors in charge of districts are, by their training and experience, qualified to deal with all branches of mining and quarrying, and the new inspector in charge of the Liverpool and North Wales District will, I am confident, be fully competent to deal with all questions arising in his district.


May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman is aware that while the accidents in slate mines is only 8 per cent., those in the open quarries for which this gentleman is responsible are no less than 20 per cent.?


That does not arise out of the answer.