§ (1) A person shall not be qualified to be appointed or to be manager of a mine required by this Act to be under the control of a manager unless he is at least twenty-five years of age and is for the time being registered as the holder of a first-class certificate of competency under this Part of this Act.
§ (2) A person shall not be qualified to be appointed or to be an under-manager of a mine or manager of a mine which is not required to be under the control of a manager unless he is for the time being registered as the holder of a first-class or a second-class certificate of competency under this Part of this Act.
§ Mr. S. WALSH
I beg to move, at end of Sub-section (2), to add,
(3) A person shall not be qualified to be appointed or to be a manager of a mine, or an under-manager of a mine, unless he has within the preceding five years obtained from a mining school or other institution or authority approved by the Secretary of State, or from a duly qualified medical practitioner, a certificate in the prescribed form to the effect that his eyesight and hearing are such as to enable him to carry out his duties efficiently, the expense of obtaining 1397 which shall, in the case of a person employed at the time as manager or under-manager, be borne by the owner of the mine.
The object of this Amendment is to see to it that the managers or under-managers in the mines shall have the same qualifications as regards hearing and eyesight as are imposed by Section 15 on firemen and deputies. We feel it just as essential that managers and under-managers shall have the same first-class physical qualifications as in the case of firemen and examiners. The work of the firemen and deputies has to be checked from time to time by the manager and under-managers, and it would seem perfectly ludicrous that those people who are set in a position of higher responsibility should not possess the same qualifications as firemen and examiners.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
I hope my hon. Friend will not press his Amendment. It was moved in Committee and withdrawn. The duty of a manager or under-manager is not the same as the fireman or deputy. The whole safety of the mine depends upon the firemen and deputies, and by their ability to examine the gas, and under our Bill these are to be their primary functions, and for that work they should possess the greatest physical capacity, which is not a primary duty of the manager or under-manager. They have to undergo very elaborate examinations in connection with their duties. Of course, we do want the manager and under-manager as a rule to be able to detect gas, and no doubt if they were not able to do so for any length of time they should give up this work. At the same time it seems quite unnecessary to accept this Amendment.
§ 4.0 P.M.
§ Mr. RICHARDS
I think in framing this Clause we should be fully alive to the necessity of managers understanding all the apparatus used in mining. I might give the Home Secretary and the Under-Secretary an instance in this respect that came within my own experience not many months ago. In exploring a colliery after a very serious colliery disaster we knew there was some gas present, and the manager was testing it, and after doing so he said there was only a quarter of an inch and it was all right. Another manager asked me to stay behind, and he told me that the quarter-inch had developed to one-and-a-half inches, and that it was 1398 highly dangerous. I do not know why a manager should be allowed to practice with defective eyesight and hearing, when a fireman suffering from the same defects has to have a certificate. I think the principal should be expected to have a certificate in regard to these defects just the same as his subordinate, and I hope the Home Office will accept this Amendment. If they do not we shall have to press for some regulations by the Home Office in this point.
§ Sir C. CORY
May I point out that under Clause 9, paragraph (d), you have all that is required without accepting this Amendment, for it contains the following words: "That no person shall be qualified to be an applicant for a certificate unless he has given satisfactory evidence of his sobriety, experience, fitness, and general good conduct." If a man is deaf or blind he will hardly be fit for a colliery manager with a first-class or a second-class certificate. I think that provision covers all that is necessary.
§ Amendment negatived.