HC Deb 24 November 1911 vol 31 cc1627-9

(1) Where the inspector of the division, or the owner of, or a majority ascertained by ballot of the workmen employed in, any mine is of opinion that the general regulations for the time being in force with respect to the mine ought in their application to that mine to be supplemented or modified, the inspector or the owner or such majority of workmen may transmit for the approval of the Secretary of State special regulations for the mine.

(2) The provisions set out in Part II. of the Second Schedule to this Act shall have effect with respect to the procedure for obtaining the approval of the Secretary of State.

(3) When special regulations have been approved by the Secretary of State or by a referee they shall, as respects that mine, have effect until revoked, as if they formed part of the general regulations applicable to the mine.

(4) Where any special regulations are in force with respect to any mine they may be revoked, altered, or added to at the instance of the inspector of the division, or of the owner of, or a majority of workmen employed in, the mine in like manner and subject to the same provisions as the original special regulations.


I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), after the word "ballot" ["ascertained by ballot"], to insert the words "of three-fourths."

Under this provision the workmen are to change the regulations, and I think it must be clear that it should be by more than a bare majority.


I beg to second the Amendment.


I hope this Amendment will not be passed. It is clearly against the recommendation of the Royal Commission, which stated:— We are of opinion that if the owner is allowed to retain a right to propose rules for his own colliery, the majority of the workmen employed at that colliery should have a similar right to propose rules which may be rendered necessary by the special circumstances of that colliery. The hon. Gentleman talks about a bare majority being able to alter rules, but they have to go through an elaborate course of procedure, including sanction by the Home Office. We think the majority of the workmen should have the right to propose alterations of rules which affect their lives.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (1), to insert, "And any such regulations may vary or amend any of the provisions contained in Part II. of this Act."

I hope the hon. Member will see his way to accept the Amendment. Clause 86 provides that the Home Secretary may vary or amend the provisions of the regulations in Part II. of the Act. The meaning of the Amendment is that a coal-owner or workman at a particular colliery by a special rule, if accepted by the Secretary of State or decided to be reasonable by arbitration, should also have the right to vary or amend Part II. Both parties will then be on an equality.


I beg to second the Amendment.


The acceptance of this Amendment would be absolutely contrary to the whole principle of the Bill. Part II. deals with safety provisions applicable either to all mines or to all mines of a particular class, and it would be contrary to that principle to allow any particular mine to be exempted.

Amendment negatived.

Amendment made: In Sub-section (3), leave out the words "or by a referee."—[Mr. Masterman.]


In order to give the right hon. Gentleman an opportunity to move the adjournment of the Debate, I will formally move the omission of Clause 91.


I beg to move, "That the Debate be now Adjourned." I am obliged to the hon. Baronet for giving me the opportunity.

Question, "That the Debate be now Adjourned," put, and agreed to.

Debate adjourned accordingly; to be resumed upon Monday next.

Whereupon Mr. SPEAKER, pursuant to the Order of the House of 24th October, proposed the Question, "That this House do now adjourn."


May I ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether His Majesty's Government has received any information from the Italian Government that that Government is about to blockade the Dardenelles?


No, Sir.

Question put, and agreed to.

Adjourned accordingly at Twenty-two minutes past Five o'clock till Monday next, 27th November.