§ Mr. JOHN WARD
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether his attention has been drawn to the verdict of the jury at the inquest held at Portsmouth on Friday last into the death of George Stevenson as the result of an accident at the new 2074 dock works, and the summing-up of the coroner that the deceased's wife was left a widow through a cause that might have been prevented; whether his Department was represented at the inquiry; and, if not, what are the reasons which prevented the Admiralty from being so represented?
The CIVIL LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. Lambert)
My attention has been drawn to this regrettable accident, and, in consequence of the verdict of the jury, the contractors have ceased to employ the ganger responsible. The accident occurred on the 6th March, and on the 7th the usual notification was sent to the factory inspector and certifying surgeon, in accordance with the provisions of the Factory Acts. If the presence of an Admiralty representative at the inquest would result in a diminution of fatal accidents among men employed by contractors, such responsibility would gladly be undertaken, but, under the present conditions, this would seem to be duplicating the work now allocated by law to the Home Office.
It is, as I have said, a Home Office matter that would mean duplication of work, but if the hon. Member desires I will further consider the point.