§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."
§ Mr. BRACE
I apologise to the House for venturing to interpose in the general order of business to raise a matter which we conceive to be of great public importance, and I thank the House for the permission they have given, and I will not trespass upon that indulgence by doing other than plainly stating the case in the hope that the Home Office will be able to meet some of the difficulties that arise. Mining, as the House is well aware, will ever be a dangerous industry. Every year, broadly, the number of lives that are destroyed are equal to the number of lives which went down with the "Titanic" when she was wrecked in the Atlantic. We therefore say that anything which adds to the danger of so dangerous an industry demands that the Home Office, the administrative authority of the mining laws, should use all their resources to make 1973 mining life less dangerous than it is at the present time. In moving the Motion, I do so on behalf of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain, who feel themselves very aggrieved at the circumstances involved in connection with the Cadeby Main Colliery explosion, which took place on 9th July, 1912. This colliery gives employment to nearly a thousand men on the day shift—938 are employed on the shift which works from 8 am. to 2 p.m.; and 505 are employed on the shift which works from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. We are faced with this peculiar situation, that in the person of Mr. W. H. Chambers we have a general manager who takes a very active part in the management of these particular collieries. I may be allowed to quote Mr. Redmayne's report, in which he uses this language:—The two mines, the Denaby and Cadeby Main collieries, are under the general control of a managing director, Mr. W. Chambers, who is well known throughout Yorkshire and the Midlands as a mining engineer of high standing and much experience. Mr. Chambers, who lives near the collieries, took a more active part in the management than is perhaps usual in the case of a managing director. There was one agent over the two collieries, a Mr. H. S. Witty, who, in the course of September, 1911, had been manager of the Cadeby Main colliery. Under Mr. Witty, as the manager of the Cadeby Alain colliery alone, there was a Mr. C. Bury, who was seriously injured in the second explosion, and died a few days afterwards).The Chief Mines Inspector makes a peculiar comment upon this situation, for I find that on page 12 of his report Mr. Redmayne says:—It is a curious fact that, although Mr. Witty was agent over the two collieries, and Mr. Bury was therefore under him, he had not received his instructions from Mr. Witty respecting the manner in which the fire should be dealt with. The instructions came from Mr. Chambers direct.If Mr. Chambers accepts the responsibility of giving the order, he must accept the responsibility of the result; and it is because we feel that we are faced again with a situation under which a dead colliery manager is being made to carry the burden of the responsibility of the disaster that we have asked leave to use the floor of the House of Commons to call attention to this fact, for the purpose of endeavouring to put an end to a situation that is dangerous to the lives and limbs of our people. After a disaster the Miners' Federation of Great Britain invariably sends two representatives from the executive to take part in the investigations. I therefore propose, with the consent of the House, to quote shortly, not only from the Chief Mines Inspector's report, but from the report made to the Miners' Federation of Great Britain by Mr. Smillie and Mr. Hartshorn, the two representatives sent 1974 down to inquire into this particular disaster. On page 2 of their report I find the following:—The first gob fire at the Cadeby Colliery occurred about 1906 or 1907. This was dug out and no life was lost, and there was no explosion. A second gob fire broke out at a subsequent, date. In November, 1911, a third gob fire was encountered, and the management were wrestling with this fire from November, 1911, until April, 1912.The following is very significant as bearing directly upon this particular accident:—On 20th January, 1912, an explosion of gas occurred in this locality"——that was very near the site of where the explosion was located on 9th July—when four men were slightly burnt, and the effect of the explosion was felt through the face of the working for a distance of 150 yards. The whole of the men employed in the district came out and were very much frightened. On the 2nd February the deputy for that district reported that tire had been seen on that day and on 10th April. A man who was drawing off and packing up said he saw a flame on the top of the pack. The area round the fault was considered as a danger zone, and for some time before the explosion the deputy had reported on the condition there every four hours, and samples of the air had been analysed by a chemist every day for a year.Therefore the House will see that we are dealing with a mine that was nothing more nor less than a live gasometer, and that was well within the knowledge of the managers. The report goes on to say:—The temperature at the fault was 91 degrees Fahrenheit, 90 degrees in the air current, and 80 degrees in the intake. On the 9th July, 1912, two explosions occurred resulting in the loss of eighty-eight lives. Thirty-five men were killed in the first explosion and fifty-three in the second.I have never read a record that impressed me more with the danger of a mine than the record I have just quoted. We find a condition of affairs there very difficult to understand indeed. The workmen, for some reason best known to themselves—and if they were here I have no doubt they could tell us the reason—seem to have kept quite silent upon the condition of the mines, despite the fact that it was exactly as I have stated. The Chief Mines Inspector, in his report, which is of importance:—I took the evidence of four men who were engaged in working in the old roads in the neighbourhood of the fire which was being stoped off, namely, Thomas Slater, Edward Dove, William Barnbrook and George Ackrovd. The evidence of these witnesses points to the condition of the atmosphere at this point for the few days preceding the explosion being exceedingly bad, and it was on account of the foulness of the atmosphere that they were provided by the management with electric lamps. The heat also was very considerable. Barnbrook said that on Sunday night, whilst engaged at work at the sloping in old 121. 'I came to the month of the slit. I was giving a lamp to a fellow workman to come in. I gave him a lamp. I remember nothing else: I was unconscious.' On Monday afternoon, whilst working in 121's and getting the place ready for the second brick sloping, another man was rendered unconscious. Barnbrook said, in answer to Mr. Herbert Smith, that he was 'sent by the deputy 1975 round to old 7's, where they were drawing off…. I was sent round to see how they were going on, where they were drawing. I met them between 64's and 7's. They were sitting down and having a rest. They said it was very hot. Of course I took my message the deputy sent, and I went back. When I got back the deputy said whose turn was it in? I said I did not know; very likely it was mine. He said there was a man in it already. As the man came out he fell unconscious. The deputy and another fellow and me carried him out and brought hint round, and the deputy said we will have a look and bring the tools out. We have had enough, and I said I thought so.' This was about nine o'clock on Monday night.Here you have a mine where the men are working where the after-damp and conditions are so terrific that although they go in and work there only from two to four minutes each time they become unconscious and do not know what is going on. In this mine hundreds of men are at work. On the day shift you have nearly a thousand men, the number of a good-sized village, and on the night shift over 500 men. Is that not sufficient evidence to teach any management that they are face to face with a situation that on their honour and under their solemn obligations to the men they ought not to allow the men to have gone there? It was a wilful disregard of responsibility. I note that at the inquiry Mr. Chambers, who after all is the responsible man in this business, and our dispute at the Home Office is that we are unable to bring home responsibility to the right quarter, said he gave certain orders to the manager who is dead, and had those orders been carried out there would have been no danger. The time has come when other than verbal orders should be given to officials. I understand in connection with the War Department of this nation if a superior officer is giving an order to an inferior officer which deals with danger that he must make that order in writing, so that if anything goes wrong the inferior officer is protected by the certificate or letter he has had. I think something ought to be done to make Mr. Chambers prove other than by a general statement at the inquiry that this order was given. I submit to the House that no management and no official of the mine, had he been given an order to carry out a particular piece of work in a particular way by the head of a firm, would have dared not to have carried out such an instruction. We make the very serious charge that we cannot accept such evidence, and that due precaution was not taken to protect the lives and limbs of the men in consequence of this very bad condition that we find the mine in. What is more, despite this con- 1976 dition of the mine, not a word was sent to the Mines Inspector. I turn to Mr. Redmayne's Report, and I find on Page 14 that he said:—So far as can be determined no notice of the indications of heating was sent by the manager to Mr. Pickering.That is the Mines Inspector who gave his life in an effort to solve the problem or the fire there and in an effort to rescue the men who were in the danger zone.Miss Martin, Mr. Pickering's clerk, said she had seen none, though the order of the Secretary of State under the Notices of Accidents Act requires that all underground fires shall be reported to the inspector.What is the Home Office going to do with a situation such as that? Are they to stand idly by and allow this manager and the management there to shelter themselves behind some kind of technicality, although violating the Coal Mines Regulation Act which this House passed for the better protection of the lives and limbs of the people? I want an explanation from the right hon. Gentleman as to why no notice was taken of this direct violation of the Act of Parliament. Mr. Redmayne proceeds:—The evidence of the several witnesses satisfied me that the place was in a more or less dangerous condition from the presence of 'stythe,' and possibly of fire damp also, and heat. In asking Mr. Smith whether he was going to call any more evidence to prove the state of the place, I said, 'I think it was in a very bad state-That is clear. There is no doubt about that.' Mr. Gichard, who represented the owner, said, 'I think I have indicated my position by asking this witness (Barnbrook) no questions.So bad was the condition that the solicitor who was briefed to defend the interests of the employer has no question to ask of a witness who is making so damaging a statement. I find, when I turn to another part of the evidence on page 10, the deputies' report, which was not in the form prescribed by the Secretary of State. Here is a mine employing nearly a thousand men on the day shift and more than half that number on the night shift not conforming to the provision of a report book which will conform to the regulations of the Home Secretary:—I find, from an examination of the deputies' report book (which was not in the form prescribed by the Secretary of State), that 'gob-stink' was reported in '121's old gate' by one or other of the above-mentioned deputies on the following dates the hours being the time of entering the separate efforts:— Friday, 5th July, 6 p.m., 10 p.m., 12 midnight: Saturday, 6th July, 6 a.m. 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 10 p.m.; Sunday, 7th July, 6 a.m., 2 p.m., 16 p.m.; Monday, 8th July, 6 a.m., 2 p.m., 2 p.m., 10 p.m.That was the eve of the explosion, which took place at one o'clock.
There you have a record that ought to have been sufficient to any management 1977 to have taught them that they were sending their men to their death unless they were protected by the providence of God. By every rule of science and of mining an explosion was the natural result from the condition of affairs such as I see there. We asked you, Sir, to allow us to treat this as a matter of urgency on the ground that that is exactly the condition of affairs that is going on at this moment when this House is here in Session. In the mine there and in many mines this kind of thing is going on, and humanity demands that for the moment we shall stop in our ordinary legislative work and lay down the conditions, if it is possible, that miners' lives shall be more sacred. I find that Mr. Chambers was asked by Mr. Redmayne:—Do you think it advisable that when these men are engaged in combating this incipient gob fire, all these men should have been at work in that district, or would you not have thought it preferable to have limited the number of men to the number of persons who were engaged in combating the fire?Mr. Chambers said:—The difficulty is this, that if we are to stop working when we are getting fires out, if we are to do that, we should only have a pit for putting gob fires out. We should get nothing else out of it.That is an extraordinary statement from a man who is a great mining expert. Evidently, Mr. Chambers—I hope I am doing him no injustice—must have thought that the protection of his colliery was of more value than the lives of the men. Whatever Mr. Chambers may have thought, the widows who are left thought the lives of their husbands as valuable and as sacred as the lives of other women's husbands. We ask that something should be done, and done immediately, to prevent a repetition of this accident. There is a callousness about this accident which absolutely appals one. Thirty-five men were killed. Thirty-five bodies were lying in the pit. The time comes for the day shift to come in. Are they stopped? No. Do they know anything about this terrible disaster that has carried a shadow into thirty-five homes? Not a word. In Wales if there was a disaster of half these dimensions it would be impossible that our people should not know of it. I do not understand the spirit which makes it possible that the death of these thirty-five men could have been unknown. The accident took place between one and two. The day shift presented themselves for work between five and six o'clock; the whole of the men were lowered into the mine, but in the downcast they were kept on the pit bottom for some time, no one being in- 1978 formed of what had happened. After all the workmen employed in the upcast shift had been lowered into the mine, the men on the bottom of the downcast were sent to the surface—these were the men ordinarily employed in the area where these thirty-five bodies were lying—but in the other pit, the same section of the mine, the same colliery, the men continued working in ignorance of the disaster. Some hundreds of tons of coal were raised, winding being continued until between nine and ten o'clock, the time of the arrival of the inspectors. Only when the inspectors arrived at the colliery was winding coal put an end to. It is a disgrace to our civilisation. A more cold-blooded, callous thing, I never heard of.
We say that if Mr. Chambers has the right to give orders, he must be responsible for seeing that the orders are carried out. If he has the right to give orders, what has he to say for the system of management of that colliery which allowed full work to go on in a danger zone such as I have described from the reports? What has he to say about winding coal for hours after these thirty-five bodies were lying in the mine? What has he to say about allowing all these men to remain in the danger zone? We know that gob fires have to be dealt with, and that it is a difficult work. Our demand is that when the pit is in such an unsafe condition there ought not to be sent into the zone of danger more men than are absolutely necessary to do that work. If the present mining law is not sufficient, we ask the Home Secretary to make such provision immediately as is necessary to put an end to a state of affairs which is a disgrace to the Empire. We say, further, that managers will have to be and must be taught that they have responsibilities. A managing director who has been grossly negligent—I will not put it higher than that—ought to have his certificate taken from him. In a case of this kind, that is a very mild request. Is the time never coming when men who, because of their negligence, are direclty responsible for a terrible disaster, will be arraigned for the manslaughter of the men who were in their charge? We ask that there shall be a little more thought for the men and a little less thought of the manager. It is because we feel that we would not be justified in allowing one moment to pass before bringing this condition of affairs to the notice of the House, that I have asked leave to move this Motion. I hope the Home Secretary will see that his Depart- 1979 ment is under a solemn obligation to the great mining community of Britain to ensure that when they leave their homes in the morning, or at night, to commence their shift, they shall at least have a fighting chance of coming back safe and sound.
Mr. FRED HALL (Yorks, Normanton)
I desire to second the Motion. I agree entirely with all the remarks of my hon. Friend in regard to the management of this colliery. Knowing somewhat of the management for many years past I want to say a word in reference to the remark of my hon. Friend, that the men to whom he was referring, if they were present, would be able to give a reason why they were making no reports at this particular period. For many years there is not a man employed in the colliery who dared lodge a solitary complaint against anything that was done by the management. If he did, he was sent about his business at once. In order to try and clear themselves the management have been persistent in bringing the workmen before the magistrates in that particular locality, even if they found them picking up a shovel to use in their employment, although it belonged to the same firm, if it was not marked with their own number, even though the man to whom it belonged was working by their side. It is such a state of things that these men go about that colliery in fear, and dare not complain, because they thought they would be dispensed with, and would probably be unable to get work elsewhere. Under Mr. Chambers were a set of officials. It is true that the manager of this colliery lost his life. It is true that the whole responsibility has been attempted to be put upon the man who unfortunately is dead; but the agent of that colliery is still living, the man who acted as agent at the time of this disaster. He is not agent to-day. I do not know whether the Home Office have taken any steps to cancel his certificate, but he is a deputy to-day at the same colliery. This is the man who was described in the reports which have been made of this disaster as being drunk when the inspectors arrived on the premises on that particular morning after the explosion. Athough he is a deputy, my hon. Friend behind me informs me that he is paid exacty the same salary as he was when agent. If that be true, it is only a farce to reduce him to a deputyship; and it is 1980 done for the purpose of keeping him outside any prosecution.
There is the under-manager. He is still living. He has been driven from pillar to post. He is a person who has risen from the ranks of the workmen. I admit there was some responsibility upon him. His certificate, I understand, is gone. He was dismissed from this colliery. I am told that he got other employment at another colliery. His certificate has been withdrawn, and consequently he has been reduced to the status of an ordinary workman, as he was previous to rising to the under-managership. I am sorry to say it, because I thought a better state of things existed at that colliery between the company and its workmen, but I had unfortunately to go down to Yorkshire at midnight on Monday to another accident at one of the collieries. While at home I was informed that there was nearly a riot at this very village on Monday night last. Why? A fatal accident had occurred. There had been a large fall of roof in the roadway. The man who had been killed was lying there, and the company were endeavouring to force the whole of the men who were following on in another shift to walk over the dead body to the face, in order to send out coal. The report on the explosion seems to have had no effect upon Mr. Chambers. The same thing seems to be going on when an accident occurs at this particular colliery. I as one of the representatives of the Yorkshire Miners' Association, as well as my hon. Friend, representing the Miners' Federation of Great Britain, desire to know what attitude the Home Office propose to adopt to put an end to the tyranny that is being practised at these particular collieries.
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. McKenna)
I rise at the earliest possible moment, because I should like to state at once that the Home Office is more desirous, and has always shown itself more desirous, to secure the safety of the miners than I can well express in words. The Motion for the Adjournment this evening has not, I will submit to the House, disclosed any blamable action or neglect on the part of the Home Office. The circumstances related by my hon. Friends in speeches of very remarkable ability—and I should certainly like to say about my hon. Friend the Member for South Glamorgan that I would rather have him on my side than against me—while they have been directed 1981 with great force against the management of the Cadeby Mines, have not, in themselves, disclosed any blamable action or neglect on the part of the Home Office. I should not wish to defend my office merely upon that ground. I agree with so much that has been said by my hon. Friends I and go so far with them that I certainly would not desire merely upon any technical grounds to escape from the conclusions which they wish to draw from the Motion they have made. This accident at the Cadeby Mine occurred in July of last year. The circumstances preceding the accident, so lucidly explained by my hon. Friend, were exactly as he described them. There was a gob stink discovered in the mine four days before the accident itself. That is a condition which every person in the mine knows is indicative of serious danger. It appears upon the evidence that the managing director of the mines, when the gob stink was discovered, gave orders that all passages to the locus on fire, the existence of which the gob stink indicated, should be built up. That was the evidence at the inquiry. We have no evidence at the inquiry to rebut the statement made by Mr. Chambers. I am only stating the facts which cannot be controverted on either side. I am not proposing to enter into the merits of the question. It is undoubted that the examination of the mine showed that one of the passages to the locus of the fire had not been built up. The result of that was that the air could penetrate into the region which my hon. Friend has properly described as a live gasometer. Two explosions took place, and eighty-eight lives were lost. All these facts, I think my hon. Friend will agree, are indisputable. The first question that arises on the case put forward by my hon. Friend is: Who was to blame? There had been undoubted breaches of the Act of 1911. Who was to blame?
§ Mr. HEWINS
The Home Office.
§ Mr. McKENNA
Is it alleged that the Home Office are to blame for breaches of the Act?
§ Mr. HEWINS assented.
§ Mr. McKENNA
The Home Office would only be to blame for breaches of the Act if they had knowledge of those breaches.
§ Mr. HEWINS assented.
§ Mr. McKENNA
What then is my hon. Friend's case?—That no notice was sent 1982 by the manager to Mr. Pickering, who was the inspector. That is part of his case. Mr. Pickering, as the inspector employed by the Home Office, if he had notice, would undoubtedly have acted. Part of my hon. Friend's case is that neither the Home Office nor their agents got notice. My. hon. Friend raises a different point. He says that notice ought to have been given, and given by Mr. Chambers. The Act says that notice is to be given by the manager. It is in evidence that no notice of the fact was given, and the manager who ought to have given the notice is dead. Now I sympathise with my hon. Friend. He opened his case by saying, this is one of those instances in which all the blame is to be put upon somebody who is dead, and the others get off scot-free. The charge is not, as the hon. Gentleman opposite seems to think, that the Home Office is directly to blame for the accident. That is not the charge. The charge brought forward by my hon. Friend now is that these breaches of the Act took place, that they came to the knowledge of the Home Office, that the Home Office did not prosecute Mr. Chambers—not that the Home Office caused the accident but that the accident having occurred the Home Office did not prosecute Mr. Chambers.
What was the evidence upon which the Home Office could have proceeded with the prosecution of Mr. Chambers? So far as notice is concerned the Act is specific. Notice must be given by the manager. The manager was not Mr. Chambers; there was another manager who was killed in the accident. The fault shown is in the Act, and I can only proceed under the Act, What is the next charge? There is evidence that Mr. Chambers gave the order that the gob fire or the passage to the gob fire should be built up. That is true. There is no evidence of that except Mr. Chamber's own evidence, but it is equally true that there was no rebutting evidence. All the persons who could give rebutting evidence were dead, and the Home Office could not proceed upon the assumption that Mr. Chamber's evidence was false when there was not a title of evidence in existence to rebut his evidence. That is the second position in which the Home Office stood. The House must remember that no proceedings can be taken either against Mr. Chambers or anybody else except within six months of the accident. The accident took place in July, and the charge against the Home Office is that we 1983 did not take proceedings against Mr. Chambers between then and January, 1913—six months ago. I have given the reason on all the essential points raised—the absence of notice, the absence of any evidence to show that the Home Office have any ground for proceeding against Mr. Chambers before January, 1913. The ease does not stop at that.
I readily take this opportunity of stating to the House that this accident, the cause of which is happily somewhat rare, has disclosed real serious defects in the condition of the existing law. An amending Act, as the House remembers, was passed no later than 1911, but such is the variety in the conditions under which mining is carried on, such are the dangers, that however great the experience of the Department may be and whatever precautions may be taken, subsequent experience always shows that new amendments of the law are required. The circumstances of this explosion have exposed three serious defects. In the first place, as I have said to the House, no action can be taken except within a period of six months after the happening of the accident. There are certain exceptions to that, but as the exceptions do not arise in this case I need not refer to them. What does that mean in a case like this? As I say, the accident took place in the beginning of July, 1912. It was one of the essential conditions of the continuance of the mine that the locus of the accident should be taken off. Again and again attempts were made to inspect the place where the accident occurred. An inspector went down and made several attempts with special breathing apparatus, but to this day it has been impossible to inspect the real place. An inquiry was held immediately after the accident, but six months went by—necessarily went by—before the facts could be known. With all possible expedition the evidence in this case was not complete until the beginning of December, five months after the accident, and the report was not in draft until the end of January, more than six months after the accident had taken place.
I admit to my hon. Friends that if there had been a primâ facie case disclosed upon any part of the evidence upon which a prosecution could have succeeded against Mr. Chambers, or anybody else, an interim report would have been issued in order that proceedings might have been taken 1984 within the period required by the Act. There was no such evidence, and before the Report was complete the period had expired, and the question became one of platonic interest. The Act requires Amendment in that respect. There are accidents in which the facts cannot be known within a period of six months, and I shall propose, therefore, at the earliest opportunity, to introduce an Amendment of the Coal Mines Act, extending the period during which a prosecution may be taken to three months after the inquiry into the accident has been completed. In that case my hon. Friend would be able to bring forward a Motion of this kind at a time really within the law. That is the first defect this accident has exposed.
The second defect arises on consideration of Section 11, familiar to my hon. Friends, but not familiar to the whole House. Clause 11 of the Act provides that the Secretary of State may order an inquiry to be held with a view to suspending the certificate of the manager who is in default. It does not provide for an inquiry with a view to suspending the certificate of any person superior to the manager. My hon. Friend conceived, as I gather from his speech, that we might have proposed to suspend the inquiry with a view to suspending Mr. Chambers' certificate under Section 11. The hon. Member has made some very important statements upon that point this evening. He alleges—and I will certainly go through the evidence again in view of what he has stated—that Mr. Chambers acted in the capacity of manager. He was not the manager of the mine, but he was the managing director. The hon. Member has put forward to-night, on his authority, statements which of themselves would justify an allegation that Mr. Chambers was acting in the capacity of manager. I will lay the evidence and the statements of my hon. Friend before the Law Officers of the Crown. I do not say that those statements will bear the test of examination, but if the construction of his statements is one that will bear the legal interpretation which he thinks they bear, then fortified with the opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown, I shall be most happy to order an inquiry under Section 11. I have not done so hitherto because I conceive that the evidence was not such as would justify holding Mr. Chambers liable as manager. But in view of my hon. Friend's statements—and they have been very strong—I will certainly resubmit the 1985 whole case to the Law Officers of the Crown, and if I can get support from them of the view put forward by my hon. Friend, and if there is any legal ground whatever upon which I can proceed, I shall be only too glad to proceed under Section 11. But there is a defect in the Act as it stands. On the assumption that my hon. Friend's statements can be supported, that is to say, that no legal interpretation can be given to his statements of the kind he suggests, that it cannot be proved that a gentleman who acts as a superior is, in truth, acting as manager and is not so acting in law, then the law must be made to accord with the facts, and an amendment must be made to the Section providing that a person superior to the manager must be rendered liable to having his certificate suspended, just as if he were the manager. The Government are at one with the hon. Member as to the desirability of making the law clear and definite upon all these points.
The third defect referred to is that which relates to the withdrawal of men from the mine when there is a dangerous condition exposed. While Section 67 lays down the requirements for the withdrawal of the men in cases of danger in general terms, it leaves it open as a matter of opinion whether such circumstances as existed some days prior to the accident at Cadeby, did in fact constitute a dangerous condition within the meaning of the Clause. I am advised that such a condition of things ought not to be left under the Act as a matter of opinion. Immediately after the accident a Committee was appointed by the Home Office, and the hon. Baronet the Member for Mansfield (Sir A. Markham), who is an expert on these matters, was a member of that Committee, and they inquired into the whole subject. One of the questions which has already been discussed by them is the withdrawal of the men in circumstances such as these. I am asking that Committee to report to me at once upon this limited branch of their inquiry with a view to the immediate issue of regulations. I do not need art Act of Parliament to do this because there is power vested in the Home Office to issue regulations dealing with this subject, but I wish to be fortified in the first instance by an interim report from the Committee, of which the hon. Baronet is a member. I may add that my technical advisers at the Home Office strongly recommend such regulations, and in their opinion the men 1986 ought to be withdrawn in all cases to those existing at the Cadeby mine prior to the accident. I have stated fully and frankly the accident and the opinion of the Home Office. Whether the Home Office were right or wrong in not instituting proceedings against Mr. Chambers six months ago is not a matter, I would submit to the House with all humility, which can be readily settled in Debate across the floor of the House. It is a difficult and complicated question, but on the merits that the men ought to be withdrawn, and that the law ought to provide for their withdrawal, I am entirely at one with my hon. Friends, and I hope after this explanation they will not think it necessary to press their Motion further.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
I very much regret that this question has been brought before the House to-night, because there is no body more unfitted to discuss a question of such a highly technical character as this than the House of Commons. We have had two Royal Commissions upon this subject, the German, the Australian, and the American Governments have appointed Commissions to report upon this question, and so far all these Commissions have failed to arrive at the cause of these fires. A Committee consisting of mining engineers, including the chief inspector of mines, was appointed to consider this question and report to the House as to the best method of dealing with these fires, and to prevent them occurring. The question is a highly technical and complicated one, and I do not propose to deal with the causes or give the House any indication of them, but I must reply to the speech made by the hon. Member. I have no interest in the Cadeby Colliery, but I am the managing director of adjoining collieries, and I am well acquainted with the district. I do say that the hon. Member has used his position in this House to make statements reflecting on men who are not here to defend themselves, which I very much regret. The hon. Member first stated that if Mr. Chambers gives orders he must accept responsibility for the orders he gives. Mr. Chambers is the last man who would not accept full responsibility for the orders he gives. He is, as is well known in all mining circles, the greatest authority in England to-day on gob fires and the method of dealing with them. He has read papers before the Mining Institute which are standard works on the preven- 1987 tion of gob fires and the method of extinguishing them, and, although I am not here to defend Mr. Chambers, I say that it is not right to attack a man in this House when he has no means whatever of replying. If there is any violation of the Act going on at Cadeby Colliery, the hon. Member, through his association, is perfectly able to institute a prosecution against Mr. Chambers.
§ Mr. BRACE
No one knows better than the hon. Member that workmen have no right to take action against employers, although employers have a right to take action against workmen.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
What is the use of the Labour party coming here to represent the miners if they cannot go to the Home Office and ask them to put the law in motion? [HON. MEMBERS: "That is what we are doing."] Have the Miners' Federation pointed out to the Home Office or to the mines inspector of the district, Mr. Mottram, that there is a violation of the Act going on at Cadeby Colliery? Has that been done or not? If there is any violation of the Act, it was the duty of the men who are presumed to represent the workmen to have taken that action long since, but in point of fact no such complaint has been made to the inspector of the district. I have no knowledge whether there is any violation of the Act, and I have no means of knowing. The hon. Member drew a very lurid picture of the conditions under which the men work. In the first place, he said that the temperature in which the men were working in the place of the accident was 94 degrees. In an adjoining colliery there are men working where the temperature is 106 degrees. [HON. MEMBERS: "Shame!"] Hon. Members say "Shame!" but the only method of dealing with these fires is to dig them out. A canary is taken down with the men, and, if carbon dioxide is in the air, the canary at once discloses the fact. The only alternative to digging out the fire is to leave it alone and stop the passage up, but at this colliery they did stop up a fire by closing the passage, and they had a fire extending acre upon acre till it nearly destroyed the pit itself. Wherever there is a fire burning which has been closed up there is always grave danger to the lives of the men working in the mine. I am a member of the Departmental Committee which has been appointed, and there is hardly a colliery in 1988 this country which is not liable to spontaneous combustion. They have had this trouble in Staffordshire for the last 300 years, according to what we have been able to find out from the early writings of the historians.
When a fire takes place you have the hot material to deal with, and the only problem is whether you fill it up or leave it. If you fill it up, naturally the temperature must be hot. I have never known a case of a fire in this district unless timber has been left in the mine. The worst offender in this district is the Brodsworth Colliery, of which I am a managing director. There have been thirty-two fires at this colliery during the last four years. At Cadeby during the last six years there have been fourteen fires, and at the Bentley Colliery, at Doncaster, there have been twenty-five fires during the last six years. That is up to 16th October, 1912. It may be said, "Why is it that these numerous fires, which are so dangerous to the lives of the men, take place?" It is a very serious problem which no one can explain, and to which the Departmental Committee have given their earnest consideration. When we opened the Brodsworth Colliery I had no idea that there was going to be all these fires, but we were faced with numerous fires in all directions, and we either had to fill them up or leave them. This question has given to all of us who are associated with the management of collieries daily and nightly anxiety, but I think we know now how to deal with them. The hon. Member says that more thought is given to money than to the men in the mines, but I can say—I am not speaking differently from other colliery proprietors; I am only speaking what every human being does and can say—that the first consideration always present to my mind and to the mind of all those associated with this industry is the safety of the mine itself. I constantly go down into the mines when these fires take place. It is not necessary for me to go. I have sufficient means to live without taking what after all is a risk; but whenever a dangerous fire occurs I go myself to see what the conditions are and to ascertain the best means of extinguishing the fire. Not very long ago I had a telephone message one night to say that explosions were taking place in a certain mine with which I am connected, and, when I got to the colliery I found that explosions were going on regularly every half hour. The men, of course, were withdrawn. I went to the place where the explosions were taking place, 1989 and every twenty-five minutes I saw the flash come out from the back. I was perfectly safe because the place was well stone dusted. I believe that we are now within measurable distance of making it impossible to have great mining explosions in this country in the future. I believe that if stone dust is properly applied in a mine there is no risk. I believe that the experiments at the Government station have proved that where there is a proportion of one to one of stone dust to coal we can say that there is safety to the men working in that mine. At Cadeby, unhappily, according to the report of Mr. Redmayne, there was only from 28 per cent. to 31 per cent. of stone dust in the road, and the consequence was that, when the explosion started, there was not sufficient dust in the road to stop its force, and unfortunately it extended with such disastrous results. I believe we are within a reasonable distance, if care is exercised, of providing a solution of this problem. Only a few weeks before this Cadeby explosion took place, I was in consultation with the Chief Inspector of Mines, and either he or I suggested, I do not know which, that it would be a good thing to stone dust all the roads leading to where fires took place. We arranged to do that. Unfortunately, it had not been done at Cadeby, or this deplorable accident would not have happened, and that is the cause why this explosion spread in the manner it did. The hon. Member went on to refer to the question of men being allowed to go down the mine. He said they went down, while others were actually being drawn up, and he contended that this showed a callous disregard on the part of mine owners for human life. Does the hon. Member seriously think that either the mine managers, or the mine owners, or the mine officials allowed the men to go down, knowing that an explosion had taken place? Really what happened was this. The officials in this particular district in which the men met with their death did not know at the time the men were let down that an explosion had actually taken place. An explosion might take place in a mine with men working within a distance of 500 yards, and those men would not even know that an explosion had occurred. I cannot think that the Cadeby officials or management were guilty——
Mr. FRED HALL
I do not want to in-interrupt the hon. Baronet unnecessarily, but, as a point of Order, I should like to 1990 explain with regard to the men having knowledge of this explosion——
§ Mr. SPEAKER
That is not a point of Order.
Mr. FRED HALL
As a point of explanation, may I say it is a fact, and I think it was admitted by the owners' representative, that the night men were all brought to the bottom of the downcast shaft, and were not allowed an opportunity of ascending to the surface until the whole of the day men had been let down the other shaft, and therefore there was no communication between the night men and the day men, and it was not until the night men had been brought to the surface that the news spread that there had been an explosion during the night.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
That is not my point at all. My point is that I cannot conceive anyone would have allowed the men to go down had they known there had been an explosion. I believe the colliery company repudiate strongly the idea that anyone knew that an explosion had taken place at the time the men went down. I am reluctant to believe that any human being could be so brutal as to deliberately allow men to go into the mine when they actually knew that an explosion had taken place. It is a cruel statement for the hon. Member to have made. The hon. Member repeats that it is a fact. I can only say, from my own knowledge of the Doncaster district, that no one knew at the time the men were let down that the explosion had taken place. As a matter of fact, what happened was that everyone lost their heads. It is as well the House should know that. There was a panic in the mine. Many of the officials were killed. His Majesty the King had that day gone down to South Yorkshire. He was to have met Mr. Pickering, the inspector of mines for the district. I believe at the same time many of the people had gone holiday-making on this particular day. What I say is this: that a panic took place, and there was gross mismanagement, after the first explosion, in allowing men to go down the mines indiscriminately. But, after all—and I have had something to do with being in these positions of danger after explosions, I have myself gone through these troubles—I can assure hon. Members it is not easy, when you see men lying about, to have the same calm judgment in the steps you have to take as in the normal circumstances of ordinary life.
1991 The next point raised by the hon. Member was in his statement that the men were in fear; that there was a state of fear prevailing at the time. I say, for my own part, that the whole management of Cadeby Colliery has been a mistake. They have boycotted the union for reasons best known to themselves. I always say to the men, "If you want members of your association to go down the mine at any time, do so whenever you like; we have nothing to hide. I would much rather you came." But the Cadeby people, unwisely as I think, have taken another line; they have prevented men going down into the mine or sending officials who are best qualified to report on the mine—to report not only to the men but to the inspectors as well. The Home Secretary stated that the hon. Member for South Glamorgan had dealt with this case with remarkable ability, and that he would rather have him on his side than against him. But the statements put forward by the hon. Member are of a highly coloured character, referring, as they do, to the conditions under which the men worked. Undoubtedly there is danger, and we have not yet discovered the cause. In common with several members of the Committee, I spent last summer travelling about the Continent and visiting mines liable to spontaneous combustion. We have sought and shall continue to seek a solution of this difficulty, and we hope that our labours will result in providing a solution of the greatest problem now before the mining industry.
There are questions about breaches of the law. I say most deliberately, and with a sense of responsibility, that there is not a single mine to-day in Great Britain that is working in conformity with the Mines Act. I believe there are something like a thousand regulations at the present time in connection with mines, and while this House goes on passing intricate regulations day by day, while these orders are being turned out by the Home Office, it is impossible that every single detail can be attended to. After all, man is only a human being. He can only work a certain number of hours. The Committee which dealt with the question were opposed to having divided responsibility. I pointed out, time after time, that it was humanly impossible for one man to be responsible, but the Committee, in their judgment, thought otherwise. I pointed out some mines in which there were some 1992 thirty miles of roads, and as the manager might have to sign one hundred reports a day it was possible that there might be a small breach of the Act. I do not quite know what the hon. Member intends by this Motion, whether he wants to condemn the Home Office for what took place in 1912 or for not taking action to-day. As I have already pointed out these gob fires obtain in a good many mines in England at the present time. If the hon. Member can point out any method by which we can help to save life, I am sure he will have the support of the mine owners, and if he or anyone with knowledge of the subject will come before the Committee, my colleagues and I will be only too glad to have their experience as to how we can put an end to these explosions which bring about a deplorable loss of life we are all very anxious to avoid.
§ Mr. MEYSEY-THOMPSON
I have a great deal of sympathy with the hon. Member for South Glamorgan (Mr. Brace) and the hon. Member for the Normanton Division (Mr. F. Hall) in the point they have raised this evening. On both sides of the House we are all equally anxious to guard, so far as possible, against such deplorable accidents as that which took place at Cadeby the other day, and agree that we should try to make it impossible for such accidents to happen in the future. Having a large number of mining constituents in the Handsworth Division, in whom I have taken the greatest interest for many years past and with whom I work with the greatest cordiality, I am much more concerned in trying to prevent these accidents in future than in trying to put the blame on any one person for accidents which have taken place in the past. A Debate such as we are having to-night does a great deal of good. We have had an expression of opinion from the Home Secretary and from different mining experts, each of whom has thrown some light on the cause of the disasters and made some suggestions for their prevention in the future. The hon. Member for the Mansfield Division (Sir A. Markham) told us that by stone-dusting the roads it is possible to diminish the risk of such explosions in the future. That is a valuable suggestion, and I hope it will be adopted. I do not often agree with the Home Secretary, and I do not necessarily agree with him now on every point, but I do agree with him that there are very great difficulties in dealing with these questions, because the circumstances in which such accidents 1993 arise are not by any means uniform and are very liable to vary to such an extent that it is impossible to foresee them accurately and legislate effectively to make them impossible in the future. I hope the House will forgive me if for a moment I recall to their memories the circumstances of the terrible accident which occurred in the Hampstead Colliery five or six years ago. I think the hon. Member for South Glamorgan was present shortly after the accident.
§ Mr. MEYSEY - THOMPSON
He and other mining Members will remember very well the circumstances which accompanied that most deplorable disaster. It would not be without its use if I recall to the memory of the House, or possibly for the first time explain to some hon. Members who were not then in the House, what happened in that particular case.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I do not think the hon. Member would be justified in doing that, unless he has some complaint against the Home Office of a similar nature to that raised to-night. Merely to recall the particulars of a certain accident that may be similar to this one does not seem to be relevant.
§ Mr. MEYSEY-THOMPSON
The reason I mentioned it was to make a suggestion with regard to avoiding these accidents in future, and to show how the loss of life could have been prevented in that case, either entirely or to a great extent, but which was not done in consequence of the want of an apparatus which could have saved those lives, and I should like to ask the Home Secretary to insist upon them being provided in all mines in the future. I think I shall be in order——
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The point of this Motion is that the Home Office is in default—that is the object of raising the discussion now—default either by reason of some action which they took or some action they did not take. That is the point to which the hon. Member must confine himself.
§ Mr. MEYSEY - THOMPSON
With respect, Sir, I am trying to show that they were in default in not having insisted upon the adoption of this apparatus before, and that they should do so in future. In the case of the Hampstead disaster, if the apparatus had been available at once the lives of those men could have been saved, or probably could have been saved. I say 1994 so for this reason, that the fire occurred between the upcast and the downcast shaft, and owing to that fact, the draught from the downcast being so strong into the mine, the explosion was carried by the intake along the road. The men endeavoured to escape by charging along this road, and they had no knowledge that by going towards the downcast shaft they were diminishing their chance of escaping. If the apparatus had been available at that time and two men armed with it had been sent down, they could have warned the men not to go through this downcast shaft, but to escape through doors of communication. I explained the apparatus after the accident, and said that the Home Office ought to make it compulsory for collieries to have this apparatus. The Home Office have not done it, and I call their attention now, at the very earliest opportunity, to the very important fact that such an apparatus should be provided in every district, in order that when a sudden explosion takes place it may immediately be available. I understand the hon. Member (Mr. Hugh Edwards) blames the Home Office for not taking sufficient precautions for saving men's lives, and that they themselves did not know, when they were within the working, that an explosion had occurred. If the apparatus had been available——
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
The colliery company had a large station of rescuing appliances at the colliery which were used at the time.
§ Mr. MEYSEY-THOMPSON
Was it used immediately?
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
§ Mr. MEYSEY-THOMPSON
Can the hon. Member explain why the men could not be informed? I do not say that in every case of accident this apparatus would save the men's lives, but it would be a conributing factor. With regard to the withdrawal of men from these hot works, I feel very strongly on the subject myself. I think the men ought not to be called upon to work under dangerous conditions. The hon. Baronet says it is a question of opinion, but the opinion ought to be confined, as far as the Home Office can possibly do so, to cases where, obviously, there may be an open question. In this case, I think it was distinctly dangerous, and I can only blame the Home Office for this. The Home Secretary says he can find no words to express his sympathy with the men in this accident. On the 1995 contrary, I should say he finds plenty of words. What I want him to find is deeds. We are told over and over again that machinery exists for dealing with these accidents as they occur, and we find, over and over again, they are not dealt with by the Home Office in a satisfactory manner. I wish to express my sympathy with hon. Members who have brought this useful Debate before the House, and I hope it may result in a great deal of good. I hope, especially, it will result in this: that it will stir up the Home Office to take proper precautions in future.
§ Mr. BRACE
In view of the declarations of the Home Secretary, which I accept at their full face value, I ask leave to withdraw my Motion.
§ Mr. NORMAN CRAIG
It is a pity this discussion should close without one word of warning. With regard to the Home Office not having taken proceedings against Mr. Chambers, I have nothing to say. The right hon. Gentleman has adequately explained that a defect in the Act rendered such action impossible. Again, I have nothing to say as to the Act extending merely to managers where you are dealing with the suspension of certificates. That is a difficulty which might well be remedied. I do not agree that it is a remedy the need for which is derived from the Cadeby accident. Manifestly it is not. It is a remedy the need for which is occasioned by reason of the method in which the Bill was passed. What I wish to call attention to is a matter of very great importance. I do not speak as a practical colliery expert, but in another capacity I have had to make a very special study on the question of gob fires. On this question, as it affects the withdrawal of the men, there can be no doubt that the very greatest difficulties confront them, and the Home Secretary has the sympathy of everyone. But the way in which he is dealing with it does not, to my mind, command complete satisfaction. We know that America, Australia, and Germany have had Commissions equivalent to ours. We have had two Royal Commissions here, and none of them have come to any definite or satisfactory conclusion as to the proper treatment of gob fires. What does the right hon. Gentleman do? He degenerates from these Royal Commissions to a Departmental Committee, and I do not think that is really a very large or a very useful method of treating a 1996 very difficult problem, one which has defeated a series of Royal Commissions not merely in this country, but in other countries. The question of gob fires, at any rate, has direct relation to the question of the withdrawal of the men. So far as scientific knowledge has discovered, they are mainly due to three causes. Where you get falls of roof you get fissures, you get leakage of air, you get heat generated, and you eventually get spontaneous combustion.
§ Mr. EDGAR JONES
Is it in order on this Motion of urgent public importance to enter into a detailed discussion generally on technical matters dealing with gob fires, which are a permanent thing, 300 years old?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
That is what we have been doing for the last hour and a half.
§ Mr. NORMAN CRAIG
One of the principal recognised causes of gob fires is where you get falls of roof, consequent leakage, consequent heating, and consequent spontaneous combustion. If you are going to withdraw men from the working face all over a large mine because any part of the mine contains elements of danger, you are going to create elements of danger all over the rest of your mine, and that is what Mr. Chambers meant when he said, "If you are going to withdraw all your men because you have a local gob fire, you will create more gob fires." That is the real practical difficulty. I hope the right hon. Gentleman, before he is too obliging and too complacent in accepting the suggestions which have proceeded from below the Gangway, will carefully consider the question, because if the effect of withdrawing all the men all over the mine because there is a gob fire in a particular place is going to create gob fires all over the mine, as most men of science say, you are merely closing the mine for the proprietor, you are closing the mine for the worker, you are increasing the price of coal to the public, and you are creating difficulty in a great number of directions. I ask the right hon. Gentleman, before he adds to the innumerable rules and regulations anything of this kind, first, to consult practical men in regard to it; and, secondly, not to be led, as he threatens to be, into defining the danger other than in general terms and in embodying, either in Statute or in rules or regulations, something which shall cover the whole area of danger irrespective of the facts of a particular case. 1997 You have far too many rules and regulations. But if, besides determining what shall be done in case of danger, you are going to include in your Statute or in the rules and regulations what is to constitute danger in any given state of circumstances, you are traveling altogether outside the usefulness of public Statutes.
|Division No. 151.]||AYES.||[9.55 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Field, William||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Fitzgibbon, John||M'Callum, Sir John M.|
|Adamson, William||Flavin, Michael Joseph||M'Curdy, Charles Albert|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R.||Gelder, Sir W. A.||M'Kean, John|
|Agnew, Sir George William||George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Gladstone, W. G. C.||M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)|
|Alden, Percy||Glanville, Harold James||M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lincs., Spalding)|
|Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire)||Goldstone, Frank||Markham, Sir Arthur Basil|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Greig, Colonel J. W.||Marshall, Arthur Harold|
|Arnold, Sydney||Griffith, Ellis Jones||Martin, Joseph|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.|
|Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Meagher, Michael|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Hackett, John||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)|
|Barnes, George N.||Hall, Frederick (Yorks, Normanton)||Meehan, Patrick J. (Queen's Co., Leix)|
|Barran, Sir J. (Hawick Burghs)||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Millar, James Duncan|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Harmswoth, R. L. (Caithness-shire)||Molloy, Michael|
|Beale, Sir William Phipson||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||Mond, Rt. Hon., Sir Alfred|
|Beck, Arthur Cecil||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.)||Montagu, Hon. E. S.|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George)||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||Mooney, John J.|
|Bentham, G. J.||Hayden, John Patrick||Morrell, Philip|
|Black, Arthur W.||Hayward, Evan||Morison, Hector|
|Boland, John Pius||Hazleton, Richard||Muldoon, John|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Hemmerde, Edward George||Munro, Robert|
|Bowerman, Charles W.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.|
|Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North)||Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)||Murphy, Martin J.|
|Brace, William||Henry, Sir Charles||Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C.|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Herbert, General Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)|
|Brocklehurst, W. B.||Higham, John Sharp||Nolan, Joseph|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Hinds, John||Norman, Sir Henry|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hodge, John||Norton, Captain Cecil W.|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Hogg, David C.||Nugent, Sir Walter Richard|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Hogge, James Myles||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Holt, Richard Durning||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney C. (Poplar)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Hudson, Walter||O'Donnell, Thomas|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Hughes, Spencer Leigh||O'Dowd, John|
|Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Chancellor, Henry George||John, Edward Thomas||O'Malley, William|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Clough, William||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||O'Shee, James John|
|Collins, G. P. (Greenock)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney)||Outhwaite, R. L.|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Jowett, Frederick William||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Cotton, William Francis||Joyce, Michael||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Crooks, William||Keating, Matthew||Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)|
|Crumley, Patrick||Kellaway, Frederick George||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Cullinan, John||Kelly, Edward||Pointer, Joseph|
|Davies, E. William (Eifion)||Kennedy, Vincent Paul||Pollard, Sir George H.|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Kilbride, Denis||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Dawes, James Arthur||King, Joseph||Priestley, Sir Arthur (Grantham)|
|Delany, William||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford)|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Lardner, James C. R.||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Devlin, Joseph||Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, West)||Radford, G. H.|
|Dewar, Sir J. A.||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Dillon, John||Leach, Charles||Raphael, Sir Herbert H.|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Levy, Sir Maurice||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)|
|Doris, William||Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Duffy, William J.||Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich)||Reddy, Michael|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Lundon, Thomas||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Lyell, Charles Henry||Redmond, William (Clare, E.)|
|Edwards, Clement (Glamorgan, E.)||Lynch, A. A.||Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Macdonald. J. Ramsay (Leicester)||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas (Wexford, N.)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Essex, Sir Richard Walter||McGhee, Richard||Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||Maclean, Donald||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Falconer, James||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs)|
|Ffrench, Peter||Macpherson, James Ian||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
§ Mr. McKENNA rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The House divided: 262; Noes, 143.1999
|Robinson, Sidney||Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Sutherland, John E.||Webb, H.|
|Roche, Augustine (Louth)||Sutton, John E.||White, Sir Luke (Yorks, E.R.)|
|Roe, Sir Thomas||Taylor, John W. (Durham)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Rowlands, James||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Rowntree, Arnold||Tennant, Harold John||Wiles, Thomas|
|Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.||Thomas, J. H.||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L (Cleveland)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Samuel, J (Stockton-on-Tees)||Thorne, William (West Ham)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Scanlan, Thomas||Toulmin, Sir George||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Sheehy, David||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Winfrey, Richard|
|Sherwell, Arthur James||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander||Wing, Thomas Edward|
|Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Alisebrook||Verney, Sir Harry||Wood, Rt Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)|
|Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||Wadsworth, John||Young, William (Perth, East)|
|Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Snowden, Philip||Wardle, George J.|
|Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Waring, Walter||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Guiland.|
|Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A.||O'Neill, Hon. A. E. B. (Antrim, Mid)|
|Anson, Rt. Hon. Sir William R.||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Ashley, Wilfrid W.||Forster, Henry William||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Baird, J. L.||Gardner, Ernest||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Gastrell, Major W. H.||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (City, London)||Gilmour, Captain John||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Glazebrook, Captain Philip K.||Perkins, Walter|
|Baring, Major Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Goldsmith, Frank||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.|
|Barnston, Harry||Grant, J. A.||Randles, Sir John S.|
|Barrie, H. T.||Gretton, John||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds)||Rawson, Colonel R. H.|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Hall, Frederick (Dulwich||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish||Hamersley, Alfred St. George||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Bigland, Alfred||Hamilton, G. C. (Altrincham)||Royds, Edmund|
|Blair, Reginald||Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence||Salter, Arthur Claveil|
|Boles, Lieut.-Colonel Dennis Fortescue||Harris, Henry Percy||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith.||Helmsley, Viscount||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid)||Henderson, Major H. (Berks, Abingdon)||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Boyton, James||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Sassoon, Sir Philip|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Hills, John Walter||Spear, Sir John Ward|
|Bull, Sir William James||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Starkey, John R.|
|Butcher, John George||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Campbell, Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Campion, W. R.||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Stewart, Gershom|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Houston, Robert Paterson||Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)|
|Cassel, Felix||Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk.||Swift, Rigby|
|Cautley, H. S.||Jardine, Ernest (Somerset, East)||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Larmor, Sir J.||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Lewisham, Viscount||Thompson, Robert (Belfast, North)|
|Clay, Captain H. H. Spender||Lloyd, George Butler (Shrewsbury)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N.)|
|Clive, Captain Percy Archer||Locker-Lampson, G. (Sailsbury)||Touche, George Alexander|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)||Tullibardine, Marquess of|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)||Walker, Colonel William Hall|
|Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe)||MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh||Warde, Colonel C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)||M'Calmont, Major Robert C. A.||Winterton, Earl|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Magnus, Sir Philip||Worthington-Evans, L.|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord Ninian||Malcolm, Ian||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Dairymple, Viscount||Meysey-Thompson, E. C.||Wright, Henry Fitzherhert|
|Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton)||Yate, Colonel Charles Edward|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Mount, William Arthur||Younger, Sir George|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Newdegate, F. A.|
|Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M.||Newman, John R. P.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. James Mason and Mr. Wheler.|
|Fell, Arthur||Newton, Harry Kottingham|
|Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
§ Question, "That this House do now adjourn," put accordingly, and negatived.