92. Mr. FENWICK
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to 1434 a shaft accident which occurred at the G Pit, Wallsend, on 10th July, and by reason of which a driver, named Robert Goldsberry, lost his life; whether, as stated by one of the witnesses in the Coroner's Court, there were no gates on the cage in which the men were ascending at the time when the accident occurred; and, if so, whether he will take such steps as are necessary, and in accordance with Section 40 of the Coal Mines Act, to ensure the use of gates at all times when persons are either ascending or descending a mine?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. McKenna)
Yes, Sir, I have received a report on this accident, from which it appears that the cage was provided with gates, but the onsetter had neglected to place them in position before sending away the cage. The duty of the onsetter in the matter has been dealt with in the new regulations under the Act, which provide that when persons are being raised or lowered the banksman or onsetter shall not signal the cage away until the gates are in position.
Would it not be possible by some Order of the Home Office, special or otherwise, to provide that boys should only be allowed to ascend or descend the, mines in the centre of the cage, and should not be permitted to stand at either end?
§ Mr. McKENNA
The practice my hon. Friend suggests would be very useful. I will inquire as to what power I have in the matter.