69. Mr. F. HALL (Dulwich)
asked the Home Secretary if any communication has been addressed to the owners of the colliery at Senghenydd as the result of the inquiry held into the circumstances of the recent disaster there, and, if so, the nature thereof; if he is aware that the inspector in his report upon the matter comments on the fact that, in a mine known to be dangerous owing to gas, there was neither rescue apparatus nor an adequate water supply; if the mine Regulations deal with either of these points; and will he say what steps are being taken to safeguard men working in other mines where similar conditions obtain?
§ Mr. McKENNA
I have addressed no communication to the owners on the subject of the chief inspector's report, but proceedings have been instituted by my direction in respect of the various contraventions of the Act and Regulations disclosed. 1774 As regards the question of rescue apparatus, the Regulations require suits of breathing apparatus to be provided at the mine, except where, as was the case at Senghenydd, the owner has acquired the right of calling for such appliances from a rescue station within a radius of ten miles from the mine and in telephonic communication with it. The manager directed a telephone message to be sent to the station immediately on the occurrence of the disaster, but some delay unfortunately occurred in getting into communication with the person in charge. The question of water supply is not dealt with in the Act or Regulations. I am advised that in most mines there is usually a sufficient supply available in the shaft, but, in view of the circumstances at Senghenydd, the question of making some provision on the subject will be considered with the other matters arising on the report. As regard; the steps now in contemplation with a view to the prevention of similar disasters, I would refer the hon. Member to my reply on Tuesday last to the question on the subject asked by the hon. Member for West Staffordshire.
§ 70. Mr. MORRELL
asked the Home Secretary whether, in view of the Report of the Chief Inspector of Mines upon the disaster at the Senghenydd Colliery, it is proposed to make any fresh Regulations under the Act for the better protection of miners; whether it is necessary to enter upon any further inquiries before such Regulations can be made; whether such inquiries are now in progress; and when they are likely to be completed and the proposed Regulations issued?
§ Mr. McKENNA
I would refer my hon. Friend to my reply of Tuesday last to the similar question asked by the hon. Member for West Staffordshire. The inquiries are now in progress, and will be pushed forward with all possible dispatch, and I hope it will be possible to issue the proposed Regulations in the autumn.