HC Deb 16 November 1916 vol 87 c969
58. Mr. THOMAS

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, owing to so many men having been released from the railways for military service, it is now not uncommon for boys of tender age to be employed as firemen on goods trains; and, in view of the Report of the Board of Trade inspector, J. W. Pringle, into the causes of the accident which occurred on the 11th September, 1916, at Wallneuk Junction, on the Glasgow and Paisley Joint Railway, and which resulted in injuries to twenty-eight passengers, wherein attention is drawn to the youthfulness of Henry Watt, the acting fireman on the goods train involved in the accident, who is only fifteen years of age, whether ho proposes to take any action in the matter?


I have called the attention of the railway company concerned to the remarks made by the inspecting officer in the Report referred to, but I have no information to show that the employment of boys as firemen is a general practice, and I have no reason to doubt that railway companies will do their best to ensure that competent persons are employed as firemen.