HC Deb 24 April 1923 vol 163 c254
38. Mr. BARKER

asked the Secretary for Mines what steps are being taken to reduce the number of cases of miners' nystagmus, which has increased from 1.94 per thousand employed below ground in the year 1910 to 7.40 similarly employed in the year 1921; if the Mines Research Board has made any investigations into the cause of the great increase in the disablement cases due to this complaint; whether it is due to bad ventilation or to bad lighting or to both; and if he intends to avail himself of the power vested in him to issue orders and regulations dealing with this matter?

Lieut.-Colonel LANE-FOX

I would refer the hon. Member to my reply of the 16th April to the hon. Member for Mansfield. The Miners' Nystagmus Committee of the Medical Research Council, in their first report, record the opinion that "the essential factor in the production of miners' nystagmus is deficient illumination "and that" the ordinary gaseous impurities in mine air have no direct influence on the disease." The Committee are continuing their researches, including the study of the operation underground of remedial measures, and I must await their further, report before considering whether the matter can usefully be dealt with by regulation.


In view of the fact that the reports of the Medical Research Council are not available, will the hon. and gallant Gentleman circulate them to hon. Members representing mining constituencies?

Lieut.-Colonel LANE-FOX

I will see what can be done when the report is ready.