HC Deb 31 July 1923 vol 167 cc1261-2

asked the Secretary for Mines whether, seeing that the number of accidents in Durham County causing more than seven days' disablement increased from 10,272 in the year 1921 for approximately nine months' employment to 26,119 in 1922 for a full year, he can give any explanation of this increase; and if he will consider the desirability of appointing more mines inspectors in this area?

The SECRETARY for MINES (Lieut.-Colonel Lane-Fox)

The large increase in the number of non-fatal accidents re- ported under this head is not peculiar to Durham. It is common to all coalfields, and, indeed, to other important industries. There is no corresponding increase in the number of fatal accidents or of non-fatal accidents that were sufficiently serious to be reported immediately. In these circumstances it is, I think, reasonable to presume that the increase in the figure of minor accidents reported is due more to a growing appreciation of the importance of treatment than to any increase in the risks of mining. I have certainly no reason to suppose that the figures indicate any inadequacy of Government inspection.