38. Mr. W. JENKINS
asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that a large number of coal miners are working in collieries where there are continual gob fires and men suffer a good deal from the fumes emitted from the fires; and whether he will cause inquiries to be made so as to include them under the Compensation Act by a new schedule under the industrial diseases?
No complaint of injury by fumes from gob fires appears to have been received either by the Home Office or by the Mines Department. If, however, the hon. Member can furnish me with particulars of any cases of disablement caused by these fumes, the matter will be investigated.
39. Mr. W. JENKINS
asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that a number of coal miners and men working on hard ground are certified by medical men as suffering from silicosis, as a result of working on hard ground with drills causing dust; and whether he will provide a new schedule of industrial diseases in order that they shall be entitled to compensation?
Special powers are conferred on the Home Office by the Workmen's Compensation (Silicosis) Act of 1918 to make schemes of compensation for industries involving exposure to silica dust. A scheme is already in force under that Act for the ganister miners, and if the prevalence of silicosis among coal miners were established, a scheme could be made for the coal mining industry. Up to the present, however, the evidence with regard to coal miners is that generally they are not liable to the disease. I am informed that the Health Advisory Committee of the Mines Department is at present engaged in a renewed investigation into the effects of dust on the health of miners—[HON. MEMBERS: "Agreed!"] Mr. Speaker, there is no Rule. This is a very right question, and Members are anxious to have a reply and if the hon. Member has evidence of any cases of silicosis among coal miners, I should be glad if he would forward them to the Mines Department for consideration by the Health Committee.