HC Deb 05 June 1928 vol 218 cc20-1
15. Mr. D. GRENFELL (for Mr. JENKINS)

asked the Secretary for Mines if he has taken any steps to ascertain what number of mine workers in the South Wales coalfield have been unable to follow their employment due to silicosis; and if any compensation has been paid in respect of any of these eases?


I have been asked to reply. I regret that, for the reasons indicated in my reply to the hon. Member for Gower (Mr. D. Grenfell) on the 3rd of last month, the information asked for in the first part of the question is not available. No compensation is payable at present to workmen who contract this disease in the coal-mining industry, but I have asked the Departmental Committee on Workmen's Compensation for Silicosis to advise on the terms of a scheme under Section 47 of the Workmen's Compensation Act for the industry, and for this purpose I have appointed to the Committee representatives of each side, nominated by the Mining Association and the Miners' Federation, respectively.


Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us when he expects a Report from that Committee?


The hon. Member will remember that it was only on the 3rd of last month that I informed the House that I had not got the names of the representatives from one of the associations. I have now got them, and I have now appointed them; and I believe they are getting to work at once.


Has the right hon. Gentleman power to pay compensation for silicosis cases in the mining industry in the interim pending the Report?


I have no such powers.


Will the terms of reference to this particular Departmental Committee deal with districts other than South Wales?


Yes, certainly.

16. Mr. D. GRENFELL (for Mr. JENKINS)

asked the Secretary for Mines whether his Department has taken any steps to take tests as to the quantity of silica in the strata of the coal mines of South Wales?

The SECRETARY for MINES (Commodore Douglas King)

Yes, Sir; the inquiries which have been made as to the occurrence of silicosis among miners working in hard rock in coal mines have included analyses and other tests of the rock dust.