HC Deb 16 February 1932 vol 261 cc1431-2

asked the Secretary for Mines if he is aware that there have been several fatal accidents recently in the coal mines of Lancashire through the men in charge of the coal-cutting machines being caught in them; and will he cause inquiries to be made with the view of having protecting guards on the machines?

The SECRETARY for MINES (Mr. Isaac Foot)

There has been one recent fatal accident from this cause in Lancashire—on 18th January. The provision of really effective guards for all the different types of coal-cutting machines is a matter of great practical difficulty. But it is certainly desirable, and close attention is already being given to the problem. Progress has been fully reported in the annual reports of His Majesty's inspectors. During the past year or two, many designs of guard have been made, tried out and improved. The measure of success already achieved is such that I hope we shall eventually reach an effective and practical solution of the problem.


While thanking the hon. Member for his reply, may I inquire whether, if I put down another question in a month's time, he will be in a better position to let me know what is happening?


I do not anticipate that anything will have happened within a month which will enable me to report in any more than in general terms. As to the accident to which the hon. Member refers, I shall be glad to discuss with him what steps have been taken.


Will the Secretary for Mines not have regard to the fact that, owing to the mechanisation of mines, it is necessary to have more engineers on the inspectorate?


That question hardly arises out of the answer. If the hon. Member will put down a question on the subject, I will give him what information I can.