§ 1. Mr. TINKER
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 1432 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.
§ Mr. TINKER
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?
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
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?