§ 4. Mr. HEPWORTH
asked the Secretary for Mines when the first order was made permitting the use of gas alarms in coal mines; how many alarms are in use at the present moment; and will he state what representations he has received from the Colliery Deputies' Association or the Miners' Federation in favour of a compulsory order being made for their use in all gaseous mines?
§ Mr. ISAAC FOOT
Firedamp detectors of many kinds have been tried out in 1433 mines from time to time for over 40 years past, but it was not until the Coal Mines Act of 1911 that safety lamps, and therefore detectors which formed part of safety lamps, required official approval as to their safety before they could lawfully be used belowground. The first such permission for the use of an electrical detector was given in 1914. Apart from flame safety lamps, the number of firedamp detectors in regular use is about 350 (not including measuring instruments). Discussions have taken place between my Department and the Miners' Federation, the Deputies' Association and other organisations representative of the Industry. Both the Miners' Federation and the Deputies' Association expressed a general opinion in favour of some measure of compulsion but the latter decided to consider the matter further and the former asked for a further meeting which is to be held to-morrow.