HC Deb 12 July 1932 vol 268 cc1100-1
26. Mr. TINKER

asked the Secretary for Mines the names of the collieries where the automatic gas detector is being tested; when the tests will be made; and when the issue of the report can be expected?

The SECRETARY for MINES (Mr. Isaac Foot)

I assume that the hon. Member is referring to the arrangements which have been made for giving the Ringrose firedamp alarm a thorough trial on a full working scale. These trials are to be conducted at Houghton Main colliery in Yorkshire, Mosley Common colliery in Lancashire, and Waun Llwyd colliery in South Wales. Representative pit committees are being set up at each colliery in consultation with the Divisional Inspectors concerned, and the trials will be begun as soon as these committees have decided how many alarms they want and how the trials will be conducted. Each committee will report independently. Obviously I cannot say how long a period of trial each committee will consider to be necessary, but if any committee wishes the trials to continue for more than six months, I will ask for an interim report at the end of that period.


In the selection of collieries did the Department consult the Miners Federation of Great Britain or the districts?


I believe that the Federation was taken into consultation at the time. I do not think that agreement was quite possible, but, of course, in this matter it depends on a willing colliery being put at our disposal.


In accepting the names of these three collieries, did the hon. Gentleman make sure that they were gaseous mines?


These were the three mines where it was considered that the experiments could be carried out with the best possible success.


Is it the intention of the Ministry, provided the tests are successful, to make the use of the detectors compulsory?


It is impossible to state what the result will be.