HC Deb 08 November 1932 vol 270 cc167-8
10. Mr. PIKE

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he has yet received a report upon the trials of the Ringrose firedamp alarm conducted at the Houghton Main Colliery, Yorkshire, the Moseley Colliery, Lancashire, and the Waun Llwyd Colliery, South Wales, stating in the case of each colliery the number of shifts during which the tests were carried out and the results obtained?


asked the Secretary for Mines the present position with regard to the tests which are being made underground with the Ringrose automatic gas alarm; the total number of hours the alarms have been subjected to tests in each of the selected collieries, and with what results; and when the trials are likely to be completed?

The SECRETARY for MINES (Mr. Ernest Brown)

The trials of the Ring-rose firedamp alarm were started at the first and second of these collieries in August and at the third in October last: and the trials are still in progress. I have not yet received a report from any of the three pit committees by whom the trials are being conducted. I do not expect to receive one until the conclusion of the trials, unless any committee proposes to continue them for longer than six months, in which case I shall ask for an interim report at the end of that period.


Can the hon. Gentleman tell us the number of detectors used in each of these pits respectively?


Speaking from memory, 50 in both the Yorkshire and Lancashire pits, and 36 in South Wales.


Can the hon. Gentleman say whether the three selected mines are known to be gaseous mines; and when does the hon. Gentleman expect the report will be forthcoming from these pits? Will the report be sent along when the committees feel that they have got all the knowledge that they require, or has it to be at any specified time?


There is no specified time, but the hon. Member knows that the trials were financed mainly by grants from the Miners Welfare Committee in the spring of the year to enable the Secretary for Mines to arrange trials on a full working scale. I had that condition in mind when I said that if a report was not received at the end of six months, I should ask for a report in any cases in which it was necessary.


Seeing that a safety device has been applied for a period of four years without any failure, does not the Minister think that the time has come for speedy action?


It is because there are other considerations than those in the supplementary question of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman that these exhaustive trials in these three representative pits are being carried out.


Will the hon. Gentleman reply to the first question? Are these selected mines known to be gaseous mines?


I understand that they were chosen because they were the three pits which would give the best results for this particular device.


Can the hon. Gentleman tell the House what percentage of gas the detectors will indicate?


I cannot do so without notice. If the hon. Member will put down a question, I shall be very glad to give the information.

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