HC Deb 26 October 1932 vol 269 cc981-2
62. Mr. JOHN

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that at the Cambrian pits, Clydach Vale, Rhondda, hot ashes are being used by the management for stowing purposes at the coal face of the two foot nine inches seam, and that the workmen view this practice with apprehension; and, in view of this seam being of a fiery nature, will he take immediate steps with the view of discontinuing such practice?

The SECRETARY for MINES (Mr. Ernest Brown)

There is no danger in the use of boiler ashes for stowing provided they are thoroughly quenched and cooled beforehand, and it is in the interests of safety that the waste should be stowed as fully as possible. There is difference of opinion at this pit whether the ashes are in practice satisfactorily cooled before being sent down. This matter is under discussion locally between representatives of the workmen and the divisional inspector, and I hope that an arrangement acceptable to all parties will soon be reached.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that these ashes are not cooled, and that by the introduction of material of a higher temperature than the normal temperature of the mine hydrogen absorbed by such material will reach combustion point—[Interruption.]


That is a rather long question.


This is a very important matter. Is the hon. Gentleman aware that these pits are not immune from gob fires, and that the gravamen of the situation is such that the men are in constant danger of an explosion? Will he take immediate steps to see that these ashes are not sent down until investigation has been completed?


It is because there is a difference of opinion about the facts as stated in the question, and because of some of the considerations mentioned by the hon. Member, that these discussions have already taken place; and when I said that I hoped that an arrangement acceptable to all parties would soon be reached, I meant soon.


Do I understand that the material will not be taken down until discussions have been satisfactorily settled?


I should want notice of that question.

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