HC Deb 06 July 1933 vol 280 cc503-4
47. Mr. TINKER

asked the Secretary for Mines if his attention has been drawn to the position of the workmen who are not allowed to inspect the register that is kept for the purpose of entering the time of lowering and raising of the men to and from the mine in accordance with the Seven and a-half Hours Act; and will he see to it that the same facilities are given to the workmen's representatives to examine the register that are given to the employers?


I am aware that the Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1908, does not provide that the register shall be open to inspection by the workmen's representatives and I am afraid that legislation would be necessary to give them the same right of inspection as is given in the Coal Mines Act, 1911, for books kept under that Act.


Will the hon. Gentleman take steps to put the men in the same position as the employers and the inspectors in this respect; and would it not be helpful to do so?


I think that in practice managements do, as a rule, allow the men to see the register, but I will bear the point in mind when a suitable opportunity arises for fresh legislation.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that colliery companies do not permit the workmen to inspect these registers; and, if he thinks that his technical inspectors are only wasting their time inspecting these registers, does he not think that if the workmen were given that permission it would save the inspectors trouble?


I do not think it is a waste of time to inspect the registers, but the question is one of a balance of the various duties of the inspectors, and there are times when other things are snore important. I have said to the hon. Member for Leigh (Mr. Tinker) that this point did not arise in 1908 and, as it so happens, is not one of the subjects covered by the legislation of 1911, but I will bear it in mind the very first time there is an alteration in the law.