HC Deb 06 June 1934 vol 290 cc929-30
40. Mr. T. SMITH

asked the Secretary for Mines if he has completed consultations with the Various bodies concerning the draft regulation for the compulsory provision of gas detectors underground; and whether he is in a position to make a statement on the matter?

The SECRETARY for MINES (Mr. Ernest Brown)

The preliminary draft of the gas detector regulations issued at the end of last January has been discussed with the four chief representative bodies in the industry, and the discussions have revealed a wide divergence of opinion between the representatives of the owners, managers and deputies on the one hand and those of the workmen on the other. I am now considering how this conflict of opinion may be reconciled, and if the hon. Member will put down his question again in a few days I hope to be able then to reply further on the subject.


asked the Secretary for Mines how many colliery companies have purchased a number of automatic gas detectors since the draft Order on mine lighting was issued in December, 1933; and what is the actual number of detectors in use in coal mines in Great Britain?


The provision of automatic gas detectors is not dealt with in the draft Order on mine lighting published last December. A preliminary draft of regulations as to gas detectors was issued, for discussion, at the end of January. During the current year, so far as I am aware, one colliery company has purchased automatic detectors. That company has 12 in use and has ordered 100 more. Other companies, I am informed, are making inquiries of the manufacturers. The gas detector in common use is the flame safety lamp, and the number in use at 30th June, 1933, was 270,417.


May I ask whether the Mines Department have in any way recommended automatic gas detectors; and is it not the case that the managing director of one of the largest, most modern and up-to-date colliery combines, regards automatic gas detectors as the finest thing so far produced?


If my hon. Friend will consider the draft regulation, he will find that there is no question of recommending any particular gas detector; it is a matter for the management to get a supply.