§ 39. Major HILLS
asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that six of the actual automatic fire-damp detectors which were used in the recent trial in the Mosley Common Pit and adversely reported on by the committee have been installed in the Bickershaw Colliery, which is within the same district as the Mosley Common Pit; whether he is aware that these detectors have been extensively tested and have so satisfied the owners of the Bickershaw Colliery that they have decided to instal further detectors; and whether his Department are carrying out or intend to carry out tests with a view to approving an automatic fire-damp detector for use in coal mines?
§ Dr. BURGIN
I have been asked to reply. I am informed that six detectors were supplied by the manufacturers for trial at Bickershaw Colliery in pursuance of a general arrangement previously made with them by my Department for the useful disposal of all the trial detectors. It was, however, part of this arrangement that the detectors should first have been altered at the manufacturers' expense, so as to bring them into line with the latest pattern of the device, the alterations in question having been effected with the express purpose of meeting some of the criticisms reported by the committees who conducted the trials. The present pattern, like the previous ones, has already been approved for use in coal mines, and there is no occasion for further tests to be made for that purpose at present. I am very glad that not only the owners of Bickershaw 499 Colliery, but also several others, are sufficiently satisfied with their experience of the detector in its latest form to instal it in larger numbers because, as my hon. Friend informed the hon. Member on 1st November, what is now wanted is extensive practical experience under working conditions.