HC Deb 07 July 1936 vol 314 c1002

asked the Secretary for Mines whether his attention has been drawn to the report of the divisional inspector of mines for the northern area, in which it is stated that the number of boys under 16 years of age killed and seriously injured per 1,000 employed was 10.76 compared with the general rate of 5.62 per 1,000 for all persons employed; and what steps he is taking to deal with this part of the report?


I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Morpeth (Mr. R. J. Taylor) on 28th May last, of which I am sending him a copy.


Were these boys trained in safety principles before they entered the mine, and if they were, and still we have these serious accidents, what further steps can the hon. and gallant Gentleman take to see that boys are educated as to the dangers they have to face when entering mines? Is it possible to appoint safety officers to look after them when they enter mines and until they acquire pit sense?


Most of these points are dealt with in the reply to which I have referred the hon. Gentleman. No one could be more anxious than I am to see a reduction in these accidents in the case of boys, and to do all that is possible to reduce the number by the provision of safety classes.

Viscountess ASTOR

Will the Minister promise that if he cannot do anything to reduce the number of boys killed he will consider seriously not letting them go down the mines; and does he realise that it shocks the conscience of the country to realise that boys of 16 work in the mines?