HC Deb 22 February 1938 vol 332 c162
46. Mr. James Griffiths

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, as representing the Lord President of the Council, what progress has been made with the investigation into the problem of silicosis at the Ammanford colliery, South Wales; whether it is proposed to extend the investigation to other collieries in the anthracite coalfield; and if he can give some indication as to when the investigations will be completed?

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Earl Winterton)

Following the closure of the pit originally selected by the special committee of the Medical Research Council, the investigation into chronic pulmonary disease among coal-miners was transferred to Ammanford early in December and satisfactory progress is being made there both in the medical and in the environmental inquiries. The work at this colliery will probably be completed about the end of March, after which some time will have to be given to a study of the information collected. It is proposed thereafter to extend the investigation to another anthracite colliery, but the selection of a pit will depend on the results of the work at present being done. It is not yet possible to indicate any date for the completion of the investigations as a whole.

Mr. Griffiths

While appreciating the work which has been done, can the Noble Lord give an assurance that there will be no unnecessary delay in proceeding with the further inquiry?

Earl Winterton

I most readily give that assurance. As the hon. Gentleman is probably aware, the investigations have been somewhat delayed owing to the fact that the colliery originally selected at Pontyberen was closed down for trade reasons, and therefore the investigations had to be transferred to the present colliery.

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