HC Deb 05 July 1938 vol 338 cc174-6
36. Mr. J. Griffiths

asked the Secretary for Mines whether, in view of the fact that in the period 1931 to 1935, inclusive, there were 51 explosions involving the deaths of 544 men and boys in the coal mines in this country, whereas in the same period there was not a single explosion in the coal mines in France, he will arrange for members of the Royal Commission on Safety in Mines, prior to their issuing their report, to visit the French coal mines and to study the methods adopted with such good results to prevent explosions in that country?

Captain Crookshank

I will convey the hon. Member's suggestion to the Royal Commission, to whom the report of the departmental investigation in France has already been communicated.

37. Mr. Dunn

asked the Secretary for Mines the number of colliery explosions which have occurred in England, Scotland and Wales, giving the names of the collieries, and the numbers of men killed or injured in each case during the last 10 years; whether in each case electricity has or has not been used, and for what purpose; and whether he will give the same information with regard to shot-firing?

Captain Crookshank

During the last 10 years 477 explosions involving death or injury have occurred at mines under the Coal Mines Act. I would hardly feel justified in circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT particulars of all of them, and in any case part of the information asked for is not fully or readily available. I am, however, communicating with the hon. Member in the matter.

38. Mr. Dunn

asked the Secretary for Mines how many parties of mine workers have visited the mines research station at Buxton during the years 1935, 1936 and 1937, giving the total numbers of persons in each year; how many explosions have been staged at the station, and the approximate cost of the same; and whether he will now recommend the construction of another gallery for the purpose of demonstrating, not only how mine explosions occur, but how mine explosions can be prevented?

Captain Crookshank

In 1935, 41 parties of mineworkers visited the research station at Buxton, the total number of visitors was 5,437, and 24 coal-dust explosions were staged. The corresponding figures for 1936 were 46, 5,112 and 18, and for 1937, 45, 6,153 and 23, respectively. These explosions are only one part of the demonstrations, and separate particulars of their cost are not available. As regards the last part of the question, I will refer the hon. Member's suggestion to the Safety in Mines Research Board for their consideration.

Mr. J. Griffiths

Will the Minister consider the suggestion, which was received very warmly in the House some time ago, that he should arrange for a party of Members of this House to visit this demonstration at Buxton?

Captain Crookshank

If anybody wants to go I shall be happy to make arrangements. I am going myself this week.