HC Deb 31 May 1938 vol 336 cc1828-9
56. Mr. J. Griffiths

asked the Secretary for Mines the number of shots fired in coal mines in 1937 and the number of shots fired per million tons of coal produced; whether there was an increase or reduction on previous years; and whether any efforts are being made to reduce the amount of shot firing in coal mines?

The Secretary for Mines (Captain Crookshank)

It is estimated that during 1937 63,000,000 shots were fired in mines under the Coal Mines Act, 1911, or approximately 262,000 shots per million tons of saleable coal produced, but this total includes shots fired in rock or stone as well as those fired in the coal itself. The ratio between total shots fired and production of coal tends to rise. While His Majesty's inspectors encourage the movement which is taking place at some mines towards the partial or complete elimination of shot firing, the conditions are not always suitable for the adoption of alternative methods.

Mr. Griffiths

Will the Minister give closer examination to the fact that with the increase of mechanisation the amount of shot firing in mines seems to increase at the same time, and to double the danger to the miners?

Captain Crookshank

I think there has been some increase, but, of course, the hon. Gentleman will realise that that has been prominently put before the Royal Commission.