HC Deb 15 November 1938 vol 341 cc687-8
59. Mr. Day

asked the Secretary for Mines particulars of the reports he has received as to the effect of placing very highly-compressed air from a steel shell; and whether he is considering the question of making further experiments with the same in order to substitute this method used in mines in preference to the use of the present system of explosives?

Mr. Austin Hopkinson

On a point of Order. Is it in order for an hon. Member to put on the Order Paper a question which has no meaning of any sort or kind?

Mr. Speaker

That is a very difficult point on which to give a Ruling.

The Secretary for Mines (Captain Crookshank)

The question may be obscure, but I think I can extract some meaning from it. A device for blasting by the sudden release of highly-compressed air from a steel shell placed in the shot-hole has been tried in the United States, and a similar principle is employed in certain blasting appliances, using compressed gases instead of air, which have been officially tested and approved in this country, and are already in regular use at a number of mines. The development and use of these and other alternatives to high explosives for blasting receives constant attention and encouragement from my Department.

Mr. Day

Can the Minister say whether he obtains regular reports on the experiments which are carried out in America?

Captain Crookshank

I would require notice of that question.