HC Deb 25 April 1939 vol 346 cc939-40
11. Mr. James Griffiths

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware of the increase in the use of shale dust for coal-dusting purposes; and whether, in view of the fact that shale dust contains substantial percentages of free silica, and may be a cause of silicosis, he will take steps to prohibit its use for this purpose?

Mr. Lloyd

I believe there has been some increase in the use of shale dust, due to the necessity to use for stonedusting a dust which shall remain freely dispersible under the conditions of use. I am advised that shale dust has been very extensively used for stonedusting for 20 years, and experience does not in any way suggest that its use is a cause of silicosis or that there is any need to prohibit its use.

Mr. Griffiths

In view of the feeling generally in South Wales that the increase in silicosis in the steam coal mines may be due to shale dust, will the hon. Gentleman call for a report on the matter by the divisional inspectors for Cardiff and Swansea?

Mr. Lloyd

I would, in the first instance, prefer to investigate any special case that the hon. Gentleman might bring to my notice.