HC Deb 21 March 1940 vol 358 cc2132-3
Mr. MacLaren (by Private Notice)

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he can make a statement as to the explosion which occurred at Mossfield Colliery last night?

Mr. Lloyd

I regret to have to inform the House that an explosion occurred in the early hours of this morning at Mossfield Colliery, North Staffordshire, in which eight persons were killed and four or more injured. The bodies of the dead have been recovered, and operations are now proceeding at all speed to seal off the affected area in order to prevent any danger of further explosion. When these have been completed inquiries as to the cause of the explosion will be commenced by His Majesty's inspector. The House will wish me to express their deep sympathy with the families and friends of these miners who have lost their lives in service.

Mr. Kirkwood

I am sorry to intervene, but I have done it time and time again with every Secretary for Mines, in order to ask whether the Minister is satisfied that everything is being done that can be done by science and engineering to avoid the terrible disasters that are always happening in the mines of our country?

Mr. Lloyd

The House will be aware that great efforts are constantly being made in this matter, and we must all regret that we cannot make more progress than has at present been achieved.

Mr. Tinker

When the inquiry takes place, will the hon. Gentleman cause attention to be given to the question of relaxation during war time, because we have reason to believe that there is too much relaxation of rules and regulations in the mines?

Mr. Lloyd

Yes, Sir. This is an important matter, and we are always in the closest touch with the Miners' Federation with regard to it.