HC Deb 17 February 1942 vol 377 cc1638-9
33. Mr. MacLaren

asked the Secretary for Mines what further investigation is to be made into the causes of the recent explosion at Sneyd Colliery; and whether he is considering the need for action to strengthen further the precautions against colliery explosions generally?

The Secretary for Mines (Mr. David Grenfell)

The recent explosion at Sneyd Colliery is to be investigated by a Public Court of Inquiry consisting of Sir Henry Walker (formerly His Majesty's Chief Inspector of Mines) as Commissioner, and Mr. F. Llewellyn Jacob and Mr. W. J. Saddler as Assessors. The dare and place of the Inquiry will be announced by the Commissioner, and I have asked that it shall proceed as speedily as possible. In the meantime, the present Chief Inspector of Mines is to prepare for me a report reviewing generally the colliery explosions of the past few years, and the Safety in Mines Research Board, at my request, is to review the plans and progress of its researches, which have been going on continuously for many years, into the causes and prevention of coal dust explosions. These reports and the report of the Court of Inquiry will, I hope, provide a sound basis for a reconsideration of existing precautions in the light of the rather disquieting experience of recent years.

Mr. T. Smith

Has the chairman been decided upon?

Mr. Grenfell

The chairman is Sir Henry Walker.