§ 77. Mr. Hugh Fraser
asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether he has any statement to make on the increased accident and fatal accident rate in the West Midland coalfield for 1949; and what improvements are being made in safety measures and precautions.
§ Mr. P. Noel-Baker
During the period 1939 to 1944 the average number of miners killed and seriously injured per year in the West Midlands Division was 392. The corresponding number during the period 1945 to 1949 was 268. During the last 10 years, therefore, there has been a satisfactory downward trend. Unfortunately, the number of killed and seriously injured in 1949 was 273; that is to say, slightly above the average for the last five years. The Divisional Coal Board and His Majesty's inspectors of mines are intensifying their efforts to prevent the accidents from which these casualties result. They hope for the cooperation of every worker in the mines.