HC Deb 20 June 1956 vol 554 cc1418-9
25. Mr. Wilfred Paling

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why the Commissioner of Mines was granted, under Northern Rhodesia Government Notice No. 55 of 1956, powers to grant exemptions to mines from those Mining Regulations which deal with reports on dangerous and defective places and equipment, Regulations 7, 23, and 60, removal of safety arrangements, Regulation 13, reporting injuries and deaths, Regulations 15 and 16, the provision of means for treating injuries, Regulations 18 and 19, and the employment underground of youths and females under 16 years of age, Regulation 26; and what experiments or tests are to be tried which require exemptions from these regulations, or in what circumstances such regulations are inapplicable or unduly onerous.

Mr. Hare

Some very small mines and quarries are unable to maintain the high standard of the Mining Regulations and would have to close down if exemptions could not be granted where reasonable. No exemptions would be granted, however, in respect of the Regulations mentioned in the Question. At present no experiments or tests are contemplated which would require exemption from any of the Mining Regulations.

Mr. Paling

If it is desirable that in any case some exemption should be given, is it not possible for application for exemption to be made to another responsible body before it is granted?

Mr. Hare

The hon. Gentleman can rest assured that no exemptions are granted which involve a lowering of the standard of safety or an increase in the mining hazards. These exemptions are sometimes necessary during the introduction of new machinery or new mining methods pending the introduction of new legislation.