HC Deb 08 July 1960 vol 626 cc927-8

Lords Amendment: After Amendment last inserted, insert new Clause A: .—(1) This section applies to any office which for the purposes of the Mines and Quarries Act, 1954, forms or is deemed to form part of a mine or quarry within the meaning of that Act. (2) The provisions of this Act and of any regulations made under section one of this Act shall, in the case of offices to which this section applies, be enforced by inspectors appointed by the Minister of Power under section one hundred and forty-four of the Mines and Quarries Act, 1954, or such other officers of the Ministry of Power as may be authorised in that behalf in writing under the hand of the Minister of Power; and—

  1. (a) the Minister of Power may regulate the cases and manner in which inspectors so appointed and other officers so authorised are to execute and perform their powers and duties under this section;
  2. (b) an inspector so appointed or officer so authorised may, after producing (if so required) the instrument by which he was so appointed or, as the case may be, his said written authority, enter at all reasonable hours any office to which this section applies or any premises which he has reasonable cause to believe to be an office to which this section applies for the purpose of making such examinations and inquiries as may be necessary to ascertain whether the said provisions are complied with;
  3. (c) any person who obstructs an inspector so appointed or an officer so authorised in the exercise of his powers under this section shall be guilty of an offence."

Mr. Marsh

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

This Amendment is designed to give effect to the wishes expressed on Report stage of the Bill on 1st April by the hon. and gallant Member for Cheltenham (Major Hicks Beach) and fulfils a promise given to him by the Joint Under-Secretary in c. 1720 of the OFFICIAL REPORT.

The Clause provides for enforcement of the Act by mines and quarries inspectors, or other officers authorised by the Minister of Power, and is similar in scope to Clause 7, in which the mines and quarries inspectors have power to institute proceedings for an offence but, unlike factory inspectors, will not have the power to prosecute. The difference corresponds to that between the general powers conferred on the two inspectorates by the Factories Act, 1937, and the Mines and Quarries Act, 1954.

Question put and agreed to.