HL Deb 08 September 1887 vol 320 cc1627-32

(The Viscount Gross.


House in Committee (according to order).

Clauses 1 to 9 severallyagreed to.

Clause 10 (Payment of school fees out of wages).

On the Motion of The Viscount CROSS, the following Amendments made:—In page 4, line 7, after ("boy") insert ("or girl"); line 8, after ("in") insert ("or in connection with"), and after ("boy") insert ("or girl"); line 9, after ("boy") insert ("or girl"); line 10, after ("boy") insert ("or girl"); line 13, after ("boy") insert ("or girl"); and in line 14, after (''boy") insert ("or girl").

Clause, as amended,agreed to.

Clause 11agreed to.

Clause 12 (Payment of persons employed in mines by weight).


, in moving an Amendment authorizing the Secretary of State, in the case of mines employing not more than "30" persons underground, to provide, if considered expedient, the payment of such persons by any method other than that in the Act, said, that the effect of the Amendment would be to bring under the regulations of the clause a number of mines other than coal mines. The question of the thin seam mines was involved. According to the existing law, the Secretary of State had the power of exemption in all thin seam mines; but according to the Bill, as presented to their Lordships, that power of exemption was taken away, except in cases where only 20 persons were employed underground. The reason of the limit was this. In the cases where minerals had to be weighed it was necessary that weighing machines should be provided at the top of the pit, in order that the material should be properly weighed and the machine properly inspected. But it had always been thought that in the case of small mines this would put the owner to great expense; and therefore the object of the clause, as it at present stood, was to allow the Secretary of State to make an exemption in the case of small mines where 20 persons were employed underground. The Amendment he proposed would meet the objections of some mine owners by raising the number from 20 to 30. The noble and learned Lord opposite (Lord Bramwell) had asked, on a previous occasion, the reason of the provision. He (Viscount Cross) understood that since 1867 the miners, as a body, had thought that any other way of measuring the amount of their work was rough and uncertain. There was a great deal of dissatisfaction among the miners, owing to this uncertainty of receiving a due amount of pay for the due amount of work performed. It was, therefore, thought that it would be advisable to institute a uniform practice, so far as it could be attained. The noble and learned Lord asked if the miners in a particular mine were agreed, and the" Secretary of State was agreed, why not leave them alone? The question was difficult to answer; but the only reply he could give was that the miners, as a body, decidedly objected to the discretion of the Secretary of State.

Amendment moved, in page 5, line 30, to leave out ("twenty") and insert ("thirty").— (The Viscount Cross.)


said, if the noble Viscount was satisfied, it was no use for him (Lord Bramwell) to object; but he must say that it seemed to him that the proposition was a most unreasonable one.


said, he would undertake that before the third reading he would consider what further could be done in the matter of relaxations to meet the case of quarries where wages were paid at present by measure.

Amendmentagreed to.

Clause, as amended,agreed to.

Clauses 13 to 37, inclusive, severally agreed to, with an Amendment.

Clause 38 (Plan of abandoned mine or seam to be sent to the Secretary of State).

On the Motion of The Viscount CROSS, the following Amendment made:—In page 20, line 4, to leave out from ("than") to ("inch") in line 5, and insert ("that of the ordnance survey of twenty-five inches to the mile ").

Clause, as amended,agreed to.

Clauses 39 to 48, inclusive, severally agreed to, with Amendments.

Clause 49 (General rules).

On the Motion of The Viscount CROSS, the following Amendment made: —In page 28, line 30, leave out ("mines") and insert ("mine").


read a telegram from the solicitor of the Associated Colliery Owners of Monmouthshire and South Wales, representing the injuries that must arise to all colliery owners and working miners by an Amendment carried without previous Notice in the other House on the Report stage of the Bill. The Amendment was to Clause 49, General Rule 26, requiring an automatic contrivance to prevent over-winding when the men are being raised out of a mine, or, alternatively, that the speed should not exceed three miles an hour. There was, the writer said, no safe and reliable automatic contrivance to prevent over-winding. Their use was full of peril, and their presence led to carelessness by the engineman, who left the machinery to its own operation. Hence, such an apparatus would cause more accidents than it would prevent. On the other hand, the telegram went on to represent the three miles an hour alternative was absolutely impracticable; it could never be observed. The working men themselves would resist it, because, under it, in a colliery, say, only 500 yards deep, and employing only 500 men, more than six hours would be required to clear the mine, for, as a rule, only 80 men could be lifted in an hour; and, consequently, it would take 12½ hours to lift 1,000. The hope was expressed that the provision would be expunged, or that it would be so qualified as to give a dispensing power to the Home Secretary. The telegram was signed by "W. Simmons, Merthyr Tydvil," who, the noble and learned Lord said, was not only a person very familiar with collieries, but had been consulted by colliery owners and working miners for many years in that district.


said, the provision referred to in the telegram was Clause 26 of the General Rules, and he would be prepared to deal with it in its order.

Amendment moved, in page 30, line 29, to leave out from (" inflammable ") to ("'lamps ") inclusive, in line 30.—(The Viscount Cross.)

Amendment agreed to.

On the Motion of The Viscount CROSS, the following Amendments made:—In rule 12, page 32, line 41, leave out ("rule") and insert ("Act"); page 33, line 5, leave out (" of subhead (g)") and insert ("in this Act relating to ventilating districts"); line 10, leave out ('' subsection'') and insert ('' subhead "); and in page 33, line 38, leave out ("in coal mines"). In rule 24, page 34, leave out from (" of age ") in line 34 to ("shall") in line 35; and in page 35, leave out line 8.

Rule 26.


, referring to the matter brought forward by his noble and learned Friend (Lord Halsbury), said, he quite agreed that it was clearly absolutely impossible that the stages should only go at the rate of three miles an hour. Therefore he would move for the purpose of meeting the objection, the rule being, as it stood, incomplete owing to an oversight in the House of Commons, to add words providing that the cage when raising the men should not be wound up at a speed exceeding three miles an hour, after the cage has reached a point in the shaft to be fixed by the special rules.

Amendment moved, in page 35, line 22, after ("hour") insert ("after the cage has reached a point in the shaft to be fixed by the special rules.")—(The Viscount Cross.)

Amendmentagreed to.

On the Motion of The Viscount CROSS, the following Amendments made: —In rule 38, page 36,line 36, leave out ("or have been"); rule 39, page 37, line 13, leave out (" a ").

Clause, as amended,agreed to.

On the Motion of The Viscount Cross, the following Amendments made: —In Clause 59, page 41, line 11, after ("agent") leave out ("or") and after ("manager") insert ("or under-manager"); line 16, after ("agent") leave out ("or ") and after (" manager") insert (" or under-manager "); Clause 64, page 42, line 25, after ("coal") insert ("or ironstone "); Clause 76, page 46, line 30, leave out ("chairman of quarter sessions") and insert ("police magistrate"); line 36, leave out subsection (10.) and substitute— (10.) Sections forty-one and sixteen of the Public Health (Scotland) Act, 1867, shall respectively he substituted for sections thirty-eight and ninety-one of the Public Health Act, 1875.

Clause 77, page 47, line 16, leave out (" subhead (c.) ") and substitute— (c.) Sections forty-eight and one hundred and seven of the Public Health (Ireland) Act, 1878, shall respectively be substituted for sec. tion8 thirty-eight and ninety-one of the Public Health Act, 1875;

line 19, after ("expression") insert ("police or"); Clause 82, page 48, line 37, after ("mine") insert as a separate sub-head— (c.) Prevent a competent male person above the age of eighteen years who before the commencement of this Act is lawfully employed in "working the machinery used for lowering and raising persons in a mine from continuing to he so employed;

line 41, after ("girl") insert (" or competent male person "); Schedule 3, page 51, after line 13 insert in a separate line (" Name of under-manager "); Schedule 3, page 51, line 39, after (" drawn ") insert as follows: —

Number of Days on which was drawn
1. Coal. 2. Ironstone.

The Report of Amendments to be received To-morrow, and Standing Order No. XXXV. to be considered in order to its being dispensed with.