§ LORD OLIVIER
With your Lordships' permission, I desire to ask the noble Marquess, the Lord Privy Seal, a Question of which I have given him private notice. It is whether he can give the House any information as to the progress and prospects of the endeavours to save the lives of the miners entrapped by the flooding of the Montague Colliery at Scotswood, Northumberland, and as to the origin of the disaster.
§ THE LORD PRIVY SEAL (THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY)
My Lords, I can only give the House the same information as has just been given to the House of Commons. The latest information telephoned from the divisional office is to the effect that water is still rising slowly, and is now thirty-five to forty feet below the level of the pit bottom. If it reaches the pit bottom pumping operations will be much more difficult. A large pump is being installed in pit bottom, and a portable pump will be put to the edge of the water to pump to it. Thirty-eight men arc trapped at present; either one or two other men, originally missing, have escaped. All the old workings that could be got into have been explored this morning. No one was found there; but as these workings are a long way from the point at which water broke in there was little expectation that any would be found. Further exploration can now only 805 be made when the water is lowered. All possible action is taken to ensure full compliance with safety regulations. Since that answer was delivered in another place, inquiry has been made, but there is no further information.