HC Deb 30 November 1920 vol 135 cc1151-2W

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to the number of explosions which have recently occurred in iron and steel foundries as a result of the employment of waste steel scrap, including shells and parts of shells containing explosives or gas, salved from the battlefields and sold by the Disposal Board or their agents to employers in this industry; whether he is aware that three such explosions resulted in fatal injuries being sustained on three separate occasions by workmen engaged at the furnaces; what steps were taken in each such case to render the waste scrap innocuous before use for the purposes stated; if any competent or qualified examination of the materials was made before its disposal; and whether steps will be taken to prohibit the use of this form of scrap metal for the purposes mentioned, either altogether or unless and until it can be definitely guaranteed that the material used has been rendered innocuous?


I have been asked to answer this question. If the right hon. Gentleman will furnish me with particulars of the three cases he has in mind, I will make inquiries. Methods of procedure for the breaking down of loaded ammunition have been devised by the technical officers of the Disposal Board, and all such ammunition sold by the Board is broken down in accordance with this procedure. The very large quantities of material that have been used without accident indicate that the precautions taken by the Board have been satisfactory, but I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that no effort will be spared to provide adequate protection for the workers.