§ Mr. F. ROBERTS
asked the Home Secretary if the premises at Tipton, the scene of the recent unfortunate explosion, have at any time been inspected by the authorities?
§ Mr. SHORTT
I wish to take this opportunity of saying how greatly I deplore this accident, with its serious loss of life, and to express my sympathy with the families of those who have been killed. The answer to the question is that these premises had not been inspected by His Majesty's Inspectors of Explosives, as they were not aware of their existence. No licence, as required by the Explosives Act, had been applied for.
§ Sir R. CLOUGH
asked the Home Secretary whether, in view of the serious explosion at Tipton, special arrangements and inspection have been always adopted by his Department to ensure the maximum amount of safety to 2003W workers engaged on the rehandling of explosives; and, if no such special precautions have been taken, whether he will now consider the whole matter?
§ Mr. SHORTT
Work of this kind can be lawfully carried on only by virtue of a licence under the Explosives Act, 1875. In the present case the occupier of the factory where the accident occurred had omitted to apply for the necessary licence, and no precautions against accident were being taken. Under suitable conditions, such as would be imposed by a licence and enforced by inspection, the work might have been carried on without danger.