Mr. W. JENKINS
asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that a 2149W large number of miners are suffering from lung trouble due to the effect of working in dusty mines; and whether he will take steps to include such in the schedule of industrial diseases?
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
If the hon. Member is referring to cases of silicosis, I have no evidence before me to show that this is so, except in the case of one or two special classes such as ganister miners. A scheme of compensation under the Workmen's Compensation (Silicosis) Act is already in operation for men engaged in getting mineral for use in the refractories industries. As regards other diseases, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, the health statistics show that miners are more susceptible to some respiratory diseases than the general population and less susceptible to others. The experience, however, differs with different classes of miners. The Industrial Diseases Committee considered the question of scheduling such diseases under the Compensation Act, but they reported that while they thought it probable that the ailments often had an industrial origin among workers exposed to dust or fumes, there was no means of distinguishing such cases from ordinary cases of disease, and they were unable to advise their inclusion.
also asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that a number of workmen who are employed in the coal mines are boring in hard ground and are certified by medical experts as suffering from silicosis due to dust; whether he is aware that there is no provision for the men to claim compensation; and will he include them in the schedule of industrial diseases?
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
I would refer the hon. Member to the answer which I gave on the 1st March to a question on the same subject by the hon. Member for the Nelson and Colne Division (Mr. A. Greenwood). I have no information as to the cases referred to in the question, but I shall be glad to consider, in consultation with the Mines Department, any particulars the hon. Member is able to send me.