HC Deb 03 March 1924 vol 170 cc1008-9W

asked the Secretary for Mines when his personal inquiry into the conditions existing in the iron-ore mines in Cumberland is likely to be concluded; will he issue a Report giving the result of his personal inquiry; and, if so, when may it be expected?


I hope that I shall be in a position in the course of a week or two to give a decision on my hon. Friend's request for an inquiry into this matter. The answer to the second part of the question is in the negative.


asked the Secretary for Mines what practical experience the present mines inspector in the Whitehaven area has had in iron-ore mining and in what iron-ore mines did he get such experience; when last the supports of the gantry which collapsed and resulted in the death of Wilson Mitchell were examined by His Majesty's inspector; is he aware that the supports referred to in this case were upright props erected under the gantry, were therefore visible to the naked eye at any moment, and therefore required nothing but practical knowledge and experience to discern their decomposed condition; and will the divisional inspector investigate these matters?


The junior inspector has had 3½ years' experience of metal-liferous mining in Scotland, 10 weeks' experience of iron-ore mining in Cumberland, and long experience of mining in coal and shale; and he is assisted by a sub-inspector from the Cleveland ironstone district, who had seven years' experience in iron-ore mines before being appointed. My information regarding this accident differs from that in possession of my hon. Friend. The coroner's inquiry showed that it was not the upright which collapsed, but a horizontal beam. This beam was decayed round a bolt-hole, but the decayed part was so covered by sleepers and flooring as to make visual examination impossible. The divisional inspector is investigating the matter.

Purpose of Inspection. No. of Inspectors. Annual Cost Salaries and Bonus. Travelling and Office Expenses. Total.
£ £ £
Health and Safety in Mines and Quarries. 93* 52,188 24,640 76,828
Liquidation work arising out of Financial Control. 3† 3,560 920 4,480
Totals 96 55,748 25,560 81,308
* There are at present two vacancies for sub-Inspectors of Mines.
† Two of those inspectors are on loan from the Inland Revenue Department and their salaries and bonus amounting to £1,560 are paid by that Department.