§ Mr. LLOYD
asked the Secretary for Mines whether in the recent appointments of divisional and junior inspectors of mines for Wales and Monmouthshire, full regard was given to the proviso in Section 97 (1) of the Coal Mines Act, 1911, that among candidates equally qualified persons having knowledge of the Welsh language shall be preferred; and whether he is aware that the North Wales 66W coalfield is under the control of non-Welsh-speaking inspectors from Lancashire and North Staffordshire?
§ Mr. TURNER
Certain changes were made in July last consequent on the retirement of the inspector then in charge of the Lancashire and North Wales Division. They did not involve any change in the junior staff in South Wales and Monmouthshire, but were questions of the promotion and transfer of inspectors of many years standing and experience. I have made inquiries and I am fully satisfied that these changes were in the best interests of the public service and of the safety and health of mine workers; and that in making them my predecessor paid the fullest possible regard to the duty imposed upon him by Section 97 of the Coal Mines Act. The North Wales coalfield has always been part of a larger inspection division under the control of a non-resident inspector, but the inspector who was placed in charge in July last had the special qualification that he had been in charge of the Swansea Inspection Division for five years previously, and before that had served for a, year as senior inspector in South Wales.