HC Deb 04 July 1933 vol 280 cc176-8W

asked the Secretary for Mines what is the type and average size of ponies employed in the mines in the northern division; the average number of years during which such horses are employed below ground; the number which worked more than one shift per day and nine shifts per week during the 12 months prior to the last available date; the respective weight of empty and full tubs drawn by the ponies during that period; the average distance from the pit bottom to their working places; what, proportion of roads are electrically lighted and how many of the ponies have lamps affixed to their harness; and what is the average distance of the stalls from the working places, and whether in the intake or return airway?


The type of horse used in mines in the northern division varies according to the service required by the conditions of different, pits. In coal mines the ponies may be small ones of 10 to 11 hands or large ones of 12 to 13 hands. In the Cleveland ironstone mines draught horses of 15 to 17 hands are commonly employed. In general, these ponies and horses work by the light of the lamps carried by their drivers I regret that I am unable to give the statistical information asked for in the other parts of the question, and, as I informed the hon. Member in reply to a question on 2.3rd May, I am of opinion that it would be misleading to consider the relation of the task of a horse to its capacity in terms of averages or in relation only to the factors, mentioned, and that the matter is essentially one which calls for care and judgment in the individual case. I have no reason to think that the necessary care and judgment are not being properly exercised in the northern division.