HC Deb 07 July 1933 vol 280 cc640-2W

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he has satisfied himself that the systems of stable ventilation in mines are generally suitable for the provision of fresh air throughout; whether periodic tests are made of the purity of the air used for underground stable ventilation; and whether suitably regulated air inlets and outlets, the former entering low down from the rear of the stalls, through perforations in the back wall behind every third or fourth stall, and the latter placed at every third stall, near the roof and above the heads of the horses and ponies, are provided in all large stables in order to allow an even distribution of the air to each animal?


The law does not prescribe any particular method, but requires that the stables shall be continuously and thoroughly ventilated with intake air. From the many inspections made I am satisfied that this requirement is sufficient and that it is complied with.


asked the Secretary for Mines whether fully qualified head horse-keepers are employed in all colleries where numbers of horses and ponies are used below ground; the nature of the training and qualifications required by such head horsekeepers; whether, in practice, they may be over-ruled by under-managers or other mine officials in any respects; and whether he will consider the desirability of recommending to colliery owners that head horsekeepers shall be given adequate powers in all matters relating to animals employed underground?


It is the general practice for head horsekeepers to be employed in collieries employing considerable numbers of horses. Whether such appointments are made or not rests with the managers concerned; there are no statutory provisions relating to the standard

Haulage Accidents at Mines under the Coal Mines Act.
Year Total Number of Persons. Number of Boys under 16 years of age
Killed Injured Number killed and injured. Per 1,000,000 tons of mineral raised Killed Injured Number killed and injured. Per 1,000,000 tons of mineral raised
North Staffordshire.
1930 8 856 146.1 56 9.5
1931 6 690 128.4 31 5.7
1932 4 650 114.5 17 3.0
1930 15 2,276 155.5 1 308 21.0
1931 9 2,377 176.5 3 261 19.5
1932 11 2,076 165.0 235 18.6
1930 2 301 108.2 17 6.1
1931 2 257 97.4 16 6.0
1932 251 102.9 16 6.6
1930 11 2,134 146.9 3 246 17.1
1931 10 2,135 147.9 238 16.4
1932 10 2,031 150.4 2 161 12.0
Note—Particulars of the number of shifts worked on haulage operations are not available.
Comparisons between one district and another are affected by natural conditions in the mines and by the organisation of haulage work, e.g., kind of haulage employed, proportion of boys and adults employed on this work, etc. In particular, there is no relation between the tonnage raised and the number of boys employed.

of competency required. I am not aware that head horsekeepers are interfered with by other officials of the mine in the proper discharge of the duties allotted to them, or that their powers to perform their duties are inadequate. If the hon. Member knows of any specific instances in which this is alleged to be the case, I shall be obliged if he will bring them to my notice.