§ Major HILLS
asked the Secretary for Mines what proof he requires that there is in existence a satisfactory automatic firedamp detector to show the presence of gas in coal mines; and what steps he is taking to obtain such proof?
§ Mr. E. BROWN
The proof that any type of automatic firedamp detector, having passed appropriate laboratory tests, is reliable in operation under working conditions and of practical value to those concerned, would be obtained from the experience of its actual use in mines on a sufficiently large scale, and over a sufficient length of time. Such experience is in process of being obtained at the present time.
§ Mr. T. SMITH
asked the Secretary for Mines the position with regard to the suggested regulations for the compulsory use of gas detectors underground?
§ Mr. BROWN
The hon. Member is aware that a preliminary draft of regulations to deal comprehensively with the provision of means for the detection of firedamp by workmen underground has been under consideration in consultation with representative bodies in the industry. As a result of the discussions which have taken place, I have caused the draft to be revised in certain particulars—in such a manner I may add, as to go some way towards meeting the suggestions made by the workmen's representatives, and I propose shortly to publish the draft regulations formally, in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Coal Mines Act, 1911. The representatives of the workmen, however, have intimated372W their desire to discuss the matter further with me before that is done. I have replied that I am ready to discuss it at any time, and have invited them to fix as early a date as possible for the purpose.