Oral Answers to Questions — Explosion, Tipton.

– in the House of Commons on 14th March 1922.

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Photo of Mr Alfred Short Mr Alfred Short , Wednesbury

73.

asked the Home Secretary the wages paid to those employed in the department of a Tipton factory where an explosion recently took place resulting in the loss of many lives?

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

I have no definite information on the subject at present, but the particulars will no doubt be brought out in the course of the investigation.

Photo of Mr Alfred Short Mr Alfred Short , Wednesbury

74.

asked the Home Secretary the number and ages of those employed in the department of the factory at which an explosion recently took place resulting in the loss of many lives?

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

According to my present information, there were 23 girls employed in the shop on the day of the explosion and one man. Four of the girls were aged 13, 18 were between 14 and 16, and one was 16.

Photo of Mr Alfred Short Mr Alfred Short , Wednesbury

75.

asked the Home Secretary whether it is proposed to institute an inquiry into the recent explosion at Tipton, when 15 girls lost their lives and others were seriously injured?

Photo of Mr Frederick Roberts Mr Frederick Roberts , West Bromwich

76.

asked the Home Secretary whether it is proposed to institute an inquiry into the recent explosion at Tipton, when 15 girls lost their lives, and others were seriously injured?

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

In addition to the investigation which will take place at the coroner's inquest, and at which the Home Office will be represented, I have directed His Majesty's Chief Inspector of Explosives to make an inquiry into, and to report to me upon, the circumstances attending this explosion, as provided in Section 66 of the Explosives Act.

Photo of Mr Alfred Short Mr Alfred Short , Wednesbury

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether this inquiry will be public?

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

It is a preliminary inquiry by the Chief Inspector for the purposes of the Act, and for the moment I forget whether it is public or not. It will be absolutely in accordance with the Act of Parliament.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

Will the right hon. Gentleman be prepared to make inquiries into the rates of pay these unfortunate girls were receiving, in consequence of the statement that appears in the Press this morning?

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

Yes, I will make those inquiries. I have information, but as I am not sure it is accurate, and as it is very deplorable, I will make inquiries.

Photo of Mr John Davison Mr John Davison , Smethwick

Can the right hon. Gentleman state whether periodic inspections have been made by the factory inspectors of this place?

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

Before it came into the hands of the present tenant, who was responsible for the explosion, it was used as a factory, and inspected as late as a month before he took it, i.e., last January, but as no licence was applied for we knew nothing about it being used for its present purpose, and therefore it was not inspected.

Photo of Mr Alfred Short Mr Alfred Short , Wednesbury

Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us later in the day whether this inquiry will be public, when he has had an opportunity of looking up the Act?

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

Perhaps the hon. Member will look up the Act for himself.