(by Private Notice) asked the Secretary for Mines if he is aware that in the Nos. 1 and 2 pits, Parr, St. Helens, Lancashire, belonging to the Haydock Collieries, Limited, a change in the method of work at the coal faces has recently been introduced, involving the use of riddles and forks, resulting in a great increase in the amount of coal dust made, thereby creating an added danger to the underground workmen; whether he is aware that the Yard Mine and the Raven Head Main Delph in the aforesaid pits are dry and dusty mines, and that after a recent inspection under Section 16 of the Coal Mines Regulations Act, 1911, the workmen inspectors reported that all along the coal faces there was an accumulation of slack; that day wagemen were filling the chocks with slack; and that owing to its combustible nature serious complications might result if a roof subsidence should take place, slack in many places being scattered along the roadways and the main haulage roads being dry and dusty; and having regard to the highly explosive character of coal dust, as established by scientific experiments during the last 30 years, if he will state what action his Department proposes to take?
The hon. Member gave me notice of the question last night, and I am obliged to him for calling my attention to the matter. I have been trying all this morning to get into telephonic communication with the divisional inspector, but without success. I hope to do so in the course of to-day, and I will communicate to the hon. Gentleman at the earliest possible moment any information I may receive.
In view of the very serious character of the reports, I beg to give notice that I shall call the attention of the House to this matter on the Motion for Adjournment on Monday next.