Miners' Nystagmus (Medical Examination).

Oral Answers to Questions — Coal Industry. – in the House of Commons on 31st May 1932.

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Photo of Mr George Hall Mr George Hall , Merthyr Tydfil Aberdare

27.

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that a number of workmen employed in the collieries in the Aberdare and Rhymney valleys have recently, on leaving at the conclusion of their day's work, been subjected to a medical examination for miner's nystagmus by a doctor who claimed to represent a research society; whether these examinations were conducted with the authority of his Department; and will he take steps to see that in future such examinations will only take place after consultation and with the agreement of the workmen's representatives, and after notice given to the workmen that such an examination is to take place?

Photo of Mr Isaac Foot Mr Isaac Foot , Bodmin

The investigation in question is being conducted privately by a local doctor, and I have therefore no responsibility or power to intervene; but I am informed that, in general, the workmen's representatives were consulted and agreed before the workmen were examined, and that it was only at one colliery, by an oversight which the doctor regrets, that this was not done.

Photo of Mr George Hall Mr George Hall , Merthyr Tydfil Aberdare

Will the hon. Gentleman meet me privately so that we can go into the matter?

Photo of Mr Isaac Foot Mr Isaac Foot , Bodmin

I shall be happy to do so. I understand that it is only in one instance that trouble has arisen.

Photo of Sir Charles Edwards Sir Charles Edwards , Bedwellty

Was this examination made at the instigation of the colliery company?

Photo of Mr Isaac Foot Mr Isaac Foot , Bodmin

I cannot say. I think that there was no objection generally, but in one case a preliminary request from the miners' representatives should have been made.

Photo of Mr Thomas Martin Mr Thomas Martin , Blaydon

Does the Secretary for Mines say that it is necessary, if the colliery company wish to employ a doctor on their own behalf to examine the men that they must first receive the permission of the men's representative?

Photo of Mr Isaac Foot Mr Isaac Foot , Bodmin

I would like to have notice of that question.