Disused Mine Shafts (Accidents).

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Health. – in the House of Commons on 6th June 1935.

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Photo of Lieut-Colonel John Lockwood Lieut-Colonel John Lockwood , Hackney Central

44.

asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that in Cornwall, South Wales, and in the North of England there are a large number of disused shafts of which at least 487 are unfenced, partly fenced, or dangerous; that there are 65 recorded accidents to animals consequent upon the lack of adequate or proper fencing; and whether, in order that further accidents may be avoided, he will take the neces sary steps to see that owners of mines or other persons responsible carry out their statutory duty to provide adequate and proper fencing?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

I have no means of checking the figures quoted by the hon. Member as the responsibility for seeing that abandoned mine shafts are kept properly fenced rests with the local authorities concerned. The position is that any shaft or outlet which is not kept fenced in accordance with the provisions of the Coal Mines Act, 1911, constitutes a nuisance with in the meaning of the Public Health Acts and consequently the responsibility for dealing with such cases rests with the local authorities. This applies equally to metalliferous mines.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel John Lockwood Lieut-Colonel John Lockwood , Hackney Central

If I supply the figures required, will appropriate steps be taken to see that shafts are properly fenced?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

It is really a matter for the Ministry of Health.

Photo of Mr Charles Williams Mr Charles Williams , Torquay

Will my hon. Friend tell us the age of the oldest shaft in Cornwall?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

Iwill try to find out if the hon. Member will put a question down.