asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that the accident rate at the coal face is causing deep concern to mineworkers; and will he have a special investigation made, separate and apart from the mines inspectors' reports, to find out the causes and also the percentage ratio as compared to other grades of mineworkers?
I share the concern which is felt about the continuing increase in fatal accidents from falls of roof at the face. The Government inspectors continue to give the matter their close attention, and also, I have no doubt, the workmen's inspectors, whose numbers and activities are being increased under the recent agreement between the two sides of the industry. I shall be meeting the inspectors again shortly to Investigate with them this problem, which has throughout the period of the war caused my inspectors and myself great anxiety.
I am not quite sure. The point has been raised in some areas that home-grown timber is not as suitable for support purposes, but I do not think that that is a full explanation, because we find a very substantial increase in the number of falls at the face even though steel only is used.