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Lindsay Colliery, Fifeshire (Accident)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th December 1957.

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Photo of Mr Willie Hamilton Mr Willie Hamilton , Fife West 12:00 am, 16th December 1957

(by Private Notice) asked the Paymaster-General whether he will make a statement on the mining disaster which occurred at the colliery at Kelty, Fifeshire, on Saturday, 14th December.

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet

In this tragic explosion at Lindsay Colliery, Fifeshire, in the early hours of Saturday morning, nine men lost their lives and 11 more were injured.

I am sure that the House will wish to join with me and my colleagues in expressing the deepest sympathy with the families of those who lost their lives and with those who were injured.

H.M. Inspectors of Mines are investigating the circumstances of the explosion, and my noble Friend has directed the Chief Inspector to hold a public inquiry.

Photo of Mr Willie Hamilton Mr Willie Hamilton , Fife West

I am sure that everybody on this side of the House would wish to be associated with the Paymaster-General's expression of sympathy with the relatives of those who were killed and to the injured. May I also add a word of praise for the valiant rescue work which was performed—work too often taken for granted in these cases? I should like particularly to refer to the efforts of Mr. David Scott, who sacrificed his own life in an attempt to save others.

May I ask the Paymaster-General whether any complaints have been received during the last twelve months about the ventilation of this pit, and, if so, what remedial actions had been taken by the management?

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet

I am very grateful to the hon. Gentleman for what he has said about the rescue work, with which I am sure, the whole House will agree.

In reply to his second point, I think that it would be wrong for me to say anything in this House now, as a public inquiry is to take place.

Mr. T. Williams:

The Minister may not be able to answer—and I shall understand if he says that he cannot—but can he say whether any mine gas detectors were available?

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet

I think it would be wiser if I said that I will make sure that the inquiry took note of both the points which have been raised by the right hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friend.