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Spontaneous Combustion (Coal Refuse)

Volume 155: debated on Wednesday 14 June 1922

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asked the Minister of Health whether he will consider introducing legislation to deal with the dangers arising out of the liability to spontaneous combustion of refuse heaps from coal mines, giving powers to local authorities to prevent the permanent disfigurement of certain areas, to compel colliery owners to take such steps as will effectively prevent such heaps taking fire, and to provide against nuisances arising therefrom?

Local authorities already possess powers under the Public Health Act to proceed against persons responsible for accumulations or deposits which are nuisances or injurious to health, and as at present advised, I doubt whether there is a sufficient ease for further legislation.

Does the right hon. Gentleman not see that though it cannot be proved that these heaps are injurious to health, they may be dangerous to the community and particularly to property?

I should have thought that if they were dangerous to the community, they would probably be injurious to health.