asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is satisfied with the progress made in the introduction of firedamp detectors; can he state the percentage of collieries that have installed a complement of automatic gas-detectors since the order came into force in 1935; and can the percentage be given of each mining area?
As the hon. Member is aware, flame safety lamps are recognised as firedamp detectors and the answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. With regard to the second and third parts, the number of colliery companies which have installed automatic firedamp detectors to the number of five or more, is 22, of which six have installed them since 1st October, 1935, when the Firedamp Detector Regulations came into force. In addition, a number of detectors have been purchased by local coalowners' associations and moved from colliery to colliery for trial.
Is the Minister satisfied, and, if not, what steps is he going to take to recommend the introduction of more effective machinery?
Perhaps the hon. Member has overlooked the fact that some time ago I set up a committee to investigate the problem, and the committee is now taking evidence.