§ MR. MACDONALD
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If his attention has been directed to the account of a boiler explosion at the Ravensdale Forge, near Tunstall, North Stafford, on the 26th ult., and by which ten persons lost their lives and thirty-five others were seriously injured; and, whether he will direct that some eminent legal gentleman be sent down to see that a complete and searching inquiry may take place into the cause of that disaster?
MR. ASSHETON CROSS
, in reply, said, he had received two or three deputations from one of the most valuable voluntary institutions in the country—the Manchester Steam Users Association—and that these deputations had pointed out to him the causes of various boiler explosions, and how it was that coroners' inquests in such cases were very often not satisfactory. He felt bound to take this opportunity of bearing his testimony to the extreme value of that Association. In the course of the last six months its chief engineer had examined no less than 3,500 boilers, and had discovered 748 defects, 34 of which were dangerous; and the number of accidents which this voluntary Association had prevented was, he believed, enormous. On the occasion of the last deputation, he promised that as soon as he received information of any serious boiler explosion he would send counsel to represent the Home Office 886 at the coroner's inquest, and this promise he had fulfilled in connection with the explosion referred to by the hon. Member.