§ MR. S. WOODS
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he has been informed that 757 the mining explosives experimental apparatus, owned by Messrs. Pearson and Knowles, colliery proprietors, Wigan, can be placed at, the disposal of the Government free of all charge for testing explosives in the presence of coal-dust and fire damp; if so, will he appoint a Committee of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Mines and representatives of the Miners' Federation, with instructions to report on the different explosives at present used in coal mines, and particularly with regard to their safety in the non-ignition of coal-dust?
§ *MR. ASQUITH
I am not yet in a position to decide whether its shape or construction renders it suitable for testing explosives in general, but I will procure information upon this head, and consider the matter. At present the North of England Mining Association is making very elaborate and interesting experiments as to various explosives in which certain of the Inspectors are assisting. I propose introducing a Bill dealing with the question of explosions of coal-dust in mines at an early opportunity. I am informed that a gentleman connected with the Westphalite Explosive Syndicate called at the Home Office on February 12th and offered to place at my disposition the apparatus mentioned in the question, in which to show that this explosive would not ignite coal-dust.