§ 52. Mr. JAMES GRIFFITHS
asked the Secretary for Mines whether he is aware that since 1931 the Silicosis Medical Board has issued certificates of disablement or suspension to 709 miners from the South Wales coalfield, and that in the same period the deaths of 147 miners were certified to have been due to silicosis; and, in view of the spread of this disease among the miners in South Wales, what steps he proposes to take to enforce measures to prevent the contraction of the disease by the workmen employed in the mines?
§ Dr. BURGIN
I have been asked to reply. My hon. and gallant Friend is kept fully informed of the mine and quarry cases which are dealt with by the silicosis medical boards in all parts of the country, and the information is used as a guide for preventive action. The gravity of the figures for South Wales has been fully appreciated, and in reply to a question on 13th February, of which he will send the hon. Member a copy, my hon. and gallant Friend indicated the measures which have been taken and are still in active progress both to extend the use of preventive methods already available and to develop new and improved measures.
§ Mr. GRIFFITHS
Will the hon. Member make sure that the men's representatives, who have a wide experience in this matter, are consulted? My information is that no representative of the Department has had a single consultation with the representatives of the men.
Will the Parliamentary Secretary inform the House that he is doing all he can in this matter? The question has been before the House for 17 years, and so far the numbers are going up instead of down.
§ Dr. BURGIN
The House will probably like to see the matter dealt with more fully by reading the evidence tendered to the Royal Commission by the Mines Department, which is now published on pages 13 and 14 of the Report of the Royal Commission of 10th February last.
§ Mr. E. J. WILLIAMS
Will the Department, in conjunction with the Home Office, see that a new Order is issued speedily so that the men may have compensation in the meanwhile?