§ 5.57 p.m.
§ Mr. White
I beg to move, in page 16, line 16, to leave out from "premises," to the end of the paragraph, and to insert:so, however, that the foregoing provisions of this paragraph shall not apply in relation 423 to any lifting tackle if the safe-working load thereof or, in the case of a multiple sling, the safe-working load at different angles of the legs is plainly marked upon it.The object of the Amendment is to remove a certain obscurity which appears to exist in the intention of the paragraph. I have also tried to prescribe a practice in regard to safety conditions concerning lifts and appliances which, it appears to us, would afford a greater measure of safety. It has been found in the course of the experience Of those who are responsible for the working of lifting machinery and appliances that it is not only practicable but very desirable to have the safe-loading weight clearly marked on the machines, and, where necessary, on different parts of the machines. In fact I should not have been surprised if it had been decided to adopt the requirement of the safe-loading weight to be fixed upon the machine as an alternative method in some cases to the keeping of a register of the machines authorised to be used. That is not proposed, and I would not wish to propose it, but there is a certain obscurity in the Clause as to the precise method which it is intended should be followed, and also a certain difficulty for those responsible for the working of these machines to ascertain precisely where the responsibility lies. We believe that the Amendment would clear up that obscurity and lead to a better procedure.
§ 5.59 p.m.
§ Mr. E. Smith
I do not intend to say very much at this stage, because this question will arise later, but I hope that the Home Secretary or the Under-Secretary, acting an his behalf at present, will not accept the Amendment. I have had experience in dealing with this kind of thing, and I know of nothing upon which the Home Office officials are keener. They have tightened up the regulations during the past few years. Lifting tackle now has to be very carefully looked after and reported upon from time to time. The whole of the chains have to be constantly annealed, and the wire ropes and the ordinary ropes subjected to keen examination. I understood that the previous Amendments moved by the Home Secretary had for their object the tightening up even of the present methods, and, there- 424 fore anything that is suggested which tends to weaken what we think is already too weak a Bill should be resisted, and we hope that the Home Secretary will not be prepared to accept the Amendment.
§ 6.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Lloyd
I entirely agree with the hon. Member for Stoke (Mr. E. Smith) that it is most important that there should be proper safeguards in these matters. Of course, as he knows, the Bill greatly strengthens the provisions of the law. I think he is under a misapprehension on this point. The important thing is to see that the people who are going to deal with this tackle know the actual strain in regard to it. Our intention was to prescribe in the Bill that the safe working load should be either marked in the table which has to be kept, or plainly marked on the tackle itself, but I am advised that our drafting was not altogether clear for that purpose. All that the hon. Member's Amendment does is, I am advised, to make that point clear—that it should be either in the table or on the tackle. I think that is reasonable and I am prepared to accept the Amendment, subject to our giving it further examination from the drafting point of view.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ 6.1 p.m.
§ Mr. White
I beg to move, in page 16, line 20, after "shall," to insert "except for the purpose of a test."
I move this Amendment because in connection with this class of machinery there does not appear to be any provision in the Bill for making a test. It is very desirable that these machines should be tested adequately and properly from time to time. Clause 24, which deals with cranes, in Sub-section (5) makes provision which enables a crane to be tested, and I am at a loss to know why similar provision has not been inserted in Clause 23. I move the Amendment subject to an explanation.
§ 6.2 p.m.
§ Mr. Lloyd
According to the information that I have, this is an Amendment which might well excite the suspicion of the hon. Member for Stoke (Mr. E. Smith). It would not be wise for us to accept the Amendment. The proper 425 method of testing these things is not by using them, but by putting them in a testing machine or by taking sample. The Amendment might open the door to the use of chains, etc., with excessive loads, on the plea that they were being tested. It would enable a chain to be used regardless of its strength for the purpose of making a test on some other tackle, which would clearly be objectionable. I hope the hon. Member will appreciate that we feel that that would open the door to a dangerous practice.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.