THE EARL OF MAYO
My Lords, I beg to ask his Majesty's Government, in view of the increasing number of small steam boilers in use in motors, motor omnibuses, steam lorries, etc., what system of inspection is adopted with regard to these boilers. I do not, of course, refer to water-tube boilers used in motors and motor omnibuses. Your Lordships are no doubt aware that a number of these lorries and motors move about the streets of London, and if an accident occurred, say, in Piccadilly Circus, it would have a most disastrous effect. I believe that last year an explosion of this sort did occur in the country, and that the man who was driving the motor was never seen again.
My Lords, in answer to the noble Karl's question I have to state that there is no system of Government inspection of steam boilers in vehicles of the kind to which the noble Lord refers. Neither the Board of Trade nor the Local Government Board have power to require such inspection, but, in the event of an explosion of a boiler coming under the provisions of the Boiler Explosion Acts, 1882 and 1890, the Board of Trade have power to order a preliminary inquiry or formal investigation into the circumstances. Steam boilers in motors would, it is thought, come under these Acts. They could hardly be regarded as domestic boilers, though the point might be argued in the case of private motor carriages.