Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

14 erthygl ar y dudalen hon




MONDAY. The House of Lords sat for a few minutes only on Monday evening, and the sitting was a merely formal one, at which no- thing but some private business was done. In the House of Commons Mr Norman Grosvenor was intro- duced and took his seat for the city of Chester in the room of Earl Grosvenor, now Marquis of Westminster. Replying to a question of Mr Carter, the Home Secretary announced that he should submit a Licensing Amendment Bill to the House on the 4th of March. Mr Secretary Bruce, in moving the second read- ing of the Mines Regulation and Inspection Bill, stated that its object was to consolidate the existing Acts relating to the manage- ment of mines, and to embody the principal amendments in the law recommended by a select committee. Referring to past legislation on the subject, he pointed out that its effect had been gradually to diminish the annual sacrifice of human life caused by colliery accidents, Thus, whilst in 1850 the death-rate was one for every 67,000 tons of coal raised, from 1864 to 1868 it was one for every 93,000 tons, and for 1868 one for every 103,494 tons. At present there were upwards of 350,000 miners engaged in the collieries, who raised 105 million tons of coal per annum; but a large proportion of these men were totally uneducated, and forty-six per cent, of the young could neither write nor read. In his judgment, then, the best means of diminishing the number of acciaents would be the provision of an ample supply of fresh air, its careful distribution over the mine, and the better educa- tion of the miners themselves. The Bill would also deal with the employment of children. It was proposed by the Bill to exclude all children under twelve years of age from employment in collieries, whilst, under the Bill for establishing public ele- mentary schools, they would be secured useful instruction. Another provision was that no young person above twelve and below sixteen years old should be employed underground for more than twelve hours a day, and that out of that time an hour and a half should be set apart for meals and rest. As to boys employed on the mine but not underground it was proposed that the Workshops Regulation Act should apply to them. The effect of this would be altogether to prevent the employment of women as well as of any children otherwise than during the hours stipulated by that Act. With reference to the portion of the Bill which related to the question of safety, provision was made for supplying a certain amount of air and ventilation to every coal and ironstone mine; and in case of accident the bur- den of proof that the supply of air and the distribution of ventilation was sufficient would rest upon the owners. Coming to the important question of inspection, Mr Bruce observed that the measure did not propose to make any alteration in the existing system; nor, indeed, to add considerably to the num- ber of inspectors, which now amounted to six. For the pur- poses of enforcing the provisions of the Bill, however, the penalties imposed under the present law would be increased. After a long discussion the second reading was agreed to, and the Bill ordered to be committed on Friday, the 18th of March. The four Bills of the Chancellor of the Exchequer relating to Coinage, Savings Banks, Friendly Societies, and Conversion of Stock, and which stood for second reading, were postponed to various dates. Mr Goschen moved the appointment of a select committee to inquire and report whether it be expedient that the charges now imposed on the occcupiers of ratable property for various local purposes should be divided between the owners and occupiers, and what changes in the constitution of the local bodies now administering rates should follow such divi- sion. In making this proposal the right hon. gentleman observed that by a measure which the Government contem- plated bringing in the present system of rating would be ex- tended to subject matter which, in their opinion, was pari materia; but he wished it to be understood that they did not mean that it should extend to the rating of personal property. Local taxation and administration were so intimately connected that it was difficult to touch one without affecting the other 00' and with a view to placing the system on a satisfactory footing, the committee would inquire whether there were certain kinds of other property now exempt from taxation which ought not to be exempted. There were also the questions of collection, the persons from whom the rates should be collected, the bodies who were to administer them; and was it expedient that the burden of local rates should be divided between the owners and the occupiers. Sir M. Lopes contended that the division of the rates between owners and occupiers would not touch the ques- tion at issue, which was the pressure of rates upon real pro- f»erty, and the exemption of personalty from contributing to ocal burdens. So thinking, he moved as an amendment that it would be desirable to postpone the appointment of the select committee until the Government had announced their promised measure for dealing with the whole of the incidence of rating. After some discussion the amendment was withdrawn and the committee agreed to.




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