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GOVERNMENT AND MINERS' DEMANDS

HOUSING IN SWANSEAj

GOVERNMENT WORKERS' DEMAND.

Death of Evan Roberts' Mother

THE SALE OF HONOURS. I

* FOR SIX HOURS ON SATURDAY

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SENGHENYDD.I -

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SENGHENYDD. I Further Sittings of Inquiry Board. IMPORTANT EVIDENCE Mr R. A. S. Redmayne resumed the Home Office inquiry into the Senghenydd disaster at Cardifi on Friday last, Mr Robert Smillie (National Federation of Miners) and Mr Evan Williams (chair- man South Wales Coalowners's Associa- tion) sitting as assessors. Mr D. R. Thomas, night overman, was cross-examined by Mr W. Brace, M.P. He said he did not think Senghenydd pit more dangerous than other Welsh steam collieries. Every day, he said, there were in all these collieries all th ele- ments w hich might cause an explosion. He did not believe coal dust alone could occasion an explosion. He was in fav- our of emerygency doors, but feared that water zones would not reduce the extent of explosions unless the zones were very extensive. The witness said he was not in favour of working three shifts on coal, and at Senghenydd they had prac- tically eight hours off. He favoure l periodical stoppages for cooling the mine at the gas faces. Replying to Mr Richards the witness said he never thought of the Britannic district during the time he was fighting the fire on the first day. Mr Wathen, electrician of the colliery, said that a nine-volt electric battery was used for signalling. He did not think a spark at nine volts would explode any- thing. The Commissioner Not even gun- powder?—No, sir. I have tried to make an explosion with petrol and benzine. The witness told Mr Nicholas that he was not able to read very well, and that the daily reports he supplied were writ- ten by somedy else. He would regard a current of 13 volts as dangerous. Replying to Mr Clem Edwards, M.P., the witness said the management did not depend entirely en his advice in electric- al matters. A bare wire was used for signalling. He though the present sys- tem satisfactory. Mr H. W. Schilbach, consulting elec- trical engineer, said that according to his present knowledge, ignition was pro- duced at 11.9 volts. He would be now inclined to reduce the voltage to below nine for safety. Mr Charles P. Sparks, electrical ex- pert, said the use made of electricity could not be responsible for the ex- plosion. THE ELECTRICITY DANGER. I At the adjournment on baturday ot the official inquiry into the Senghenydd mine disaster at Cardiff, the Commission- er intimated that he and Mr R-obert Smillie, together with Mr Robert Nel- son (H.M. Electrical Inspector of Mines), and Mr H. K. Beale, proposed descend- ing the mine that day. He invited Mr Watts Morgan (miners' agent) and Mr Hubert Jenkins to accompany them. Mr Nelson, giving evidence, said it had not yet been proved that nine volts ap- plied to the Senghenydd wires would ignite the gas. They had done their level best, be said, to ignite the gas at that voltage and failed. The Commissioner suggested that the signalling bells might have a larger volt- age than nine, and it had not been proved that some derangement might not have caused open sparking. Mr Nelson admitted the possibility of such derangement, but said there was no evidence that there had been any. In reply to Mr Evan Williams, he stated he would prohibit open sparking. In some pits electric apparatus is in the hands of unskilled men, and they might do something to interfere with conditions. At New Tredegar they undoubtedly got ignition with Senghenydd conditions at 131 voltage, but in his opinion the margin of safety between 9 and 131 volts was altogether inadequate. .f <——————

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GOVERNMENT AND MINERS' DEMANDS