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RETURN To an Address of the Legislative Assembly for copies of all correspondence between the Inspector… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1879

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 42 t-ic. Inspection of Coal Mines. 395
RETURN
To an Address of the Legislative Assembly lor copies of all correspondence between
the Inspector of Mines (Mr. Prior) and Messrs. Dunsmuir, Diggle, & Company,
Wellington Colliery, in respect of those Mines.
By Command,
T. Basil Humphreys,
Minister of Mines.
The Inspector of Mines to Mr. E. Dunsmuir.
Inspector of Mines' Office,
Victoria, November 1st, 1877.
Sir,—1 have the honour to inform you that, as I have recently made an inspection
of your Wellington Colliery on behalf of the Provincial Government, I would beg to
call your attention to some of the clauses in the " Coul Mines Eegulation Act, 1877,"
with which, I believe, you have not as yet complied:—Clause 46, articles 2 (the latter
portion), 3, 6, 9 (paragraphs b and d), 26, and 27.
In reference to the first mentioned clause I may be allowed to say, that, as I know
it is next to impossible to keep wooden bratticing so close to the faces, on account of
the heavy blasting of the coal, I would suggest that men driving slopes, levels, headings,
&c, be supplied with a few yards of brattice cloth, which they can set in position when
not firing, thereby taking the air well up to the faces.
The places where I noticed this was most needed were the main slope, the crosscuts from slope to main air-courses, and the faces of -Nos. 7, 8, and 9 levels.
In regard to paragraph d, article 9, clause, 46, I notice that, without exception,
this rule was being violated, and, therefore, I must beg that you will see that the use of
iron needles and tampers is discontinued, and copper or wooden ones substituted in
their stead, by 30th November, 1877.
In accordance with clause 47, every manager of a colliery is expected to draw out
a set of " Special Eules" and submit them to the Inspector; for the sanction of the
Minister of Mines, within three months after the Act comes into force.
Hoping you will attend to these details,
I have &c,
(Signed)        Edwd. Gawler Prior.
P. S.—I forward you two copies of the " Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1877."
The Inspector of Mines to Mr. E. Dunsmuir.
Inspector of Mines' Office.
Victoria, January llth, 1878.
Sir,—1 have the honour to request that you will be good enough to inform me
under what circumstances the two miners, Hibben and Quailly, were burnt in your
Wellington Colliery on Monday last. The newspaper report is that their injuries were
caused "by incautiously firing the gas in their stall." I cannot see how such can be
the case ; for if the fireman had been his round of inspection and found gas, the men
ought not to have been allowed to enter their stall until it was cleared out.
It appears to me that either the fireman has neglected his duty or the men must
have disobeyed the rules of the colliery, unless it was a sudden outburst of gas.
If you will favour me with &full account of how the accident came about, in addition
to the official notice required by the Act to be given, you will greatly oblige me.
I have, &c.,
(Signed)      Edwd, Gawler Prior. 396 Inspection of Coal Mines. 1879
Mr, R. Dunsmuir to the Inspector of Mines.
Wellington Colliery,
16th January, 1878.
Dear Sir,—In answer to your letter by last mail, relative to two miners being
burned with gas in the Wellington Mine, I knew nothing of it until I saw the report in
the Press; but was aware that the mine was not working, nor had been working for
over a week previous to the insertion in the Press of the i^em.
Yours, &c,
(Signed)       E. Dunsmuir.
Mr. R. Dunsmuir to the Inspector of Mines.
Wellington Colliery, Departure Bay,
23rd March, 1878.
Sir,—It appears that a Chinaman has got burned, but I believe not severely, in the
mine this morning. I enclose letter from our fireman to me, which will explain matters
to you. I believe the curtains on slope were only down a very short time. Our 10th
level is going alongside of a fault, which is the cause of us having more gas than usual.
In haste. I am, &c,
(Signed)       E. Dunsmuir.
[Enclosure.]
Wellington Mine,
March 22nd, 1878.
fciiR,—This a, m. (10.40), the 10th level fired and burnt one Chinaman. I found it
was caused by two curtains being torn down on the slope conducting the air into them.
After replacing them, I found the place still full of gas. I told the men they must work
with safety lamps, otherwise go home till I changed the brattice to the other side. They
thought better to go home, so I shall work this afternoon and change the brattice to
where I told you it ought to have been at first. I suppose you remember the remarks
I made to you concerning the same. Yours, &c.
(Signed)       John Dixon.
The Inspector of Mines to Mr. R. Dunsmuir.
Inspector of Mines' Office,
Victoria, April 8th, 1878.
Sir,—Referring to my communication of the 1st November, 1877, requesting you to
take the necessary steps to discontinue the use of iron needles and tampen in your
Wellington Colliery, I have the honour to draw your attention to the fact that the said
tools aro still, with very few exceptions, in general use.
As more than ample time has elapsed in which the necessary tools might have been
procured, I must beg that by the 20th of this month you will see that the copper tools
are used by all workmen who may require to use gunpowder^for the purpose of blasting
underground.
I would draw your attention to clause 55, " Coal Mines Eegulation Act, 1877,"
which clause will have to be enforced unless due notice is paid to this communication
by the 20th instant. I have, &c,
(Signed)       Edwd. Gawler Prior,
Inspector of Mines, 42 Vic. Inspection of Coal Mines. 397
The Inspector of Mines to Mr. James Dunsmuir.
Inspector of Mines' Office,
Victoria, April llth, 1878.
Sir,—I have the honour to inform you that I have this day forwarded to your
address a " Certificate of Service " as Colliery Manager.
I have, &c,
(Signed)       Edwd. Gawler Prior,
Inspector of Mines.
Mr. E. Dunsmuir to the Inspector of Mines.
Wellington Colliery, Departure Bay,
10th May, 1878.
Sir,—I beg to inform you that a miner named Campbell got burned with powder
in the mine yesterday morning. It appears that he had it in a glass bottle, and when
going down the slope he dropped it, and the bottle broke; when turning round to lift it,
his lamp fell on the loose powder.   He is burned rather severe on face and hands.
I am, &c,
(Signed)       E. Dunsmuir.
The Inspector of Mines to Mr. R. Dunsmuir.
Inspector of Mines' Office,
Victoria, 13th May, 1878.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the
10th instant, advising me of the accident to a miner named Campbell, who was burned
by gunpowder in your Wellington Colliery on the 9th instant.
With regard to the said accident, I must state, that had proper attention been given
to clause 46, article 9, paragraph b, in " Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1877," the accident
would not have happened. The meaning of the said paragraph is clear, although the
wording is rather obscure. No doubt a case or canister is intended to be made of iron
or tin, and certainly not of glass.
This accident will, no doubt, have the effect of making men more careful as to what
vessel they carry their powder in; but I would also urge upon you the necessity of
letting every man know, either by written notice or by word of mouth, the proper
meaning of such paragraph, so that in future such accidents may be prevented. I forward you, by this mail, a copy of the " General Rules," which you will please post up
in some conspicuous place on the pit head at your colliery. The " Special Rules " are
in the Printer's hands and will be forwarded next boat.
1 have rt&c,
(Signed)       Edwd. Gawler Prior,
  Inspector of Mines.
The Inspector of Mines to Mr. E. Dunsmuir.
Inspector of Mines' Office,
Victoria, May 20th, 1878.
Sir,—I beg to inform you that I have sent, by this mail, two copies of the " Special
Rules " for your Wellington Colliery. You will please post one copy up at the mine
for two weeks, and then send me a certificate stating that such has been done.
I have, &e„
(Signed)      Edwd. Gawler Prior,
Inspector of Mines, Mr. E. Dunsmuir to the Inspector of Mines.
Wellington Colliery, Departure Bay.
5th June, 1878.
Dear Sir,—I beg to inform you that one of the runners, a Chinaman, met with an
accident yesterday while taking a box of coal from a stall in No. 9 level, west.
He was in front of the box and allowed it to run too fast, thus crushing him against
the lower rib of coal.    The Doctor is attending him.   In haste.
I am, &c,
(Signed)       E. Dunsmuir.
The Inspector of Mines to Mr. James Dunsmuir.
Inspector of Mines' Office,
Victoria, July 4th, 1878.
Sir,—As the copy of the " Special Rules " which I sent you must have been posted
up for more than the time required by the Act, you will oblige me by sending me a
certificate to that effect.    I have received no objection to them.
I have, &c,
(Signed)       Edwd. Gawler Prior,
Inspector of Mines.
Mr. James Dunsmuir to the Inspector of Mines.
Wellington Colliery, Departure Bay,
July 17th, 1878.
Sir,—In reply to your letter of the 4th instant, I have the honour to inform you
that the " Special Rules" have been posted up since the 29th day of May at the
Wellington Colliery, and no objections have been made to them.
I have, &c,
(Signed)       James Dunsmuir.
The Inspector of Mines to Mr James Dunsmuir.
Inspector of Mines' Office,
Victoria, August 15th, 1878.
Sir,—I beg to advise you of having forwarded to your address 200 copies of the
" Special Eules " in pamphlet form, which you will please deliver to any of your employes who may ask for the same.
The copies of the " Abstract" will be sent shortly.
I have, &c.
(Signed)       Edwd. Gawler Prior,
Inspector of Mines.
The Inspector of Mines to Mr. James Dunsmuir.
Inspector of Mines' Office,
Victoria, August 15th, 1878.
Sir,—I beg to draw your attention to several alterations which I consider were
necessary at Wellington Colliery during'my inspection on the 3rd and 5th instants :—
Brattice was needed by John Morse in No. 8 Level, east ; by James Bell, by Thomas
Wilkes, by Mitchell and Price, No. 5 Level, and in the face of the upper 9 Level, west.
The air also wanted conducting to David Bowen, his place being very warm, and to
Thomas Hawks. In No. 9 Level (Elijah Smithurst), the level is driven too far without a cross-cut; 20 yards being the furthest distance allowed by the Act.
I have, &c,
(Signed)       Edwd. Gawler Prior,
Inspector of Mines. 42 Vic. Inspection of Coal Mines. 399
Mr. R. Dunsmuir to the Inspector of Mines.
Wellington Colliery, Departure Bay,
7th December, 1878.
Dear Sir,—I beg to inform you that a Chinaman was killed on the Eailway incline.
It happened about noon of yesterday.    I believe the empty cars ran over him.
Yours, &c,
(Signed)       E. Dunsmuir.
The Inspector of Mines to Mr. R. Dunsmuir.
Nanaimo, B. O,
23rd January, 1879.
Sir,—I have the honour to enclose a form which I must request that you will fill
up, in accordance with Section 33 " Coal Mines Eegulation Act, 1877," and return the
same to me at your earliest possible convenience.
I must beg that you will inform me whether you have any objection to the said
returns being published just as you give them, or only in a common total with the other
Collieries.   See clause 3, section 33 " Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1877."
I have, &c,
(Signed)       Edwd. Gawler Prior,
Inspector of Mines.
Mr. R. Dunsmuir to the Inspector of Mines.
Wellington Colliery, Departure Bay.
22nd March, 1879.
Sir,—I beg to inform you that Peter Banka got slightly burned in No, 10 Level today.    Not in any way serious.    He will be at work in a couple of days at farthest.
Yours truly,
(Signed)       R. Dunsmuir.

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