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Mr. KELLEY. I want to know now what the qualifications are for these Federal inspectors. Mr. Smith asked this question.

I remember I was on the committee that handled Public Law 49, but I have forgotten what those qualifications are. Can you enlighten us a little

Mr. FERGUSON. I cannot quote you directly, Congressman, on what the qualifications are. However, I do know that they must be practical mining men with a certain number of years of experience in and around the mines of the country as miners and as men in supervisory or official capacities.

Mr. KELLEY. My recollection is that it is 10 years. I have forgotten, though. I am sure that the code will determine that.

Mr. FERGUSON. I could not answer that. I do not know myself just exactly what they are.

Mr. KELLEY. Has it been your experience that all these Federal inspectors are qualified for their positions ?

Mr. FERGUSON. I feel that the qualifications and the type of men engaged in the Federal Mine Inspection Service are what I would say, in common language, the cream of the industry. I have failed in my experience to find one Federal inspector who was not a competent, efficient and conscientious employee.

Mr. KELLEY. You have not had experience with the work of all of them, though, have you?

Mr. FERGUSON. No; only as the fact that I travel about the country in my duties as assistant safety director, I go to practically all of the coal-producing areas, and have in the past, although not at the present time. I am now here in Washington. I have had contacts with a great many Federal inspectors. In addition, when any Federal inspector makes a report, a copy of that report comes to the safety division of our organization. We analyze his reports and draw our conclusions as to the safety or the degree of danger found in these mines, and I have found that, by investigation and rechecks, in many instances the reports are factual and true in every respect.

Mr. KELLEY. You see, this question is going to enter into this. If we give the Federal inspectors the authority to close down mines, we want to be sure that they know the job and what they are doing.

Mr. FERGUSON. Certainly, as I stated before, I believe that they do. Mr. KELLEY. Mr. Bailey, do you have any questions?

Mr. BAILEY. I regret that I was not here to hear the presentation of the evidence.

I would like at this time, Mr. Chairman, to place in the record along with the data that was submitted by Mr. Davis through Mr. Ferguson, a report of the Bureau of Mines of the State of West Virginia and the State Workmen's Compensation Commission of those injured in the State of West Virginia. It is the largest coal-mining State in the Union. If I may submit those to the clerk for inclusion, I would appreciate the courtesy.

(The documents referred to are as follows:)

CHARLESTON, W. VA., June 15, 1949. CLEVELAND M. BAILEY,

Member of Congress, House Office Building, Washingon, D. C.

Nonfatal accidents for State of West Virginia

Inside:

1938. 1939. 1940. 1941 1942 1943. 1944 1945. 1946. 1947 1948.

8, 560 8, 557 9, 798 10, 386 12, 819 12, 779 12, 982 12, 093 12, 678 12, 683 12, 037

Outside:
1938

638 1939.

666 1940.

941 1941

932 1942

1, 093 1943.

1, 341 1944.

1, 675 1945.

1, 904 1946

1, 917 1947

2, 174 1948

2, 012 ARCH J. ALEXANDER, Chief, Department of Mines.

CHARLESTON, W. VA., June 14, 1949. CLEVELAND M. BAILEY, Congressman, House Office Building, Washington, D. C.:

Inside fatalities for State of West Virginia Inside fatalities :

Outside fatalities: 1938 224 1938

15 1939 252 1939

14 1940 358 1940

18 1941

275 1941 1942 358 1942

24 1913 295 1943

30 1944

280
1944

28 19-15

1945
1946
226 1916

17 1947 235 1947

19 1948 266 1948

11 ARCH J. ALEXANDER, Chief, Department of Mines.

247

Total nonfatal accidents, inside and outside

1938 1939 1940 1941 1912 1943

9, 198 | 1944

9, 223 1945 10, 739 1943 11, 318 / 1917 13, 912 1945 14, 120

14, 657 13, 997 14,595 14, 857 14,049

Total fatal acicdents, inside and outside

1938 1939 1910 1941 1942 1943

239 1944 266 | 1945 :976 1946 290 | 1947 380 | 1948 325

313 269 243 254 277

STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA,
WORK MEN'S COMPENSATION FUND,

Charleston, W. Va., June 14, 1949. Hon. CLEVELAND M. BAILEY,

Member of Congress, House Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. BAILEY: To conform with a telegram just sent you from Commissioner Trent's office, I am giving you below the number of fatal accidents occurring during the years 1937 to 1948, inclusive, under regular subscribers and self-insurers, together with the total :

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I trust the information contained herein will be of some benefit to you.
Anytime we can be of service to you, you have but to command us.
Very truly yours,

0. P. FRAME, Actuary.

WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION FUND,

Charleston, June 14, 1949. Hon. CLEVELAND M. BAILEY,

Member of Congress, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. BAILEY: As requested in your telegram to Commissioner Curtis B. Trent, Jr., I am giving you below the number of nonfatal accidents occurring during the years 1938 to 1948, inclusive:

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I trust the information contained herein will be of some benefit to you.
Very truly yours,

0. P. FRAME, Actuary. Mr. BAILEY. I would just like to ask a question or two, of the gentleman who has knowledge of the situation.

In a discussion on the floor of the House during the Seventy-ninth Congress, in an effort to secure a larger appropriation for mine-safety work, I put some material in the record at that time. I was criticized in the press somewhat more, but investigation disclosed that I was correct in the statement. I believe I put some material in the record at that time to show that in the State of West Virginia, between the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1911 and VJ-day, there were more men killed in the mines of West Virginia and more men injured in the mining industry in West Virginia than were killed and injured of the 236,000 West Virginians serving in the armed forces, which is proof on its face that employment in the mines is a more hazardous occupation than serving in the Army and Navy in wartime.

Mr. FERGUSON. I agree with that contention in its entirety. It is a more hazardous occupation.

Mr. BAILEY. I think, Mr. Chairman, before the hearings are closed, I would like to produce that data and have it inserted in the record.

Mr. KELLEY. Without objection, the material will be inserted in the record.

Mr. BAILEY. I will be glad to furnish it to the clerk.

(The information referred to was subsequently supplied by Mr. Bailey, and is as follows:)

Here are some of the startling facts: First. From the year 1935 to 1945, inclusive, while our Siate was producing a total of 1,133,000,000 tons of coal there was a total of 3,515 fatalities and 183,797 were injured.

Second. For the months of February and March 1946, the last 2 months before the stalemate began, there was a total of 50 fatalities and 4.237 injured.

Third. Between the attack on Pearl Harbor and VJ-day, a period slightly less than 4 years, there were approximately 170,000 West Virginians serving in all branches of the armed services. There was in this same period of time a peak load of employment in the mines in our State of 104,000. The fatalities in the armed services were 3,718 and the wounded and missing were 14,423. Among the miners the fatalities were 1,307 and the injured 73,778.

Mr. KELLEY. Mr. Perkins?

Mr. PERKINS. Yes, Mr. Chairman, I should like to ask a few questions.

How long have you been with the United Mine Workers?
Mr. FERGUSON. Since 1940, in an official capacity.

Mr. PERKINS. I notice that several years ago there was a great mine disaster in Pennsylvania, an explosion wherein 495 lost their lives; am I correct in that?

Mr. FERGUSON. That is correct.

Mr. PERKINS. And that at Benwood, W. Va., there was an explosion several years ago where 119 men lost their lives.

Mr. FERGUSON. I agree that there was an explosion. I cannot remember the exact number of men who were killed. But I know there were explosions at those two particular places during that period.

Mr. PERKINS. And at Castlegate, Utah, in 1924, there was an explosion where 171 men lost their lives.

Mr. FERGUSON. Yes.

Mr. PERKINS. And at Hastings, Colo., there was an explosion where 121 men also lost their lives several years ago.

Mr. FERGUSON. That is right.

Mr. PERKINS. And back in 1915 we had an explosion in the Leland, W. Va., mine, where there were 121 men who lost their lives on one occasion.

Mr. FERGUSON. Yes.

Mr. PERKINS. And also on April 28, 1914, there was another mine in West Virginia wherein an explosion occurred, and 181 men lost their lives. And in 1913 there was an explosion in New Mexico that killed instantly 263 men.

Those figures are correct?

Mr. FERGUSON. They are statistics not compiled by our organization, but we accept them as being correct.

Mr. PERKINS And in Alabama in 1911 there was an explosion that killed 129 men. And at Cherry, Ill., in 1909, there was a mine fire that killed 259 men.

Those figures are correct, I believe.
Mr. FERGUSON. Yes.

Mr. PERKINS. And in 1909, at Murrayana, Pa., we had another explosion wherein 154 men were killed.

Mr. FERGUSON. That is correct.

Mr. PERKINS. And in 1907 another explosion in Pennsylvania at Jacobs Creek resulted in the deaths of 239 men.

Mr. FERGUSON. That is also true. Mr. PERKINS. In 1907, there was a great explosion at Monongah, W. Va., that killed 361 men.

Mr. FERGUSON. That is correct.

Mr. PERKINS. Now, I just mention these figures for the record for the purpose of showing that we have had down through the years many explosions that could have been prevented if we had on the statute books the proper Federal mine safety law; am I correct in that?

Mr. FERGUSON. I agree with you entirely.

Mr. PERKINS. And these figures I mention are only a few of the larger explosions.

Mr. BAILEY. Would the gentleman check 1946 in McDowell County, W. Va.? I believe at Gary or War, there was an explosion in 1946. Will you check that? Do you see the figures on that?

Mr. PERKINS. I do not have those figures, because I think that was where less than 100 men were killed. I mentioned only the explosions that included deaths in excess of 100.

Mr. BAILEY. My thought, Mr. Perkins, in interrupting you there and asking you for that information was that that occurred just about the time that this scrap came over increased appropriations in the Seventy-eighth Congress.

I was told, Mr. Chairman, at the time that the investigation disclosed that not too long prior to the actual explosion a Federal mineinspection report indicated the danger in the mine, and had attention been paid to it by the coal operators and by the mine department of the State of West Virginia that explosion could evidently have been prevented. It was not too many days before the actual explosion took place that the Federal inspection showed the danger in the mine, and through failure of the operators and the State mine department of West Virginia to correct it, the explosion occurred.

Mr. FERGUSON. I think that an investigation of the explosion statistics since the inception of the Federal Mine Inspection Act will prove that that not only held true in that one particular instance

Mr. Bailey. I think it would be interesting to the committee to have information of that kind.

Mr. FERGUSON. I think it would.

But that would also hold true in the case of any mine that has an explosion, that if the recommendations of the Federal inspector had been followed in their entirety the explosion would have been prevented in practically all cases.

Mr. PERKINS. I wish to state for the record that I only mentioned a few of the mine explosions down through the years where more than 100 men lost their lives. We had an accident in Kentucky, I think, at the Straight Creek Mining Co. in 1945. Do you recall how many men lost their lives there?

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