10 SEPTEMBER 1910, Page 18


Sra,—In your last issue Mr. Cox suggests very plausibly that because human workers in pits are adeqoately protected by Home Office regulations therefore the lot of the pit pony can be com- pletely altered by the same means. Mr. Cox knows better. In the ease of the men, we first of all find that there is the tremendous power of the Miners' Federation to enforce these rules. Any man may refuse to work who thinks his life is endangered because of the neglect of Government regulations, and, moreover, he has the Miners' Federation to back him up. Again, accidents to men must be paid for by colliery companies. They know that, and see to it that men do not run any avoidable risks. They are afraid of the Compensation Acts.

But all is different in the case of the pit pony. HQ cannot refuse to work for those cruel sixteen-how shifts ; there is no one to champion his cause, and, moreover, if he be injured still 40 has to work. There is no pompensation clause to protect lore. No, indeed, good rules are alone of little value as a proteetion for the pit puny, especially now that the chance of a Government inspection on any given day is hardly one in four hundred.

Surely the only is publicity. Inspectors of the R.S.P.C.A., or some other accredited society, must be allowed to go below at any time without giving previous notice. 4llow this, and then most of the cruelties will cease automatically. The work which the Miners' Federation does for the men can be equally effectually performed by the R.S.P.C.A. on behalf of the unhappy ponies. One can see no more effective way of enforcing those admirable regulations suggested by Mr. Cox.—I am, Sir, &;.,

M.A. (Durham).