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The Coroner's jury on the Kaitangata disaster decided that the Hodges were to a great extent to blame for the fatal exploDion. The Coroner laid 'the law down clearly to the effect that had the Hodge 3' not been themselves victims they, wonld have been liable to prosecution for manslaughter. Since then, the Lyttelton Times has expressed a pretty strong opinion toat the directors of the Company are not altogether blameless, and we are disposed to agree with this view, although it is warmly combated by the Otago Daily Times. Of course, all this discussion as to who is to blame for the disaster, par*, takes a good deal of the character of locking the stable door \after 'jthe steed has been stolen ; but if tardy action of this*, kind be worth sheeting home, we would point out a new quarter in which a considerable share of the blame may be laid. It is generally admitted that under a proper system of regulation and inspection the explosi n would have been unlikely to occur. Regulation by the Government there was none — the inspection was voluntary and practically useless. The reason was that the Government for several years neglected to bring the Regulation of Mines Act into force. It was on the Statute book, and had it been in force probably we should not have been' shocked by an accident involving the loss of 24 lives, and yet neither the late nor the present Government took any eteps to give effect to the law. They were content that it should remain a dead letter, and this in despite of repeated warnings. Now they wish to lock the stable door by bringing the Act into operation, thus practically admitting its value and their own fatal negligence. Certainly the successive Ministries who for four years allowed this Act to remain dorsaant cannot be held entirely innopent ¦ of the results of its not being enforced. ' There are other Acts of equal value relating to various subjects, which, after being carefully cansidered and passed by Parliament, are allowed to remain inoperative. It might be worth while for Ministers to study the catalogue of New Zealand Acts, and Bee how many useful measures require proclamations to bring them into force.

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Bibliographic details

DORMANT ACTS OF PARLIAMENT., Evening Post, Volume XVII, Issue 371, 18 March 1879

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DORMANT ACTS OF PARLIAMENT. Evening Post, Volume XVII, Issue 371, 18 March 1879