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EXPLOSIVE SUBSTANCES. "The Explosives Act, 1875" (38 Vict. c. 17), is now the statute 38 Vict. c. 17. which regulates the manufacture, keeping and transmission of explosive substances; and with the view of ensuring the convenience and safety of the public, the local authorities are armed with certain powers of a highly beneficial character. It will be convenient to consider the subject under the following heads :
I. The Local Authority and their General Powers.
I. The Local Authority and their General Powers. By sect. 67 the local authority for the purposes of the act are to be(1) In the city of London, except as hereafter in this section
mentioned, the Court of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of
the said city; and
the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Board of Works under
mentioned, the Metropolitan Board of Works; and
county rate of any county by the justices of such county,
aldermen and burgesses acting by the council ; and
rity, whether situate or not within the jurisdiction of any
this section defined, the justices in petty sessions as
sembled. Power of certain Local Bodies to become a Local Authority.] The 68th section enables the council of any borough which is assessed to the county rate of any county, and the commissioners of any
38 Vict. c. 17. improvement district, by an order of a secretary of state upon their
application, to become a local authority for the purposes of this act.
Duty of Local Authority and Power of Officer.] The 69th section enacts that, “ It shall be the duty of every local authority to carry into effect within their jurisdiction the powers vested in them under the act, and powers are conferred upon any officer of the local authority to enter, inspect and take samples from any premises within the operation of the act.
Power of Local Authority to provide Carriages and Magazines.] By sect. 71, every harbour authority and canal company, in addition to any other powers, is to have power to provide carriages, ships and
, boats for the conveyance, loading or unloading of an explosite within the jurisdiction of such authority or company, and may charge a reasonable sum, fixed by a bye-law, for the use of such carriage, ship or boat.
Provision of Magazines by Local Authority.] The 72nd section contains provisions for enabling certain local authorities to erect magazines, and for acquiring land for the purpose.
II. Applications for and Grant of Licences for Factory or Magazine.
Gunpowder to be manufuctured only at a Factory lawfully existing or licensed under this Act.] The 4th section enacts that the manufacture of gunpowder shall not, nor shall any process of such manufacture, be carried on except at a factory for gunpowder either lawfully existing or licensed for the same under this act: Provided that nothing in this section is to apply to the making of a small quantity of gunpowder for the purposes of chemical experiment and not for practical use or for sale.
Gunpowder (except for private use) to be kept only in existing or neto Magazines or Store, or in Registered Premises.] The 5th section enacts that gunpowder shall not be kept at any place except as follows: that is to say (1) Except in the factory (either lawfully existing or licensed for
the same under this act) in which it is manufactured; or (2) Except in a magazine or store for gunpowder either lawfully
existing or licensed under this act for keeping gun
powder; or (3) Except in premises registered under this act for keeping
gunpowder. Provided that this section shall not apply. (1) To a person keeping for his private use and not for sale gun
powder to an amount not exceeding on the same premises
thirty pounds; or (2) To the keeping of any gunpowder by a carrier or other person for the purpose of conveyance, when the same is being con- 38 Vict.c. 17. veyed or kept in accordance with the provisions of this act
with respect to the conveyance of gunpowder. Application for a Licence for a new Factory or Magazine.] An applicant for a licence, before he can obtain the same from the local authority, must submit to the secretary of state a draft of a licence, accompanied by a plan of the proposed factory or magazine and the site thereof, and it is to embody the terms which the applicant proposes to have inserted in the licence, and in the particulars the various matters set out in different sub-sections of the 6th section.
The secretary of state, after examination of the proposal, may reject the application altogether, or he may approve of the draft licence, with or without modification or addition, and grant to the applicant permission to apply to the local authority for their assent to the establishment of the factory or magazine on the proposed site.
Application for Assent of Local Authority to Site of new Factory or Magazine.] By sect. 7, the local authority, upon application being made for their assent to the establishment of a new factory or magazine on the proposed site, are to cause notice to be published by the applicant, in manner directed by the act, of the application and of the time and place at which they will be prepared to hear the applicant; and any person objecting to such establishment, who have not less than seven clear days before the day of hearing sent to the clerk of the local authority and to the applicant of their intention to appear and object, with their name, address and calling, and a short statement of the grounds of their objection.
Upon the hearing of the application, or any adjournment thereof, the local authority may dissent altogether from the establishment of such new factory or magazine on the proposed site, or assent thereto either absolutely or on any conditions requiring additional restrictions or precautions.
Where the site of the proposed factory or magazine is situate within or within one mile of the limits of the jurisdiction of any urban sanitary authority, or of any harbour authority, the applicant is to serve on such authority, if they are not the local authority, notice of the application, and of the time and place of hearing fixed by the local authority. The notices are to be published and served by the applicant not less than one inonth before the hearing.
The local authority are to fix the time and place of hearing as soon as practicable after application made to them, and the time so fixed is to be as soon as practicable after the expiration of the said month from the publication and service of the notices by the applicant, and their final decision is to be given as soon as practicable after the expiration of such month.
The place so fixed is to be situate within the jurisdiction of the
38 Vict. c. 17. local authority, or within a convenient distance of the limits of that
The costs of any objection, which the local authority may deem to be frivolous, are to be ascertained by an order made by the local authority, and are to be a debt due from the objector to the applicant, of which such order is to be conclusive evidence.
Where the site of the 'proposed factory or magazine is situate partly within the jurisdiction of one local authority and partly within the jurisdiction of another, the assent of both local authorities is to be applied for in the manner provided by the act.
Grant and Confirmation of Licence.] By sect. 8, if, on the hearing of the application for the establishment of a factory or magazine, the local authority assent thereto either absolutely or on conditions submitted to by the applicant, he is to be entitled to the licence applied for in accordance with the draft approved by the secretary of state, with the addition (if the assent was on conditions) of the additional restrictions and precautions required by those conditions.
Appeal to the Secretary of State.] If the local authority assent on any conditions not submitted to by the applicant, or dissent, the applicant may appeal to the secretary of state, giving notice of such appeal to the local authority, and requiring them to state in writing their reasons for such conditions or dissent; and the secretary of state, after considering the reasons (if any) so stated, and after such inquiry, local or otherwise, as he may think necessary, may, if the local authority dissented, refuse the licence, or may in either case grant the licence applied for in accordance with the draft licence, either as previously approved by him, or with such modifications and additions as he may consider required to meet the reasons (if any) so stated by the local authority.
The secretary of state, when satisfied that the factory or magazine is sufficiently completed according to the licence to justify the use thereof, is to confirm the licence, but, until so confirmed, the licence is not to come into force.
The land forming the site, bounded as described in the licence, is, with every unused building and work thereon, for whatever purpose, to be deemed to be the factory or magazine referred to in the licence.
III. Application for a Licence for a Gunpowder Store. Store Licence to be obtained from the Local Authority.) By the 15th section, any person may apply for a licence for a gunpowder store to the local authority at the time and place appointed by such authority, stating his name, address and calling, the proposed site and construction of the store, and the amount of gunpowder he proposes to store therein; and the local authority are, as soon as practicable, if the proposed site, construction of the store, and 38 Vict. c. 17. amount of gunpowder are in accordance with the order in council hereafter mentioned, to grant to the applicant on payment of such fee, not exceeding 58., as may be fixed by that authority, the licence applied for.
Order in Council prescribing the Situation and Construction of Stores.] The 16th section enacts that the Queen, by order in council, may(1.) Regulate the construction and materials and fittings of gun
powder stores; and (2.) Prescribe the buildings and works from which gunpowder
stores are to be separated, and the distances by which they
are to be separated; and
two tons, to be kept in stores, graduated according to their
buildings and works.
Store licences are to be in the form directed by the Secretary of State.
IV. Application for Registration of Premises for keeping Gunpowder.
By sect. 21, a person desirous of registering with the local authority any premises for the keeping of gunpowder, is to register his name and calling, and the said premises in the act referred to as his registered premises) in such manner, and on payment of such fee, not exceeding 18. as may be directed by the local authority. Such registration is to be valid only for the person registered, and is to be annually renewed. The 22nd section contains a body of rules to be observed by the occupier of registered premises.
V. Registration of Store Licences and Registered Premises. The 28th section enacts, that the local authority shall cause registers of all store licences granted by, and all premises registered with, them under this act to be kept in such form and with such particulars as they may direct.
The local authority are, when so required by the secretary of state, to send to him within the time fixed by such requisition a copy of such register, or any part thereof, and in default the clerk of such authority, and also the authority, if they are in fault, are to be liable to a penalty.
Right of Inspection of Registers.] A ratepayer within the area of