HC Deb 16 February 1961 vol 634 cc1748-9
29. Mr. E. Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that there are many accidents to children resulting in severe burns from fireworks on or about 5th November every year; and if he will take powers to prohibit the sale of dangerous fireworks to the public.

Mr. Vosper

The Fireworks Act, 1951, enables my right hon. Friend to order the seizure and destruction of dangerous fireworks, and steps are taken to ensure that fireworks sold to the public are not dangerous if used according to the directions and with care. But my right hon. Friend would be glad to receive information about fireworks that are believed to have caused accidents.

Mr. Johnson

Is my right hon. Friend aware that on 5th November this year 11 children were admitted to the Booth Hall Children's Hospital in my constituency very seriously burned by fireworks, and one child admitted, on 28th October, died as the result of such burns on 7th November? Does he agree that some very drastic action ought to be taken to prevent this annual tragedy which calls for something more than the mere prohibition of the sale of dangerous fireworks to juveniles?

Mr. Vosper

My right hon. Friend knows that there is concern, and, in fact, I am obtaining further information from the source which my hon. Friend has mentioned. The probable result will be that the only complete solution would be to ban all fireworks. I doubt that there is any intermediate solution between the implementation of present legislation and that.