HC Deb 16 February 1961 vol 634 cc1737-8
11. Mr. George Craddock

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that, at an inquest held at Harrogate on 12th October last, it was established that four-years-old Carole Ann Wilkinson was killed by a plastic dart from a plastic toy blow pipe imported from Hong Kong, which had no anti-suction device protection of any kind; and, in view of the grave danger to children from imported toys of this kind, and the increasing prevalence of accidents arising from these toys, whether he will appoint a committee to advise him on the steps to be taken to protect the lives of young children from these dangers.

The Minister of State for the Home Department (Mr. Dennis Vosper)

I have seen reports of this tragic accident. I understand that this toy is no longer being sold. The Consumer Protection Bill, to which the House gave a Second Reading on 27th January, would enable my right hon. Friend to make regulations prohibiting the sale of specified goods which do not comply with specified safety requirements.

Mr. Craddock

Whilst welcoming the Minister's Answer, may I ask whether he has seen a copy of the inquest proceedings, at which the doctor pointed out that in order to have saved the child's life it would have been necessary to operate within two minutes of the accident and there was not the remotest possibility of doing that? The coroner said that this was a cheap and shoddy thing and should not have been sold in the shops. Will the right hon. Gentleman approach his right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade so that the importers of this article may be contacted with a view to compensation being paid to the parents of Carole Ann Wilkinson?

Mr. Vosper

As to the first part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question, I do not think I can say more than that I am aware of what he has said. With regard to the second part. I will look at his remarks, but I do not think there can be a case for compensation.