HC Deb 18 July 1963 vol 681 cc701-2
16. Mrs. Butler

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he is satisfied that Section 132 of the Local Government Act 1948 gives local authorities adequate powers to organise public firework parties on 5th November as a contribution towards reducing the number of firework accidents at this time; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Corfield

I am advised that the Section enables local authorities to provide or arrange public firework parties. It is for local authorities to decide whether to use these powers.

Mrs. Butler

In view of the appalling accidents that take place every November through the mishandling of fireworks, will the hon. Gentleman consider reminding local authorities that they have this power, so that parents may be encouraged to take their children to such parties rather than to let off fireworks in their own back gardens?

Mr. Corfield

I am not aware of any need to remind local authorities, but I will certainly see what publicity has been given to the matter. In the meantime, I am sure that the hon. Lady's Question will help considerably towards that end.

Mr. Allason

Would not my hon. Friend agree that these displays should be conducted by properly qualified people, in which case there needs to be either a vast training scheme to produce qualified people or these displays will be very few and far between?

Mr. Corfield

There is a variety of views, and I have a good deal of sym- pathy with the view of my hon. Friend, but in this matter the responsibility is basically that of my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary.

Mr. K. Lewis

Is my hon. Friend aware that just as soon as his right hon. Friend can announce that the County of Rutland is to retain its independence we will have a "bonanza" firework display; and that we know very well where to get the money from?