§ 15. Mr. Michael Heseltine
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will now introduce legislation for the control of fireworks.
§ Mr. Merlyn Rees
The manufacture, conveyance and storage of fireworks are already subject to statutory control; the sale of fireworks to children apparently under the age of 13 is forbidden; and it is an offence to discharge fireworks in a street or public place. I am not convinced that there is a need at present for further legislation.
§ Mr. Heseltine
Would not the Under-Secretary agree that the figures do not bear out his Answer, that there is a growing number of accidents involving children, that in other countries controls are legislatively enforced, and that the only way in which to bring about a reduction in the number of accidents is for the Government to take action?
§ Mr. Rees
The number of severe injuries fell. I accept that the number of injuries overall increased last year for the first time. We have looked at the matter most carefully and consider that legislation itself is not the complete answer. I stick by the Answer I gave, that we are not convinced of the need for further legislation.
§ Mr. Crawshaw
Would my hon. Friend not agree that, despite what he has said, there might be a case to be made out for restricting the length of time during which fireworks may be on sale before 5th November? Is he aware that many elderly people are troubled by this matter for many weeks before that date? Perhaps the point could be considered.