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Volume 656: debated on Thursday 29 March 1962

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has considered the evidence of Dr. D. Jackson, M.D., F.R.C.S., a copy of which has been sent to him by the hon. Member for the Ladywood division of Birmingham concerning casualties during the past 13 years arising from fireworks injuries during 5th November celebrations; and what action he proposes to take, in view of this new evidence, to reduce the number of such accidents in the future.

Yes, Sir. The valuable article by Mr. Jackson in the British Medical Journal which makes an analysis of the causes of firework injuries treated in the Birmingham Accident Hospital has been carefully studied in the Home Office. As regards the second part of the Question, I am not yet in a position to add anything to the replies given on 1st February.

While thanking the Minister for his consideration of that matter, may I ask him whether he realises that there is a great deal of anxiety in the accident hospitals arising from the fact that no reduction in these accidents occurs before and after 5th November celebrations? I hope that something further will be done.

We are anxious to find out which types of firework and which ways of handling them are the causes of injury. We are keen, therefore, to examine any evidence which helps us to answer this question. We can then decide what action, if any, it is necessary to take to reduce the injuries.

Will the Minister bear in mind that while it is necessary to look at the possibility of accidents and to do what we can to stop them, we still want out boys to be boys and to have a little fun?