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Lord Henley: My Lords, if I may briefly interrupt, I think the noble Lord misheard me. It was "Cycle Tracks", not cycle tax. This House tends not to deal with matters concerning taxation.

Lord Haskel: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for explaining that. Obviously I am getting a little hard of hearing, and it is a little late in the evening. The Fireworks Bill has the support of the Government and I commend it to the House.

Lord Rowallan: My Lords, before the noble Lord sits down, may I be permitted to ask whether a Bill is legally constituted by not having a Second Reading in the other House?

Lord Haskel: My Lords, I am not acquainted with the regulations of the other place and we shall have to get advice on that.

8.59 p.m.

Lord Monkswell: My Lords, if I might start off by responding to that last intervention, it is my understanding, even in this House but certainly in the other place, that it is possible to have a strictly formal Second Reading where there are no speeches and the Motion is put and agreed without debate. I think that answers the question, and we are perfectly in order to consider this as a valid Bill, presented from the other House.

I start by thanking all noble Lords who have contributed. As I thought when I opened the debate, it has proved very interesting. I am not sure, given the lateness of the hour, whether noble Lords would appreciate it if I went through every detail of every contribution made by my noble colleagues tonight. However, I will touch on some of them, if I may, but I think it is rapidly becoming apparent that we are going to have a fascinating and interesting Committee stage.

The noble Lord, Lord Kimball, seemed to say that the Bill would have to be amended. It may not have to be amended. When we go though the Committee stage there will no doubt be probing amendments to find out the intentions and meaning of the clauses and subsections. When they have been explained across the Floor of the House, I am confident that many of the amendments will be withdrawn, as is the usual way in this House. From what has been said, I am sure that the Bill will receive the scrutiny that this House normally gives to legislation.

I was a little worried by the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Henley, about the number of fireworks injuries compared with the number of fireworks let off every year. Other noble Lords said that no matter how

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few the injuries, we should always be concerned about them. The noble Baroness, Lady Fookes, pointed out that the statistics we talked about do not account for all the injuries.

I can give the assurance which the noble Lord, Lord Henley, was seeking, that private firework displays would not be regulated as public firework displays are. The sale of the more dangerous fireworks for private display purposes where there would be no trained person to operate them would need to be controlled. I am sure that he will agree that that is a sensible provision. He was also concerned about the number of regulation-making powers and the negative resolution procedure.

My noble friend the Minister pointed out that the negative resolution procedure is merely continuing the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and so is no different. The noble Baroness, Lady Fookes, said that there were a large number of regulation-making powers. A number of them are what one might call fall-back provisions. One of the concerns expressed through the consultation is that if we had a strict regulatory regime in the UK, people might be tempted to go abroad to purchase fireworks which would be regulated in this country, and to import them. There is a mechanism to ensure that the possession of dangerous fireworks is regulated.

Such a power would only be introduced if there were evidence of the trafficking in the private importation of dangerous fireworks. The noble Lord, Lord Henley, asked also about the Delegated Powers and Deregulation Committee. We have had the assurance of my noble friend the Minister, which I can confirm, that that committee will be considering the provisions of the Bill and will report before the Committee stage.

The noble Lord, Lord Kimball, mentioned the lack of scrutiny in the other place. Having been a Member of the other place, he has far more experience of it than I have from being a mere observer. This House should be concerned when a Bill has gone through the other place with large sections of it receiving no scrutiny. Amendments may have been tabled but not moved. That is where this House would say that there has been a lack of scrutiny. I sat through the Committee stage in the other place, and I can report that all the Bill's provisions were able to be discussed; and all the amendments that were set down were debated and agreed or not, as the case may be. This House could argue that the other place did give the Bill good scrutiny, compared with some of the legislation which comes before us from the other place.

The noble Lord, Lord McNally, mentioned the control of imports as something which would be a good thing. He implied that that was a provision of the Bill. There is no mechanism to control imports. It was discussed in the consultation process, and it was pointed out that we would fall foul of EU and WTO provisions. However we have a requirement for information to be provided as to the type, number, and extent of fireworks being imported. That provision of information is the same as that we would require of UK manufacturers. Therefore

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we should not be discriminating between home-produced and imported products. In itself, that information is non-discriminatory. It may reveal the presence of fireworks which would be banned under other regulations.

I was pleased to hear the contribution made by the noble Baroness, Lady Fookes. I am sorry to say that the Bill will not provide her Holy Grail. I hope

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that by the end of our scrutiny she will give it more than one-and-a-half cheers out of three. I thank my noble friend Lord Haskel for answering a number of questions which were raised and for informing us that the Government support the Bill. I commend it to the House.

On Question, Bill read a second time, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.

        House adjourned at eight minutes past nine o'clock.

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