22 MARCH 1957, Page 8

ALL-PARTY COMMITTEES at the House of Commons tend to be

rather dreadful things, oozing bon- homie at every pore. 'This thing,' they say, 'is above party politics' (what do they expect it to be—below?). But one must make an exception in the case of the Parliamentary Home Safety Group, which has just opened an exhibition in the Upper Waiting Hall of the House of Commons. The exhibition is provided largely by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and the British Standards Institute; it includes a macabre dish full of mingled sweets and poisonous tablets, visitors being encouraged to try to tell them apart, with the unspoken rider 'How do you expect the children to, then?' Apart from that, and some photographs of burned and scalded bodies, so horrifying that it is difficult to look at them for more than a few seconds, the exhibition is worthy rather than exciting. But worthiness, as the elaborately inter-party speeches of the open- ing ceremony made clear, is the object of the exercise. Seventeen deaths a day from accidents in the home are too many; it makes a welcome change to see the Commons giving a lead.