HC Deb 20 February 1918 vol 103 cc744-5
92. Colonel Sir FREDERICK HALL

asked the Home Secretary whether, in view of the benefit that has been derived from daylight saving, the economy effected in the use of coal, gas, and electricity, and the advantage to the masses by setting the clock forward one hour, he will consider the advisability of commencing the extra hour period on Sunday, the 31st March, and continuing it up till and including Saturday, the 28th September; and whether he will favourably consider the increased benefits to be obtained from putting the clock forward another hour from the 19th May till the 21st July, in order that the advantages of the daylight may be utilised to the greatest possible extent?


I have received a large number of representations in favour of commencing Summer Time on a date earlier than the date fixed last year, namely, the second Sunday in April; and the proposal to fix an earlier date is strongly supported by the Food Production Department and many bodies of allotment holders, as also by the Coal Controller and his Advisory Board. On the other hand, if the change be made too early in the year, inconvenience would be caused to those whose work commences at an early hour in the morning, and for whom it means an extension of the period during which they have to rise and get to their work in the dark, and also to persons engaged in agriculture.

After considering all the representations, I have decided that, for the present year, Summer Time shall be brought into force on the morning of Sunday, the 24th March, and shall continue until the night of Sunday, the 29th September—an arrangement that will give an additional five weeks of Summer Time this year. As regards the suggestion which is made in the question, and has also been put forward in other quarters, that during the midsummer period the time should be advanced by an additional hour, there is no power under the Statute to make this further change, and I may, add that the Committee which had the proposal before them reported unanimously against it.


If there is no power under the Statute that permits this, and the right hon. Gentleman thinks it would be an advantage, will he take the necessary steps to obtain that power?


The Committee are very much against it, and I am not satisfied that it would be an advantage.