HC Deb 06 November 1958 vol 594 cc1092-4
25. Sir J. Duncan

asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps have been taken to implement the recommendations of the Committee on Weights and Measures Legislation which reported in 1951; and what further steps to implement their recommendations are contemplated in the present Session of Parliament.

32. Sir F. Medlicott

asked the President of the Board of Trade what further implementation of the recommendations of the Hodgson Committee on Weights and Measures is proposed for the present Session.

35. Mrs. Slater

asked the President of the Board of Trade what proposals he has to introduce legislation to implement the Hodgson Report.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Mr. John Rodgers)

Many trade and consumer organisations have been consulted about the Committee's recommendations and a Weights and Measures Bill will be introduced as soon as Parliamentary time permits. My right hon. Friend intends to make regulations to deal with part of the field, but regrets that this will take a little more time.

Sir J. Duncan

Does my hon. Friend, whom I congratulate on answering his first Parliamentary Questions, know that the Angus Joint Weights and Measures Committee has some anxiety regarding the packaging of food, measures for drink and the tolerances for petrol pumps? Are these matters among the regulations which are to be dealt with this Session?

Mr. Rodgers

The regulations will be concerned with the retail sale of food and the marking of pre-packed foods. They will not include petrol.

Mrs. Slater

In view of the fact that this Report was published in 1951 and that there is growing concern by house-wives as well as by retailers on the question of packaged goods other than foods, could not the Government speed up this legislation with the same haste as they speeded up the Bill which we discussed yesterday?

Mr. Rodgers

I realise that the Hodgson Committee reported in 1951; but its recommendations were very detailed and in many cases they presupposed considerable consultation. We have had to consult over ninety organisations and some of the consultations are still in progress.

Miss Burton

Without wishing to embarrass the Parliamentary Secretary on his first day at the Box, may I ask whether he realises that his Answer is no advance whatever on the one given to me last June? Does he hope that by next week, when I have a Question down, we might get a stage further?

Mr. Rodgers

I cannot anticipate the date on which we will be able to introduce the regulations.

Sir F. Medlicott

Would it be correct to assume that the trade organisations concerned have, in fact, given a great deal of co-operation and information?

Mr. Rodgers

Yes. In most cases that is entirely true.