HC Deb 28 April 1960 vol 622 cc363-4
10. Mr. Darling

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he can now say when he will introduce a new weights and measures bill.

Mr. Maudling

I regret that I cannot add to the reply given to the hon. Member for Dartford (Mr. Sydney Irving) on 28th January.

Mr. Darling

That was a very vague reply. Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a number of traders and manufacturers who want to introduce new methods of packaging and selling their products are having difficulties in doing so under the old legislation? Is it not about time that this new legislation was speeded up, since the Labour Government started the thing in motion more than ten years ago?

Mr. Maudling

I am not sure that that is necessarily a recommendation. I express regret that it has not been possible to introduce the Bill in this Session, but I very much hope that it will be possible to do so in the next.

Mr. Jay

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that three years ago his predecessor said that a Bill was to be introduced in the next Session? Can he tell us what has gone wrong?

Mr. Maudling

I think that the consultations with the interests involved— local authorities and so on—have been rather prolonged and complicated, also the pressure on Parliamentary time has been considerable.