HC Deb 28 January 1960 vol 616 cc344-6
7. Mr. Fletcher

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the progress of the inquiry into the desirability of permanently extending Summer Time.

15. Mr. Lipton

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has completed his inquiry into the extension of Summer Time; and if he will extend the daylight-saving period this summer.

22. Mr. de Freitas

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will extend daylight Summer Time to 30th October, 1960, instead of 2nd October, 1960.

25. Captain Pilkington

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what bodies he has consulted concerning the extension of Summer Time; and with what result.

40. Mr. Dodds

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made in his consideration of the extension of Summer Time.

Mr. Vosper

A questionnaire has been issued to 135 interested organisations, but it will be some time before replies are received. Meanwhile, I can only remind hon. Members that an extension of Summer Time would require legislation.

Mr. Fletcher

Will right hon. Gentlemen consider the desirability of introducing legislation enabling the Home Secretary to make the extension of Summer Time more flexible, so that we may have experiments over rather longer periods?

Mr. Vosper

We must await the replies to this questionnaire—which will not be received for some weeks yet—before making up our minds what to do.

Mr. Lipton

Why are these questionnaires being sent out? Are not the facts already well known? Has not this matter been considered and discussed for many years past? Everybody knows the facts except the Home Office. Why this mania for sending out questionnaires, on a question that must be very well known, to somebody who has already considered it?

Mr. Vosper

From the number of replies that I am receiving I know that opinions are very varied.

Captain Pilkington

Does my right hon. Friend agree that there has been a great volume of opinion in favour of extending Summer Time, perhaps from some of those people he has not asked?

Mr. Vosper

Apart from organisations which we have approached, we are happy to receive the views of any other organisation which wishes to approach us in this matter.

Mr. Dodds

Is it not a fact that the main obstacles in the past have been the farmers? Is there not now evidence, through the N.F.U. branches, that even the farmers are changing their opinions? Ha there not been evidence for a long time that something should be done to keep in step with Western Europe and Scandinavia?

Mr. Vosper

It may be that the replies to the questionnaire will establish just what the hon. Member has put forward.