HC Deb 29 March 1962 vol 656 cc1533-4
7. Dr. King

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he is taking to secure a uniform international colour code for electric wiring, in view of the fact that some Continental manufacturers of electrical equipment are using a red earth wire.

Mr. Renton

I understand that, as the result of agreement reached on the European international standards committee dealing with this subject, the use of red for the earth wire by certain Continental manufacturers of electrical equipment is in process of being abandoned.

Dr. King

Is the Minister aware that the interim Report of the Molony Committee on Consumer Protection shows that at least one fatality and a number of near fatalities have occurred because of the lack of an international colour code distinguishing between live wires and earth wires? Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware that his announcement will give us great pleasure? Will he do what he can to expedite the publication of the Molony Report and to secure a universal colour code?

Mr. Renton

The question of securing a universal colour code is one for negotiation by international bodies on which the British Standards Institution is represented. They are going ahead with that work and I think that they will solve the problem.

Mr. Darling

But when agreement has been reached, would it not be desirable to put it into Regulations under the Consumer Protection Act so that manufacturers in this country also comply with the agreement?

Mr. Renton

That may not be necessary.