HC Deb 27 February 1963 vol 672 cc1229-30
4. Mr. Bowles

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he will give instructions, now that the Brussels talks have broken down, that meteorological temperatures given by the Meteorological Office should be given only in Fahrenheit.

Mr. H. Fraser

No, Sir. The introduction of centigrade in weather forecasts had no connection with the Common Market negotiations.

Mr. Bowles

I do not always accept what Government spokesmen say about the Common Market. Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, apart from one letter, I have had a great number of letters and communications from people who ask me to state on behalf of the public as a whole their disgust and unhappiness at and inability to follow the temperatures given by the Air Ministry in centesimal? Does the right hon. Gentleman know what the correct Fahrenheit reading is for 39 degrees centesimal?

Mr. Fraser

I will have to ask my Department. In point of fact, they are given in both scales. The decision was the result of a recommendation by the Meteorological Committee. There was wide consultation with industry, public utilities. and industral and research organisations. I think that on the whole this is satisfactory, certainly for young people, rather than for the hon. Gentleman and myself. Young people are being Instructed in centigrade/Fahrenheit conversion and I am sure that this is the best method to pursue.

Mr. Bowles

May I have an assurance that Fahrenheit will never be completely dropped?

Mr. Fraser

That is a wider question. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that that will be done only when it is acceptable to the general public.

Mr. Bowles

In view of the public interest in this matter, I should like some time to raise this matter on the Adjournment?

Mr. Speaker

I wish we could adhere to the usual formula.

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