HC Deb 17 July 1963 vol 681 cc667-8

Lords Amendment: In page 46, line 11, leave out subsection (1) and insert: (1) The arrangements made by a local weights and measures authority to give effect in their area to the purposes of this Act may include the provision under the supervision of the chief inspector for their area of a service for the adjustment of weights and measures, but not of other weighing or measuring equipment; and where such a service is so provided the authority shall charge such fees in connection therewith as may be prescribed; but except by way of the adjustment of weights and measures—

  1. (a) during the period of two years beginning with the date of commencement of this section; and
  2. (b) with the express authority in writing of the Board,
no person holding office as an inspector who is employed in the inspection of weighing or measuring equipment for the purposes of its use for trade shall also undertake, whether as part of such a service as aforesaid or otherwise, the adjustment for those purposes of weighing or measuring equipment of any description.

Mr. D. Price

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

The Amendment is designed to clarify the provisions of Clause 43(1) relating to the arrangements for adjusting weights and measures and to allow the supervision of the arrangements by inspectors other than chief inspectors. The House will recall that, when we discussed the Clause in Committee and on Report, hon. Members opposite asked that the drafting be reconsidered. There was no difference of substance between us. Hon. Gentlemen were concerned lest unintentionally, the existing drafting might impose unnecessarily complicated administrative procedures on local authorities.

I agreed on Report to reconsider the drafting in response to an invitation from the hon. Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Mr. Darling). In accordance with that undertaking, the Government moved an Amendment in another place to clarify the matter, and this is the Amendment before us now. The House will recall that it was the word "organisation" which caused difficulty, and it will be glad to see that that word has been dropped.

Mr. Darling

I thank the Parliamentary Secretary for fulfilling the undertaking which he gave. We had long discussions on this matter both in Committee and on Report, as he said. Although, again, I find the new wording proposed not as clear as the Amendments which we put down originally, I will take the hon. Gentleman's word for it when he says that it achieves the same object.

Question put and agreed to.