HC Deb 17 January 1972 vol 829 cc3-4
2. Mr. Redmond

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he can now give a date for the publication of the White Paper on metrication.

Mr. John Davies

I cannot yet give a precise date, but it will be published within a month.

Mr. Redmond

I thank my right hon. Friend for at least getting a little along the way. We are looking forward to publication of the White Paper. Can my right hon. Friend confirm that the White Paper will remove some of the muddle by making certain that people know what weights their babies are, and what distances are, as shown on road signs; and that there will be no question of forcing metrication on those people who do not want it?

Mr. Davies

I am sure that my hon. Friend will find the White Paper very useful in all the respects to which he has referred.

Mr. Brian Walden

Is it not a fact that the Common Market Commission has made the S.I. system of metrication mandatory? Is it not also a fact that this will be an extremely expensive business for British industry, which is very worried about it—particularly on the equipment side? Will the White Paper, whenever published, give us any guidance in this respect?

Mr. Davies

I think that it will be wise to await the White Paper, but it will certainly deal with the position vis-à-vis the Community when it is published.