HC Deb 23 July 1973 vol 860 cc1149-50
25. Mr. David Watkins

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he is making to secure the adoption throughout the Common Market of the British system of weights and measures inspection for the protection of consumers.

Mr. Tom Boardman

We have made abundantly clear in discussions with our partners in the Community and with members and officials of the Commission our preference for the adoption of the system employed in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Watkins

Does the Minister agree that, in the light of his reply, any replacement in the system of weights and measures inspection which gives the consumer protection at the point of purchase by a system of average contents inspection carried out at the point of manufacture would be a serious reduction in consumer protection? Can he give an assurance that he will seek to ensure that such a system will not be imposed on the country?

Mr. Boardman

We believe that there are obvious advantages in our system but there are clear advantages in a system being adopted which is common to the Community. We shall press that our system should be the one to be adopted.

Mr. Powell

Would my hon. Friend welcome a resolution of the House in support of what he has just said?

Mr. Boardman

We are resolved on our priorities, believing that ours is the best solution. We are also well aware that there are considerable advantages in having a common system for the Community. There would be advantages to consumers in this country as well as to those in the Community as a whole.

Mr. Alan Williams

What impact or value would a resolution of the House have if the Common Market countries decided to go ahead with their system?

Mr. Boardman

A resolution of the House has a great impact on the Ministers concerned.

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