HL Deb 13 August 1904 vol 140 cc502-3


Order of the day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, I can assure the House that this is not in any sense a contentious measure, and I am glad to be able to say that it does not in any way deal with the metric system or any such abstruse subject. The Bill as it was originally introduced by Mr. Bousfield in another place contained clauses which the Board of Trade and the Government were not able to agree to. These clauses have been struck out in the Standing Committee on Law to which the Bill was committed, and the Bill as now before your Lordships has been taken up by His Majesty's Government and made a Government measure in this House. There are two clauses to which I think I should draw your Lordships' attention. The clause of the utmost importance is Clause 5, which deals with the powers of the Board of Trade as to making general regulations. Up to now the local authorities have been the authorities for weights and measures, but if this Act passes into law those powers will be taken over by the Board of Trade, and by this means uniformity will be created over the whole country. I am led to believe that this will be very welcome to traders generally. Clause 9 is also a very important one. The Board of Trade may, by this clause, vary the fees for verification and stamping. These fees are in some cases too high, more especially in the case of the glass trade; and, if this Bill passes, the Board of Trade propose to reduce fees in certain cases. As I have assured your Lordships that this is not a contentious Bill, I hope you will read it a second time.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a."—(Lord Wolverton.)

On Question, Bill read 2a; Committee negatived; and Bill to be read 3a on Monday next.