HL Deb 11 July 1994 vol 556 cc1579-80

7.27 p.m.

Viscount Goschen rose to move, That the draft order laid before the House on 10th May be approved [19th Report from the Joint Committee].

The noble Viscount said: My Lords, in moving the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper, it may be for the convenience of the House if both Motions on the Order Paper are discussed together.

The draft Weights and Measures (Cosmetic Products) Order would complete the implementation in United Kingdom law of the European Community directive which harmonises the laws of member states on sales of cosmetic products. The principal change to UK law would be to require pre-packed cosmetics such as perfumes and moisturisers in quantities of 5 grammes, or 5 millilitres, or more to bear an indication of quantity. At present, pre-packed cosmetics must generally be quantity marked above 12 grammes, or 12 millilitres.

The other Motion relates to the draft Weights and Measures (Intoxicating Liquor) (Amendment) Order. The present law requires the phasing out from the end of this year of the use of Imperial measures for the sale of the four most popular spirits—gin, rum, vodka and whisky—for consumption on licensed premises. From 1st January 1995 these spirits may be sold only in a quantity of 25 millilitres and multiples. The draft order permits these spirits also to be sold in a quantity of 35 millilitres and multiples thereof. The order would therefore maintain choice for licensees in the quantity of spirits they may offer to the public.

Both draft orders follow consultation by the Department of Trade and Industry with more than 100 organisations representing trade, consumer and enforce-ment interests. I commend the order to the House.

Moved, That the draft order laid before the House on 10th May be approved [19th Report from the Joint Committee].—(Viscount Goschen.)

Lord Williams of Elvel

My Lords, the House will be grateful to the noble Viscount for introducing the two Motions. I have no problem with regard to the second order. The problem with regard to the first seems to me that, as I understand the explanatory note, it implements a Council directive. Therefore, would it not be more appropriate to make the order under the European Communities Act rather than under the Weights and Measures Act, which is not a suitable vehicle for implementing Community directives?

Viscount Goschen

My Lords, no. The matter is fairly straightforward. The draft order substitutes the definition of cosmetic products contained in the directive—that of perfumery and toilet preparations— set out in the Weights and Measures Act 1985. It also requires retailers to indicate the quantity of sales of non pre-packed cosmetic products such as shampoo refills and bath beads. Thirdly, it exempts from the requirement to indicate weight or volume products sold by number such as lipsticks and products intended for single use such as individual sachets of shampoo. In view of that explanation, the Government believe that it is entirely appropriate for the order to be made in this way.

On Question, Motion agreed to.