HC Deb 11 November 1952 vol 507 cc28-9W
Sir H. Webbe

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has yet come to a decision about legislation, following the Report of the Committee of Inquiry on Weights and Measures

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

Yes. I have given very careful consideration to the Report, and I find myself in very general agreement with the decisions reached by my predecessor, the right hon. and learned Member for St. Helens, (Sir H. Shawcross), which he announced in this House on 10th May last year. Action has already been started on those recommendations which do not involve legislation. With a view to the embodiment in legislation of a considerable number of the recommendations which are designed to remove anomalies and confusion and bring the law into accord with modern conditions, I am arranging final consultations with the trading, local authority and other interests concerned.

On certain other major recommendations suggesting more fundamental changes, such as those relating to wholesale transactions and the responsibility for administration, decision must await the results of further consultations which I am starting. Her Majesty's Government are not prepared to proceed with the recommendation for the eventual abandonment of the Imperial for the metric system of weights and measures. Consultation with countries of the Commonwealth has, however, shown widespread support for the suggestion that a firm and legally defined relationship between the Imperial pound and yard and the international metre and kilogramme should be established. On account of the wide variety of the recommendations and extensive nature of the consultations, the legislation will not be introduced for some time.