HC Deb 20 July 1970 vol 804 cc19-20W
Mr. Woodhouse

asked the Minister of Technology if he will make a statement about metrication.

Mr. Rippon

The Government have noted the extent of the plans and commitments already made towards the general adoption of the metric system, described in the First Report of the Metrication Board published in May. The Government propose to encourage these voluntary developments, including the use of metric specifications for public purchases as soon as consultation with suppliers shows this to be practicable.

Where individual industries have voluntarily progressed to the point where amendments to regulations couched in non-metric terms become necessary, the Government are prepared after consultation with interested parties to introduce amendments under existing statutory powers. It is for this reason that certain amendments to the Schedules to the Weights and Measures Act 1963 relating in particular to the building and pharmaceutical industries have been laid before Parliament.

On the other hand, the Government are not as yet committed to general enabling legislation involving amendment of Statutes. Before such legislation is introduced it is intended to provide time for the matter to be debated in both Houses of Parliament after the Recess.