§ Mr. Stainton
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he intends to discontinue publication of the daily weather report at the end of 1980; and what will be the anticipated financial economies and the alternative source of weather observations for essential users.
§ Mr. Pattie
Yes. The annual saving is estimated at £150,000, including six Civil Service posts in the Meteorological Office 331W and the closure of the specially maintained Her Majesty's Stationery Office press there. Sales have been declining and annual receipts are currently only £4,000.
The report is compiled from national and international data assembled for the general work of the Meteorological Office. Essential users already obtain information from this data bank and the service will continue. The information is provided free, or at special rates, if it is required in the public interest; otherwise a commercial rate is charged.
Those requiring general weather charts can also subscribe to the European daily weather report. This is produced, by arrangement, by the West German wetterdienst. Its much larger circulation enables it to be published economically at approximately the same price, including postage, as is currently charged for the United Kingdom report.