Skip to main content

Metrication Board

Volume 973: debated on Wednesday 14 November 1979

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will make a statement about the future of the Metrication Board.

My right hon. Friend and I have been reviewing the functions of a number of public bodies for which we have responsibility, including the Metrication Board, to see whether they are essential. Metrication has now been extensively adopted in manufacturing industry and also in retail trade, where most prepackaged goods sold in prescribed quantities are now sold in metric sizes, so there is now very limited scope for the Board's activities, which can easily be fulfilled by my Department and by the Department of Industry.In a few months' time, after the final statutory orders made by the previous Administration prescribing metric sizes for tea and suet have taken effect, there will be few, if any, cases where public information is necessary. This is because the Government have no plans for further compulsory orders of this type. I think it is in everybody's interest that as industry continues to go metric it should proceed to expedite in an orderly way, on a voluntary basis, a programme for any future metrication.Current appointments to the Board expire on 30 April 1980. In present circumstances I do not intend to renew these or make new ones. The effect will be that the Metrication Board will then come to an end.

I should like to thank the chairman and Board members for the work they have put into informing and guiding the public on the principles of metrication.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what has been the total cost of the Metrication Board since its establishment.

[pursuant to her reply, 8 November 1979, c. 254]: Including estimated expenditure for 1979–1980 the total costs to the end of this financial year will be £8,319,000.