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Emergency Calls

Volume 976: debated on Wednesday 16 January 1980

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27.

asked the Lord Privy Seal what arrangements have been proposed or agreed to within the European Economic Community to harmonise statutory regulations for the recording of urgent calls for fire services, police, and ambulance services in accordance with the arrangements now in existence in France and Germany; and if he will make a statement.

No arrangements have been agreed to within the Community and I am not aware of any proposals for the harmonisation of recording procedures for such telephone calls.

Is the Lord Privy Seal aware that Britain is sadly lagging behind in modern technology for very important emergency services? Is he aware that both France and Germany have improved on our efforts? Although that might not come within the province of Common Market harmonisation, will he make representations to the Home Office to bring us up to date?

The hon. Gentleman has baffled us with his question. He seems to be making a case for harmonisation within the EEC, and perhaps there is such a case. I shall draw the attention of the Secretary of State for the Home Department to the hon. Gentleman's remarks.