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Summer Time: Eec Synchronisation

Volume 376: debated on Monday 25 October 1976

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2.40 p.m.

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they propose to take steps to synchronise the dates of changes into and out of Summer Time with those proposed for France and the Benelux countries.

My Lords, proposals for the harmonisation of Summer Time dates within the European Economic Community in 1978 and 1979 are under consideration. In the meantime, France and the Benelux countries are understood to be making their own arrangements for a period of Summer Time next year which will be substantially shorter than the period of British Summer Time. We have made it clear to our partners in Europe that any change in our arrangements would have to be acceptable to Parliament.

My Lords, while thanking the noble Lord for that encouraging Answer, may I ask that the Government should take into consideration when negotiating that this is a matter which is of considerable importance within the travel industry and other areas where the present difference of dates causes extreme confusion, and that to concede to our partners would be a concession to European opinion which would be as rare as it would be welcome?