Coal Carts (Weights and Scales).

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce. – in the House of Commons on 28th July 1942.

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Mr. De la Bère:

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether prior to arriving at the decision taken regarding the weights and scales on coal carts, he conferred with the two main representative societies?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

Yes, Sir. The views of the Coal Merchants' Federation and the Society of Coal Merchants were invited and duly considered, along with those of other interests concerned.

Mr. De la Bère:

Does my right hon. Friend realise that there is a very strong feeling that transport space could be saved by not dragging thousands of tons of useless iron about all day, and further is he not aware that this metal would be valuable for munitions, which would be very useful?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

Yes, Sir, but I am anxious that coal should be available for people at its proper weight, and I am advised by the local authorities I have consulted and also by the Society of Inspectors of Weights and Measures that they are unanimously of the opinion that this practice should continue. In this case we should be good Conservatives and not make rash changes.

Mr. De la Bère:

Is it not a fact that these weights and scales are never used at all?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

No, Sir, I am advised that they are frequently used, particularly in rural areas, where it is very necessary to protect small consumers against short weight.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Did the right hon. Gentleman receive a letter from me containing a letter from the Croydon Corporation about the needless waste involved as these tests are never taken, and recommending the disuse of these weighing machines?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

I receive a large number of communications from my hon. Friend. I have gone rather wider in my consultations on this occasion.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Did not the right hon. Gentleman say that the opinion of inspectors of weights and measures was unanimous, and is not that in conflict with the communication I have mentioned?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

No, Sir; I have not consulted all inspectors of weights and measures, but I have consulted the society which represents them.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

Before this compulsion was there not a good deal of cheating going on, and is it not a fact that local authorities send their inspectors to weigh coal now and again?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

The statutory practice will be continued.