However one sets the clock, at the height of winter it is impossible for a building craftsman—particularly in an indoor trade—to work a full day without artificial light for part of the time. One of the main features of my Ministry's winter building campaign has been to persuade contractors to invest in efficient site lighting equipment to improve their productivity. British Standard Time merely emphasises the need.
Is the Minister aware that British Standard Time is causing work to be lost in the most productive first hours of the day—a statement with which he agreed in his speech at Bristol? Is he also aware that lighting is impossible on many sites such as motorways and those operated by small firms, where it is impossible to have lighting in all circumstances?
It is no use the hon. Gentleman saying that it did not, because it did. We have a list of all those who approved it. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has said that there will be a review at the end of this winter and I should expect the industry's views to be passed to him and to the House.
Does not the present situation mean that construction workers arrive at 8 a.m., and either stand around in the dark for an hour doing nothing or work in possibly dangerous or icy conditions, or they arrive later and thus help to swell the traffic jams?
What I find extraordinary is that these remarks should come from the hon. Gentleman and others behind him, yet the industry, which has a close relationship with the Ministry and knows where to make complaints, has not made representations on this subject.