British Standard Time

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Building and Works – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd December 1968.

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Photo of Mr Michael Jopling Mr Michael Jopling , Westmorland 12:00 am, 3rd December 1968

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works whether he will make a statement on the subject of the lighting of building sites after the change to all year round British Standard Time.

Photo of Mr Robert Mellish Mr Robert Mellish , Bermondsey

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.

Photo of Mr Michael Jopling Mr Michael Jopling , Westmorland

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?

Photo of Mr Robert Mellish Mr Robert Mellish , Bermondsey

The hon. Gentleman knows that before British Standard Time was introduced, the industry, in common with others, was asked for its point of view. Marginally, the construction industry came down in favour of the introduction of B.S.T.

Photo of Mr Robert Mellish Mr Robert Mellish , Bermondsey

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.

Photo of Mr Robin Chichester-Clark Mr Robin Chichester-Clark , County Londonderry

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?

Photo of Mr Robert Mellish Mr Robert Mellish , Bermondsey

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.