Gas Supplies (Metering)

Oral Answers to Questions — Energy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd July 1974.

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Photo of Mr Neil Marten Mr Neil Marten , Banbury 12:00 am, 22nd July 1974

asked the Secretary of State for Energy why he wishes the use of gas to be calculated in metric units rather than cubic feet.

Photo of Gavin Strang Gavin Strang , Edinburgh East

There are no plans to change from registration of gas consumed in cubic feet to metric volume.

Photo of Mr Neil Marten Mr Neil Marten , Banbury

May I, then, ask what are the meanings of Statutory Instruments Nos. 847 and 848, as they say that accounts may be rendered in metric units rather than cubic feet? Is this something to do with integration in the Common Market? If so, why has this happened—in view of the Labour Party manifesto—before we have had the result of the referendum? Or is it to do with the world-shattering draft directive of the Common Market which proposes to harmonise the scales of charges for the testing of gas meters?

Photo of Gavin Strang Gavin Strang , Edinburgh East

The regulations to which the hon. Gentleman refers are designed to facilitate the use of meters registering in metric units and to remove any barrier to trade in gas meters between EEC countries. The important point is that they do not affect British gas industry plans.

Photo of Mr Robert Redmond Mr Robert Redmond , Bolton West

Will the Minister assure the House that there is no going beyond the terms of the White Paper on metrication issued by the previous Government after a lot of pressure from their back benchers?

Photo of Gavin Strang Gavin Strang , Edinburgh East

I can give the hon. Gentleman that assurance. As things stand, British Gas has no plans to change to metric-reading meters.