asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce at what date the Government expect to have completed consideration of the report of the committee set up to investigate the desirability of this country's introducing the metric system of weights and measures; and if he will consider initiating negotiations at an early date with the British Government to discuss the desirability of the introduction of the metric system to facilitate increased trade with the countries of the European Economic Community.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Metric System of Weights and Measures.
In consultation with the other Ministers concerned, I have been giving very careful consideration to the report and recommendations of the Committee in regard to the adoption of the Metric system of weights and measures; I hope that it will soon be possible to complete consideration of the matter and to announce the Government's conclusions. Discussions have already taken place with British Government Departments at official level and there will be further discussions if necessary.
Would the Minister say if these discussions include the possibility of using the decimal system for coinage?
Both are related and are treated separately, but it does not mean necessarily that there will be a joint or separate decision in either case. The whole matter is under review.
Is one aspect having priority over the other?
No, not one above the other. It may be possible to implement the recommendations in one case and not in the other.
The Minister said that discussions have taken place with the British Government. The British Government may make an announcement inside the next 12 months and it will be necessary for us to move so that there will be some synchronisation.
That is the whole purpose of the discussions. Each member of the Government has been asked for his observations and we are in touch with Britain.
May I assume that if Britain adopts the system, we will adopt it and if Britain does not adopt it, we will not? Are we to be guided by the British?
The Deputy has no right to assume that. We have, of course, to examine the desirability of synchronisation in the matter.