Dáil Éireann - Volume 308 - 17 October, 1978

Written Answers. - Metrication System.

491. Mr. O'Toole asked the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Energy the EEC Directives and Regulations governing metrication in this country; the nature of any amendments proposed; and the likely timetable for their introduction.

Minister for Industry, Commerce and Energy (Mr. O'Malley): The relevant EEC Directives on our metrication programme are the Units of Measurement Directives 71/354 and 76/770. However, it has to be recognised that the change to the internationally recognised metric system—generally known as “Systeme Internationale d'Unites” (SI)—is a worldwide movement and is not confined to the EEC.

The directives mentioned provide for the introduction of SI as the legal system of units to be used in the Community and for the gradual phasing out of the imperial and other units heretofore in use. They list certain units the use of which must be discontinued as from 31 December 1979 and other units which must be reviewed before that date. The EEC Commission is, however, considering a proposal that a new directive be drawn up which, as well as setting a date for discontinuance of use of the units under [389] review, would augment and clarify the provisions of the existing directives. This matter is still at a preliminary stage and it is unlikely that a proposal will be made by the Commission to the Council for some months at least.