The Metric System has always been imposed.... the ordinary man does not want it. But the Government knows better. It will be good for him... whether he likes it or not.
THE Weights and Measures Etc Act, 1976 removes the last major legal impediment to the orderly completion of metrication in the United Kingdom. The proviso in the Weights and Measures Act, 1963 preventing the removal of imperial weights and measures from the schedule of the units lawful for use for trade in favour of metric units, has been repealed.
The Government can now:
- set dates which can be effective from 21 April 1978, from which only metric packs of prescribed quantity goods will be allowed:
- set dates ending the use of imperial units for other prepacked goods or goods measured orweighed out in front of the customers. The Minister of State for Prices and Consumer Protection has given an undertaking that, in the case of weighed-out meat, fish, fruit and vegetables sold retail, these dates will not be before 1 January 1980;
- generally prohibit the use in trade of all imperial units except for the mile, foot, inch, gallon and pint;
- restrict the use in trade of any imperial unit sector by sector.
Parliament has passed the Weights and Measures etc Act, 1976.
Now Government, manufacturers, retailers, consumer organizations and the Metrication Board are getting together to plan the final stages of the metric changeover.
This new Act paves the way for Government through Parliament to see that imperial weights and measures are not used in trade side by side with metric for too long.
Given that the change is inevitable, organizations representing shoppers and shop keepers believe that the period of overlap should be as short as practicable.
Comment - why should it be inevitable?
It is well to recall that is precisely how metric was introduced in most countries, of which a partial list follows:
The history of metric has been the same all over. First the sales pitch spreading the Great Metric Lie, then when that fails, resort to compulsion backed by fines and jail sentences. Even then other weights and measures persist all over, many quite similar to ours.
- 1871 Germany Imperial Decree of Wilhelm 1
- 1793 France Drastic compulsory law.
Popular revulsion forced its repeal. France resorted to its Système Usuelle.
1823 Compulsion reimposed
- Latin America
Adopted about the 1860's but largely ignored outside of government departments even after being made compulsory in the latter quarter of the 19th century.