U.S. PROGRAM FOR METRIC CONVERSION: "WHERE WERE YOU?"

Legislative efforts toward metrication in the U.S. are reviewed with emphasis on recent events in the 94th Congress, and disappointment is expressed at the lack of support from the technical, engineering and trade societies. In 1968, Public Law 90-472 was passed which provided for a study to determine the impact of increased worldwide use of the metric system on the U.S., and the advantages and disadvantages of conversion to that system. In 1971 the recommendation was made that the U.S. change to the metric system in a coordinated, national, voluntary program over a 10-year period, with a general rule that the costs should lie where they fall. Two Gallup polls showed that 56 percent of all Americans were ignorant of what the system was, and only 42 percent favored conversion to it. Although a number of bills were submitted early in this session (94th) of Congress, no formal statements have been submitted by the scientific or academic community. The combined professional groups of the engineering societies, however, testified, in favor of conversion. The main issue at the hearings was the concern about the cost of conversion. Labor felt that workers would suffer from the 1971 provision, and requested federal compensation for the conversion costs incurred. Some members felt that assistance should be provided to small business. Many members who favored metrication voted against it because they felt it needed more consideration and debate. the opinion is expressed that societal problems are ultimately solved in the political arena and a number of single things, that could be done toward this end are suggested.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Report of a symposium conducted by Standing Subcommittee No. 5, International Activities of the U.S. National Committee on Tunneling Technology, held on May 21-22, 1974 in Washington, D.C.
  • Corporate Authors:

    National Research Council

    National Committee on Tunneling Technology
    Washington, DC  USA  20418
  • Authors:
    • McCormack, M
  • Publication Date: 1975

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00127930
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 21 1976 12:00AM