8th EU directive, YRDST experiences

Chris Carrier 72157.3334 at CompuServe.COM
Mon Jun 3 05:25:45 UTC 1996

Peter Ilieve > INTERNET:peter at aldie.co.uk wrote a Reply to: Re: 8th EU
directive, UK on CET, Port. PTA
>The reason it was done this early is largely because the seventh directive
>was produced quite late, 30 May 1994. This didn't leave much time for
>National Governments to enact their own legislation. For example the
>UK Summer Time order wasn't made until 2 November 94, and that was
>for the 1995 dates. This caught out many diary publishers as in 1995
>the UK ended summer time on 22 October, the 4th Sunday, rather than the
>more traditional Sunday after the 4th Saturday (29 Oct). Even May of
>the year before is a bit late for timetable planning.
I agree there are some advantages to doing it up at least a year in advance
... last Friday (May 31) I received a 1997 wall calendar I ordered in mid-May,
and this calendar had a copyright date of 1995.  In the Nautical Almanac,
whose timezone records I have back to the early 1960s, the timezone list is
usually updated to late in the THIRD calendar year before the year the almanac
is printed for, and although they state that "in general no attempt is made to
list the beginning and end of summer time, as they are subject to frequent
changes on short notice" they do give the dates for the US and UK, often
erroneously because of changes made after the date of publication ... for
example the UK in the mid-80s is listed as ending Summer Time on the second
Sunday in October because of a deal with the EC that apparently fell through,
and the US is listed on DST all year from 1974 January 6 to 1975 October 26,
as called for in the Emergency DST Act of 1973, while not mentioning the later
law that was passed (by angry popular demand, which I would like to think I
had a part in forming, at least locally) in late 1974 calling for a reversion
to Standard Time from 1974 October 27 to 1975 February 23.
>>Personally, I think time zone changes are of sufficent importance that there
>>ought to be constitutional language requiring a public referendum in the
>>affected area before a change in rules is made.
>Constitutional language is hard to find in the UK,
Good point.  In that case insert phrase "Act of Parliament" in lieu.  Here in
California our state's constitution forbids a number of acts, without a
referendum and allows for people to propose ballot measures "the initative." 
I understand a number of European countries provision for referenda in their
constitutions, and the UK had a referendum once on Common Market membership.
>and I doubt that summer time would be high on the list of priorities if we
>did choose to invent some. :-)
Depends on the situation.  In the UK's current situation, or in 83% of the US,
it's not a high priority; but it would be if the UK were on CET, it would be,
just as it was in Portugal.
>[re: `option 2', the UK moving an hour forward, both summer and winter]
>The pressure for this change
>seems to be coming from a vociferous pressure group within the UK.
One would think they would have learnt their lesson in 1968-71, just as the US
did in 1974.  After the 1974 DST mess virtually nobody advocated favoring
year-round DST, although, of course, a movement started in 1975 for an
increased summer time period which achieved success in 1986, as from 1987 the
US began DST on the first, instead of the last, Sunday in April.  But YRDST
has very little support in the US, judging by letters to papers and proposals
in Congress post-1975 versus pre-1973, where a bill in Congress calling for
permanent YRDST "New Standard Time" was introduced in 1972, the same year
another bill calling for the contiguous USA to adopt a standard time of GMT-
06:30 throughout, the equivalent of DST and a half on the West Coast plus an
extra hour in summer, the same situation Portugal just decided to dump.
Of course, by 1996 about a third of the population would have had no personal
memory of their countries' respective YRDST experiences.
>The government have been too timid ever since the consultation exercise
>about this in 1989 to make any decision, the matter is officially `under
>constant review'. My guess is that if they do decide to change they would
>try very hard to blame the change on the Commission and the EU in general,
>hence the prominent notes by the Commission in this survey report saying
>`nothing to do with us gov'.
I would be interested in seeing or knowing where I could get copies of any
official docs on this.  Was the matter discussed in The Times? (London)
Interesting that the European system allows member nations to set their own
zone, but makes summer time mandatory, the opposite of the American system
(Uniform Time Act of 1967, as amended) makes the zone set by the federal
government while allowing states to opt out of the 'advanced' (summer or
daylight saving) time provision.
>I reported back in February the results of an
>email exchange with Martin Bruckmann in Portugal <martin at ci.ua.pt>. He said:
>-And, a  novelty  (or back to how it was before E.U.):  Portugal is
>-re-adopting its more natural time, i.e. the same as in the U.K.  It is
>-still 1h delay compared to its solar time, but it's already better than
>-the E.U. imposed Central European Time, which forced little kids to
>-wake up very early to go to school in the total darkness in Winter...
Actually Portugal's delay is about 30m compared to solar time (make that about
40m on the coast)so they, like Ireland, really ought to consider going on GMT-
0:30, as that meridian runs through them and GMT doesn't.
Chris Carrier

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