§ 4.4 p.m.
§ Mr. John Fraser (Norwood)
I beg to move Amendment No.747, in page 45, line 11, leave out subsection (3) and add:() In this Act, 'trade union' means an organisation (whether permanent or temporary) which either
- (a) consists wholly or mainly of workers of one or more descriptions and is an organisation whose principal objects include the regulation of relations between workers of that description or those descriptions and employers or employers' asociations, or
- (b) consists wholly or mainly of constituent or affiliated organisations which fulfil the conditions specified in the preceding paragraph (or themselves consist wholly or mainly of constituent or affiliated organisations which fulfil those conditions) or consists wholly or mainly of representatives of such constituent or affiliated organisations, and in either case is an organisation whose principal objects include the regulation of relations between workers and employers or between workers and employers' associations or include the regulation of relations between its constituent or affiliated organisations, and
- (c) is not under the domination or control of an employer or group of employers or of one or more employers' associations.
§ The Chairman
With this Amendment we can also take Amendment No. 791, in page 44, line 38, after second 'employers', insert:'and is not under the domination or control of an employer or group of employers or one or more employers' associations'.Amendment No.792, in page 45, line 10, at end insert:'and is not under the domination or control of an employer or group of employers or one or more employers' associations'.Amendment No.763, in Clause 61, page 46, line 39, leave out from beginning to end of line 40 and insert 'trade union'. 537 And Amendment No.768, in Clause 63, page 49, line 6, leave out subsection (2).
§ Mr. Charles Pannell (Leeds, West)
On a point of order. Before the debate begins on what I understand is the question of the General Register, may I take it that anything will be in order in the debate in so far as the Register impinges on everything in the Bill?
§ The Chairman
We shall have to wait and see how we get on. The right hon. Gentleman may be right. I shall adjudicate on the matter when the time comes.
§ Mr. Pannell
Further to that point of order. I am anxious to be courteous to the Chair. The difficulty in proceedings of this kind is that when the Chair has made a pronouncement, such as you, Sir Robert, have just made, and somebody else subsequently takes the Chair, we get a confusion of Rulings. You have ruled on something under your liberal guidance, probably somebody later will rule on a constrictive basis. Therefore, as this is likely to be a long debate, we must know beyond peradventure that the debate can be very wide, so that we can quote your wise words when we get into difficulties.
§ The Chairman
I appreciate the right hon. Gentleman's difficulties. I shall do my best to see that those who relieve me in the Chair are appraised of what I have said. We shall do our best to be as liberal as possible with the Committee consistent with the rules of order. We are debating under the guillotine. Therefore, certain tolerance from the Chair is called for.
§ Mrs. Barbara Castle (Blackburn)
Further to that point of order. We are grateful, Sir Robert, for what you have said. May we take it that it is understood that in this discussion about the register we are also to discuss Schedules 3 and 4 which are intimately associated with the whole question of registration? I believe that that has been part of your guidance in selection.
§ Mr. Norman Atkinson (Tottenham)
Further to that point of order. May I ask whether the Chair and the Commit- 538 tee agree that it would have been a far more intelligent procedure not to worry about these Amendments, but to have a general debate on Clause stand part? We could then have six or seven hours, or whatever it is, debating the Clause. We should then know precisely what we were all talking about. I think that that would make good sense. Surely this would be the best way to proceed.
§ The Chairman
That may be, but that is not for the Chair. The Chair must look at the Amendments which are put down and use its judgment upon what Amendments it should call. It is for the general opinion of the Committee. If the Committee think it right, it must do so accordingly. Otherwise, the Chair must deal with the matter as it appears on the Order Paper.
§ Mr. James Johnson (Kingston upon Hull, West)
Further to that point of order. You, Sir Robert, said, "We shall see as we go on." I take it that that is a liberal interpretation and that the debate can go very wide.
§ The Chairman
Order. It is difficult to make a general declaration on a large group of Amendments of what might or might not be in order at any one time. I hope that the Committee will leave it to the desire of the Chair to meet the wishes of the Committee as a whole.
§ Mr. John Fraser
I understand that it will be convenient also to discuss Amendments Nos. 791, 792, 763 and 768. I think that we shall almost certainly want a Division on Amendment No.768.
This group of Amendments—in particular Amendment No.747—brings us to what is really one of the major issues in the Bill. Put simply, it is whether a trade union——
§ Mr. Thomas Swain (Derbyshire, North-East)
On a point of order. I do not know whether there is anything wrong with the amplifying system, but it is impossible to hear my hon. Friend, even at this distance.
§ Mr. Raymond Gower (Barry)
Further to that point of order. I think it is done in ignorance of the fact that, by turning his head towards you, Sir Robert, the hon. Gentleman's voice is not carried over by the amplifier.
§ The Chairman
There may be something in what the hon. Gentleman says. I know that the hon. Gentleman is keen to address the Chair, but if he can throw his voice outwards I think that everyone will hear well.
§ Mr. Fraser
I apologise to my hon. Friends, and I hope that they can now hear me.
We are now discussing one of the major issues raised by the Bill, and it is whether a trade union, as it has existed for the last 60 years, may continue to be a trade union because, under the terms of the Clause, unless a trade union is registered as a trade union, unless it chooses to go through the hoop, it will, for the purposes of this Measure, no longer be a trade union.
The purpose of this group of Amendments is to elucidate whether a trade union, unless it goes through the hoop of registration and complies with the requirements laid down by the Government, will become only an organisation of workers and be exposed to many penalties, and whether, if it wants to continue as a trade union, it may do so on one condition only, and that is a condition which I do not think is attached to any comparable organisation. The condition is that it may be a trade union only if it gets licence from the State.
The provisions for the giving of a licence are unequalled anyway anywhere because, to get a licence, a trade union has to observe the principles set out in Clause 61. These are principles for which I believe there is no precedent in any other legislation about incorporation. There are no similar provisions in the Companies Acts. If there were, it might be that brewers would have to observe certain principles, and perhaps be struck off the register for subscribing money to the Conservative Party.
The whole purpose of legislation is to be precise, and that is what industrial collective bargaining is all about. We must have agreements which are precise, and which people understand. One hoop through which a trade union must go before it is registered is that it must comply with certain principles. I challenge the Solicitor-General to give us examples of so vague a concept being applied to the running of any other organisation.
540 One principle is that the organisation is to be denied the right to choose its own members, a principle of association which is not observed in any other sphere. Secondly, it has to jump through the hoop of Schedule 3. Under that Schedule, if a union is registered it will be robbed of the discretion to appoint its own officers and officials and to specify which official does what. If a union wants to have a degree of discretion to be able to change duties from one person to another in the light of particular situations, it will not be able to be registered.
§ Sir Derek Walker-Smith (Herfordshire, East)
The hon. Gentleman said that Clause 61 precluded unions from having the right to elect its own officers. Is that a reference to subsection (4)? If so, does not the hon. Gentleman agree that that is subject to the wordsby way of any arbitrary or unreasonable discrimination"?Surely the hon. Gentleman is not suggesting that it is wrong to have a principle that there should be no arbitrary or unreasonable discrimination in the selection of officers?
§ Mr. Fraser
I am not arguing that case. We shall in due course discuss Clause 61 in more detail. If one looks at the earlier wording of the subsection, one sees that it is so drawn that it includes many people who may not be able to be admitted to a trade union. For instance, the subsection refers to a person being "reasonably well qualified". The right hon. and learned Member is a member of the Bar. Will he tell me whether somebody who is reasonably well qualified—not qualified—will, under this provision, be allowed to be admitted to the Bar? The same question may be asked about solicitors, or about any other professional organisation. The earlier part of the subsection is drawn so widely that one is virtually denied the right to choose the members of one's trade union. There are enormous practical implications here, not only for organisations such as Equity, mining organisations, fire officers, safety officers, and so on, but many others, of which no doubt my hon. Friends will give examples.
The other point to note is that in order to get a State licence a trade union runs the risk of investigation by the Registrar 541 under Clause 79 if it has acted in contravention of the principles set out in the Bill. The point here is that there is a vague concept of principles, and it is important to note that the Clause does not say that the union can be investigated for a breach of its rules, a concept which I could not accept anyway, but merely that if a trade union has broken what, in the Government's view, is a broad concept, and has not spelled out in detail, as most Statutes would do, what it has done, it will be subject to investigation, and again I can find no precedent for such a provision.
Clause 64 is the most objectionable Clause of all. Under it, in order to get its State licence, a union must comply with requirements imposed by the Registrar. There is no qualification of the Clause, and my view is that one has to read its provisions in the light of Clause I, and this is where it begins to assume significance. Clause 1 says that trade unions have to be responsible. "Responsible" is a subjective word, and therefore I take it, from the conditions which will be attached to the licence granted to a trade union, that one could get the situation that the Registrar will use political tests, based on the vague concepts in Clause 1, to decide whether a trade union will be registered or not. This really smacks of such a wide discretion as to affront any reasonable lawyer, and it smacks of the wide discretion which is common in countries which do not know democracy.
§ Mr. C. Pannell
My hon. Friend raised with the right hon. and learned Member for Hertfordshire, East (Sir D. Walker-Smith) the question of definitions. Perhaps the right hon. and learned Gentleman will define what is a reasonable lawyer.
§ Mr. Fraser
I now come to deal with Amendment No. 768. A federation cannot apply for registration as a trade union unless all its constituent members are also registered trade unions. This means that the Government are putting federations through the hoop because, under the terms of the Clause as it stands, the T.U.C. cannot become a registered trade 542 union unless all its constituent members also become trade unions, and the same applies to other federations of trade unions. The result of this provision will be to drive a divide in federations of organisations. The result will be to drive a divide in the T.U.C., which will then be faced with doing one of two things. It will either have to expel the affiliated organisations if it wants to get registration—because all its constituent members have to be trade unions before it can become a trade union for the purpose of the Bill—or face the possibility of not being a trade union. In that event, it will be possible for the T.U.C. to be sued for damages for aiding and abetting a strike in breach of contract.
That is the Government's recipe for better industrial relations. They propose to drive a wedge in the T.U.C. by making it difficult for it to carry on as the kind of organisation that it is now. The Government propose to drive wedges through federations of trade union organisations and then to expose the T.U.C., if necessary, to actions for damages. This is another hoop through which any organisation will have to jump in order to get its State licence. This concept of a State licence is an assault upon the right of association such as one knows it in most democratic countries.
As I said last night, no such provision exists for companies.
§ Mr. Gower
I am sure that the hon. Gentleman does not want to mislead the Committee. He will be aware that if he or I sought to register a new company, or even if we applied for a name for it, the Registrar would want to be sure that the composition of the board of the proposed company was of such standing as to merit use of such a name, particularly if it was a territorial name which gave the public the impression that it was a company of some substance. There are all sorts of requirements of that nature in company legislation.
§ Mr. Fraser
As I pointed out to the hon. Gentleman last night, the company does not have to register. It can continue as a partnership and does not have to go through the hoop at all. The law which applies to a partnership in relation to third parties and the law relating to a company and its relationships with third parties, on the sort of issues with which we are dealing, industrial contracts, the 543 law of tort and so on, will be basically the same. The second mistake which the hon. Gentleman makes is that he equates the duties and the responsibilities thrust upon a number of people who, let us say, work in a sweat shop, who want to get a decent standard of living, with a company that wants to register with a capital of £1 million in order to trade all over the world. There is an imbalance of power between many working class people and the holders of power and wealth.
The sort of rules laid down here do not apply to companies, otherwise the Solicitor-General would be saying that no company would be able to issue non-voting shares. Since the company is on one side of the bargain and the trade union is on the other side, why is it that the shareholders, the people who contribute to the wealth and prosperity of the country, should be denied even a vote for the choice of their board of managing directors. There is no equation between the two, first, because the power is not equal, second, because some of the principles of these rules go much further than those applying to any other association, and third, in all other spheres of activity people have the right to choose between becoming registered and not becoming registered. The whole purpose of the Bill is to force trade unions into registration.
Last night we had an inkling of the reason for requiring registration and compliance with the principles, directives and broad discretion set out in the Bill. It was that if the trade unions want certain privileges they have to undertake the requirements of registration. What an insult to the trade union movement. Do the Government believe that the T.U.C. exercises unreasonable privileges in the way in which it tries to work in the fostering of our economy? What about trade union leaders' contributions on economic development committees and the time that they voluntarily give for the good of the country? Do they think that that is a privilege? It is not. These services are willingly given for the benefit and prosperity of the country. Do the Government think that the unofficial duties undertaken by trade union officials outside their organisations are privileges for which they have to suffer penalties 544 under the Bill? That is an insult to the trade union movement.
The hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that we do not have a problem of abuse of privilege by the trade union movement, and that it acts responsibly and enters into responsible bargains. In its thinking is very often way ahead of employers and certainly of this Government. To say that up to now they have enjoyed privileges as a result of which they must now be subjected to registration is an insult to many millions of people belonging to the movement.
The Government force them into this because they say, "If you do not register you will be liable for damages, and for many activities which you undertake at present for your members you will risk prosecution in the courts. If you do not register you will not be able to claim the legal right of recognition. If you do not register, you will be deprived of many of the rights and customs which you have been able to enjoy up to the present time." Therefore, the hon. Gentleman is forcing them into his registration and his kind of registration.
Many unions may choose not to register. Many people may choose to exercise their right of association, as an organisation of workers, in a way in which they think fit. There is no evidence that unions are undemocratic. Broadly speaking, their rules are good ones, and better than those of other organisations. But the Government are forcing them either to register—which some will find difficult—or not to register. If they do not, they will be subject to damages. What they are trying to tell the Committee and the country is that somehow this legal claptrap will improve industrial relations, and that somehow they will be improved if the T.U.C. is laid open to actions for damages. If the hon. Gentleman thinks that applications to the High Court by the Registrar to deregister a union because it does not come up to the terms of his requirements, which are broad and vague in the Bill, will improve industrial relations, he is making a very severe mistake. This is an assault on the right of association. It is an insult to the trade union movement. Our Amendments should be accepted and it ought to be dropped.
§ Mr. Charles Fletcher-Cooke (Darwen)
When my right hon. and learned Friend 545 used the word "privileges" yesterday, he was probably using the word in its strict legal sense. He would be the first to recognise that in the social and political sense the trade union movement has no special privileges and exercises its powers in a reasonable way, as the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser) suggested. But we are dealing with strictly legal matters at the moment, whether the Opposition like it or not. "Privileges" is the correct word in law.
§ Mr. Fletcher-Cooke
The parallel with the registration of companies which the hon. Member for Norwood drew is not a bad one. He, however, equated companies with partnerships. But the privilege which the company gets from registration, as opposed to the partnership, is the great privilege of limited liability. It is an enormous privilege. The privilege—again using the word in its legal sense—which the registered trade union will get is in a sense a greater privilege, because its liability would not merely be limited but would be nil. Therefore, there is a parallel between the requirement of registration of a company and of a trade union, in principle though not in detail. It is a parallel in principle in favour of the registered trade union, because its liability will be nothing, whereas the liability of the company in actions in the court is limited to the amount of its paid up capital, or capital whether paid up or not. Whether it be right or wrong socially, that is the legal reason for calling the position "privilege".
We are dealing with the new Registrar, who is certainly a very different and much more powerful animal than the old Registrar of Friendly Societies. The Registrar of Friendly Societies, who has hitherto dealt with these matters, has had no compulsory powers, although about 80 per cent. of trade unions find it convenient to register. and his task has been chiefly one of examining the internal finances of trade unions and seeing that the right annual returns are made. Fortunately, in this country here have been no great financial scandals about trade unions, as there have been, for example, in the United States. Therefore, his functions have been out of the public glare altogether. No very great change is suggested 546 in that regard under the new Registrar. But the new Registrar now takes on a very much greater importance. He has to pass the rules, not those merely connected with the making of reports relating to the property and income of a trade union, but those set out on page 175 of the Donovan Report, concerning who shall be qualified for admission, who shall decide who is qualified for admission, what right of appeal someone not admitted shall have, questions of discipline, questions of election, and, according to Schedule 3 of the Bill, questions of expulsion. It is on that last note that I would like to hear what my hon. and learned Friend has in mind for what some hon. Members may regard as a bee in my bonnet, and that is the question of expulsion from a union which is operating an agency shop.
There is nothing in Schedule 3 giving any such question of expulsion a special place. To take up some words used by the hon. Member for Norwood, I wonder whether the rather vague words in Clause 64(4)(b) have any connection with what I am now discussing. When the rules are submitted to the Registrar,If on any such application the registrar is satisfied—(a) that the body making the application is an organisation of workers and that it is eligible for registration as a trade union, and (b) that the requirements of subsection (3) of this section …and then follow the very vague words,… and any other requirements imposed by the registrar as a condition of registration, have been complied with …That can scarcely be construed ejusdem generis. It is extremely wide, and I wonder whether that is to be the way in which, where an agency shop is operated, the registrar will require rather better provisions as to appeal from expulsion than are normally provided and are suggested in Schedule 3.
If that is one of the "other requirements" that are envisaged, it will have my support. But I agree with the hon. Member for Norwood that we want to know what sorts of "other requirements" the Registrar is likely to demand. It is a very large discretion. It is true that there is an appeal from the Registrar's discretion to the Industrial Court under Clause 72(3). In other words, there is some safeguard against a Registrar taking 547 too rigid a view. But I assume that courts are not likely to interfere with the Registrar's decision except where he has not exercised it judicially, and that he remains a powerful person with a wide discretion in the way that I have suggested.
It may be that my hon. and learned Friend can meet some of the hon. Gentleman's fears by indicating, preferably with examples, how he envisages the other requirements that the Registrar might see fit to impose as a condition of registration. I am not against giving the Registrar these powers, if they are properly defined or at least indicated. It is right, for example, that in Clause 77 someone who has been expelled from a trade union may ask the registrar to investigate the circumstances. That seems to be a very proper power. Again, I assume that there is an appeal to the Industrial Court against the Registrar's decision. However, we should be clear that we are setting up machinery which is very novel and powerful and which I regard as necessary if the paragraphs of the Donovan Report dealing with trade union rules are to have any reality. Without the interposition of a powerful agency such as that of the registrar, all the rest will be so much beating the air.
§ Mr. Hugh Jenkins (Putney)
My hon. Friend the Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser) has drawn attention to the difficulty, which has been recognised even by some hon. Members opposite, about the meaning of "reasonably well qualified", and that is illustrative of the problems which will face trade unions as a result of this Clause.
The difficulty of forcing the independent trade union movement, with its extraordinarily wide variety of procedures, into a sort of straitjacket is known to all hon. Members on this side of the Committee, and it is beginning to be known by some hon. Members opposite. To be fair, it was already known to those of them who had some personal experience of the industrial world. Certainly it was known to some employers who are not in this House, because a number of them have taken the trouble to tell hon. Members on both sides about the problems that they will face as a result of trying to force the complex whole into a simple pattern.
548 The situation facing Equity in this connection is extraordinarily difficult. I do not suggest that it is unique, because it is similar to that which faces other unions. However, Equity is a useful example to take in order to illustrate the problems which will be faced.
Here is a trade union in which the reasonable qualification for entering is the possession of a contract. No one who has failed to persuade an employer that he is sufficiently well qualified to be given a job can enter the union. Right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite may cry, "Closed shop". However, it is an open or union shop. It is not a closed shop. In the sense that we are discussing this series of Amendments, the possession of a job is all important. The union says that, if anyone can persuade an employer to give him a job, he will be accepted into membership. The job is his qualification. So we are not even discussing a pre-entry closed shop. The union says that the job is the qualification for membership. That is the "reasonably well qualified" operation in this respect.
It is written into every contract of employment that directly or indirectly the means of identifying the performer's qualification is that he shall remain a member of the union. That brings us immediately to the next subsection, which claims the right for a person to resign from a union. In Equity if anyone exercises that right, he breaks his contract. The contract provides directly or indirectly that he shall remain a member of the union.
If that provision were put into effect, every single contract in films, television and the stage, would become invalid overnight. This provision goes to the root of the contract. It cannot be broken and still leave the contract in existence. In the event of this provision being put on the Statute Book, every contract in the entertainment industry will become renegotiable overnight.
It may be said that the situation arises because of the very nature of the business but that it does not go to the heart of the industrial welfare of the country. I have been a member of five unions in my lifetime and never a member at any one time of fewer than two. I am at the moment a member of the A.S.T.M.S. 549 which was referred to the other day as Mr. Clive Jenkins' union. That is an example of a union which is becoming, almost the trade union equivalent of the conglomerates into which industrial organisations are moving.
If hon. Members want the trade union movement to modernise itself, to match itself to developments in industry, we will have amalgamations and some sections of members of the same union being placed in an entirely different position from other members. These are all expected to be subject to the same rules which this section seeks to force into a set, ordered pattern.
We on this side face an impossibility. Nothing which we can do to amend this part of the Bill can make any sense of it. Nothing can make it operate in a fashion which will be to the interests of the employing organisations, let alone the unions. The only thing which we can do is to try to remove some of the more absurd anomalies.
Later, I shall explain this in greater detail, on a specific Amendment relating to Clause 61(3), which provides that every member of a union shall have the right to terminate his membership—at anytime. This is entirely intolerable and unreasonable in some spheres. We cannot have a situation in which, at the drop of a hat, perhaps in the middle of a dispute, a member may say, "I think that I will resign; I will walk out of this situation. It does not apply to me, it is all right for you Jack". This is to apply "at any time".
What a situation for the trade union movement. What a situation of chaos for the employers. This series of Amendments does something to mitigate these harmful results. All we can do is make it a little less bad: there is nothing that we can do to make it a good Bill.
§ Mr. Gower
I do not complain that both hon. Members opposite who have spoken should feel concerned about the details of the system of registration embodied in this part of the Bill. Indeed, they would feel that they were neglecting their duty if they did not scrutinise such provisions with great care. Nevertheless, the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser)—I hope that he will forgive me if I simplify his argument—asked whether trade unions, as they have existed for the past 60 years, will continue to exist.
550 I believe that they will continue to exist broadly as they have in the past, but they will be assuming an even larger rôle. In many cases, in the past, their limitations—if such they may be described—have sometimes been due not to excessive power or excessive claims or privileges but sometimes to lack of power and lack of means. In this Bill—this Clause is only part of the change—certain additional powers will be given to most of the unions which choose to register.
The hon. Member then complained that if a particular union chose not to register, it would suffer some penalty or disability. I quarrel with that statement. Those unions which choose to adopt a new system of registration will enjoy enhanced powers or privileges. To that extent, those which do not register, in comparing their new situations with those which do, might be tempted to say that they are suffering in comparison, but it is not accurate to say that new penalties will be imposed upon them.
§ Mr. John Fraser
May I give one example? If a trade union has entered into a legally binding collective agreement under the law as it is at the moment, and then does not or cannot register, all sorts of penalties and liabilities will attach to its officials in respect of the contract made before the passing of the Bill, if it becomes law, which would not have attracted to it when the contract was first made. That is why I said that penalties will attach to trade unions which either cannot register or do not choose to register.
§ [Mr. JENNINGS in the Chair]
§ 4.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Gower
I still say that these are not penalties, as described by the hon. Member. If any Government, this Government or any other, once decided that a system of registration should be introduced—this has been decided upon as one of the bases of this legislation—it would be a strange registration if all the unions, whether they registered or not, were in exactly the same position afterwards. In other words, it would be an astonishing kind of registration if a union which did not register was in exactly the same position, in every respect, as one which did. The registration 551 system could then be said to be worthless. I hope that no one would expect any legislative assembly to introduce a worthless system of registration.
§ Mr. John Mendelson (Penistone)
But does not the hon. Gentleman realise that the supporters of registration and of this part of the Bill cannot simply claim that there is bound to be a change if one adopts this change? They must prove, with good, sound, positive reasons, why it is necessary and what it will be useful for.
§ Mr. Gower
All that has been argued at great length, at other times and in other places, and it would be out of order at this stage for me to deploy the full argument for this system. We are here arguing the merits of this kind of registration. I agree with the hon. Member, as I think did my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Darwen (Mr. Fletcher-Cooke) that some of the words deserve further examination. An example is the words in Clause 64(4),… and any other requirements imposed by the registrar as a condition of registration …I should like to see those words taken from the Bill and something more precise substituted. This could also apply to the words quoted by the hon. Member for Norwood, in subsection (2):Any such application shall be made in such form and manner as the registrar may require.I would favour some more precise definition there. If my hon. and learned Friend can evolve some more accurate wording, that would be an advantage.
The system of registration which we will have can have some value—indeed, it would be senseless to introduce it otherwise—only if it places a registered union in a position different from that of an unregistered union.
Both hon. Members oposite who have spoken queried suggestions—by whom, I do not know—that the T.U.C. had in the past usurped some unreasonable privileges. Those suggestions have not come from this side. The so-called privileges or powers of the T.U.C. have been merely those which individual unions have been prepared to grant that body, and in that sense it may be said that there is nothing in the Bill to interfere with the privileges or the powers 552 which unions may be prepared to give to the T.U.C. There is nothing in the Bill to diminish those privileges or powers. There is nothing in this system of registration, because as I understand it registered or unregistered unions could be members of the T.U.C. in future. They certainly could be members of a common Congress upon which they could confer rights and powers.
The hon. Member for Norwood said that this was legal claptrap and that it will not improve industrial relations. We are not seeking to improve industrial relations solely by legal terminology. There cannot be an accurate system of registration without legal terminology. It would be unreasonable to suggest that there should not be detailed requirements. Many of the requirements specified in the ensuing subsections are for the benefit of individual trade unionists. They are not designed for the benefit of anybody else. They are designed to ensure that registration shall be efficient and effective and a detailed system of registration requires, not legal claptrap, but detailed legal language of this kind.
§ Mr. C. Pannell
To the extent that the hon. Gentleman arguing that everything in the requirement to register is to the advantage of trade unions he is, by his own reasoning, conceding that failure to register imposes a comparable disadvantage on trade unions. The whole question therefore is: should trade unions register? Does the hon. Gentleman realise that one of the first things that Hitler did was to transfer the trade unions over to State authority? That theme runs throughout all authoritarian countries.
The Temporary Chairman
Mr. Stanley Atkinson. [Laughter]. It is a question of dual personality. Mr. Norman Atkinson.
§ Mr. Atkinson
I have suffered or enjoyed this dual personality for many years. In fact, the friends "Norman Orme" and "Stanley Atkinson" have been involved in A.E.U. schools and struggles for 25 years. For 20 of those years "Norman Orme" and I have been debating and discussing in various schools similar Bills to this and some of the provisions which we are now discussing. I see one or two members on this side of the Committee who have been involved in exactly the same discussion for about 15 years. We all seem to be a kind of rent-a-crowd, discussing exactly the same issues.
The hon. and learned Member for Dar-wen (Mr. Fletcher-Cooke) and six of his colleagues on that side were at one time leading members of the Labour Party and they signed a constitution which was to the exact opposite effect of what is implied in Schedule 3. The passage of time has taken the hon. and learned Gentleman and six of his colleagues, including one member of the Government, out of that commitment and they are now arguing exactly the opposite; they are now arguing for the annihilation of the Labour Party/trade union arrangement.
"Stanley Atkinson" and "Norman Orme" have remained consistent to the arguments we used when we rejected the original proposals concerning registration and State intervention in the formulation of trade union rules.
§ Mr. Arthur Lewis (West Ham, North)
We are interested in who the six are, because some of my hon. Friends might wish to have a debate on this. We should like to know the names.
§ Mr. Atkinson
I have much to say and I want to deal with some fundamental 554 principles. We have in the House of Commons the equivalent of the "Guinness Book of Records". My hon. Friend the Member for West Ham. North (Mr. Arthur Lewis) will find spelled out in that book the political history—"Zoology" is perhaps a better word—of hon. Members. My hon. Friend will find set out there what has happened over the years to certain hon. Members opposite, including one or two of the younger members of the Government.
I want to take up the hon. and learned Gentleman's description of these matters as "novel aspects". The Solicitor-General has also used the word "novel". Novel they may be, but they are totally unacceptable. It is because of this Clause that trade unions will decide not to register.
Another facet of the argument against the Bill is that the Prime Minister, the Minister of State for Employment, the Solicitor-General and the Under-Secretary of State for Employment who is now on the Front Bench, do not understand industrial relations and are not familiar with industrial practice.
That may be true, but it is not the point. We would mislead people if we sought to convey the impression that the Bill has not been compiled with a great deal of knowledge behind it. It has. Those who have been associated with the design and the construction of the Bill have had tremendous experience as employers' representatives, either legal or otherwise; and, as a result of their many years of experience, they have come to certain conclusions and therefore they have spelled out with great accuracy in the Bill the best way of clobbering the shop stewards' movement. This Clause taken in conjunction with Schedule 3 is intended to do that.
A trade union that does not register will be vulnerable in the courts because of the repeal of the 1906 Act. Non-registration dramatically affects the finances of trade unions. The A.U.E.W. and the Transport and General Workers' Union are faced with a tax problem if they decide to contract out of registration. In the case of the Transport and General Workers' Union, it is estimated that it would have to pay an additional annual sum of up to £750,000. In the case of the A.U.E.W., the accountants estimate that we should have to pay about £600,000 in tax equivalent if we were 555 non-registered, and assuming that we were no longer able as an organisation to register with the Registrar of Friendly Societies.
Plainly, a great deal of money is involved for our funds. The Government know that. They know what they are doing when they talk about the consequences of non-registration. They will apply right across the board, and particularly to those unions which have property and superannuation funds; they will become extremely vulnerable. We are, therefore, well conscious of the consequences of non-registration, and especially the financial consequences.
It is not a question of whether one registers or not. Under the Bill as it stands, every trade union will be automatically registered. In fact, there is continuity between the existing Register of Friendly Societies and the register under the Bill. Therefore, every trade union must decide whether to contract out of its registration after three months. The point of the period of three months is that this offers the only practical way of rewriting the rule book of every union. One can do it no other way if one wishes effectively to rewrite the rule books of the trade union movement. That is what we are now discussing, and that is why I refer to the intentions of employers' representatives when they have tried to devise a method of effectively rewriting the rule books and bringing them into line with the legally enforceable procedures which one finds spelled out throughout the Bill.
This is an absolute "must". If the Government wish to achieve the objective which they have spelled out, there must be agreement between the requirements of union rule books and the procedures enforceable either by the C.I.R. or by the National Industrial Relations Court. There must be agreement at all levels on these aspects of functions which stem from the Bill.
The difficulty in the rewriting of the rule books lies in the complication of the law. This is why the Bill has 150 Clauses and all these Schedules. It is a most complicated operation. There are five hon. Members here who, back in 1957, together listened to a discussion 556 about how complicated was the process of bringing the law or legally enforceable procedures in industrial relations and union rule books into line. We were never in favour of doing it, but we listened to the arguments advanced by all sorts of employers' representatives and academic groups who were talking about the possibility of doing it.
It has always been recognised that it would be a most complicated business, and, in that sense, I am surprised at the brevity of the Bill. One might almost describe the Bill as like an Agatha Christie novel in its length and complication, with the murder of a shop steward in every Clause. It reads with a continuity and mystery of that kind, and the complication and mystery come from the complexities in trying to alter union rule books.
I shall illustrate my argument by reference to what happens at present in manufacturing industry, referring for this purpose to what we often call in engineering the pyramid agreement. As I am anxious to quote directly from the opening passage of that notable employer-trade union agreement, the York Agreement, perhaps my right hon. Friend the Member for Newton (Mr. Frederick Lee) will be kind enough to find the passage for me. It is directly germane to what we are discussing in considering whether it is possible for some unions to register and alter their rule books.
§ Mr. Barney Hayhoe (Heston and Isleworth)
In the natural break while that quotation is being found, perhaps the hon. Gentleman will be kind to say a little more about the financial penalties to which he refers. I take it that they are not the penalties referred to in "In Place of Strife" which would operate if a union did not register. I assume that the hon. Gentleman is talking of other financial penalties. They are not mentioned in the T.U.C. document "Reason" as one of the arguments against the registration proposals. What are they?
§ Mr. Atkinson
I was pointing out that there would be a cost to the trade unions for not registering. This has not been discussed so by the T.U.C. but it has been discussed in each individual union. The unions have to make up their minds how vulnerable they are and how exposed 557 their funds will be. They have to try to devise a watertight method of transferring their property, strike fund and various other moneys out of the union as we now know it, salting them away, as it were, so that they are not vulnerable to any decision which a court may subsequently take against them.
In other words, the unions have to try to protect themselves against the consequences of non-registration. That process is going on. Every union is employing lawyers and other advisers to devise a method of protection. At present, a trade union which is registered as a friendly society has certain tax concession. If it is not registered as a friendly society or the equivalent, a union has to pay full tax on certain funds. I have already said that for the T. & G.W.U. it is estimated that the additional cost will be up to £750,000 a year. The sum I gave for the A.U.E.W. may be more now because the draughtsmen are included in the amalgamation.
§ Mr. Dennis Skinner (Bolsover)
It would be as well to illustrate the point by a specific example. The Derbyshire N.U.M., for example, gives every retired miner £74 a year and the total last year was about £74,000. Also, we contributed £47,000 so that retired miners could receive the coal which the Coal board would not give them. All these and other amounts are calculated in such a way—
§ Mr. Skinner
I am sorry, Mr. Jennings. The Committee ought to have examples of that kind in mind, because what the Government are doing is hitting the very people whom they are supposed to be protecting.
§ Mr. Atkinson
Certainly. One would expect the Solicitor-General to wish to assure the Committee that the Register of Friendly Societies will continue as we know it at the moment so that there will be no such vulnerability. I take it that the hon. and learned Gentleman has gone into the matter in some detail and has a ready answer. Will the Register of Friendly Societies continue? Will a non-registered union be protected as it is at present? I have given notice of that question to the Solicitor-General, so perhaps 558 he will give an answer during the debate. I am not getting much response now, am I? I know that he understands the problem because many of his officials have looked at it and advised people about it.
§ Mr. John Biggs-Davison (Chigwell)
Instead of waiting for the Solicitor-General to tell him about the Register of Friendly Societies, will the hon. Gentleman read from the York Agreement?
§ Mr. Atkinson
Subsection (a) of the preamble says:The employers have the right to manage their establishments and the trade unions have the right to exercise their functions.That is a very simple statement. It is a right that the employers are not prepared to forgo, which is why we cannot make any progress in renegotiating that agreement, and why other manufacturing industries cannot come to an agreement about procedures. It is the reason why it is not possible to see a solution to the problem in terms of the law. It is the reason why trade unions are not prepared to submit their rule books to any registrar to have them rewritten by the State, to have a rule book which concedes that point at the very beginning.
Why is this so important? Why do the employers insist on it, and why have they resisted pressure by trade unions to change it for 48 years? The employers have resisted change in that simple statement in procedural agreements in other industries for more than 50 years, since 1918. I refer to the managerial right, or the right of a person owning property. Under what is called the pyramid agreement in every industry, if a management representative comes into the mill, shop or whatever it is, wanting to change a practice or introduce a new one, the workers' representative, whether he is called a steward or something else, must go through a procedure if a controversy arises. The procedure differs according to whether the dispute is in a mine, factory, mill or something else, but it is roughly called a pyramid arrangement.
The employer has a right to take a unilateral decision to alter the material, sequence of operations, kind of person employed, machinery and so on. If that decision is contested, the shop steward must tell the foreman that he disagrees. If there is failure to agree between those 559 two, the steward goes to the senior foreman or the assistant manager. If there is again failure to agree, they must then bring in the convener or a works committee to discuss the matter with the works manager. It may go to the board, where the employer's representative and the trade union representatives get round the table and have a local conference. If failure to agree continues the dispute goes to York or to other places in the country where employers and trade unions come together at a national level. That is the sort of pyramid arrangement written into most agreements throughout manufacturing.
The point is that throughout industry people cut corners. When the employer's representative decides to introduce a new method with which the stewards disagree the stewards usually take a shopfloor decision to stop the job, and a dispute exists. The employers have always worried about this. This is what all the discussion is about. It is what the Bill is about—how to stop that happening, to disarm the shop steward at the point where he meets the employer. No trade union has ever been able or willing to write into its rule books that the shop steward should be disarmed at the point where he meets the employer. There is no rule book in British trade unionism which says that a steward must go through a certain procedure. That may seem unbelivable, but it is absolutely true.
The A.E.U., which is typical of many industrial unions, has resisted pressures to change its rule book to take away from the shop steward the "unofficial" right to stop the job. It has signed many agreements, including the York Agreement in 1922. Every major trade union has an agreement with the employers spelling out in detail a procedure that the shop steward and the works committee must follow. But none of it is in a rule book. We have never yet had an industrial agreement written into a trade union rule book.
§ 5.15 p.m.
§ The Temporary Chairman (Mr. J. C. Jennings)
Order. It is difficult to hear the right hon. Gentleman.
§ The Temporary Chairman
Order. I am merely stating a fact, that at this end of the Committee it is difficult to hear the right hon. Gentleman.
§ The Temporary Chairman
Order. I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for the compliment. It is just as well that at times in this place the Chair can be heard. There is not much difficulty in hearing the right hon. Gentleman usually, but either the microphone was not working or he was turning away. I am grateful to him for remedying that defect.
§ Mr. Pannell
After those mutual apologies—and I have a very great respect for you, Mr. Jennings—I want to return to the point I was making to my hon. Friend. Will he put in a piece of history? The year 1922 was crucial. It was the year in which the million members of our trade unions were reduced to about 250,000 by unemployment, and we suffered one of the worst lock-outs in history. The conditions then were inflicted on us by the arrogant lash of necessity.
§ Mr. Atkinson
I am very grateful to my right hon. Friend, who is an eminent historian of working-class history. It is important for a comment like that to be recorded in this context. These points are closely related.
I should like to deal very briefly with what now faces the trade unions on the matter of procedure and the submission of rule books to be rewritten. The whole question of what the shop steward does in the event of disagreement is very important in industry. The A.E.U. has a rule dealing with the function of shop stewards. As far as I can check, this applies to seven other major trade unions. Oddly enough, in some cases it is rule 13.
When a trade union definies the function of a shop steward in its rule book it never attempts to write into the rules the agreements between employers and trade unions. They are left out deliberately. To have a legally-enforced system of industrial relations it is necessary to ensure that the rule books do not conflict 561 with the decisions of either the C.I.R. or the N.I.R.C. Therefore, it becomes obligatory under the Bill for trade unions to submit their rule books to a Registrar, whose job it will be to vet them and rewrite them in accordance with what the Registrar expects will be the decisions of the C.I.R.
§ Mr. David Mitchell (Basingstoke)
Why has the hon. Gentleman any reason to believe that the matter will not be varied the other way round, that the C.I.R. will not take into account the rules of the trade union?
§ Mr. Atkinson
Because I have never believed that a court of law has either the authority or the power to revolutionise the arrangements between capital and labour in this country.
§ Mr. Atkinson
A quasi-judicial body or other representative of the State has never overthrown what the employers consider to be a fundamental principle, nor can I envisage this being done. If this were not so we need not worry about the political movements but could depend on the judges carrying out a revolution, shifting the power from capital to labour. We could revolutionise the country via the courts if what the hon. Gentleman suggests is possible or feasible, but the situation is totally different. I do not believe that a revolutionary situation exists in the courts. Therefore, it is fair to assume that, whatever controversy relative to the procedure is involved, whenever a case is referred to the C.I.R. or the court, those quasi-judicial bodies will confirm that section which I have read from the York Agreement.
This is the whole point about registration. It is why no trade union in these circumstances could submit its rule book to a registrar in order to have him rewrite the rules so that the shop stewards movement is obliged, by the rules of its own movement, to conform with local enforceable procedural agreements which might be suggested by the C.I.R. or some other part of this whole structure of changing industrial relations. It is a fundamental question and this proposal will be resisted with everything we have in the trade union movement. This is what the issue is about and I hope that, as a result of this debate, the Government will get 562 away from the principle of demanding that a condition for free trade unions to continue must be that they submit their rule books to a Registrar so that the State can rewrite them. That principle is totally unacceptable to the trade union movement.
§ Mr. David Mitchell
I listened to the hon. Member for Tottenham (Mr. Atkinson) with interest but mounting perplexity. He says that this is the heart of the Bill. But he has the whole clause wrong. It is a case of the chicken and the egg. He argued that the chicken comes first. The egg comes first, obviously. The whole point is that one starts with the trade union's rules and that the C.I.R. examines the agreement subsequently and will have to take account of what those rules are. I am sure that my hon. and learned Friend will confirm that that is the right way round. The whole basis of the hon. Gentleman's opposition to the Bill is on a false foundation.
I have one small perplexing question to put to my hon. and learned Friend. Why is Schedule 3 separate from Clause 61? Why does one have to look at Clause 61 for part of the required trade union rules and at Schedule 3 for the balance? Why should they not all be in one place in the Bill, which would make it so much simpler for mortals to understand? Someone has said that trade union rule books are more confusing than the law. There was a lot of wisdom in that remark. [HON. MEMBERS: "Who said it?"] The right hon. Member for Southwark (Mr. Gunter), who was Minister of Labour in the last Government. In the Standing Committee considering the Trade Disputes Act, 1965, he said:… I can tell him that I find trade union rule books more confusing than the law sometimes."—[OFFICAL REPORT, Standing Committee A. 25th March, 1965; c. 120.]So we have good authority for noting that some trade union rule books are a little confusing. I have been looking at the rule book of the National Union of Printing, Bookbinding and Paperworkers and it demonstrates to the Committee one of the needs for this part of the Bill. Under Rule 27, a member is liable… to exclusion from the Union, a fine not exceeding £20, or a warning, as the Branch Committee may determine:(a) If having insulted any officer or member, or otherwise abused them"—563 they are very sensitive officers, not to mention gentlemen—either at meetings of the Union or elsewhere"—in the pub having a drink afterwards—by charging them with any act of injustice or improper conduct as to the discharge of their duties which they cannot prove.Fair enough. So this sensitive organisation finds that one of its officers has been insulted. What happens then? The following rule becomes operative—that the member can appeal. But before he can appeal, if the appeal is against a fine,… no member shall have the right to appeal without previously having paid the fine within 28 days.So having insulted these highly sensitive gentlemen—these officers or members of the union—the member is liable to a fine of £20 and has to pay it before he can make his appeal. [HON. MEMBERS: "It is arrears."] It is nothing to do with arrears. [HON. MEMBERS: "YOU know nothing about it."] I am quoting from the rule book. It is Rule 24. Hon. Members can see the book if they want to. That is what the rules say.
§ Mr. Tom King (Bridgwater)
Rule 14 of the same book, to which the attention of a number of my constituents was drawn in relation to the instruction to cease work on 8th December, states that if they do not obey union instructions they are liable to a fine of £25.
§ Mr. Mitchell
I notice that hon. Members opposite are restive. The Committee is beginning to understand that some aspects of trade union rule books require looking into.
The hon. Member for Tottenham said that there was difficulty for trade unions in bringing their rules into line with the Bill. The hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser) spoke about jumping through the hoop. Do trade union rules require modernisation? [Interruption.] The hon. Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Arthur Lewis) keeps interrupting from a sedentary position. [HON" MEMBERS: "The hon. Gentleman will not give way."] He has not asked me to give way. [Interruption.] Do the rules require modernisation?
§ The Temporary Chairman (Mr. J. C. Jennings)
Order. This is getting noisy. If hon. Members want to interrupt— 564 [Interruption.]—let me finish, please—they can at least try to persuade the hon. Member for Basingstoke (Mr. David Mitchell) to give way. If he does not, then he must be allowed to go on with his speech, and must not be interrupted from a sedentary position. [Interruption.] Order. The hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Golding) might as well learn the lesson early not to interrupt the Chair from a sedentary position.
§ Mr. Ashton
On a point of order, Mr. Jennings. Can you advise us on the customs and practice whereby an hon. Member who continually asks questions of hon. Members while making his speech but refuses to give way when someone tries to answer them?
§ The Temporary Chairman
The rules of debate are quite wide. There is a lot of give and take. Let us take as well as give and we shall get on all right.
§ Mr. Mitchell
I have given way twice. The hon. Member for West Ham, North, sought to intervene from a sedentary position. He has not asked me to give way to him. I shall be happy to give way to him if he does. I give way to the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Golding).
§ Mr. John Golding (Newcastle-under-Lyme)
Is the hon. Gentleman aware, as a matter of history, that such rules as these are based on the rules appertaining in the professions? Is he aware that, as in any organisation in which there is democratic control, the rule book must insist that discussion about union business be conducted in a parliamentary fashion, which excludes personal abuse, whether it be in the public house or outside it?
§ Mr. Mitchell
When I was a member of the Transport and General Workers' Union, I do not recall its meetings normally being conducted in the parliamentary manner the hon. Gentleman has just described. Clearly, in the last six or seven years since I ceased to be a member, there has been a substantial change in the way in which business is conducted. [Interruption.]
We have to consider whether trade union rules in fact require modernisation. 565 Recently, one of the most exhaustive studies of trade union rules ever made disclosed a need for all unions to examine their rules. [Interruption.] It disclosed a need for action in a whole series of matters.
§ Mr. Mitchell
The exhaustive study was carried out by the T.U.C. It disclosed the need for action on a list of things. There was admission to membership; the Bill provides that there should be action on membership and no arbitrary or unreasonable discrimination. Do opponents of the Bill suggest that there should be arbitrary and unreasonable discrimination against an applicant for membership? Of course they do not. All the Bill seeks to do is to raise the standards of the minority to that which already exists in the best trade unions.
§ Mr. Frederick Lee (Newton)
It is for the hon. Member to prove that such action is taken now, that there is arbitrary action against certain people. If it exists, where is it?
§ Mr. Mitchell
From the example which I have already given hon. Members will see that we have hit upon a dusty corner which needs modernising.
The T.U.C. went on to say that action should be taken about appeals against refusal to admit. One of the things which the T.U.C. said should be considered was strike procedures, and the Bill provides that the rules must specify who shall have power to call a strike. The T.U.C. also dealt with the responsibilities of shop stewards, as does the Bill. Very rightly, the T.U.C. saw the need for all unions to look at their rules about discipline.
I ask hon. Members to look at the kangaroo courts and the way in which, by ensuring that charges are in writing and that there is a fair hearing and that the result is given in writing, the Bill will ensure that kangaroo courts cannot be repeated.
§ Mr. Mitchell
The most recent has been in the last few weeks when we have had further definite examples of the need for the Bill.
§ Mr. Mitchell
I use the phrase "kangaroo court" in the colloquial sense in which it has been used in the headlines of the newspapers in recent weeks—[Interruption.]—newspapers which from time to time support the Government, but also those which support the Labour Party [Interruption.]
§ The Temporary Chairman (Mr. J. C. Jennings)
According to a previous Ruling, this may be a wide debate, but the subject of kangaroo courts could open the flood gates. A passing reference to them would be in order, but to go into the labyrinths of that subject would take us well outside the Amendment and the Schedule.
§ Mr. C. Pannell
On a point of order. With great respect, Mr. Jennings, I am not sure that referring to a kangaroo court is not in order, because Parliament has certain forms of closure—the guillotine and the kangaroo, which leaps from one Clause to another and back, which is what the debate is doing. It will all end with one vote at the end of the day. In the time of Mr. Speaker Brand and in the time of Mr. Speaker Peel it came to be a well-known device. On the other hand, I believe that the hon. Member is under an obligation in a debate fraught with so much emotion to define his terms. He does not know what a kangaroo is. Is he using it in a parliamentary sense?
§ The Temporary Chairman
The word "kangaroo" in the sense in which the right hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. C. Pannell) is using it is a procedural kangaroo. The word "kangaroo" as used by the hon. Member for Basingstoke (Mr. David Mitchell) is an industrial kangaroo. While the procedural kangaroo would be perfectly in order in the Committee and in the House, I am ruling that it would be beyond the limits of the debate to range too widely about the industrial kangaroo.
§ Mr. David Mitchell
I have given way a substantial number of times, but I can never resist the hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. Harold Walker
Presumably the hon. Gentleman is referring to the exercise of disciplinary machinery by shop stewards and/or other workers at factory level. I remind him of our debates on Clause 33 when I pointed out, without rebuttal from the Government, that that Clause made factory agreements legally binding in certain circumstances and Clause 34 would impose on shop stewards, or others who have entered into those agreements, a policing responsibility. In other words, the Bill and nothing else is compelling the introduction of precisely the kind of machinery which presumably the hon. Member is condemning.
§ Mr. Mitchell
I am condemning not the sort of activities to which the hon. Gentleman refers, but the secret trials without adequate rights of appeal which have occurred on a number of occasions. The example which I gave earlier was that of a man having to pay a fine of up to £20 before his appeal could be heard. That seems to be a breach of common justice.
§ The Temporary Chairman
I think that we have had enough of this aspect. I hope that the hon. Member for Basing-stoke will now come to the next point in his speech, for otherwise we shall get into very dangerous waters.
§ Mr. Mitchell
I have been on my feet for rather longer than I intended—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear:]—but HANSARD will show that I have not been speaking for much of that time and that Labour Members have insisted on interrupting.
I have said very little on the subject of the debate this afternoon—union rules.
§ Mr. Mitchell
If I can get through without another interruption, I shall do my best.
The T.U.C. spoke of the need for proper procedures to safeguard the rights of the individual, to give prior notice and 568 a fair hearing, and the Bill follows the same lines by laying down that there must be writ ten notice of the charges and a fair hearing. One sees a continuing similarity between the requirements of the T.U.C., which had no power to enforce them, and the requirements of the Bill.
I should like my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General to examine the Clause for what I believe to be a small defect. It does not provide for a right of appeal to a committee different and separate from the body which imposed the original disciplinary sentence. The best existing trade unions provide an appeal procedure by which the appeal is put to a committee other than that which imposed the original sentence, which is right and proper, but there are some 50 unions which do not have such a procedure and where the appeal is heard by the body which imposed the original sentence. That is not right, fair or just and the Pill should do something about it. I recommend my hon. and learned Friend to extend the requirements of a trade union's rules to ensure that they provide for a body to hear an appeal separate from that which imposed the original sentence.
The Bill seeks to raise the standards of the minority to embody in their rules the standards of the best.
§ The Temporary Chairman (Mr. J. C. Jennings)
I resist the temptation to call Mr. Norman Orme and I call instead Mr. Stanley Orme.
§ Mr. Orme
That is kind of you, Mr. Jennings. Perhaps we may return to the serious aspect of this debate, which has been lost in the highways and byways of the speech of the hon. Member for Basingstoke (Mr. David Mitchell). All that we have had from him are innuendoes against trade unions and the trade union movement.
§ Mr. David Mitchell rose——
§ The Temporary Chairman
Order. If the hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) will not give way, the hon. Gentleman must not persist.
§ Mr. Orme rose——569
§ Mr. Mitchell
On a point of order. Is it in order for an hon. Member to make charges against another hon. Member and not to allow him to reply?
§ The Temporary Chairman
The charge made was one of an hon. Member indulging in innuendo. If that is the worst charge that can be made against an hon. Member then we are doing very well. There is no obligation on the hon. Member to give way after having made that statement.
§ Mr. Orme
After what he had said, if he cannot take a little bit back then he is a poor Parliamentarian and he will have to learn. I am not known for discourtesy, but the hon. Gentleman has shown some discourtesy towards the trade union movement and we are a little sick of it on this side of the Committee.
To return to the debate and this question of registration, as my hon. Friend the Member for Tottenham (Mr. Atkinson) and my hon. Friend the Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser) have said, this is a central issue of the Bill. It is through the form of registration, the right to impose rule changes and the framing of the rules required by the registrar that it will be possible to carry out the other punitive Clauses in the Bill. At the moment a trade union does not need a State licence to operate, because we are in a democratic situation.
There may be weaknesses within the trade union movement and no hon. Member on this side has tried to hide the fact that there are difficulties and problems. It is interesting that hon. Members opposite have had a great deal of difficulty in highlighting the real problems. They were challenged yesterday about demarcation and today about union rules but they have not come forward with what can be regarded as concrete objections. If the objections we have here are the main charges against trade unions then there is no need to introduce this Measure with this form of compulsory registration.
§ Mr. Tom King
The hon. Gentleman's argument reminds me of something which I personally dislike, namely, the Ministry of Transport reply on a road problem: 570This is a very dangerous corner but no one had actually been killed yet so we will not take any action.
§ Mr. Orme
The hon. Member made a statement earlier about trade unions and disciplinary action and he has just made another which is just as irresponsible. He ought to learn, when we are talking about a matter affecting millions of people, to act in a reasonable manner and not like his hon. Friend the Member for Basingstoke who throws innuendoes about the Committee.
Mr. Victor Feather has said in the foreword to the T.U.C. document "Reason" that the unions have never been above the law, have always worked within the law and that the law has conferred no privileges upon them nor have they sought such privileges. The trade union movement throughout its long history has grown with our democracy and is one of the bedrocks of that democracy. Now it is said that the trade union movement is so irresponsible that it must have rules which allow the C.I.R., whether quasi-judicial or otherwise, the industrial court, judges and lawyers to impose what they think ought to be the rules, disregarding the fact that trade union members act responsibly providing their own rules and democratic structure.
As hon. Members know I am a member of one of the largest unions in the country, the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers, with something like 1,200,000 members. That union had its beginnings in 1851, 20 years before the 1871 Act in which voluntary registration was allowed. Most unions today are registered under that Act, which imposes no restriction on a trade union and which works in a sensible manner. My trade union has, over a time, built up a measure of democracy which I would claim is second to none. This democracy is based on the rule book of the union, which I have here, which puts the power of the union in the hands of the membership.
Its officers are democratically elected by ballot; it has a national committee which makes policy through the rank and file members and, more important. if any member feels that he has any grievance 571 against the executive council or any full-time officer, he has a direct right of appeal from his branch, without being restricted by the executive council, to the final appeal court which comprises 11 rank and file members elected by the membership. The only full-time officer who attends that appeal court is the general secretary and he has no vote. That body elects its own chairman and sometimes meets for as much as two or three weeks a year to hear appeals on what are most simple matters but for the individual concerned most important matters. When the procedure has been exhausted no member of our union who has used it, who is fully paid up, can claim that he has not been dealt with justly or that he has been denied a right of appeal.
When we have established such a democratic procedure it is highly insulting to be told that we must be registered, our rules must be examined, changes may be imposed upon us, not by our membership but by a form of law which brings about a corporate mentality, a corporate State philosophy. One of my hon. Friends mentioned Germany in the 'thirties. This action more readily brings to mind Mussolini and the acts which took place in Italy. This brings about a corporate mentality which removes the true independence of the trade union. An independent trade union, not beyond the law, but operating within it, is a pillar of democracy.
The Solicitor-General is fathering a Bill which is an absolute disgrace. This is an anti-trade union Clause and it will be resisted by the trade union movement.
§ Mr. David Mitchell
Would not the hon. Gentleman agree that the rules about appeals against disciplinary action within the union to which he has referred are an exemplary example to other unions and to the country of how these matters should be handled? But would he not equally agree that it is wrong that other unions should have standards which fall far below those which he has described?
§ Mr. Orme
I welcome the hon. Gentleman's point of view, but he has put the argument in a different way. We do not put ourselves forward as paragons of virtue. I have said that the trade unions are not perfect. The T.U.C. and its 572 recommendations have been quoted, but the point has been missed.
We say that this is a matter for the trade union movement and for voluntary application. Everything which the trade union movement does is done under the searchlight of the mass media. Things which need changing are being changed continually in the trade union movement. It is the right of the movement to examine itself. It co-operated in the Donovan Report. I was not in complete agreement with the Donovan proposals, but the recommendation about registration in Donovan was that there should be a registrar with two trade unionists appointed by the T.U.C. That is not the recommendation made by the Solicitor-General in this Bill.
After three years of searching inquiry, the recommendation in the Donovan Report, with one or two contradictions which were all recognised, was that the trade union movement was, and should remain, a voluntary movement. Mr. Victor Feather and the General Council of the T.U.C. are aware of their responsibilities. They want better agreements to be made and they want trade unions to have better rule books if they are necessary. But, in view of the amalgamations of trade unions which are taking place, one would be hard put to find many rule books which were not satisfactory from a democratic point of view. But the members have the right to change those rule books, as they have the right to change the officers of the union. Quite drastic changes in the rules and the leadership of trade unions have been made through the democratic method and process.
§ Mr. Orme
The hon. Gentleman knows my views on that matter, but it is interesting that the T.U.C. and the trade union movement were able to convince the Government that they were capable of carrying out any necessary reforms and reorganisation.
This debate on the question of licensing trade unions is fundamental to the 573 trade union movement. It is at the core of what the Solicitor-General and the Secretary of State are introducing. The challenge will be thrown down and the trade union movement will be faced with the harrowing choice of registering or not registering, with all the penalties which can be imposed for not registering. The decision of my union is that it is not prepared to co-operate. It does not believe that its rules and conduct are inferior to what is suggested in the Bill. It thinks the Bill insulting. It is opposed to it and will fight it. I hope that we shall return much sooner than some people think to sanity in industrial relations and that we shall tackle the problems which need to be tackled.
§ Mr. T. L. Iremonger (Ilford, North)
I hope that the Committee, and particularly hon. Members opposite, will understand that Members have conflicting duties and that it is only those duties which prevented me from being able to attend the debate from the beginning. I hope that it will not be thought discourteous of me that I was unable to be present in the Chamber for some time.
I hope that the hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) will not take it amiss if I say that I have a great deal of personal sympathy with what he said. When I have listened to him and his hon. Friends on this subject, they have reminded me of nothing so much as some of my hon. Friends who have been aroused to equally sincere and deep passion on such matters as Rhodesia and others which went deep to the heart of their beliefs. I understand how the hon. Member for Salford, West feels. I do not think I misrepresent him when I say that to him the Bill and the provisions in it about the registration of trade unions are an outrage and an insult. They seem to him totally unnecessary and cast a reflection on institutions which are as dear and sacrosanct and as much above criticism to him as are the Brigade of Guards and other similar institutions in the hearts of some of my hon. Friends.
I ask hon. Members opposite—[Interruption.] I dare say the hon. Member for Mansfield (Mr. Concannon), who is waving his Guards' tie, will understand, because his sympathies are obviously widespread. He realises how deep loyalties go, and I hope that hon. Members opposite will not sneer at me or 574 deride what I am saying because, although I am not passionately attached to the loyalties of the hon. Member for Salford, West, I do know that they are sincere and that in debating the Bill we are, in a sense, beyond reason and beyond argument. I do not think that that is altogether dishonourable and undesirable.
However, I hope that it will not be thought quite intolerable by hon. Members opposite if I say with great respect that there is another point of view about this matter. It may be wrong and unfair, but—[Interruption.] It is the opinion of the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer), who we all know feels very deeply about this matter, that the Bill is unfair and outrageous. There are other people, misguided though they may be in the hon. Gentleman's eyes, who welcome this legislation. I do not want to put the boot in, because possibly more than enough of that has been done from this side, but it is true that right hon. Gentlemen opposite were capable of entertaining this possibility, although later, as the hon. Member for Salford, West said, they were brought to think better of it. My right hon. and hon. Friends are not being brought to think better of it by the hon. Member for Salford, West.
It is one of the brutal realities of life that there comes a time when argument is over and one of two things has to supervene: either voting or shooting. We in this country have a prejudice in favour of voting. The voting on this issue is not only the voting that will take place in Committee and in the House on this Bill. The voting that determines the issues in the Bill took place when the entire electorate had an opportunity of making its opinion known.
There is a vast swathe of the electorate, with whom hon. Members opposite do not seem to be in sympathy, who greatly welcome the Bill. They do not think it an outrage. They feel that these provisions are right.
§ [Sir ROBERT GRANT-FERRIS in the Chair]
§ 6.0 p.m.
§ Mr. James Sillars (South Ayrshire)
The hon. Gentleman mentioned that a great section of the electorate was in favour of this Bill but is it not a fact that 68 per cent. of the electorate did not vote for the Conservative Party?
§ Mr. Iremonger
Of course. The hon. Gentleman has not been actively engaged in public life for as long as he has without having had to come to terms with this question whether authentic authority was given to the party which commanded a majority in an election to enable it to carry out its legislative programme. This, of course, is a fundamental question. It can be argued, and is sometimes argued by Oppositions, that Governments on that ground are not entitled to carry out their programme; but such an argument is a two-edged weapon.
§ Mr. Sillars
Life is difficult for hon. Members on both sides of the Chamber, but is the hon. Member aware that a salient feature of the present Bill was not put before the electorate—and that is the question of the imposition of agreements although both sides did not want them?
§ Mr. Iremonger
That is an arguable matter. I think that it would not be in order to argue that issue of enforceability of agreements on this Amendment. We are at the moment talking about registration which as the hon. Member for Salford, West said, is central to the Bill. He and I agree on that. We disagree whether it is right or fair and whether it is desirable.
My view that it is right and fair is not new-found. I moved a Motion for leave to introduce into the House on 31st July, 1957 a Bill which was almost exactly the same as this Section of this Bill, namely to the effect that the rights of trade unions should be dependent upon registration and that registration should be dependent upon unions' rules conforming to certain standards. I was refused leave by the House to introduce that Bill. I was subsequently told by one of my right hon. Friends who was then Patronage Secretary that my initiative was extremely ill-conceived and unwelcome. The then Patronage Secretary is the present Prime Minister.
I subsequently moved to introduce a Bill in similar terms some years later. I was then told by the then Minister of Labour in the Conservative Government that that was an ill-conceived move and that he would have no part in it. The Minister of Labour at that time is the present Prime Minister. Therefore, 576 whether I am right or wrong, and whether my right hon. Friend is right now in having been converted to my view, I cannot be charged that I have not been sincere in supporting the substance of this portion of the Bill, for I have manifestly done so for a very long time.
I represent a constituency of people who would describe themselves as ordinary members of the public who, by and large, are not members of trade unions. They are people who mostly work in service industries and in the City of London. They are the people one finds on the Central Line any afternoon. Probably now at this time they are coming towards the end of their journeys home.
§ The Chairman
Order. No doubt they are, but they are not the people with whom we are dealing in this Amendment.
§ Mr. Iremonger
Perhaps I could make some rather uncharitable remarks on that score if I had a mind to, but I should be out of order. My argument was directed to the fact that the Clause as it stands would command the confidence of people who elected the Conservative Government to pass this legislation. The Amendment should not be accepted because the Clause conforms with the general wishes of the electorate as a whole.
The hon. Member for Salford, West may find what I am about to say offensive, and I can understand why he thinks on those lines, but he should accept this as a valid point. Those people think that whether trade unions have, as I believe, rights, privileges and benefits in their situation, trade unions undoubtedly have substantial and real social economic and political power. I believe that those people are right in believing that, and I do not believe that hon. Members opposite would deny it or say that it was undesirable.
Moving from the idea in people's minds that a considerable degree of power should be balanced by a considerable degree of responsibility, those people see 577 nothing objectionable in the people responsible having a statutory basis for the exercise of their responsibilities in the sense that their power shall be regulated by regulations made by registrars with whom they must register if they are to exercise that power. That is the philosophical and logical basis of this part of the Bill, which has substantial public support. The hon. Member for Salford, West need not feel that the dignity or authority of his union or of any other union would be in any way impugned if the way in which it conducts its affairs, now voluntarily, were backed by legislation such as this. I do not see why hon. Gentlemen should think it so outrageous. Why should not trade unions register according to certain guiding principles for organisations of workers such as are set out in Clause 61, to which we shall be coming—[Interruption.] I did not hear that. If the hon. Gentleman would like to intervene——
§ The Chairman
Order. I think that it would be better for everyone if the hon. Gentleman made his speech in his own way without seeking inspiration.
§ Mr. Iremonger
I was hoping that the hon. Member for Walton would answer the question to which we on this side find no answer at all. What is so wrong with these principles, in accordance with which trade unions should be required to register? Hon. Members opposite boast, proudly, and quite rightly, that unions in the main conduct their affairs in accordance with these principles. Nobody has said why they should not register if they conduct their affairs in accordance with these principles.
§ Mr. Eric S. Heffer (Liverpool, Walton)
On a point of order. I do not want to waste the time of the Committee, but my hon. Friend the Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser) opening the debate, explained in great detail——
§ Mr. Heffer
—why the Opposition opposed the Government's policy of registration, and he clearly put forward the trade unions objections to it. The hon. 578 Member for Ilford, North was not in the Chamber at the time. I believe that he is wasting the time of the Committee.
§ The Chairman
Order. That is for the Committee to judge. All I have to judge is whether the hon. Gentleman stays in order. I am trying to watch that.
§ Mr. Iremonger
I know that had I been in the least out of order you, Sir Robert, would have assisted me to return to it.
My argument is that these Amendments should be resisted because they are against the principle of registration of unions, which is necessary in my view if they are to have public confidence as conducting their affairs in the way in which they should conduct them, if they are to exercise the power which greatly affects the lives of ordinary people. I remain entirely unconvinced by everything which I have heard, especially from the hon. Member for Salford, West, who seemed to be putting forward substantial arguments in favour of the Bill as it stands. The hon. Gentleman said that trade unions organise themselves in a proper manner without the assistance of the law and that it is in some way insulting that those who do not so organise themselves should be required to register. I am sure that when it comes to judging between the Opposition and the Government on this issue, the electorate will give the same answer in future as it gave in the past—namely, that it is high time that the trade union movement was brought to a sense of responsibility such as is exercised by the best trade unions, of which the union of the hon. Member for Salford, West is an example.
I am sure that the Committee will reject the Amendments and that it will be right to do so.
§ 6.15 p.m.
§ Mr. C. Pannell
I have not spoken on the Bill since I spoke against the guillotine Motion. However, I made it clear at that time that the reason, above all others, for my objection was the central matter of registration.
There has been no lack of speakers. Over 22 years I have had plenty of time to speak in the House, but I feel it my duty to reaffirm now the conviction which I have held, with increasing ratio, over so many years. 579 When I referred my hon. Friend the Member for Tottenham (Mr. Atkinson) to a matter of history, it was not so much academic history as something in which I took part. If I may address the Solicitor-General, the great dispute of 1922 was about managerial functions and the idea that employers had the right to do what they liked. We were locked out for four months. We had no voice then regarding the manning of machines, wage rates, or anything else. That kind of view of employers, which was inflicted at a time of great adversity for the trade union movement, is still held today. This is fundamental.
The hon. Member for Barry (Mr. Gower) thought it was an irrelevancy when I intervened to point out what took place in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. I should like to read a section from Mussolini's Labour Law. I do not mean to be insulting, but I note that the Solicitor-General has left the Chamber. The Italian Labour Charter of 21st April, 1927, states that syndica—which means trade union—associations are free, but only those syndicates which are recognised by law and subject to the control of the State have the right to represent legally the whole category of employers or employees for which they are established.
It is bureaucratic language—the usual gobbledegook which might come from any Government Bill, but particularly from this one. Of course, this runs through the Bill.
I believe that proposals for registration ensure that trade unions become part of the State apparat—no longer free voluntary associations, but at the diktat of lawyers who take a certain view of human relations. This is my fundamental objection. It even supervenes the principles put forward by the hon. Member for Ilford, North (Mr. Iremonger).
I recognise the vote of 18th June. But that election was not won or lost on this legislation.
§ Mr. Gower
I said that it was not a fair comparison and that it could be illustrated by referring the right hon. Gentleman to Clause 114 which states that no court shall order any specific performance of a contract of employment or an injunction or compel an employee to do any 580 work at all. In Germany or Italy at that time it would have been quite the opposite. The two kinds of law, if the right hon. Gentleman so describes it, are completely incompatible.
§ Mr. Pannell
The Clause to which the hon. Gentleman referred is rendered completely nugatory by the register. It does not matter how it is achieved. We have only to look at what is lost through the Bill. The Trade Union Act, 1871 states:The advantages which a registered trade union has over an unregistered one are as follows.I am reading here from a real authority, Citrine, who, after all, proved that one did not need to be a lawyer to be an advocate.(1) A registered trade union is entitled to exemption from income tax under Schedules C and D in respect of interest and dividends which are applicable and applied solely for the purpose of provident benefits.'Presumably that would be lost by my union if it failed to register. I am told that failure to register by one big trade union will cost over £500,000. Let us not underrate what is at stake in regard to registration.(2) On a change of trustees of a registered trade union the land and other property of the union which is vested in them (other than stock in the public funds) automatically vests in the succeeding trustees".That is lost. Registration lays the trade union movement open to considerable risk of litigation.(3) The members of a registered trade union may dispose at death of sums payable by the union, not exceeding prescribed limits, by means of a mere written nomination.All that goes. More litigation. When one goes over to lawyers, it is not only the Registrar of Friendly Societies who believes in a healthy idea of spreading the environment of his own trade, its productivity and profitability—but all those who will be appointed under him.
There is a whole list of other things. It goes on to say:The treasurers and other officers of a registered trade union are legally bound to render accounts and to deliver up to the trustees all property and effects in their hands or custody on being required to do so, and may be compelled to do so by any competent court.That shows how much, under the present legislation, trade unions are under some form of control. 581 If the hon. Member for Basingstoke (Mr. David Mitchell) were here I should take him up on this point, because I understand that he is the Chairman of the National Advisory Council of a Conservative trade union. Being a registered trade union gives the union a certain autonomy to inflict fines according to the rules. In my trade union, which is the same as that of my hon. Friend the Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme), before a person becomes a member of it he is given a book of rules to study for a fortnight, and he is asked questions before steps are taken to proceed with his initiation. I believe that my hon. Friend is a little out of date in the history, because in fact the union goes back far beyond 1851. It goes back to 1826, to the old boilermakers' trade union, and I could, in fact, take it back to 1780.
A person wishing to join my union is asked whether he has read the rules, having been given a fortnight to do so. It might interest the Committee to know that on one occasion when the president of our union was dismissed by the final appeal court Lord Goddard asked, "Did you read the rules when you joined the organisation?", and on that simple question the president lost his job, because he was required to know the rules, and anybody who joins my trade union knows that if he outrages the rules he is subject to fines.
The hon. Member for Basingstoke made some point about paying a fine pending appeal. There is a distinguished lawyer here. Everyone knows that when one goes to court to take part in litigation it is often necessary to deposit a considerable sum of money pending the outcome of an appeal. Anybody who has had experience of litigation knows that.
§ Mr. Pannell
I am referring to what the hon. Member for Basingstoke said. I do not know about the "kangaroo" court. The hon. Gentleman was complaining that a trade union, or rather the district committee of a trade union, according to its rules, perfectly legally, fined a member and said that the person had to deposit £25 pending an appeal. I have never known that in my trade union. I have known that in my trade union, when a 582 recalcitrant member has failed to pay a properly imposed fine, the sum has been debited against him on his card, and he has gone into arrears with his payments.
When I spoke to the House during the debate on the guillotine Motion I quoted from an article in The Times of 27th January, and perhaps I might quote it again, because it puts the matter very succinctly. It says:This is more than a nominal degradation"—It is a degradation of the status of trade unions—The present definition of a trade union, in the Act of 1913, is 'any combination, whether temporary or permanent, the principal objects of which are under its constitution statutory objects … the regulations of the relations between workmen and masters, or between workmen and workmen, or between masters and masters, or the imposing of restrictive conditions on the conduct of any trade or business, and also the provision of benefits to members'.That is vital, and the whole of the 1871 and 1906 Acts defining union immunities are repealed. This is a substantial step and it was on this ground that I objected to the guillotine.
The registration of trade unions deserves an Act of Parliament all of its own. This is so wide and the consequences so great and so misunderstood by hon. Gentlemen opposite that these provisions deserve a Bill of their own, a Second Reading. a Committee stage upstairs, and all the other stages that are gone through before a Bill becomes law. Here I want to make another protest. This Bill makes the complete case for abolishing the old-fashioned Parliamentary Session which is based on a pastoral society, on the rotation of the crops, spring time and the harvest.
Instead of bringing things to an abrupt end in November, we ought to be able to take into a new Session any unfinished legislation and complete it then. We ought to be able to do this by a simple reaffirmative process, by a sort of Second Reading. We ought not to be governed by the need for Members who rise for the Summer Recess. The present arrangements were invented by Chief Whips, and ought to be abolished. The Bill is too big to be dealt with in one Session and it ought, therefore, to have much longer consideration. 583 I know that there are many hon. Members who wish to address the Committee.
§ Mr. Pannell
I had not seen the hon. and gallant Member for Carshalton (Capt. W. Elliott) in the Chamber before now.
§ Mr. Pannell
I thought that the hon. and gallant Member was making grunting noises from a sedentary position. I am sorry that he is doing that, because he and I went to Singapore together——
§ Captain W. Elliot
I am sorry to interrupt the right hon. Gentleman, but I never opened my mouth. I never made a sound.
§ Mr. Pannell
If a trade union is not registered it can get a certificate to promote a political fund. Will that right be repealed? Everything is being conditioned to the say so of the registrar. I do not want to get out of order, but legal decisions are founded on precedents. This court will follow precedents and deviate only when something does not affect the establishment. I shall not refer to the breach of the Official Secrets Act, but there is no doubt that if Lord Goddard had been presiding, as he was in the Fell case, there would have been a different judgment. These things have to be elastic.
My hon. Friend the Member for Tottenham referred to the pyramid arrangements in the engineering industry.
§ Mr. Pannell
Let me deal with something about which I know. Where there is a failure to agree on the shop floor, there is a confrontation between the shop stewards and the employer at that point. Everybody knows that the procrastinating processes which can be used will lead to innumerable further disputes. Everybody knows that trade unions will not 584 give up the right to confront the employer. The whole business of registration is founded on the idea that one can take industrial discontent and somehow lift it into the courts.
In most disputes the employer claims the right to do something, but the trade unions have always maintained that before progress is made the status quo ante must be restored. If a man has been dismissed, he must be reinstated before discussion about the dispute can go any further. In future such matters will be dealt with by the Registrar, deputy registrars, and so on. This process of registration will prevent a trade union from being a free voluntary movement and make it part of the apparat of the State.
Whichever way one looks at it, that is the result at the end of the day. The Solicitor-General should be concerned about what will happen about the consequences of failure to register. It would be a very bold man, or a very bold lawyer employed by a great trade union, who countenanced or gave them the advice not to register. If they knew the consequences of refusing to register, it would be an act of considerable courage if the trade unions said that they would not do so, because courage is the ability to face a problem when one is most afraid of it.
Two of the great trade unions most affected have said, "We will not register". Will the Government take them on? It will come right down the line to hundreds of thousands of people in factories. That is why there is great protest against the Bill.
§ Mr. Tom King
I drew attention to the rule book quoted by my hon. Friend the Member for Basingstoke (Mr. David Mitchell). Perhaps I was a little misunderstood. I was not criticising that rule in itself. The hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Golding) pointed out that many associations have to include fines in their rules. I was drawing attention to the fact that I thought it relevant to the great point which has been made by the right hon. Gentleman and other hon. Members that there is deep, spontaneous feeling at the grass roots against the Bill, that in this particular mill in my constituency the shop stewards found it necessary to call 585 attention to this rule to get that so-called spontaneous feeling expressed.
§ Mr. Pannell
I want only to tell the hon. Gentleman what I once told somebody when I was interviewed at an airport when I was a Minister. They asked whether I would comment on an industrial dispute, and I said, "Industrial disputes are like married life. Only the people in it really know what it is all about." Consequently, I should not presume in the Committee to judge a hypothetical case which the hon. Gentleman puts up. I do not know from what it springs. I do not know to what "kangaroo" court the hon. Member for Basingstoke was referring. Like my hon. Friend, I must take responsibility in my own trade union.
I was once at the wrong end of the stick on an appeal against something which I did as a shop steward. I knew something about that. But we know how complicated human relations are. If it is difficult for me to accept, not the hon. Gentleman's word, but the basis of his case in the Committee, how much more difficult would it be for some Registrar, weeks after the event, to accept the say-so of various witnesses who may not be as literate as the hon. Gentleman? That is the case I put today.
§ Mr. Atkinson
A point arises very often from a necessity in trade union branches to dissociate the whole question of delegation from the rules of the branch or union. Very often a resolution is passed in the branch which is able to prevent the union having to pay delegation fees, bus fares and so on to people attending meetings. That is one of the reasons why these resolutions are moved. It is for the opposite reason to that to which the hon. Gentleman refers. It is not to compel people to go but to prevent the branch having to pay out large sums of money in delegation fees and bus fares when practically every member of a branch is about to attend a rally. That is the reason that some of the issues to which the hon. Member for Basingstoke refers are raised.
§ Mr. Pannell
I must resist the blandishments of my hon. Friend to help me through my speech. May I give one example, which I think would not be wasting time? I ran across a dispute 586 some years ago when a man in a shop got married—not an unlikely event but a very desirable one. Afterwards he did not like night work, and when he went to the manager, the firm immediately said that he could have all day work. The whole shop went on strike. It was a sensational matter and the newspapers pictured this as somehow unreasonableness and lack of sympathy towards a young married man. But it was not. The newspapers were silent about the fact that the striking workers were on a collective bonus system on the day shift, and every man on the day shift stood to lose 17s. 6d. a week, so they said, "We will not have it." How would that dispute appear when it came before the Registrar three and a half months later?
§ Mr. David Knox (Leek)
Would the right hon. Gentleman tell the Committee under which Clause the Registrar would look into such a situation?
§ Mr. Pannell
I am sure that the hon. Gentleman is sincere about that. It shows his innocence in the matter, because this is how great disputes are sparked off. The boys would have come out on strike and they would have been in jeopardy under other Clauses in the Bill.
§ Mr. Pannell
If the hon. Gentleman does not think that this would come within his scope, eventually it would reach the Registrar if people took a gloomy enough view of a matter such as that. National disputes are started on a great variety of local matters like that. This is the weft and woof of industrial life. We are not dealing with people who have swallowed every dot and comma of the Committee stage of the Bill. Workshop justice is justice, although it may be rough justice. But the Bill would be expensive "justice" and would not achieve justice in the end.
§ Mr. A. E. P. Duffy (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Despite the prolonged teach-in on industrial relations which has been conducted in the Chamber, it is still apparent from this afternoon's debate that hon. Members opposite do not appreciate the fundamental nature of trade unionism. I say that with the greatest respect. 587 It requires a Member of the Committee such as my right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, West (Mr. C. Pannell) to offer all of us a glimpse of the essential character of trade unionism, so that we can draw something of its flavour, and perhaps even put our finger on its pulse. This came out during the exchanges two or three minutes ago. With respect, the hon. Member for Leek (Mr. Knox) had not thought about registration as my right hon. Friend was thinking about it when he was speaking. My right hon. Friend was being emotional, because he knows in his bones something of the impact that this set of Clauses which we are considering—some of which we shall not consider today—will have upon industrial relations.
He is absolutely right. It is a crucial set of Clauses, from Clause 57 right through to Clause 84. It is Part IV of the Bill. Some hon. Members opposite might think that we are in sight of home, that the great contentious aspects of the Bill are behind us. But some of us think that we have yet to come to the crucial Clauses. I entirely agree with my right hon. Friend.
Some of us may have a chance to recall through HANSARD tomorrow the contributions made so far in the debate from this side of the Committee. I do not believe for a moment that I can keep up the standard and contribute to the feel for the problems involved which has been demonstrated by them, and the contributions coming from the other side, notably that from the hon. Member for Ilford, North (Mr. Iremonger). When the hon. Gentleman was addressing the Committee, I was wondering whether I should be fortunate enough to be called immediately after him. If I had been, I should have had difficulty in commenting on his speech. I have never sought refuge in the time-honoured phrase, "I hope that the hon. Gentleman will not mind if I do not follow his line of argument." I should not have known which point to pick up from the hon. Gentleman's contribution, which was no more than an elegant piece of waffle. Yet, if we think about registration and what it involves for trade unions and trade unionists, especially at the grass roots level——
§ Mr. Iremonger
The hon. Gentleman has just referred to me, and perhaps he 588 will address himself to my fundamental question. 'What is there objectionable in the principles of registration to right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite from the point of view of unions which want to register?
§ Mr. Duffy
That is precisely what I hope to do. I was about to say that I would even agree with what my right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, West said just now, when he commented that he thought eventually that the registration of trade unionists might result in a corporate state where the liberties not merely of the trade unions were in danger but those of society as a whole.
The trade unions, among other things in our society, represent one of the bulwarks of our liberties. My right hon. Friend spoke about Hitler, If Hitler and his troops had landed in this country during the last war, they would have met no greater resistance in any part of society than from the ranks of our trade unions, including the shop stewards, whom this provision requiring registration now threatens. That was the experience on the Continent, where the backbone of resistance was provided by shop stewards, most of them Communists, and representatives of the Church.
I was inclined to believe that the misunderstanding of the situation by right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite was due to the way in which one or two of them earlier today likened trade unions to limited companies, and this point came out well in the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser).
How can one compare a limited liability company with a trade union? Historically, there has been the greatest possible contrast in constitution between a limited company and a trade union. In the former, all power has always resided at the top, the board of directors, and the lower parts have only been allowed to exercise such powers as the top permits. I have in mind the powers of a branch manager of a Tesco supermarket and those of the chairman of Tesco.
By contrast, in a trade union all power resides at the roots. The top, the executive, can exercise only the powers specifically given to it by the rules. A branch 589 secretary, being appointed by the branch members, can be removed by them. But he can be removed by the executive only if the rules say so. The position varies from union to union, of course, and some are inclined towards authoritarianism. But some still retain their 19th century democratic origins, notably the union represented by my right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, West and my hon. Friends the Members for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) and Tottenham (Mr. Atkinson).
It was suggested from the benches opposite earlier today that what was good enough for a limited company was good enough for a trade union, and it may be that that explains why we have this provision in the Bill. A number of my hon. Friends have argued in recent days that much of the inspiration for the Bill has come from the United States. However, I believe that the inspiration for this provision to set up a Registrar and lay down his projected role comes from the Restrictive Trades Practices Act, 1956. The model for the provision of a Registrar in this Bill is the Registrar set up by that Act, and perhaps in a moment I might relate the experiences of some members of our society at the hands of that Registrar.
Perhaps a further reason why the Government have introduced the Registrar is that, like some of their hon. Friends, they are disposed to liken trade unions to limited companies. However, limited companies were an idea imported from France only 100 years or so ago to fit an existing industrial and commercial need. The trade unions grew out of local societies which, in time, amalgamated with other societies and then joined up on a county and national basis.
By 1906, it was seen that the growing size of trade unions presented problems. For example, was it right that a local branch in Cornwall, say, which was uncontrolled by the executive should be able by its folly to inflict a penalty on the membership throughout the country? In 1906, this House answered the question in the negative. The Trade Disputes Act, 1906, limited the penalty in most cases to the perpetrator of the folly or his district. That was the effect of Section 4 of that Act, which gave trade unions exemptions from liability in tort—a wrong 590 not arising out of a contract—in nearly all cases. That Section allowed trade unions to continue safely with constitutions with power in the roots even though these unions got bigger and bigger.
Yet we have heard again today the charge that trade unions are privileged at law. We all know that the 1906 Act is to be repealed. However, although most of it is to be re-enacted, Section 4 of it is not. Thus, the penalty for a tort committed in Cornwall will be inflicted on the whole membership. Damages for a libellous newsletter by a Cornish branch secretary will be obtainable from head office funds. What is more, penalties for unfair industrial practice, though committed only by a local branch, will also be recoverable from head office funds, and we know how high those penalties can be.
In these changed circumstances, one wonders whether there will not be an immediate move towards unions revising their constitutions, regardless of the attitude of the Registrar, so that they have as much control over their branches or shop organisations as the board of directors of Tesco has over its branches. It is hard to see how a union ultimately will be able to afford to do otherwise. They may incorporate parts of the Companies Act, especially Table A, into their constitutions.
Much attention has been given by the Press, by speakers in the country and in some instances in this House to the penalties under the Bill. We have had to wait until today, and then only in speeches from this side of the Committee, for our attention to be focussed upon this impending compulsion to revise the constitutions of trade unions and all that may flow from it—a revision of rules which in many cases will not be wanted by the unions and which eventually will be insisted upon by the Registrar.
The crux of these Clauses lies outside what we are discussing, so I must not go further in that direction. However, already we see that Clause 61 and others between them provide the strongest possible disincentives to a union to become or remain unregistered. Any unregistered body which takes part in industrial strife or makes use of the industrial weapon is ipso facto guilty of unfair industrial practice. The industrial 591 court is not even able to decide on fact, whether the conduct is fair or unfair. It has to condemn it as unfair by statutory requirement.
Registration is not automatic. One has to satisfy the requirements of Schedule 3 and Clause 61, which will force upon trade unions certain new features, which some may want but others may not—for example, control from the top over all funds, under Clause 63 (1) (b) or open entry, under Clause 62 (2), or the requirement for no compulsory arbitration which is to be found in Clause 61 (10), or the absolute control from the top over shop stewards in Schedule 3 (6).
I wonder what has happened to the hon. Member for Ilford, North, who was so anxious to know why we were so distressed at what we regarded as the very real implications for trade unionists of registration. Registration will also impose upon unions the need to make their funds fully public. Their funds will be fully audited for the first time. The duties of their officers will have to be defined, which partly explains the increased turnover of full-time trade union officers in the United States, following similar supervision.
§ Mr. Tom King
Is the hon. Gentleman advancing it as an objection that their funds should be officially audited?
§ Mr. Loughlin
So far as I know—I believe that my knowledge is fairly comprehensive of the major unions—their accounts are officially audited, by qualified accountants.
§ Mr. Duffy
Yes, of course there is no question of malpractice; it is merely a tightening of authority in the union.
The overall effect of these requirements is to force or persuade the trade union towards a policy of power and funds being located at the top, rather than continuing with their traditional power and funds 592 at the roots constitution. This is the phrase which I wish to commend to the Committee. Second, it will make the obtaining of compensation, as we shall find in a later Clause, and the selection of targets by employers more easy. In other words, non-registration will be made uncomfortable, to put it moderately. Registration will then be used as a weapon by employers and ultimately by the Government to impress their policy, through the unions, on the economy.
My main concern, as I hope I have shown, is the way in which registration will force a change in the constitution of trade unions which will have the effect of changing their character. It will tend towards making them tools of the State. It will certainly make them creatures of employers. To this extent, we are in danger, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, West said, of sliding towards the corporate State, whereas, as I have said, trade unions represent an important safeguard of our liberties. Nowhere is this more evident than at the grass roots, at the level which will feel the earliest and greatest impact of registration.
I represent a constituency in Sheffield which is Labour-run. There are not many country boroughs now which are Labour-run, and one reason why Sheffield is Labour-run is that it is well run. It has a remarkable post-war record of reconstruction and urban development and it is run, in the main, by trade unionists, by men who learned their local government craft in their unions, at branch level. This is something which we should remember, that trade unions have traditionally been training grounds for democrats.
By threatening the life of trade unions at branch level, we shall have to pay not merely an industrial price but also a social price. I fear that it is precisely at that level that registration will make its earliest and greatest impact.
§ Mr. Emlyn Hooson (Montgomery)
With respect to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Attercliffe (Mr. Duffy), I cannot see that anything implied in registration will, of itself, make a trade union a more pliable instrument of the State, or in any way more amenable to employers. I do not think that it will. That was a grossly exaggerated fear of his. 593 The nub of this debate was revealed in a speech of the hon. Member for Tottenham (Mr. Atkinson). It struck me that his distinction between what he described as the shop steward movement and the trade union movement was absolutely at the heart of the matter. Far from finding his speech perplexing, as did an hon. Member opposite, I thought that he was dealing with exactly what registration is aimed at.
The mischief which the Bill is intended to meet is the mischief which we have been talking about for many years now, whether under a Labour or a Conservative Government—that is, that many more industrial disputes are caused by unofficial action than by official action. The aim and purpose of the Bill, whether it is right or wrong, is to make unofficial action more difficult and trade unions much more responsible for their shop stewards.
Hon. Members like the hon. Member for Tottenham and the hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) have kept an absolutely consistent line on this matter. They were equally against the Labour Government in this matter as they are against this legislation. They see this as a direct threat to the movement in which they have been brought up, which is not only the trade union movement but the shop steward movement within it.
As I see the requirements for registration, they will strengthen the trade union movement, but at the expense of the shop steward movement. What the Committee should be addressing itself to is the question of whether this is desirable in itself—it has many advantages as well as disadvantages—and whether, if it is desirable, this is an efficacious way of doing it.
The hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser) did not do justice to his Amendment, since he dealt with it rather superficially, compared with the hon. Member for Tottenham. He spoke of "legal claptrap". That is no way to treat Clauses which, after all, if the Bill is passed, will govern the relationship of the trade unions on registration until at least the Bill is changed—[An HON. MEMBER: "Repealed."]—or repealed—whatever happens to it.
Therefore, it is very important to look at the effect of these Clauses and this 594 Amendment. It is entirely academic to discuss this matter on the basis that unions will not register. Of course they will. Whatever they say now, no legal adviser could advise them not to register, because it will be advantageous to register and disadvantageous not to register. What the registration requirement and all that follows from it will hit is the splinter group, the chance of developing new unions, the shop stewards on the shop floor doing things at a remote distance from union headquarters, and union headquarters will be able to bring pressure to bear on them because they are the registered trade union and have to "carry the can" for the shop stewards.
Anybody who has to study trade union rules is interested to find how much they vary. The hon. Member for Salford, West described his own union rules. I have not examined them, but from his description they sounded like what could be a model for other unions. Some unions have vastly different rules from those.
One of the matters with which we are for ever concerned in the Bill are the rights of a man to join a union and the powers of a union to get rid of a man. There is one easy device which has been accepted and used by some unions. When a man whom they do not want particularly applies for membership—it may be a 100 per cent. union membership shop—the method sometimes employed is for the union to enrol him, not as a member, but as a temporary member. He is issued with a different coloured card. He is entitled to a job, but not to the rights of a full member.
§ Mr. Hooson
S.O.G.A.T. is one. Any number of unions have such rules. They may be perfectly valid rules.
I see no reason why there should not be standard rules for trade unions. I do not understand why hon. Members on either side object to there being standard rules, which Schedule 3 would provide and which would give the registrar, who will clearly be an important personage under the Bill, powers to amend or change the rules if they did not suit the circumstances of particular unions. 595 Few trade union rules make much mention of shop stewards. Shop stewards have grown up as a movement within unions without having official status in many unions. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] The hon. Member for Tottenham knows that what I am saying is true. The rules of many unions hardly mention shop stewards. Shop stewards have unofficially attained a very important position in unions, but they are mentioned only sparsely in union rules. Their real power is very much greater than would appear from the attention that they receive in the rules.
The hon. Member for Salford, West said that to rewrite the rule book would be a very difficult matter because the rule book as such does not correspond with the actual powers of those involved in the shop steward movement.
§ Mr. J. T. Price (Westhoughton)
The hon. and learned Gentleman is a lawyer and has great experience in the House of Commons. I do not accept his argument, however, and I do not think that any of my hon. Friends will accept it. I remind him that the House of Commons, which has existed for hundreds of years, has never recognised political parties. We are all hon. Gentlemen and we are equal theoretically. The hon. Gentleman is advancing a purely academic argument. I believe that, when everything has to be spelled out in rules or in a code, free will and free bargaining go and become the cat's-paw of successful lawyers who advise on things that they do not understand.
§ Mr. Hooson
The hon. Gentleman has misunderstood me. I was not criticising the unions for not mentioning shop stewards. I was merely stating it as a fact which must be dealt with. One of the questions which this Government and any other Government must ask in dealing with this matter is: if the Bill is enacted and there is this movement which is intended to discipline people further down the line, will it succeed? Can it succeed? Can one by this procedure succeed in making unions so change their rules and their discipline that they can control the shop stewards' movement as it has developed? As I understood him, the hon. Member for Tottenham said that in his opinion the unions could not do it in any event and 596 that, no matter what legislation was passed, the unions would not succeed in controlling the shop stewards' movement.
§ Mr. Tom Driberg (Barking)
It is not quite clear whether the hon. and learned Gentleman is saying that it is desirable that the influence of the shop stewards should be diminished. If he is, will he cast his mind back to the Scamp Report on Ford's, which testified that the shop stewards had managed to stop hundreds if not thousands of disputes, on the shop-floor, in a matter of minutes or hours?
§ Mr. Atkinson
Can I clear up the point about the rules? I was arguing that in my unio—the A.E.U., as it used to be; the A.U.E.W., as it now is—the rule is clear about the functions of shop stewards. A shop steward does not have the right to take action on the shop floor to stop the shop in the absence of a district committee decision if the status quo applies in the factory. In other words, if an employer's representative comes into the mill or factory and changes the status quo a shop steward has every right to act independently of the district committee and to stop the shop. I was discussing the functions of the shop steward and saying that no trade union has ever attempted to design its rule book to prevent a shop steward from having the right to take unofficial action.
§ Mr. Hooson
The hon. Member for Barking (Mr. Driberg) has asked me if I am in favour of reducing the power of shop stewards. I believe that this power must be reduced or changed. I do not believe that in practice it will so much be reduced as changed in character. One of the dangers about the Bill is that there will be more official stoppages and fewer unofficial ones, because the nature of the movement will change.
I am obliged to the hon. Member for Tottenham for explaining the position of shop stewards qua rule books.
As to registration, we shall be left in this dilemma. The actual power in the union does not always correspond with the so-called rules. The actual power is not so much at the top but is dispersed widely at the bottom, on the floor.
§ Mr. Hooson
Certainly. There still must be co-ordination. Britain has failed 597 in the matter of co-ordination. We would not have had so many unofficial strikes if there had been co-ordination. There is something wrong when a Labour Government and a Conservative Government say that the great evil in Britain on the trades dispute side is the unofficial strike, as opposed to the situation in America, where there is the official strike.
Balancing these matters, I believe that it is desirable to have registration. The analogy has been drawn that Mussolini required registration. So does Sweden. That is an argument neither for nor against and it does not help at all.
It is desirable that there should be model rules, because I accept that the trade union movement is a great bulwark of liberty. Some trade unions have the most excellent rules. Like rules in all other organisations, they are sometimes bent a little. Some unions have rules which are not so good. I do not see any reason why there should not be model rules. I see no reason why the Registrar should not have power over the rules in this way. I see no reason why the whole thing should not be controlled.
As I said on Second Reading, trade unions have become a fourth escape. Having reached that state, they need rules of a much more formal character than they formerly did. When any body over a period of time evolves, it is found that to safeguard freedom within that body more formalities and more rules are needed than the body had in its formative years. Exactly the same has happened to the British trade movement. When all the ballyhoo is over, people will find that, for the established trade unions, registration will have made very little difference.
§ Mr. Kevin McNamara (Kingston upon Hull, North)
Until my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Attercliffe (Mr. Duffy) spoke, I thought that I was attending an A.E.F. love-in. I have no great criticism to make of the A.E.F., of course, save that at present it shows no desire to merge with the T. & G.W.U., but perhaps that goes back to original sin and may be understandable.
§ Mr. Frederick Lee
If my hon. Friend's union chooses to make representations to us, we shall consider them.
§ Mr. McNamara
Perhaps then my right hon. Friend could claim to be a member of the first largest union, not just the second.
My hon. Friends paid proper regard to the rules of their union. It is an ancient union with a long and distinguished history. They are proud of their rules. But so are we all proud of our rules. Our rule books enshrine our rules, the rules which we make in deciding what regulations shall be applied to our affairs. They are the rules which we lay down for the running of our own unions. They are ours; that is the important thing about them.
The Bill would change our rules. It would say that someone else could examine the rules of my union, go through them, examine them closely, and, perhaps, say that a rule did not meet, for example, the provisions of Clause 1. In that case, that rule would be out.
It so happens that my union expresses in one of its rules the implementation of Clause Four on the Labour Party. In fact, we had it before the Labour Party did. But is that within the "national interest" as Ministers interpret it? Speaking earlier about registration and what was responsible trade unionism, the Minister said that "responsible" must be interpreted in relation to the national interest. We asked what "national interest" meant, but he could not define it, or he refused to do so.
This is the nub of our argument when we say that these provisions will start us on the way to the corporate State. My hon. Friend the Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser) went through the steps, showing that ultimately we should have a political decision reached on what was or was not good for trade unions. This is what makes the provisions about registration so reprehensible within the framework of a Bill of this kind.
The hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson) is probably right when he says that registration does not matter one way or another. Sweden has it, he says. But so does Italy. What matters is what lies within and behind registration, and that is what we are arguing about. To hear hon. Members opposite talk, one would think that we had not had registration of trade unions for almost a century. But it is there. 599 It was introduced to protect trade unions, to protect our funds, and to enable us to organise ourselves in society. We were able to do that, but the Registrar had no power to say what was or was not right for us as free men in our own societies, free men deciding what our own rules and regulations should be, whom we would admit and whom we would not, and so on. Even if the A.E.F. does not register under the Bill, it can be forced to take in people whom it does not want. So merely staying outside the register will not affect the matter. That is an important point.
I think that it was Sir Arthur Bryant in one of his histories who spoke about an English yeoman farmer who, before he died, left directions in his will that spikes were to be put over his grave, because no one had ever trampled over him in life and he intended no one ever to do so after he was dead. Hon. Members opposite would applaud that sort of sentiment. Do they not understand that our rule books are our spikes? They protect us and they protect our societies. The Solicitor-General and his right hon. Friend wish not just to blunt the spikes but to pull them entirely away. In effect, the Government are saying that the rules of our societies must be subject to the decisions of the Secretary of State according to his interpretation of the national interest. This is what percolates through the whole Bill, and it worries us greatly.
In the speeches of hon. Members opposite—one almost heard overtones of it in the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery—there is the suggestion that, in some way or other, the trade unions exist only to make industry more efficient, to make the wheels of commerce move more smoothly, to make a profit. They do all that, and they do it very well, but that is not their purpose. Their purpose is to protect the interests of their members. This is why we regard as so reprehensible the centralisation of power entailed in what the Government propose regarding union rules. The whole philosophy of Donovan about negotiations, and the changes which have been taking place in our industrial structure, have been away from the national agreement and towards individual plant bargaining.
600 If we are to have individual plant bargaining, we shall have to give more power and influence to the branch official, the shop steward and the person working in the plant or factory. That is where questions will be decided. That is where disputes will start. If we stop the negotiation and settlement of disputes there, we shall build up the cancer which leads to the mighty industrial explosion which can bring a whole industry to a halt or create the sort of situation which we shall later, perhaps, discuss when considering the question of cooling-off periods and ballots.
We must give responsibility to the person who is concerned locally, and one cannot define that responsibility in nice lawyer's phrases, hedging it round, squaring it off, saying that this is what he shall be allowed to do and the other is not. One cannot do that. One cannot legislate for a constantly changing situation, be it in workshop, ship, quayside, farm or even a school. One has to take the situation as it is. There has to be sufficient acceptance of the idea that the responsible person there, be he shop steward, branch official or ordinary union member, will be able to understand the situation and decide what is the right thing to do. Only within that sort of framework can one have rules and regulations in one's organisation.
This part of the Bill dealing with registration—it goes right through the whole thing—takes from us our trade unions. It takes from us our society. It takes from us the protection which people like my parents and grandparents, poor and illiterate peasants coming from Ireland, used to build up their own society, strengthen their position, and give opportunities for their children. This is what the Government will be taking from us when they say that the State should be able to look at these things.
We will not let them do it. These are our unions, not the Secretary of State's not the Solicitor-General's. They are our trade unions, and we intend to keep them so.
§ [Sir ROBERT GRANT-FERRIS in the Chair]
§ Mr. Hayhoe
First, I take up what the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North (Mr. McNamara) said about the corporate State, because he was in some 601 way re-echoing what we heard earlier from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Leeds, West (Mr. C. Pannell) when he spoke in similar vein. It seems to me that hon. Members opposite are presenting a mirage of horror at what this Clause and the associated provisions will do. I do not accept that registration as exemplified in the Bill is the first step towards the corporate State, but. assuming for a moment that it is, I remind hon. Members that it was the Donovan Commission which made the first faltering move in that direction.
We can argue about the detail, but in principle Donovan was certainly moving towards registration, and in "In Place of Strife" the right hon. Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) went some way further along that path. While we may argue the detail, the degree, the type of registration and the conditions, I do not accept that Donovan, the right hon. Lady or my right hon. Friends are in any way moving towards the corporate State in the registration provisions they have severally and individually supported.
§ Mr. Hayhoe
I think that we can find it in Donovan under "Registration". There was the first faltering step in the paragraphs dealing with registration, beginning at No. 788, and in the sections dealing with union rules. I can find them if the hon. Gentleman wishes. The tenor of the whole of those arguments is in parallel with what the right hon. Lady suggested in paragraphs 107-109 of "In Place of Strife", where registration was proposed in terms and where a financial penalty was to be imposed by an industrial board. Presumably, the board was to fine those unions which did not register. The right hon. Lady's proposal would have imposed on the unions that did not register a fine in addition to the penalties to which the hon. Member for Tottenham (Mr. Atkinson) referred, arising from different tax liabilities and so on. Incidentally, I found it helpful to have the fuller explanation of this matter and the quotation from Citrine 602 given by the right hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. C. Pannell).
There was a substantial difference between the right hon. Lady's proposals and those of my right hon. Friends, who are saying not that penalties will be placed on those that do not register but that there will be certain advantages that they do not gain. It may be a matter of semantics, but I prefer my right hon. Friend's approach to the right hon. Lady's imposition of a financial penalty.
§ Mr. John Fraser
Since the hon. Gentleman has not got them, may I give him the proper references? In paragraph 649 of Donovan, we are told:We think that the requirements can and should be revised with a view to ensuring better safeguards for individual members."—and this is the important part—but without impairing the freedom which trade unions ought to enjoy to frame rules to meet their own circumstances.In paragraph 109 in "In Place of Strife" we are told:Unions will be free to frame rules to meet their own requirements.The essential distinction is between the unions framing rules to meet their own requirements and being told the rules that they must have in their rule book.
§ Mr. Hayhoe
If someone is told, "You must write your own rules, but they must meet certain criteria", that does not seem to me to be vastly different from saying, "These are the things which must be in the rules." This is not a point of principle but of semantic detail.
The gravamen of the argument in the Committee is not about the words in Donovan, "In Place of Strife" or the Bill but about the fears sincerely held by right hon. and hon. Members opposite that in the provisions there is something much more sinister and dangerous than I see in them. They see much greater dangers and difficulties than exist, and are making somewhat of a mountain out of a hillock, if not a molehill.
I hope that all hon. Members accept that union rules are not perfect. The rules are extremely good in many of the major unions, but there are ways in which they should be brought up to date. That view is supported by any fair reading of Donovan, of the T.U.C.'s document "Programme for Action", and the words 603 used by Victor Feather in commending that document to the Croydon conference. Union rules should be brought up to date particularly to provide better safeguards for the individual freedom of members. We can find quotations to that effect scattered through the documents. I do not believe that hon. Members opposite would seriously challenge the assertion that there have been occasions, albeit very rarely, when things have not gone as they should.
I accept in turn that Donovan and "In Place of Strife" stress that there is no serious abuse of union power across the board. But we are not always concerned just with the generality. This brings us back to the discussions on Clause 5. In matters of individual freedom we should be concerned with specific cases and aim to provide legslation to protect individual rights. I see these Clauses as having that at least in part as their objective, particularly where individual rights may be under attack, even if only rarely, by abuses of union power.
It is stated in "In Place of Strife" that the Royal Commission found no evidence of "widespread abuse" of union power. The presumption, therefore, is that it found evidence of some abuse. Therefore, it is right that criteria should be laid down in the Bill to improve union rules and draw them up to the level of the best. We cannot leave it to voluntarly action. The T.U.C. can do something and, particularly since June, 1969, has been doing things to improve the rules of its constituent members, but even if it succeeds with all of them there are 300 or 400 small unions outside the T.U.C.
§ Mr. Heffer
Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that it is not a question of the Bill's bringing the rules up to the best but of introducing, under Clause 61(7), for example, aspects which are entirely new? For example, a union will have to accept into membership people who may well have scabbed against it in a dispute, people whom it does not want in the membership.
§ [Miss HARVIE ANDERSON in the Chair]
§ 7.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Hayhoe
I would certainly be prepared to look at some of the words used in Clause 61. I think that I particularly 604 want to hear my hon. and learned Friend explain the phrase, "reasonably well qualified". It may well be that he will be able to convince me that the phrase is sensible but it is a curious one.
§ Several Hon. Members rose——
§ Mr. Hayhoe
I will take the advice which the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. John Mendelson) is always giving to his hon. Friends when hon. Members on this side seek to intervene. As I hear him he mutters, "Don't give way." Perhaps I should on this one rare occasion take his advice and I give him due notice that I shall not take it on any other.
I was impressed by what the hon. Mem-for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) said, again in that lyrical way in which his heart shone through as well as his mind, in talking about the virtues of his own union. It would seem that his union is the very perfection of democracy and that that perfection is shared by nearly all other unions. I ask those who believe this why the percentage of people voting at elections in unions generally is often as low as it is. Why is the number of people who turn up at branch meetings generally so low? I know how low it is from my own experience in attending the branch meetings of my own union in the past. I do not believe that these figures underwrite entirely the belief that the quintessence of perfection of democratic behaviour exists in all the trade unions of the country.
§ Mr. Orme
Everyone wants to see the highest possible percentage. We should like to see 99 per cent. voting in parliamentary elections. Unfortunately, however, in some constituencies less than 50 per cent. voted and in municipal elections the turnout is often between 20 per cent. and 30 per cent. In a recent election in my union for a major office, the voting figure was 20 per cent. Members of trade unions go in their own time to branch meetings and I wish there was 80 per cent. attendance then. But one cannot compel members to go. They have the democratic right to go or not go.
§ Mr. Hayhoe
I accept that, but I say that it is an indication that improvements can be made and that the situation is not as perfect as we would wish. The hon. Gentleman has quoted a figure of 20 per cent. He knows that, quite often, 605 the percentage voting can be as low as single figures. In my experience, I have found this to be true and again some examples are given in the relevant paragraphs of the Donovan Report.
I hope that my hon. and learned Friend will resist the Amendment. The arguments used in its support are based largely upon a totally incorrect reading of the motives of right hon. and hon. Members on this side of the Committee. Hon. Members opposite ascribe to us evil motives in this regard, but on the basis of their total misunderstanding one can have some understanding of the words which have been used to describe what might happen under the Bill. Take away that misunderstanding, and many of the speeches made by hon. Members today have been incomprehensible and not in line with what I believe will happen under these Clauses.
§ Mr. John Mendelson (Penistone)
From the beginning of this debate perhaps only one speech so far—I do not say this scathingly—has tried to deal with some of the true purposes of the Bill. That was the speech made by the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hopson). It is therefore to his contribution that I want to address myself and why I am anxious to take part in the debate. I will not judge the Government's case on the kind of support they have received from their own benches. That would not be a fair measure of the case the Government are trying to make.
It is not very important to consider, therefore, whether these expressions of general sentiment are relevant to the Clause. What matters is a point which the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery left out. He dealt with the matter of registration and all the points involved in the Amendment as though one could treat the registration Clauses in theory and in isolation. But the nub of our case concerns the consequential Clauses which follow upon the appointment of a registrar under the terms and conditions of the Bill. That is the issue to which we have to address ourselves if we are to understand all the sentiments to which hon. Members opposite have referred ad nauseam. I am getting a little tired of their declarations of how much they admire the sentiments of my hon. Friends. My hon. Friends have not expressed sentiments. They have made a reasoned case 606 and it is to that case that the Government have to address themselves.
If further evidence is required, I quote Mr. Victor Feather as a man who is not dealing in sentiment. He had this to say about these Clauses:All this follows from deciding to replace existing social rights by a State licence to operate.These proposals are not extending the rights of working people. They are intended to convert the rights that workpeople have established and defended themselves into legal 'privileges "dependnt on good behaviour.That is not a sentimental view. It is an historic summing up by the present leader of the British trade union movement of what lies behind these proposals.
Why are they being objected to? I and many trade unionists who have discussed this matter with me at the many meetings in which I have taken part object because of the connection with other parts of the Bill. When Mr. Feather refers in his telling phrase to there being a licence for good behaviour, one has to look at Clause 61. More attention should have been paid to the text of the Bill in the speeches we have heard from hon. Members opposite. Subsection (7)(a) reads:to take any action which, in accordance with any provision of this Act, would constitute an unfair industrial practice on his part …that is, the individual trade unionist. The subsequent Clauses deal with the terms of reference which are to guide the registrar once he is appointed with the important powers that hon. Members on both sides agree that he would have. For example, the hon. and learned Member for Darwen (Mr. Fletcher-Cooke) agrees that he would have them. These are the terms of reference by which the registrar will have to be guided. A whole range of activities vital to a free trade union movement are affected. This is not just a one-Clause Bill to allow the appointment by the Government of a new registrar.
The Government are asking the House to accept the whole of the Bill and all its consequential Clauses. Once the Bill has been passed, the terms of reference would allow the registrar to work by reference to new phrases and new implications and new legal facts constituting unfair industrial practices. That is the decisive issue which the Committee is debating and which my hon. Friends have been rationally arguing all afternoon.
§ Mr. Mendelson
That is why a man as responsible, sober and level headed as Mr. Feather—and nobody has called him a sentimentalist who deals in emotion—says that it is objectionable to replace the acquired rights of working people, built up in their history of 150 years, back to the time of the famous strike of the scissor grinders in the City of Sheffield in 1797, preceding even 1857 and the other dates which have been mentioned. That is what Mr. Victor Feather has in mind when he talks about the rights which working people have built up over so many years.
The Government are attempting to say to the trade unions that from now on they must not go on building up their rights and conventions in their own movement, but must be forced to accept a biased Bill, including new definitions of unfair industrial practices and allowing the registrar, by reference to these new provisions, to decide whether a union should be registered. This is unacceptable to the trade union movement. As the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery knows, I agree with him that we must not exaggerate the implications of the Bill, and he had reason wholly on his side when he said that, but there is a connection between this provision and the rest of the Bill which the hon. and learned Member failed to make.
That is the kernel of the whole argument, but now I turn to the more general argument which explains why so many of my hon. Friends are sensitive about this subject, and again this is not a matter for sentiment. They know very well, when the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery talks about weakening certain sections of the trade union movement and reducing their influence, that these provisions are not: only objectionable to shop stewards all over the country, as he seemed to imply, but are meeting the total and unanimous opposition of the general secretaries and presidents of unions affiliated to the T.U.C. It would be wrong to allow to stand on the record his implication that only some people, removed from the centre of the trade union movement, object to these provisions.
The Prime Minister, whom we have not seen much in these debates, made a 608 speech attacking a group of people, shop stewards and others, whom he called loud-mouthed. Hon. Members will remember that it was a Saturday evening speech. During that particularly offensive speech. the Prime Minister talked as though he was referring to a different part of the trade union movement. But trade unions are so organised that people with local duties in factories and those in charge of a district, or a division, or a region, or at national headquarters, have much more contact than is often visible to the naked eye; after all, the telephone was invented some time ago.
§ Mr. Hooson
Would not the hon. Gentleman agree that Mr. Frank Roberts did some research at the L.S.E. in 1964, and that out of 30 union rule books which he examined only five mentioned shop stewards?
§ 7.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Mendelson
That is the trouble with a great deal of academic research—too many people compare pages of print and do not know what goes on in British industry. I speak as a graduate of the L.S.E. and I do not take it remiss that the hon. and learned Gentleman has mentioned it, but that institution, honourable and learned though it is, often falls into the category of those who are too fond of texts and rule books and not enough of travelling the country and spending a few years seeing what goes on in the workshops and factories.
There is a great deal of convention in industry, as there is in our constitution. The hon. and learned Gentleman may not know about these conventions, but they are most effective and they are being acted upon all the time.
§ Mr. Mendelson
Custom and practice in industry and throughout the country. The general secretaries and presidents of unions and the central leaders know very well that the design behind the Bill is not to put a few shop stewards in their place, but to weaken the trade union movement as a whole. That is why their opposition is as unanimous and as bitter as that of the shop stewards themselves.
Much has been said about the disciplining of members. This is another important aspect of the argument. The 609 trade union movement has reformed its arrangements from time to time. Hon. Members have to understand that it is not only because people feel that it is morally objectionable or sentimentally offensive for the State to say to an organisation like a trade union, "You will reform your rules in this way".
I want never to shirk in our discussions of the Bill any difficulties which we had when in office. Hon. Members who are well informed on these matters will know that there was a serious argument between some of my hon. Friends and the General Council of the T.U.C. for several weeks precisely on the subject of how the trade union movement should change its rules. I do not want to shirk this issue. We do not want to be only propagandists. Why should we not discuss these matters as grown men and women? During that important argument, the members of the General Council of the T.U.C. refused to have their rules rewritten for them by any Government, no matter what its party, because they believed, as they now believe, that, as members of a free, democratic trade union movement, it was for them to decide how their rules should be reformed.
It is wrong for the Government for ever and a day to quote bits from one White Paper or another. What we are debating is the Government's attempt to do something which is deeply objectionable to the leaders and members of the trade union movement, not only on emotional grounds, and not mainly on emotional grounds, not only because they think that it is morally offensive, but because they are convinced that it is wholly unrealistic, will not work, and has nothing to do with the free movement of trade unions.
They take the view that the worst thing that can be done to help to make the necessary reforms within an organisation such as the trade union movement is to say, "You are now required to do this, because we as the Government say so". The Government will never be able to divorce themselves from this, however many protestations they make about desiring the reform of the movement only in order to strengthen it, because the facts are against them.
This can be tested against one proposition. One of the unfair industrial practices 610 which will become part of the terms of reference of the Registrar will be the desire or otherwise of a group of trade unionists to work with non-union labour. We always return to this subject, because the weakening of the trade union movement by forcing people into being heroes when they are blacklegs runs through the Bill from beginning to end. When we discussed this earlier in the definition Clause we had this in mind, that the early definition would always be returned to in other parts of the Bill.
§ Mr. Gower
The hon. Gentleman has twice said that trade union members have refused to have their rules rewritten. He will recall that in this Chamber a few years ago traders had their rules rewritten as a result of the abolition of resale price maintenance. Would it have been right for traders to have their rules rewritten in the same way?
§ Mr. Mendelson
This is not relevant to the argument, but I want to be courteous to the hon. Gentleman, and what I am saying is that the British trade union movement has always been within the law. I deeply object to the constant use of the word "privilege". The hon. and learned Member for Darwen tried his best for his hon. Friends by saying that when they used the word "privilege" as they had done for many days, they were looking forward to what will be a privilege if and when the Bill is passed.
He will have to agree that the term is much more loosely used, that people have referred to the rights of working people have referred to the rights of working people acquired over the last 150 years as if they were privileges. Trade unions have been within the law and will continue to be within the law. They are not prepared to accept this attempt to weaken the movement in the disguise of legal trade union reform.
§ Mr. James Hamilton (Bothwell)
It ought to be made quite clear that so far as these rules are concerned, trade unions, every two years or every four years depending on their constitution, have a rules revision conference. These are alterations not by the general secretary or president but by the members.
It goes much further than that. The present Registrar of 611 Friendly Societies has certain clearly defined powers. The argument has nothing to do with rules or whether they ought to be reformed but with the general attempt, linked with this Bill, to turn trade unions into licensed organisations. We are to have privileges as a substitute for what have become free rights, independently built up over the years. That is why we object to this provision. The Government can address themselves to this objection only if they accept that they must deal with the subsequent parts of the Bill relating to the appointment of a new Registrar.
§ Mr. Tom King
The hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. John Mendelson) will forgive me if I say that we have enjoyed listening to his contribution even if we do not necessarily agree with it. I have not seen one of his attacks quite so soundly rebuffed as it was by the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson), and I think he has been man enough to concede that he has lost ground on that point.
Like the hon. Member, I have sat through virtually the whole of this debate. We have had a continuing chorus from the other side of the Committee, taking certain cases out of context and building on suppositions, drawing the worst possible conclusions from these proposals. My hon. Friend the Member for Heston and Isleworth (Mr. Hayhoe) made an excellent speech which I thought was one of the more constructive contributions to the debate.
§ Mr. King
An interesting point is that the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heifer), who is managing to keep up a running commentary at the moment, referred to one of the few objections in detail. We have had tremendous fears expressed about the implications of the registrar but we have had very few objections to the code of principles the registrar might be asked to follow. Only now at this late stage has there been any suggestion that there is anything offensive in the principles for which the registrar will be looking.
One comment made by the hon. Member for Tottenham (Mr. Atkinson) 612 needs answering firmly. It has already been contradicted by his hon. Friends. He tried to say that this was a bosses' charter, that the Bill had been cleverly devised by all of the best brains on the employers' side to construct an aggressive weapon for dealing with the unions. Yet the most common debating point, which hon. Members opposite love deploying, is how often employers agree with them on some point they are putting forward. This seems to defeat his argument.
I do not think that my right hon. Friend would claim that the Bill entirely satisfies either employers or unions. There are certain areas where the Government have taken an independent view in what they consider to be the future national interest. There may be cases where both employers and unions are agreed about their position with regard to certain points but after the fullest consultation my right hon. Friend considers that it is appropriate to propose otherwise.
§ Mr. King
I recognise the feeling for history of some hon. Members opposite. The trade union movement has a tremendous record and I can understand the continual references to its history. It seems incredible that while there are references back there has not been a single reference forward into the sort of industrial society into which we are moving. We are not making amendments, regulations, and laws for what has happened. These laws and this Measure will relate to the future and it is surely this which is relevant.
The hon. Member for Salford, West took great exception to an intervention of mine which was not intended to be offensive. He was drawing a perfectly fair point asking where were the examples of past occasions that would justify this Measure. I was making the point that it is not solely past occasions but that we must anticipate problems, and it is this for which we are attempting to legislate.
§ Mr. Bidwell
I have been interested in the hon. Member's play on logic. If he acknowledges the widespread characteristics of the trade union movement, the kind of people for which it caters, can he explain why the Government have 613 achieved the almost impossible and united the entire movement? Can he explain the rationale of that?
§ Mr. King
The hon. Member was probably not with us a little earlier when we had a few exchanges on this point. I do not want to weary the Committee with my comments again, about my personal experience of how united the trade union movement is and about our doubts as to the genuineness of the spontaneity of the opposition. If he consults HANSARD tomorrow he will be able to read it.
I did not want this analogy to be emotive, but I took that used by the Ministry of Transport to justify road improvement. In that case there has to be a past history of accidents and not a genuine concern for the future and problems that may occur. It is the future with which we are concerned. Hon. Members have made great play of Mr. Victor Feather and the hon. Member for Penistone quoted at length from him. I am sure that he will accept another quotation of Mr. Feather's:But rules must reflect realities and there is some evidence that union rules have not always been changed to keep them in line with changes in the pattern of collective bargaining.The most interesting point is the recognition there of the change in the industrial situation. If I may relate that to yet another famous quotation of Mr. Feather's:One man's strike is another man's lay-off.We have had hon. Members talking about the responsibility of people to their brothers in the same union. We also recognise the responsibility of union members towards other union members in other activities. As the hon. Gentleman said, there are many different unions and styles of activity. But in the industrial society which we are creating, with lower stock levels in factories and a far more complex interlocking relationship between supplier and producer at different stages of production, there is a responsibility of one group with another. This is a particularly significant future trend and under it union members have a right to know that other unions on which they may depend are also governed by rules which conform to certain basic standards. If one accepts this common responsibility one quickly realises that there must be some arrangement for ensuring 614 that the desired situation is achieved.
I do not share the fears which have been expressed about all the terrors which might lurk behind the door. I believe that these provisions are a reasonable means of achieving the fair-minded objective of all of us.
§ 8.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Loughlin
I am grateful to all the lecturers and lawyers who have sought to deploy the case for the trade unions. I listened intently to the hon. Member for Bridgwater (Mr. Tom King). I know that he has been charged by the Conservative Central Office to go round the country explaining the Bill. My advice to him is to stop reading the Central Office brief and to read the Bill.
The hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson) talked about the place of the shop stewards in the order of things. He said that many unions made no provision in their rules for shop stewards. That is true. But what are generally known as shop stewards are not always known as shop stewards in industry. When the hon. and learned Gentleman was speaking I thought about the catering industry, in which the person who performs the function of the shop steward is called a house representative. The shop steward in many industries is not necessarily called a shop steward. He may be a branch secretary, chairman of the committee or a house representative.
May I say, for the benefit of hon. Members opposite and particularly of the lawyers who think that they know something about the trade union movement, that people are not appointed on the basis of names in the trade union movement. We are not dealing with unions and trade union rules in a vacuum. We are dealing with the sort of guidance which should be given in the context of our industrial organisation. Trade union rules are designed in a certain fashion because it happens to fit in with the industrial organisation within which trade unionists have to operate.
One can point to defects in any trade union rule book. The Press, lawyers and lecturers tell us the defects in the rule books of the A.E.U., the Transport and General Workers Union or U.S.D.A.W. 615 But, according to them, there is nothing wrong with the rules governing the B.M.A., the B.D.A., the R.I.B.A., or the lawyers. Apparently, only the trade unionists, and not professional people, have defects in their structures and organisations.
§ Mr. F. P. Crowder (Ruislip-Northwood)
The hon. Gentleman says that it is alleged that there is nothing wrong in the structure of the lawyers. Where did he get that idea from?
§ Mr. Loughlin
There was controversy recently about whether the solicitors should do some of the jobs of the barristers. The barristers said: "No".
§ Mr. Loughlin
Yes. The fact that the solicitors can do the job did not make the slightest difference. It was said that the barristers should do it and nobody argued, except people like myself and one or two of my hon. Friends, particularly my hon. Friend the Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Arthur Lewis). The hon. and learned Member for Ruislip-Northwood (Mr. Crowder) should not start excusing the legal profession, because it is the biggest closed shop of the lot.
§ Mr. Loughlin
I have read so many things in the last week or two that perhaps I have not read the Courts Bill. If there is not a closed shop and a very tightly knit system of rules and regulations in the legal profession, then I have lived in cloud cuckoo land for many years.
Clauses 64 to 73 deal with the rights of democratic organisations to fashion the rules under which they shall operate. My right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, West (Mr. C. Pannell) talked about Fascism. I finished my Second Reading speech on this theme because I believe that it is part and parcel of the corporate State. It is the same type of registration and binding of trade unions the exists in the syndicalists in Spain. The trade union movement fashions its rules and regulations in the context of the circumstances in which its members have to operate.
616 If in industry we had the same democratic rights and principles which exist outside industry, we could start thinking in terms of creating the perfect rules and regulations that hon. Members opposite want; but we have not. We have a totalitarian system in industry. This is one of the facts of life. All of us have our aspirations and desires. We can all say, "If this were in this shape and form it would be perfect". But we are dealing with human beings. As long as there is a totalitarian system in industry we shall have to have rules and regulations in the trade union movement.
Although we may have a registrar who says to the trade union movement, "You must submit your rules to me", and although the official trade union movement may dutifully submit its rules and regulations, when it comes to the practical realities of the shop floor it will not matter two hoots what rules and regulations are registered because the majority of disputes in industry are caused, not because of the rules of the union, but because of a failure in communication at plant level in the factory. All the registrars in the world could produce the most wonderful rules and regulations, and yet it would not make one iota of difference to industrial productivity which, I gather, is the primary purpose of the Bill.
Trade union rules do not remain static. I know nothing more democratic than the British trade union movement. To take my organisation as an example, the power of my union is vested in the rank-and-file members and every two years we set up a rules revision committee. The members of my union are not fools. They know that we live in the real world, that the situation changes, and therefore the rules constantly have to change. In a democratic society a democratic organisation should be able to mould its own rules and then change them in accordance with an alteration in circumstances. There is no reason that the Government should seek to introduce a registrar to tell the members who have created a union that they are not capable of framing their own rules and that the registrar will frame the rules for the union—or indeed that the Secretary of State will do so. We all know how brilliant the Secretary of State is. He could not write a rule in the trade union movement.
§ Mr. R. Carr
I probably could not write the rule book and, thank goodness, the Bill gives me no power to do so.
§ Mr. Loughlin
I accept the right hon. Gentleman's remark with alacrity. When a Government introduce legislation such as that contained in Clauses 64 to 73 of the Bill, it is the first stage to the creation of a corporate society and of suppression of the trade union movement.
§ Mr. Robert Redmond (Bolton, West)
I had not intended to intervene but I have been following the remarks of the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, West (Mr. Loughlin) with care and it bothers me that he should think that anybody will interfere with the democratic rights of a union to make its own rules. For some years I have been associated with the British Legion, which is a chartered body and must go before the Privy Council every time it alters its rules. There are of course other chartered bodies such as The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Institute of Chartered Accountants, and so on, and their rules must be approved. Therefore, the whole case put by the hon. Gentleman falls to the ground. That is the only intervention I wish to make.
§ 8.15 p.m.
§ Mr. J. T. Price
I have sat through a considerable part of this debate and have had the pleasure of listening attentively to a number of powerful, and mostly good-humoured, speeches. We are debating matters far too serious to use this opportunity as a vehicle for scoring small debating points in the manner of an Oxford Union debate or a discussion by an academic group of people who take a number of books and documents and juggle with them like a conjuror in a circus. We are dealing here with something that goes to the root of industrial relationships. I am as concerned about the future of industrial relations—and I have taken part in the process for most of my life—as is the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State.
The hon. Member for Bridgwater (Mr. Tom King) referred to the chorus of protestations from this side of the Committee. That happens to be true. There are protestations from this side of the House about this Clause and many others since, because of the operation of the guillotine, they have never been discussed. Does 618 it not strike right hon. and hon. Members opposite who have devised this legislation as somewhat ironic and significant that in the twenty years I have been in this House—and I have taken part in the deliberation of all sorts of contentious matters—members of the Labour Party have never been as united as they are today in their opposition to this legislation? There is absolute unanimity on the right, on the left, and in the centre—and I do not wish to be placed in any category since I am not concerned with labels but with realities. This should be a significant fact to the right hon. Gentleman, who is almost punch-drunk from the consequences of his own folly in bringing forward this monolithic piece of legislation. He has only himself to blame for being duped by all the academic boffins who have been advising him. [Interruption.] I am making a serious speech and I am trying to keep it short.
We are constantly regaled with pleasant speeches by the hon. Member for Heston and Isleworth (Mr. Heyhoe) and many of his hon. Friends which are full of good intentions. I took the liberty the other day of reminding the Solicitor-General that in this House we cannot legislate for good intentions. We are putting on the Statute Book a code of conduct and behaviour which will subject trade union members or officials to certain penalties and disabilities if they transgress these provisions.
We are constantly told by the Conservative Party on public platforms that this country has been overborne by too much government and that government is to be truncated and reduced. Yet here the Government are going in the opposite direction and seeking, by the guillotine process, to force on to the Statute Book a highly controversial and massive piece of legislation.
§ Mr. Hayhoe
Does the hon. Gentleman agree that it is reasonable for hon. Members on this side to talk of the good intentions of the Government, having been assailed with nonsense about the bad intentions of the Government by hon. Gentlemen opposite?
§ Mr. Price
The hon. Gentleman has freedom of speech in this place, arid long may it continue. But let us not go on the downward track which will convert the House of Commons from a free Parliament into some kind of Reichstag. We 619 should all take the strongest exception to that. Without using the word "sinister", which I think the hon. Gentleman employed in his speech, I believe that these indications or tendencies are dangerous for the future and have given rise for justifiable concern by my hon. Friends.
I should now like to deal with the serious arguments deployed by the hon. Member for Heston and Isleworth, who has just returned. When challenged from this side on the argument which he was deploying, the hon. Gentleman quoted. quite fairly, certain sections of the Donovan Report, which some of us took the trouble to study when it came out. The hon. Gentleman was forced to admit, as a result of the exchanges which took place—the hon. Gentleman made a good-humoured and temperate speech; even if we disagreed with him, we liked his tone and manner—that the abuses referred to in passing by Donovan were very small in relation to the generality of trade union conduct, which is not under criticism.
We have one of the Law Officers of the Crown with us this evening. Indeed, we are honoured to have two senior Members of the Cabinet sitting on the Government Front Bench at the same time—[An HON. MEMBER: "Only one is in the Cabinet."]—Perhaps the hon. and learned Gentleman will work his way up. If I might have the Solicitor-General's attention, I should like to put this point to him. One can excuse the hon. Member for Heston and Isleworth, who is still—I say this without disrespect—an apprentice in this place, for making a slip; but for a senior Member of the Government to try to blast us with a lot of technical arguments and to argue that to legislate on this scale to govern trade union conditions and practice is legislating for the odd cases of abuse and hardship, is quite wrong. It has always been a constitutional principle, accepted by experienced Members, that the worst kind of legislation is that which is directed against setting apart some minority. We cannot legislate for special cases in a matter like this. We must legislate for the generality of cases.
It is wrong for right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite to put forward this kind of legislation on the pretext that it is to deal with unions which have defective 620 rule books and abuses of the rules by perhaps dissident members of unions. When a man is doing something drastic or taking action on an industrial matter. the first thing—
§ Mr. Gower rose——
§ Mr. Price
I do not wish to give way. The hon. Gentleman must excuse me. When a man does something drastic in connection with an industrial matter, the first thing that he does is perhaps to give notice or that to give notice that he is going on strike. But he does not go round to some office and say, "May I have the rules?" and look up the position.
If I decide to do something in the House which I am convinced is right, I do not go running to the Library before I make a speech. I never speak in the House unless I know what I am talking about. I am open to challenge on any statement I may make recklessly, but I try not to make such statements.
Rational trade unionists are the product of over 150 years of sacrifice and self-help. The great shibboleth of the Tory Party is that we should not have a regimented State: the State must not do everything and people must, by their own efforts, lift themselves from the disabilities and hardships which they have suffered in previous generations. The trade union movement has been doing that. I think that it should have earned credit for doing that rather than that the Government should seek to make it accept some monolithic legislation which will put it in a straitjacket subject to the authority of politicians. I cannot see any force in the argument that the trade union movement will not be put by the Bill in a straitjacket subject to poltical direction. With the kind of sophisticated modern State which is operating now, the registrar will certainly be subject, if not to direction from the Government, at least to [heir blowing down his neck and putting pressure on him to do things according to the policy of the Government.
I have made this intervention rather longer than it ought to have been, but at least I have the feeling that hon. Gentlemen have been listening. They may not agree with me, but I can tell when they are listening. It is not always the midnight-oil speeches to which attention is paid. I have heard a lot of 621 heresy from both sides of the Committee——
§ Mr. Price
If hon. Gentlemen wish me to go on for a long time, I shall find no difficulty. However, we are under the guillotine and the longer I speak the less time there will be to discuss other matters. I have to draw the line fairly equitably between my desire to have a few points recorded and the need to have time to discuss other matters later.
The Government have much expertise and many boffins behind the scenes, propagandists and advocates specially trained to run round the country delivering these turgid briefs. It is no use hon. Gentlemen opposite coming here with their turgid briefs and putting them forward. They may put them forward to the Primrose League or sometimes to Tory women's organisations in the backwoods of the county shires—[Interruption.] I will give way to the hon. Member for Keighley (Miss Joan Hall) if she wishes to intervene. I am delighted that she has come into the Chamber to listen to the debate.
I am being provoked. While I want to be reasonable and allow time for my hon. Friends to deliver their speeches, if hon. Gentlemen opposite want me to go on I can continue for a long time on this theme, because the Amendment and the Clause deal with a matter of the utmost importance.
I know something about rule books, because in a previous incarnation, I functioned as a national officer of one of the great unions of this country. One of the tasks which came under my supervision and authority was handling, on a national scale, the legal activities of the union. I have spent many hours ploughing through rule books to see what they mean.
For anybody to suggest that a trade union, which may be a composite body consisting of many other unions which have amalgamated, ought to have some kind of regimented, rubber-stamped, standard rule book handed down on a plate from the Mount of Olives by some—[interruption.] I am not sure whether it is the Mount of Olives, and I am sorry if I have made a sublimal joke but I am 622 sure that hon. Members have got the point. To imagine that this can be done by legislation is to fly in the face of human experience.
This legislation is denying independence to the mass of sensible trade unionists and elected leaders. Whatever may be the fate of this Clause and of the Bill, however it comes out of the sausage machine at the end of the day, I hope it will be realised that the resistance of my hon. Friends and myself to it is based on the fact that the trade union movement is not prepared to accept the penalties and handicaps which will undermine its authority as an independent body which has been created by the sacrifice, endeavour and intelligence of many generations of people before us, and we, as its guardians, will raise our voices and protest throughout the course of the Bill's progress through the House.
§ 8.30 p.m.
§ The Solicitor-General (Sir Geoffrey Howe)
One wonders whether there is any other institution, or set of institutions, in this country in respect of which so many words could have been uttered over so many hours asserting the one simple proposition, "Leave us alone. We are untouchable. Parliament should do nothing whatsoever to affect us".—[Interruption.]—Does the hon. Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Arthur Lewis) want to say something?
§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
The Solicitor-General talked about leaving people alone. I was suggesting that he could have mentioned his own profession. He could have referred to the Law Society, to the Bar Council and so on. No one suggests that they should be hamstrung and be subject to the control suggested in the Bill.
§ The Solicitor-General
The Courts Bill is being considered in Committee upstairs, which demonstrates the extent to which the allocation of functions in the legal profession is subject to the determination of the House. The House considers administration of justice Bills almost every other year. It has considered Measures relating to solicitors, and a whole range of matters. We are not now debating the legal profession.
§ The Solicitor-General
What I am submitting is that there is no other institution in respect of which such a chain of argument could have been advanced, adding up, at the end of the day, to a prescription for inertia.
§ The Solicitor-General
I do not challenge the importance of the subject, but I suggest that there is an astonishing basis of misapprehension underlying some of the arguments and propositions which we have heard from the other side of the Committee. To talk about political straitjackets, about a prescription for totalitarianism, about suppression of free trade unionism, about the first steps towards a corporate State, and about regimented rules being brought down from the Mount of Olives, is to allow sensible discussion of these important matters to take leave of its senses.
To come back to what we are really debating, it is the principle that the organs of the Labour movement in this country, the trade unions should, in order to achieve the full standing rights, and the new rights conferred by this legislation, be required to register. That is all. It is that central principle——
§ Mr. John Mendelson rose——
§ The Solicitor-General
If hon. Members will allow me to develop my case, I shall come to the points which have exercised them for so long.
§ The Solicitor-General
We debated them yesterday. Is it, or is it not—and this is the purpose of the first group of Amendments—right that the full role and standing of trade unions should be confined to those which register? Which other major institution, so powerful, so long-established in our society, would be arguing before this or any other Committee that it is wrong for the legislature, on behalf of society, to begin laying down standards to be achieved by that institution?
§ The Solicitor-General
Almost every kind of institution we can think of is subject, as a matter of course, to registration. If an hon. Member comes to the House and seeks to introduce a Bill under the Ten Minute Rule saying that it is right that fly-by night travel agents should be registered so that in the name of society we can have some protection in respect of them, he is acclaimed as a hero. With this new generation of matters such as travel agents, if someone wishes to register pre-school play-groups which are serving small aspects of society, registration is accepted as a matter of course. We are here concerned with bodies—
§ The Solicitor-General
The hon. Member for Gloucestershire, West (Mr. Loughlin) made an important point. He said that we are not legislating in a vacuum, and that these bodies do not exist in a vacuum. I quite agree. The bodies with which we are concerned have power. It is a power which they will retain to inflict great damage upon society, and, as my hon. Friend the Member for Bridgwater (Mr. Tom King) said, because of the interdependence of our society, to inflict damage upon each other, upon each others' members and upon individuals. They have that power to that extent because of the framework of law with which they have grown up. It is the framework of law which goes back, perhaps, to 1871, and certainly to 1906, which has given them the position of power and authority which they hold, and it is that which we say, at the very least, entitles the Committee and the House to consider the basis upon which that power should continue.
§ Mr. Loughlin
Surely the Solicitor-General is under a misapprehension in using the argument which I deployed, because the trade unions—I use his words—do not exist to inflict damage on any body or any section of the community. The rules of the unions are not designed, either deliberately or accidentally, to inflict damage.
§ Mr. Loughlin
What the Solicitor-General has to address his mind to is not the question of the rules but what happens in industry when the Government have made all their good rules.
§ The Solicitor-General
If I may revert to the central, over-simple point, there are a thousand institutions in our society which do not exist to inflict damage: limited companies, registered partnerships, travel agents, hairdressers—none of these organisations exist to inflict damage. But as a matter of course, they are all subject to scrutiny by the House on behalf of society and subject to such rules as society seeks to lay down in respect of them for the protection of the wider national interest and of those who come into contact with them.
It is astonishing to see the extent to which the argument has been advanced from the other side of the Committee, saying that this is some treading, by this the mother of Parliaments, on hallowed ground. It may be right, as one hon. Gentleman opposite said, that the Labour Party in this House has not for a long time been as united as it has been in its opposition to the Bill. I would venture to assert that in so far as it finds itself united on this subject, never before has it found itself so isolated from the great mass of informed opinion in this country.
§ Mr. John Mendelson
Does not the Solicitor-General realise that to begin by saying that trade unions are organisations which can inflict great damage, is to give away the whole bias? Surely the starting point is that trade unions are organisations which have some authority because they protect the interests of their members and facilitate industrial processes.
§ The Solicitor-General
I accept that completely. It is common ground on the benches opposite, and we do not challenge it. I accept that the trade unions exist to serve their members, and they play an important part in the community. What appears to be in issue, though I cannot understand why, is that, like every other institution, they are capable of inflicting damage on the community, on their members and on other unions. One man's strike is another man's lay-off. In his book, Will Paynter argues a cogent case 626 for the way in which the consequences of damage inflicted by the Labour movement unregulated are now so much more serious than they were years ago.
§ Mr. Heffer rose——
The Deputy Chairman
Order. Hon. Members know quite well that, if the hon. and learned Gentleman does not give way, they must resume their seats. What is more, when two hon. Members rise at the same time, they make matters more difficult for the Chair.
§ Mr. Heffer rose——
§ The Solicitor-General
I am not dealing with that at the moment.
To come back to this point, just how far out of touch is it possible for right hon. and hon. Members opposite to get from the facts of reality? Is it seriously disputed as a foundation for this debate that organised labour, in a framework of law that is inadequate and does not secure for it the rights that we are trying to secure for it, by taking industrial action unnecessarily in pursuit of unfair and unreasonable objectives, is capable of inflicting harm on society which we should seek to avert if we can?
§ Mr. Skinner
I am very interested in this point about trade unions and shop stewards inflicting harm. What kind of harm was inflicted by the shop stewards who came to this House on Monday? Those who came to this House from Rolls-Royce did not come to inflict harm. They came with a begging bowl, hoping for assistance from this Government. What harm can they inflict? The only harm that they can inflict is when the market forces suit them, which is very rare.
§ The Solicitor-General
I thought that it was common ground that we in this House and the country are concerned with the problem of industrial relations. Disputes between powerful unions and between powerful unions and managements can cause widespread disruption. We should all strive to avoid it. That is an objective which commends itself to the country and to my right hon. and hon. Friends, even if not to right hon. and hon. Members opposite.
I come to the central point of registration. We have heard two arguments advanced from the benches opposite. I am not sure where we stand. To some, the whole concept of registration is intolerable because it embodies the idea of a State licence to operate.
§ The Solicitor-General
We are saying that, to achieve the status of a trade union in law, that body should register. That was asserted simply by the Donovan Commission. It was asserted simply in "In Place of Strife". Is it the proposition that, to become a trade union, a body has to register to which objection is taken, or is it taken only to the terms on which registration is here proposed?
§ The Solicitor-General
If it is only the terms which are objected to, we have got at least somewhere. We acknowledge the desirability of registration to acquire status. That is common ground between us.
§ [Mr. J.C. JENNINGS in the Chair]
§ Mr. Orme
Is it not a fact that, under the 1871 Act, unions have a right to register or not, but the majority of the unions, because there are certain benefits, in regard to money and so forth, are registered? But if a union is not registered, it is not penalised, as will happen under the Bill. In other words, it is to the union's advantage to register, and most unions are, but they do not have to register. That is what we mean by a voluntary system.
§ 8.45 p.m.
§ The Solicitor-General
Yes, that is a fair observation, but that which was good enough for 1871 is not necessarily good enough for 1971. When we have seen, over recent years, the Donovan Commission and the right hon. Lady both asserting that, in order to acquire the status of a trade union, a body should be required to register and exposed to various sanctions, we are surely entitled to regard that as reasonably common ground.
The only argument, I understand, is as to the nature of the sanctions. The Donovan Commission majority said that registration to qualify as a union should be secured by withdrawing immunities under Section 3 of the 1906 Act. The Donovan Commission minority recommendation said that it should be secured by financial sanctions. It was the latter which recommended itself to the right hon. Lady. We put forward a selection of measures and we say that certain new rights shall be available only to registered unions, and that registered unions shall comply with other obligations. I cannot see the room for reasonable argument, as it is looked at from the outside world, over the desirability and sense of registration of bodies which claim this status of trade unions.
§ Mr. McNamara
The hon. and learned Gentleman keeps saying that the trade unions are being given new rights. What is he giving us in this Bill which is new? What is he giving to registered unions which he is not giving to organised groups of workers which are not registered under the Bill?
§ The Solicitor-General
We have spent some days, over several weeks, debating this, but to answer it in a sentence—all 629 the rights of recognised procedures which we spent yesterday discussing: important new rights. Hon. Members opposite complained yesterday that the new rights which we were discussing were not made available to unregistered bodies. They cannot on the following day deny the existence of those rights about which they were arguing——
§ The Solicitor-General
One cannot be blamed for making a debating point of some value in the course of a debate.
What in fact are we attaching to the concept of registration? In essence, requirements as to the rules of those bodies, protection and remedies for the members of those bodies against the unions themselves and responsibility by the unions to conform to standards which arc to be laid down by the House for a modern society—[Interruption.] The standards to be laid down are contained in Clause 61, the guiding principles. The distinction between the guiding principles and those dealt with in Schedule 3 is that Schedule 3 lists those matters in respect of which rules must say something, whereas Clause 61 sets down the standards to which the rules must conform on selected matters of particular importance. They are guiding principles for the guidance of organisations, registered or unregistered.
Again, I suggest to the Committee that it cannot be asserted that there is here something monstrous and wicked in the idea of requiring unions to register as such in this way. Nor is there something wrong, as one hon. Member opposite suggested, in trying to attach a corporate status to unions.
What is underlying this is paragraph 782 of the Report of the Donovan Commission:Law apart, we do not think that there is any doubt that most people look upon a trade union as something different from the members who compose it.The Commission then quotes Professor Dicey as saying:When a body of 20, or 2,000 or 200,000 men bind themselves together to act in a particular way for some common purpose, they create a body which by no fiction of law, but by the very nature of things, differs from the individuals of whom it is constituted.630 The Commission continues in this way:We think this is true; but even if it were not, we think that the time has come to clear away the uncertainties and obscurities which surround the position of trade unions at law, and that they should be granted corporate personality. In this we find ourselves at one with the Society of Labour Lawyers.784. … We think the better solution is the grant of corporate status to all trade unions. This will involve a concomitant liability to register, but the particulars to be registered would be common to all unions.Following this through on to paragraphs 791 and 792, this is not a voluntary register as the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, West suggests. It is made perfectly clear in paragraph 791:… a law which obliged the unregistered trade union in future to become registered would not, in our opinion, impose a hardship, work any injustice, or deprive unregistered unions of some valuable liberty.
§ The Temporary Chairman (Mr. J. C. Jennings)
Order. I usually deprecate long quotations. This quotation is getting quite lengthy.
§ The Solicitor-General
I bow to your Ruling, Mr. Jennings. I am anxious to develop the argument. It is not a continuous quotation. Paragraph 792 of the Report contains these words:The definition of a trade union would be exclusively related to registered unions. New unions would be required to register within a stated period after formation.Going on from that to the requirements as to union rules, once again looking at the Donovan Report, and indeed at "In Place of Strife", they are to be requirements in respect of what union rules must deal with. Donovan makes it perfectly clear that the registrar is to have the power to ensure that the rules comply with the standards to be laid down by the House of Commons and that unions are to have time in which to see that their rules comply with those standards. This is the principle we are talking about.
§ Mr. John Fraser
The Solicitor-General said, I think—perhaps he will confirm this, because there is some difficulty here—that Clause 61—the guiding principles is intended to apply to an organisation of workers whether it registers or not. Did the hon. and learned Gentleman mean to say that? Is that why it appears as a Clause and not in Schedule 3?
§ The Solicitor-General
That is perfectly right. Clause 61(1) says:The principles set out in the following provisions of this section shall be guiding principles in the conduct of every organisation of workers, other than federations of workers' organisations.We believe that these principles are not unreasonable principles to lay down for the conduct of any organisation of this importance relating to the individuals belonging to it.
Can it be argued that it is wrong to lay down standards saying that a member or a person who seeks work and who is reasonably well qualified should be entitled to secure admission to a union membership of which is necessary for him to his job? This is the first principle. We cannot see that it can possibly be justified that an organisation should be entitled unreasonably to exclude from membership a man who is qualified for the work which that union regulates.
This again is at the heart of the approach of the Donovan Commission, because Donovan said that this does not happen very often, but that it is possible, without regulation of unions' rules, for a man to be hounded out of a job. Donovan quotes examples. We can all think of cases. There was the case of Mr. Bonsor years back who, having been expelled from his union, died scraping the barnacles off Brighton Pier because there was no set of guiding principles relating to the relations between him and his union.
Is it to be suggested that it is wrong for a man to have the right, on reasonable conditions and on reasonable notice, to terminate his membership of an organisation? We put that forward as a condition to be attached to registration.
§ The Solicitor-General
That is interesting, and the Committee will note it. But what kind of principle is it which suggests that members should not have the right to resign from organisations the freedom and voluntary nature of which hon. Members opposite are trying to defend?
§ Mr. McNamara
Here is an example. A collective agreement is coming to an end. There is notice of a strike. A strike is to take place. A couple of people 632 want to "scab" on the rest of their fellows by saying, "We resign from the union, and we do not accept this". I thought that my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, All Saints (Mr. Walden) had driven the point of that difference home to hon. Members opposite. What is more, such people could rejoin the day after.
§ The Solicitor-General
It would be a question for the rules of a particular union as to how far the conditions and length of notice given were reasonable in that case.
To return to the point of principle, what kind of organisation is it which seeks to lock someone into the ranks of its free members so that he may not resign therefrom? How can it be objected in those terms that somebody should not have the right, given reasonable notice and complying with any reasonable conditions, to terminate his membership? This is the difference of approach between the two sides of the Committee.
§ Mr. J. T. Price
The hon. and learned Gentleman has asked a question, and I respond to his invitation. We want to help him. We think that he is honestly flogging away at a loser. Why, he asks, should not a person have the right to resign? It concerns us to hear one of this country's leading and distinguished lawyers enunciating that principle. The hon. and learned Gentleman knows very well that, if he resigns from the Bar Council and does not pay his Bar fees, he will not be able to earn a living as a lawyer; he will be dependent entirely on his parliamentary salary, and a damn sight poorer than he is now. That is the answer.
§ The Solicitor-General
I practised at the Bar by virtue of qualifications which I secured from an institution, in the same way as anyone else taking professional qualifications secures them. Quite distinct from the qualifications which I gained, there is our trade union, the General Council of the Bar, to which I subscribe and to which I belong of free choice, from which I may resign at my free 633 choice, and on the executive of which I sat for a number of years, listening to some of my colleagues say that 90 per cent. membership of our trade union is not good enough. In that setting, as here, I argued that it was intolerable for the executive of that union to begin using coercive measures to secure the membership of the remaining 10 per cent. I could resign from that union and continue to practise, just as solicitors——
§ The Solicitor-General
But the Bar Council is the union. Solicitors can resign from membership of the Law Society and join, as they have done, the British Legal Association, and continue to practise in their profession.
§ Mr. Orme
May I return to the question of a person resigning from his union? The principle here is as important to us as was the principle on Clause 5, the right to be a non-unionist. What we say is that the members in a factory who have by their organisation, their combination, their subscriptions and their fees, worked and obtained the conditions which they have may say to a worker, "We will not work with non-unionists". They have the right to say that that person, if he wants to remain within the industry, should be a member of the union. It is not forcing him. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Hon. Members opposite want the non-unionist to have the right to be able to work and to have legal——
§ The Temporary Chairman (Mr. J. C. Jennings)
Order. This is a very long intervention. We cannot have a speech as an intervention.
§ 9.0 p.m.
§ The Solicitor-General
I will come to it. Until the hon. Gentleman interrupted I was asserting that people holding professional qualifications laid down independently are in no sense to be compared in this argument with those who do or do not belong to unions. This applies to any occupation. For example, society 634 lays down certain standards of competence to be achieved by barristers, doctors, colliery managers and shot-firers. They have to obtain specific statutory qualifications. If they do, they should be free to develop their skills and use their qualifications doing the work for which they are qualified. We also think that they should be encouraged to belong to trade unions and that agreements should be made with their employers to encourage them. But we stop short of the last point, the power of the trade union organisation to expel them on arbitrary or unreasonable grounds, to deny them the right to resign on reasonable notice. It is not unfair or unreasonable for society to lay down standards to which those organisations must conform. It is to that end that we think it not unreasonable for registration to be the foundation of the status of trade unions.
§ Mr. Harold Walker
Clause 5(1) gives the individual an unqualified rightto be a member of such union as he may choose.Is not the hon. and learned Gentleman by these two provisions allowing any individual the statutory right to hop in and out of any such union as he may wish, irrespective of the circumstances?
§ The Solicitor-General
The concept of someone hopping in and out of a union is slightly bizarre. The right to resign is one to be exercised on giving reasonable notice and complying with reasonable conditions. The right not to admit, or the obligation to admit, is by reference to reasonable conditions. There is no doubt that if hopping in and out were a hazard it could be fairly regulated in that way.
I do not want to deal with the detail of that now. I return to the central theme. The idea of registration for these large organisations was put forward in Donovan and was asserted in "In Place of Strife". There may be room for argument about the particular conditions and particular points, but we assert with confidence that the time has come for unions, defined, enjoying the position of power and privilege that they now enjoy, to be required to register, and that it is not an unreasonable provision to include at the centre of this part of the Bill.
§ Mrs. Castle
It is entirely right that we should have had this protracted debate, because we are dealing with one of the central issues of principle of the Bill. It is clear that a large number of hon. Members on both sides have been anxious to take part in the debate. Tragically, this means that because of the guillotine we shall have about three hours to debate the details of the rest of this large number of Clauses, yet every time we probe the Government on the details a new facet of what they propose comes to light.
We have just had a very interesting revelation from the Solicitor-General, which has entirely undermined the whole moral tone of his previous argument.
The hon. and learned Gentleman admitted, under questioning from my hon. Friend the Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser), that the principles laid down in Clause 61 are to apply to unregistered unions. I ask hon. Members opposite to think about what that means. I should like almost a moment's silence for the enormity of it to sink in. We nearly despair on this side of the Committee of ever getting through to hon. Members opposite just to what they are lending their names and their reputations. We gave up the Solicitor-General a long time ago. After all, he is the smoothest possible propagandist for his own brain child. He is like a besotted mother who cannot see a single fault in her own offspring. Of course we cannot get through to him. But we still retain hope of getting through to his hon. Friends, particularly since some glimmerings of comprehension have emerged in their speeches. I want to ask them to think for a moment about what he has just admitted.
It is not, in the case of Clause 61, a question of saying, as the hon. and learned Gentleman has said with such panache, that if unions want to enjoy the new privileges given by the Bill they should be prepared to register and accept control over their rules, because an unregistered union has no privilege at all. It has no bargaining rights; it cannot be a promoter of its own rights in an agency shop; it has no status in the bargaining unit or as a bargaining unit. All this was admitted to us yesterday. We know that, far from having privileges, an unregistered union is heaped with penalties under the Bill.
636 Again, it is not a question of saying, in the moving appeals to the general public of which we get so much from the Government, that it is necessary to protect society from powerful bodies which can, in the hon. and learned Gentleman's words, inflict grave damage. How can an unregistered union inflict damage? It has no legal right to strike at all under the Bill. It has no right to engage in any kind of irregular industrial action.
§ Mr. David Mitchell indicated dissent.
§ Mrs. Castle
That is so. The hon. Member for Basingstoke (Mr. David Mitchell) shakes his head. He does not know what he is lending his name to or what he is voting for. The simple fact is that, if an unregistered union goes on strike, the protection of Section 3 of the 1906 Act is withdrawn. If an unregistered union goes on strike, it faces in specific terms under the Bill unlimited financial damages.
§ Mr. David Mitchell
Will the right hon. Lady explain the situation of an unregistered union which gives notice under its own procedure agreement? Will she say whether in that case there is any liability attaching at all?
§ Mrs. Castle
The hon. Gentleman is straining the normal definition of the right to strike. The Government themselves have to admit that it is almost impossible to have a strike without a breach of contract of employment. What they are doing is taking away something far more than just the protection of Section 3. The protection of Section 3, which gave to unions the present traditional immunity for action in furtherance of a trade dispute, does not apply under this Bill to an unregistered trade union. If such a union tries to operate such a strike, it faces actual unlimited damages. So how can an unregistered union inflict this grave damage that we were all told was the threat hanging over our heads? It is a body which has neither privileges nor power to inflict grave damage on the public interest.
Yes, despite that, the Government insist on the right under Clause 61 to tell an unregistered union whom it shall admit, what rights of terminating membership it shall give to its members, and, above 637 all, on applying to it the iniquitous provisions of subsection (7) which say that even though unregistered, it must write into its rules the freedom of its members to defy the Government's views, the Government's definition of an unfair industrial practice, the Government's definition of a closed shop, the Government's definition of the 100 per cent. union shop, the Government's definition of sympathetic action, as its right to exist.
I say to hon. Members opposite advisedly that this is sheer control for control's sake and this is why we say that the Bill reveals that we have a totalitarian Government and a totalitarian Bill, and that is no exaggeration. I suggest that hon. Members go away and talk it over and check it and think about it and consider the sort of high-handed actions with which they are associating themselves.
As for the rest; as usual, in a perfunctory speech, the Solicitor-General begged the whole question of the registration of unions. He said that no other major organisation would object to this public scrutiny. That is not the question. The trade union movement is subject to public scrutiny and the law of the land. There are more Questions in the House and debates in the House about the activities of trade unions than anything else. Of course they are subject to the law of the land. The question we are debating tonight is the trade unions' objection to what the Government propose.
I am confident that hon. Members opposite have not grasped the central theme of this part of the Bill and its meaning. What do the Government want and what do they seek to do through this part of the Bill? It is apposite to begin by saying that the practice of other countries has been quoted to us time and time again in justification of what the Government are doing, but there is not one Western industrial nation with registration provisions of this kind in its law, with this kind of control by the Registrar, with this scope of power of the registrar, with this discretionary action given to the registrar and, after him, to the courts. This is the exclusive brainchild of the Government.
We are told, and this is becoming the whole tenor of the speeches of the Solicitor- 638 General, that this is all in the Donovan Report and all in "In Place of Strife". I repeat my offer to the Solicitor-General—if he thinks so much of "In Place of Strife," why does he not base his Bill on it? The answer is that we should have had something not designed to exercise a tyranny over the trade union movement, but generally designed to strengthen it. The fact is that the Donovan Report and the Bill are as different as chalk from cheese, and that is why the Government have to misrepresent it.
At every stage of the Government's argument, when they ought to have been justifying these tyrannical new principles, we have merely had a misrepresentation of Donovan as the sole argument. We have had it over the imposition of procedure agreements. We have been told that it was all in Donovan, but when we turn up Donovan we find the contrary. We find that Donovan was never. under any circumstances, present or future, in favour of enforcing agreements that had not first of all been voluntarily agreed. I quoted the other day from Donovan, and that is on the record.
We have been told lies about Donovan on the imposition of procedure agreements. In the same way the position over registration is being deliberately distorted. Donovan was never in favour of making a condition of registration the acceptance of rules that the union had not agreed. That is the great dividing line, that is the great gulf that comes between us, the essential and enduring difference, and that is what we mean by a voluntary system.
We cannot impose on trade unions rules which they have not agreed and above all we cannot impose on them rules which do violence to their own innate principles and tell them, "Swallow it or die". That is what the Government are doing here. Neither Donovan nor the Labour Government in "In Place of Strife" ever made the compulsory registration of trade unions a central part of the industrial relations problem. The Solicitor-General gave us the evidence for this when he read from Donovan pointing out that the whole concept of compulsory legislation started from the idea that it might help unions to give them corporate status. It flows from that 639 that they would have to register. It did not flow from any necessity of the industrial relations situation; it did not flow from any evidence that the unions were abusing their power either in relation to their own members or in relation to the community.
It could not be put more explicitly than at paragraph 622 of Donovan. Here Donovan points out that the research people had endeavoured to find out what evidence there was of abuse by trade unions as a result of the fact that they were free to draw up their own rules. Donovan concluded as follows:But the general conclusion can, we think, be drawn with reasonable safety that if the questioning of some 500 trade unionists and 400 non-unionists selected at random yields so little in the way of adverse criticism it is unlikely that abuse of power by trade unions is widespread.
§ Mrs. Castle
I agree he said that on occasions it happens. [Laughter.] Of course. It is essential in the light of all this talk about the power to wield damage on the community or on individual members that Donovan's basic conclusion should be put on the record. No one on this side of the Committee has ever argued that trade union rules are perfect or that trade union behaviour is perfect. We do not have to, because there is not a single organisation in the community that can go into a white sheet of perfection. Let us be realistic and face up to that. The question is, what is the size of this little nut for which the Government are bringing up this great hammer?
There was never any question in the Donovan Report of trying to dictate the content or even the principle of union rules. The Donovan Report pointed out that 85 per cent. of the total trade union membership was already in registered organisations on a voluntary basis. It said that the rules were not very onerous and that they needed to be extended in clarity and perhaps in scope, but time and again it came back to the theme which the Government are violating, namely, that better safeguards for individual members must be achievedwithout impairing the freedom which trade unions ought to enjoy to frame rules to meet their own circumstances".640 That is what is at issue and that is what the Government are violating.
Of course, this was the theme of "In Place of Strife". If the Secretary of State wants to hide behind "In Place of Strife", let him live up to the following principles. We said in paragraph 107:'"The Royal Commission found no evidence of widespread abuse of union power.We went on to say that we wanted the trade unionsto conduct their business according to clear and comprehensive rules, and to deal fairly with any dispute between the union or its officers and the individual member.But we went on:This must be done in ways that are compatible with trade union internal self-government and independence.We said in paragraph 109:Unions will be free to frame rules to meet their own requirements and the Industrial Relations Bill will not propose that there should be provision for them to be challenged except on the ground that they do not adequately cover the subjects specified.That is what the Donovan Report said in its section on rules. It pointed out that there must be rules which deal adequately with the problem of elections and how a ballot is conducted if one is held and which deal adequately with rights of appeal, and so on. No one disputes that that is the end. There is nothing unacceptable in those principles. I, and no doubt many of my hon. Friends, would go further. I do not believe that there is any objection in principle to compulsory registration. It depends on how it is done and for what purposes. I am one of those who, as a back bencher, pressed for a long time for the compulsory registration of hairdressers because it is in their interests and in the interests of the community; and they want it. It is Governments who have always refused to concede it.
Of course, compulsory registration can be a good or an evil thing according to the conditions imposed and the purposes for which it is introduced. But there is no point in having compulsory registration if one's aims can ix., achieved in some other way. It is a bad principle to have compulsion for compulsion's sake. The fact is that we are achieving our aims in another way, and that is why our Industrial Relations Bill did not include provisions for compulsory registration. 641 The hon. Member for Basingstoke was right when he quoted from a survey into union rules conducted by the T.U.C. He seemed to think that it strengthened his case because the T.U.C. said that a lot of rules were defective. It does not strengthen his case; it strengthens ours. Our case is that long before the Government produced their Bill, way back in June, 1969, stimulated by the Donovan Report into voluntary action, the T.U.C. proceeded to issue circular after circular to its members. 1 have them here. We might put them in the Vote Office and then some hon. Members might get some enlightenment of what the T.U.C. is doing about trade union rules.
§ Mr. David Mitchell
I am glad that the right hon. Lady has taken my point. All I said was that this indicated the need for a change in union rules, but the right hon. Lady will surely admit that those recommendations of the T.U.C. have not been put into effect. If they had been put into effect, the sort of rules which were quoted earlier would not now still be on the union rule book.
§ Mrs. Castle
Of course, there is need for change in union rules. The T.U.C. admits it and has never said that the system is perfect and untouchable. It has said only that if we are to remain a free society we must do this for ourselves. This is the difference between us, and this is what was said in Donovan.
The hon. Member for Ilford, North (Mr. Iremonger) asked what was the difference in the T.U.C. overhauling rules, or taking internal discipline measures, or deciding who had the right to call a strike and somebody else doing these things. There is, of course, a difference in principle. First and foremost, there are the iniquitous principles of Clause 61. The Government are saying that by law these repugnant principles are to be written into trade union rules. The big difference, which has been overlooked, lies in the policing power given to the Registrar. It is this which is unique and new and it is this the Government have never explained to the House. This is what the Government hide, and the fact that they hide it reveals their true aim. The Government's true aim is not that the union should be well-run in the interests of its members, but that it should be run in the interests of Government 642 policy. What the T.U.C. objects to is that the Registrar will control not only the content of rules, but their operation. The House must weigh the implications of Clauses 73, 77 and 79 in which the registrar can go to court and demand the cancellation of a union's registration because it does not fulfil that vague and dangerous phrase,any other requirements imposed by the Registrar".Then there is Clause 11, which is the bother-causer Clause, under which any person who was, is or wants to become, a member of a union can make application to the Registrar and say, "That union is breaking the rules or breaking the registrar's principles." That complaint can be taken to the court and backed by legal sanctions. Or there is Clause 79, the "spying" Clause, under which, if the registrar has reason to suspect that there has been a serious or persistent breach of rules or action in serious contravention of the principles of Clause 61, he can haul a union before the court.
§ The Temporary Chairman (Mr. J. C. Jennings)
Order. We arranged for a wide debate on this series of Amendments and passing reference to Clauses 77 and 79 is perfectly in order as long as it is just a passing reference.
§ Mrs. Castle
I have made a very brief reference indeed, Mr. Jennings, but it is essential to the argument to say that it is the policing of these rules by the registrar which is one of the most iniquitous practices to which we object. It is this which gives significance to paragraph 10 of Schedule 3 which, unfortunately, we shall never have time to examine in detail.
Of course, the rules should say who has authority to call a strike. The T.U.C. says this, and it has circularised the unions saying that they should have that in the rules. Indeed, the T.U.C. went further. It said that it should be laid down in the rules who should have the right to conduct a strike. It is an entirely different thing to include such rules in a voluntary system rather than in a system which at every turn is regulated by legal sanctions. It must be remembered under these Clauses that a union can be taken to the Industrial Court for a breach of this rule and it will face cancellation of registration by order of the court to 643 prevent a continuance of the breach of that rule. So that all freedom of action by a union in, for example, a Pilkington situation, has been forfeited under this group of Clauses. Because the right hon. Gentleman cannot or will not see any difference between that and Donovan, he has forfeited all credibility in industrial relations.
This policy puts a monstrously unfair burden on the shop steward. It is impregnated with the assumption that the only people who ever cause strikes are the shop stewards, the unions, or the workers. Never at any point is recognition made that strike after strike is caused by management, not only because it refuses recognition or dismisses unfairly, but because it is bad management.
I was given an example only the other day by the district secretary of one of our major unions working in a key plant in the motor industry. He told me of an occasion on which he had to negotiate with his local management on the duration of an unofficial strike. Hon. Gentlemen opposite have no idea what happens in industry. Here was a case where conditions were bad. The men made a complaint not about pay, but to get local conditions rectified. Because, in this multi-plant company, management had not delgated authority for action down to local management level, the local manager had to say to the union, "Bring the lads out and they will soon move at headquarters and give me authority to meet your complaint, which I think is justified.
§ fled". So they negotiated about how short a period of unofficial strike would be necessary for the men to get a legitimate grievance regularised. This happens time and again in industry.
§ The Bill puts no responsibilities and penalties on management. The Bill and this provision has been in the minds of Conservative lawyers since 1959. It was first born in "A Giant Strength" in 1959. It was there as long ago as that. Twelve years ago the lawyers of the Conservative Party were spelling out how we ought to have this type of registration and regulation. This was not at a time when according to the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State the unions were too powerful. This was the period when he said that they were so weak that the closed shop was justified.
§ But it was already the policy of the Solicitor-General, who is now in a position to carry it out and thrust it upon us. The hon. and learned Gentleman is answering the debate today because the Bill is not conceived in terms of improving industrial relations. If it were, it would be the responsibility of the Secretary of State to deal with this important section of the debate. It is a lawyer's brainchild. It was a tragic day for the Conservative Party and for this country when the Secretary of State put his own more practical judgment in pawn to lawyers who could not see beyond their noses.
§ Question put, That the Amendment he made:—
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 251, Noes 302.647
|Division No. 143.]||AYES||[9.33 p.m.|
|Albu, Austen||Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch amp; F'bury)||Grossman, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Allen, Scholefield||Buchan, Norman||Cunningham, C. (Islington, S.W.)|
|Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis)||Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)||Dalyell, Tam|
|Armstrong Ernest||Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Darling, Rt. Hn. George|
|Ashley, Jack||Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James||Davidson, Arthur|
|Ashton, Joe||Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.)||Davies, Denzil (LLlanelly)|
|Atkinson, Norman||Cant, R. B.||Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Carmichael, Neil||Davies, Ifor (Gower)|
|Barnes, Michael||Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)||Davies, S. D. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Barnett, Joel||Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles)||Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)|
|Beaney, Alan||Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Deakins, Eric|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Clark, David (Colne Valley)||de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey|
|Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)||Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Cohen, Stanley||Dempsey, James|
|Bishop, E. S.||Coleman, Donald||Doig, Peter|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Concannon, J. D.||Dormand, J. D.|
|Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Conlan, Bernard||Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.)|
|Booth, Albert||Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Douglas-Mann, Bruce|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.)||Driberg, Tom|
|Bradley, Tom||Crawshaw, Richard||Duffy, A. E. P.|
|Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.)||Cronin, John||Dunn, James A.|
|Dunnett, Jack||Lawson, George||Price, William (Rugby)|
|Eadie, Alex||Leadbitter, Ted||Probert, Arthur|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Rankin, John|
|Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Leonard, Dick||Reed, D. (Sedgefield)|
|Ellis, Tom||Lestor, Miss Joan||Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)|
|English, Michael||Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold||Rhodes, Geoffrey|
|Evans, Fred||Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.)||Richard, Ivor|
|Fernyhough, E.||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Fisher, Mrs. Doris (B'ham,Ladywood)||Lipton, Marcus||Roberts,Rt. Hn.Coronwy(Caernarvon)|
|Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Lomas, Kenneth||Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Br'c'n&R'dnor)|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Loughlin, Charles||Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Roper, John|
|Foot, Michael||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Rose, Paul B.|
|Ford, Ben||Mahon, Dr. J. Dickson||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)|
|Forrester, John||McBride, Neil||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Fraser, John (Norwood)||McCartney, Hugh||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)|
|Freeson, Reginald||McElhone, Frank||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton,N.E.)|
|C-alpem, Sir Myer||McCune, Michael||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Garrett, W. E.||Mackenzie, Gregor||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Gilbert, Dr. John||Mackie, John||Sillars, James|
|Ginsburg, David||Mackintosh, John P.||Silverman, Julius|
|Golding, John||Maclennan, Robert||Skinner, Dennis|
|Gourley, Harry||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Small, William|
|Grant, George (Morpeth)||McNamara, J. Kevin||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)|
|Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)||MacPherson, Malcolm||Spearing, Nigel|
|Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Stallard, A. W.|
|Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Marquand, David||Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)|
|Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)|
|Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)||Mayhew, Christopher||Stoddart, David (Swindon)|
|Hardy, Peter||Meacher, Michael||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John|
|Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Strang, Gavin|
|Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||Mendelson, John||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|Hattersley, Roy||Mikardo, Ian||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|Heffer, Eric S.||Millan, Bruce||Swain, Thomas|
|Hilton, W. S.||Miller, Dr. M. S.||Taverne, Dick|
|Horan, John||Milne, Edward (Blyth)||Thomas, Jeffrey (Ahertillery)|
|Houghton, Rt. Nil, Douglas||Molloy, William||Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)|
|Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Tinn, James|
|Huckfield, Leslie||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Tomney, Frank|
|Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Torney, Tom|
|Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)||Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)||Tuck, Raphael|
|Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Moyle, Roland||Urwin, T. W.|
|Hunter, Adam||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Varley, Eric G.|
|Irvine,Rt. Hn.SirArthur(Edge Hill)||Murray, Ronald King||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Janner, Greville||Ogden, Eric||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)|
|Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||O'Halloran, Michael||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Jeger,Mrs.Lena(H'b'n&St.P'cras,S.)||O'Malley, Brian||Wallace, George|
|Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)||Oram, Bert||Watkins, David|
|John, Brynmor||Orme, Stanley||Weitzman, David|
|Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Oswald, Thomas||Wellbeloved, James|
|Johnson, James (K'stortion-Hull, W.)||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)||Palmer, Arthur||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Barry (Flint, E.)||Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles||Whitlock, William|
|Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Parker, John (Dagenham)||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)||Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)||Pavitt, Laurie||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Judd, Frank||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|Kaufman, Gerald||Pendry, Tom||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Kinnock, Neil||Pentland, Norman|
|Lambie, David||Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Lamond, James||Prescott, John||Mr. Joseph Harper and|
|Latham, Arthur||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)||Mr. Kenneth Marks.|
|Adley, Robert||Biffen, John||Bullus, Sir Eric|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Biggs-Davison, John||Burden, F. A.|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Blaker, Peter||Butler, Adam (Bosworth)|
|Archer, Jeffrey (Louth)||Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)||Campbell, Rt.Hn.G.(Moray & Nairn)|
|Astor, John||Body, Richard||Carlisle, Mark|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Boscawen, Robert||Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert|
|Awdry, Daniel||Bossom, Sir Clive||Cary, Sir Robert|
|Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)||Bowden, Andrew||Channon, Paul|
|Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)||Boyd-Carpenter, Fit. Hn. John||Chapman, Sydney|
|Balniel, Lord||Braine, Bernard||Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Bray, Ronald||Chichester-Clark, R.|
|Batsford, Brian||Brinton, Sir Tatton||Churchill, W. S.|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher||Clark, William (Surrey. E.)|
|Bell, Ronald||Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Clegg, Walter|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Bryan, Paul||Cockeram, Eric|
|Benyon, W.||Buchanan-Smith, Alick(Angus,N&M)||Cooke, Robert|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Buck, Antony||Coombs, Derek|
|Cooper, A. E.||Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)||Pike, Miss Mervyn|
|Cordle, John||Howell, David (Guildford)||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)||Pounder, Rafton|
|Cormack, Patrick||Hunt, John||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch|
|Costain, A. P.||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Critchley, John||Iremonger, T. L.||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
|Crouch, David||James, David||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis|
|Crowder, F. P.||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Curran, Charles||Jessel, Toby||Raison, Timothy|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)||Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)||Jopling, Michael||Redmond, Robert|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid,Maj.-Gen. Jack||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Rees, Peter (Dover)|
|Dean, Paul||Kellett, Mrs. Elaine||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||Kilfedder, James||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon|
|Dixon, Piers||King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas|
|Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Kinsey, J. R.||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||Kirk, Peter||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)|
|Drayson, G. B.||Kitson, Timothy||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Knight, Mrs. Jill||Rost, Peter|
|Dykes, Hugh||Knox, David||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Eden, Sir John||Lambton, Antony||Scott, Nicholas|
|Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Lane, David||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Langford-Holt, Sir John||Sharples, Richard|
|Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.)||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)|
|Emery, Peter||Le Marchant, Spencer||Shelton, William (Clapham)|
|Eyre, Reginald||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Simeons, Charles|
|Farr, John||Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Fell, Anthony||Longden, Gilbert||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||Loveridge, John||Smith, Dudley (W'wick amp; L'mington)|
|Fidler, Michael||McAdden, Sir Stephen||Soref, Harold|
|Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)||MacArthur, Ian||Speed, Keith|
|Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton)||McCrindle, R. A.||Spence, John|
|Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||McLaren, Martin||Sproat, Iain|
|Fookes, Miss Janet||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Stainton, Keith|
|Fortescue, Tim||McMaster, Stanley||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Foster, Sir John||Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)||Steel, David|
|Fowler, Norman||McNair-Wilson, Michael||Stewart-Smith, D. G. (Belper)|
|Fox, Marcus||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (NewForest)||Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)|
|Fry, Peter||Maddan, Martin||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.|
|Galbraith, Hn. T. C.||Madel, David||Stokes, John|
|Gardner, Edward||Maginnis, John E.||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom|
|Gibson-Watt, David||Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest||Sutcliffe, John|
|Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||Marten, Neil||Tapsell, Peter|
|Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Mather, Carol||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Glyn, Dr. Alan||Maude, Angus||Taylor,Edward M.(G'gow,Cathcart)|
|Goodhart, Phillip||Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Goodhew, Victor||Mawby, Ray||Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)|
|Gorst, John||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Tebbit, Norman|
|Gower, Raymond||Meyer, Sir Anthony||Temple, John M.|
|Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)||Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret|
|Gray, Hamish||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)||Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)|
|Green, Alan||Miscampbell, Norman||Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)|
|Grieve, Percy||Mitchell,Lt.-Col.C.(Aberdeenshire,W)||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Tilney, John|
|Grylis, Michael||Moate, Roger||Trafford, Dr. Anthony|
|Gummer, Selwyn||Molyneaux, James||Trew, Peter|
|Gurden, Harold||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)||Money, Ernle||Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.|
|Hall, John (Wycombe)||Monks, Mrs. Connie||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Monro, Hector||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard|
|Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Montgomery, Fergus||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|Hannam, John (Exeter)||Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)||Waddington, David|
|Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
|Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)|
|Harvey, Sir Arthur Vera||Mudd, David||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Haselhurst, Alan||Murton, Oscar||Wall, Patrick|
|Hastings, Stephen||Nabarro, Sir Gerald||Walters, Dennis|
|Havers, Michael||Heave, Airey||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Hay, John||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael||Warren, Kenneth|
|Hayhoe, Barney||Normanton, Tom||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Heseltine, Michael||Nott, John||White, Roger (Gravesend)|
|Hicks, Robert||Onslow, Cranley||Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William|
|Higgins, Terence L.||Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Hiley, Joseph||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Wilkinson, John|
|Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)||Osborn, John||Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher|
|Hill, James (Southampton, Test)||Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Holland, Philip||Page, Graham (Crosby)||Worsley, Marcus|
|Holt, Miss Mary||Page, John (Harrow, W.)||Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.|
|Hopson, Emlyn||Paisley, Mr. Ian||Younger, Hn. George|
|Hordern, Peter||Parkinson, Cecil (Enfield, W.)|
|Hornby, Richard||Percival, Ian||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Hornsby-Smith,Rt.Hn.Dame Patricia||Peyton, Rt. Hn. John||Mr. Paul Hawkins and|
|Mr. Hugh Rossi.|
§ Question put, That the Clause stand part of the Bill:—650
§ The Committee divided: Ayes 302, Noes 250.653
|Division No. 144.]||AYES||[9.45 p.m.|
|Adley, Robert||Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.)||Kirk, Peter|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Emery, Peter||Kitson, Timothy|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Eyre, Reginald||Knight, Mrs. Jill|
|Archer, Jeffrey (Louth)||Farr, John||Knox, David|
|Astor, John||Fell, Anthony||Lambton, Antony|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||Lane, David|
|Awdry, Daniel||Fidler, Michael||Langford-Holt, Sir John|
|Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)||Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry|
|Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)||Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton)||Le Marchant, Spencer|
|Balniel, Lord||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Fookes, Miss Janet||Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)|
|Batsford, Brian||Fortescue, Tim||Longden, Gilbert|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Foster, Sir John||Loveridge, John|
|Bell, Ronald||Fowler, Norman||McAdden, Sir Stephen|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Fox, Marcus||MacArthur, Ian|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)||Fry, Peter||McCrindle, R. A.|
|Benyon, W.||Galbraith, Hn. T. G.||McLaren, Martin|
|Berry, Hn. Anthony||Gardner, Edward||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy|
|Biffen, John||Gibson-Watt, David||McMaster, Stanley|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)|
|Blaker, Peter||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||McNair-Wilson, Michael|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)||Glyn, Dr. Alan||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (NewForest)|
|Body Richard||Goodhart, Phillip||Maddan, Martin|
|Boscawen, Robert||Goodhew, Victor||Madel, David|
|Bossom, Sir Clive||Gorst, John||Magginnis, John E.|
|Bowden, Andrew||Gower, Raymond||Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John||Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)||Marten, Neil|
|Braine, Bernard||Gray, Hamish||Mather, Carol|
|Bray, Ronald||Green, Alan||Maude, Angus|
|Brinton, Sir Tatton||Grieve, Percy||Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald|
|Brocklebank-Fowler, Chritopher||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Mawby, Ray|
|Grylls, Michael||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Gummer, Selwyn||Meyer, Sir Anthony|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Gurden, Harold||Mills, Peter (Torrington)|
|Bryan, Paul||Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick(Angus,N&M)||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Miscampbell, Norman|
|Buck, Antony||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Mitchell,Lt.-Col.C.(Aberdeenshire,W)|
|Bullus, Sir Eric||Hamilton, Michael (Sailsbury)||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)|
|Burden, F. A.||Hannam, John (Exeter)||Moate, Roger|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||Molyneaux, James|
|Campbell, Rt.Hn.G.(Moray & Nairn)||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Money, Ernie|
|Carlisle, Mark||Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere||Monks, Mrs. Connie|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Haselhurst, Alan||Montgomery, Fergus|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Hastings, Stephen||Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)|
|Channon, Paul||Havers, Michael||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.|
|Chapman, Sydney||Hawkins, Paul||Charles (Devizes)|
|Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Hay, John||Mudd, David|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Hayhoe, Barney||Murton, Oscar|
|Churchill, W. S.||Heseltine, Michael||Nabarro, Sir Gerald|
|Clark, William (Surrey, E.)||Hicks, Robert||Neave, Airey|
|Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Higgins, Terence L.||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael|
|Cockeram, Eric||Hiley, Joseph||Normanton, Tom|
|Cooke, Robert||Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)||Nott, John|
|Coombs, Derek||Hill, James (Southampton, Test)||Onslow, Carnley|
|Cooper, A. E.||Holland, Philip||Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally|
|Cordle, John||Holt, Miss Mary||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Hooson, Emlyn||Osborn, John|
|Cormack, Patrick||Hordern, Peter||Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)|
|Costain, A. P.||Hornby, Richard||Page, Graham (Crosby)|
|Critchley, Julian||Hornsby-Smith,Rt.Hn.Dame Patricia||Page, John (Harrow, W.)|
|Crouch, David||Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)||Paisley, Mr. Ian|
|Crowder, F. P.||Howell, David (Guildford)||Parkinson, Cecil (Enfield, W.)|
|Curran, Charles||Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)||Percival, Ian|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Hunt, John||Peyton, Rt. Hn. John|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Pike, Miss Mervyn|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Iremonger, T. L.||Pink, R. Bonner|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj-Gen.||James, David||Pounder, Rafton|
|Dean, Paul||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||Jessel, Toby||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Johnson, Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
|Dixon, Piers||Jopling, Michael||Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis|
|Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Raison, Timothy|
|Drayson, G. B.||Kellett, Mrs. Elaine||Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James|
|du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Kilfedder, James||Redmond, Robert|
|Dykes, Hugh||Kimball, Marcus||Reed Laurance (Bolton, E.)|
|Eden, Sir John||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Rees, Peter (Dover)|
|Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Kinsey, J. R.||Renton, Rt.Hn. Sir David|
|Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon||Steel, David||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard|
|Ridley, Hn. Nicholas||Stewart-Smith, D. G. (Belper)||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|Ridsdale, Julian||Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)||Waddington, David|
|Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
|Roberts, Wyn (Conway)||Stokes, John||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)|
|Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)||Stuttaford, Dr. Tom||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn, Sir Derek|
|Rost, Peter||Sutcliffe, John||Wall, Patrick|
|Russell, Sir Ronald||Tapsell, Peter||Walters, Dennis|
|Scott, Nicholas||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Scott-Hopkins, James||Taylor,Edward M.(G'gow,Cathcart)||Warren, Kenneth|
|Sharples, Richard||Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)||Tebbit, Norman||White, Roger (Gravesend)|
|Shelton, William (Clapham)||Temple, John M.||Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William|
|Simeons, Charles||Thatcher, Pt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Sinclair, Sir George||Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)||Wilkinson, John|
|Skeet, T. H. H.||Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)||Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher|
|Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)||Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Soref, Harold||Tilney, John||Worsley, Marcus|
|Speed, Keith||Trafford, Dr. Anthony||Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.|
|Spence, John||Trew, Peter||Younger, Hn. George|
|Sproat, Iain||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|Stainton, Keith||Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Stanbrook, Ivor||van Straubenzee, W. R.||Mr. Hector Monro and|
|Mr. Walter Clegg.|
|Albu, Austin||Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||John, Brynmor|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Dempsey, James||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)|
|Allen, Scholefield||Doig, Peter||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)|
|Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis)||Dormand, J. D.||Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.)||Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)|
|Ashley, Jack||Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Jones, Dan (Burnley)|
|Ashton, Joe||Driberg, Tom||Jones, Cwynoro (Carmarthen)|
|Atkinson, Norman||Duffy, A. E. P.||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Dunn, James A.||Judd, Frank|
|Barnes, Michael||Dunnett, Jack||Kaufman, Gerald|
|Barnett, Joel||Eadie, Alex||Kinnock, Neil|
|Beaney, Alan||Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Lambie, David|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Lamond, James|
|Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Ellis, Tom||Latham, Arthur|
|Bidwell, Sydney||English, Michael||Lawson, George|
|Bishop, E. S.||Evans, Fred||Leadbitter, Ted|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Fernyhough, E.||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Boardman, H. (Leigh)||Fisher,Mrs. Doris(B'ham,Ladywood)||Leonard, Dick|
|Booth, Albert||Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Lestor, Miss Joan|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold|
|Bradley, Tom||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)|
|Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.)||Foot, Michael||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)|
|Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)||Ford, Ben||Lipton, Marcus|
|Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury)||Forrester, John||Lomas, Kenneth|
|Buchan, Norman||Fraser, John (Norwood)||Loughlin, Charles|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)||Freeson, Reginald||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Galpern, Sir Myer||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)|
|Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James||Garrett, W. E.||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson|
|Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.)||Gilbert, Dr. John||McBride, Neil|
|Cant, R. B.||Ginsburg, David||McCartney, Hugh|
|Carmichael, Neil||Golding, John||McElhone, Frank|
|Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)||Gourlay, Harry||McGuire, Michael|
|Grant, George (Morpeth)||Mackenzie, Gregor|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles)||Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)||Mackie, John|
|Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Mackintosh, John P.|
|Clark, David (Colne Valley)||Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Maclennan, Robert|
|Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)|
|Cohen, Stanley||Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||McNamara, J. Kevin|
|Coleman, Donald||Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)||MacPherson, Malcolm|
|Concannon, J. D.||Hardy, Peter||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)|
|Conlan, Bernard||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield,E.)|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||Marquand, David|
|Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.)||Hattersley, Roy||Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Heffer, Eric S.||Meacher, Michael|
|Cronin, John||Hilton, W. S.||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Horam, John||Mendelson, John|
|Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Mikardo, Ian|
|Cunningham, G. (Islington, S. W.)||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Millan, Bruce|
|Dalyell, Tam||Huckfield, Leslie||Miller, Dr. M. S.|
|Darling, Rt. Hn. George||Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Milne, Edward (Blyth)|
|Davidson, Arthur||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)||Molloy, William|
|Davies, Denzil (Llanelly)||Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Hunter, Adam||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Irvine,Rt.Hn.SirArthur(Edge Hill)||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Janner, Greville||Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Moyle, Roland|
|Deakins, Eric||Jeger,Mrs.Lena (H'b'n&St.P'cras,S.)||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)||Murray, Ronald King|
|Ogden, Eric||Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)||Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)|
|O'Halloran, Michael||Roper, John||Tinn, James|
|O'Malley, Brian||Rose, Paul B.||Tomney, Frank|
|Oram, Bert||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)||Torney, Tom|
|Orme, Stanley||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)||Tuck, Raphael|
|Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)||Urwin, T. W.|
|Palmer, Arthur||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton,N.E.)||Varley, Eric G.|
|Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Parker, John (Dagenham)||Silkin, Wt. S. C. (Dulwich)||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)|
|Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)||Sillars, James||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Pavitt, Laurie||Silverman, Julius||Wallace, George|
|Pearl, Rt. Hn. Fred||Skinner, Dennis||Watkins, David|
|Pendry, Tom||Small, William||Weitzman, David|
|Pentland, Norman||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)||Wellbeloved, James|
|Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg||Spearing, Nigel||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Prescott, John||Spriggs, Leslie||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)||Stallard, A. W.||Whitlock, William|
|Pride, William (Rugby)||Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Probert, Arthur||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Rankin, John||Stoddart, David (Swindon)||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Reed, D. (Sedgefield)||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)||Strang, Gavin||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Rhodes, Geoffrey||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|Richard, Ivor||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Swain, Thomas||Mr. Joseph Harper aad|
|Roberts,Rt. Hn.Goronwy (Caernarvon)||Taverne, Dick||Mr. Kenneth Marks.|
|Roderick,Caerwyn E.(Br'c'n & R'dnyr)||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
§ Clause 57 ordered to stand part of the Bill.