§ (1) The rules of every trade union and employers' association shall contain provisions in respect of the matters mentioned in the following subsections of this section.
§ (2) The rules must specify the name of the trade union or employers' association, the address of its principal office and the objects for which it was established.1424
§ (3) The rules must make provision as to the purposes for which, and the manner in which, any property or funds of the trade union or employers' association are authorised to be applied or invested.
§ (4) If any financial benefits are to be available for members of the trade union or employers' association out of its property or funds, the rules must make provision as to the amounts of those benefits and the circum stances in which they are to be available to members.
§ (5) The rules must specify the manner in which any rules of the trade unions or employers' association can be made, altered or revoked.1425
§ (6) The rules must make provision for the election or appointment of officers and for the manner in which officers can be removed from office.
§ (7) The rules must make provision:—
- (a) for the election of a governing body and for its re-election at reasonable intervals;
- (b) for the manner in which members of the governing body can be removed from office.
§ (8) If the trade union or employers' association has officials (whether they are shop stewards, workplace representatives or other officials) who are not officers of the trade union or employers' association, the rules must make provision for their election or appointment and for the manner in which they can be removed from office.
§ (9) The rules must make provision as to the manner in which, for any purposes of the trade union or employers' association elections are to be held or ballots taken, including the following:—
- (a) notification of vacancies and qualification of candidates;
- (b) making of nominations;
- (c) canvassing or content of election addresses, where these are permitted;
- (d) eligibility for voting in any such election or ballot;
- (e) procedure preparatory to any election or ballot;
- (f) the procedure for counting and scrutiny of the votes and ballot papers; and
- (g) the procedure for the declaration or notification of the result of any such election or ballot.
§ (10) The rules must specify the descriptions of persons who are eligible for membership of the trade union or employers' association or a branch or section of the trade union or employers' association and the procedure for dealing with applications for membership, including provision for appeals against decisions of the committee or other body responsible for determining such applications.
§ (11) The rules must specify:—
- (a) the offences for which the trade union or employers' asociation is entitled under the rules to expel a member or take other disciplinary action, and the penalties applicable for each of those offences;
- (b) the procedure for the hearing of cases in which offences against the rules are alleged; and
- (c) the procedure with respect to appeals against any decision on any such hearing.
§ (12) The rules must prescribe a procedure for settling disputes between a member and the trade union or employers' association or an officer of the trade union or employers' association.
§ (13) In making provision for any hearing or a determination of any question, whether in relation to an alleged offence, an appeal or a 1426 dispute, the rules shall be so framed as not to depart from, or permit any departure from, the rules of natural justice '.—[Mr. Percival.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ 6.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Speaker
I understand that it will be for the convenience of the House if we discuss with the new clause Amendment No. 60, in Clause 5, page 5, line 13 after 'below', insert:and section of this Act (Rules of Trade Unions and Employers' Associations)'.
§ Mr. Percival
If I heard you aright through the hubbub, Mr. Speaker, Amendment No. 60 can conveniently be discussed with new Clause 2. I agree, but Amendment No. 60 does not necessarily follow on from the new clause. I assume that there will be a separate Division on it if necessary.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. Hon. Members will withdraw as quietly as they can. In reply to the point raised by the hon. and learned Member for Southport (Mr. Percival), we will deal with that situation when we come to it.
§ Mr. Percival
Yes indeed, Mr. Speaker I hope that we will be able to open up the margin a little more in this case and put it the other way round. I should have thought that the arguments in favour of what I now have the honour to move are so strong that there is every hope that that result will be achieved.
If the Bill becomes law in its present form, the Government will have brought about a situation in which, for the first time since 1871, there are no statutory requirements about the rules of a trade union. That would be a remarkable result, the more so because, as has been pointed out by Ministers in Committee in some respects the Bill is imposing new and more substantial obligations on some unions which did not have obligations before. I am thinking of obligations in respect of accounts and returns which apply not only to registered unions but to all unions. It would be even more remarkable in view of the numerous statements by high authority to the effect that all is not well in this part of trade union affairs.
1427 "In Place of Strife", referring to the state of union rule books, said:The Government considers that the present legal requirements relating to the rules of trade unions are inadequate and should be extended in the interests both of the unions and of their members.It specified the areas in which unions would be required to have rules, including admission, discipline, disputes between a union and its members, elections, strike ballots and the appointment and functions of shop stewards. Most hon. Members would agree that it is as much in the interests of the members of the unions as it is of the public that rule books should cover a wide variety of important matters in clear terms.
I am aware of the importance attached to these requirements by the TUC. I know the time that it has spent considering what form rule books should take, but having seen some rule books which featured in cases in the last four years I know that not all rule books have reached the standard we would all like.
I had intended to say here that the Donovan Report does not support all that I will say, but in fact I think that it supports every word. The requirements about rules in the new clause are simply a revamping of the 1871 requirements to bring them up to date, plus the Donovan recommendations. They fall far short of the detailed requirements in the Industrial Relations Act and I hope that no one will suggest that the clause is affected one way or another by that Act. We are not seeking its re-enactment.
Paragraph 648 of the Donovan Report states:We have said that it is very desirable that trade union rule-books should be clear and unambiguous, but that they generally fall far short of a satisfactory standard in these respects.I know that the TUC has had regard to that and has done a great deal of work to improve on the situation, but its labours are not complete. We are concerned not with those who have brought their rule books up to date—congratulations to them; the new clause will not bother them—but with the number, great or small, which have not yet done so and with future bodies which may seek to bring themselves within the definition of "trade union" in the Bill.
1428 In Committee, Ministers suggested that the word "organisation" connoted a tighter sort of body than the previous description and postulated a body which at least had some rules. If so, one is now thinking of new bodies which will want to take advantage of the Bill. Surely it is plain common sense to provide as a matter of law for the minimum requirements to be covered by the rules of those bodies.
The Donovan Report went on to say:The current requirements as to the rules of a registered trade union are that they should ' contain provisions in respect of ' certain matters ".Those current requirements were the 1871 requirements. Subsections (2) to (7) inclusive of the new clause can be identified by reference to that paragraph of the Donovan Report, so it is not necessary to go back to the old-fashioned language of the 1871 Act. But any hon. Member who thinks we have gone beyond those provisions should compare these subsections with Donovan.
Subsection (8) is based on paragraph 654 of Donovan:The requirements as to rules in relation to elections should include the rules for the election of shop stewards (or other workplace representatives), if the union has them.We would all regard that as good practical common sense. All that some hon. Members seem to object to is that it should be required as a matter of law. I hope that the Minister will address his mind to that. Why should people mind good plain common sense being enshrined in the law?
Subsection (9) is based on paragraph 653 of the Donovan Report. The subsection states thatThe rules must make provision as to the manner in which, for any purposes of the trade union or employers' association elections are to be held or ballots taken, including the following:Right hon. and hon. Members will notice that this is not an attempt to interfere with unions and say whether or in what circumstances they shall have ballots. Whether or not they shall have ballots, and whether they shall be postal ballots or ballots in person, is left—as was recommended by Donovan, which we accept—properly to the discretion of the union. It is free to comply with these rules in 1429 whatever way it thinks best and whatever way best suits its particular working basis. All that the subsection does in connection with these very important events—we recognise that they are very important in the life of a union, just as they are in any other kind of organisation—is to make provision for the voluntary matters, such as notification of vacancies and qualification of candidates. Is it not absolutely elementary that they should make provision? Therefore, who can object to having a requirement to make that provision?
The making of nominations is the next requirement, followed bycanvassing or content of election addresses, where these are permitted; eligibility for voting in any such election or ballot".If one casts prejudice aside, is this not a very desirable guide and could it not make a very useful check list when drawing up one's rules? One might forget some of these matters quite unintentionally. One could check with this and say "Yes, I forgot that." It is a matter of common sense and not a matter of law. Who would not do it voluntarily? Those who would not do it voluntarily would be omitting to do it for some ulterior motive, because they did not want this or because they were idle or did not have the necessary skill or organisation.
It is quite a business drawing up a set of rules for a union. I should have thought that anything like this, simply giving guidance—although I am wrong here because it would not be guidance; it would be the law—would give very useful practical guidance to someone drawing up a set of rules. I should have thought that it would be acceptable to all who took the view that every such organisation should be properly run and should cover all these matters.
Subsection (10) is from paragraph 650 of the Donovan Report. It is linked with a point raised by the Secretary of State in the previous debate. The Donovan Commission said:The rules should also state who has the power to consider and decide applications for admission; that applicants refused admission should have a right of appeal to the executive committee of the union and should be so informed at the time of refusal of admission; and that the executive committee has the power to admit applicants where an appeal is upheld.1430 In subsection (10) we make just such provisions—not necessarily word for word, because when one is translating a recommendation into statutory phraseology which has to stand the test of litigation it is not only permissible but desirable to draw it a little tighter. But I defy any hon. Member to find anything in subsection (10) which is in any way out of tune with what Donovan said, either generally in the whole of this part of the report or more particularly in paragraph 650, upon which subsection (10) is based.
Subsection (11) can be directly related to paragraph 651. The subsection states:The rules must specify:— (a) the offences for which the trade union or employers' association is entitled under the rules to expel a member or take other disciplinary action, and the penalties applicable for each of those offences.That must be a "must". No one could suggest otherwise. I should have thought everyone would agree that every set of union rules should provide for these matters. I therefore say again, why not let us here say so and make that the law? For those few, however small in number they are, and even if it is only one body, who will not do it without its being made law, it is worth having these provisions.
The second provision is that the rules must specifythe procedure for the hearing of cases in which offences against the rules are alleged.Again, it is quite incontrovertible to insist on that. Subsection (11)(c) states:the procedure with respect to appeals against any decision on any such hearing.Subsection (12) is based on paragraph 652 of the Donovan Report. It states:The rules must prescribe a procedure for settling disputes between a member and the trade union or employers' association or an officer of the trade union or employers' association.Here again, this demonstrates the point I was making. This cannot be said to be detailed interference. What this says is thatThe rules must prescribe a procedure for settling disputes.What that procedure is, subject to subsection (13) to which I shall refer shortly, is entirely up to the union, and the union may make it whatever it thinks best in general terms or what it thinks best and necessary in regard to its particular setup and organisation. I appreciate that this may vary enormously. It depends 1431 on whether one is dealing with groups of people working in small areas or people who do shift-and-shift about. There may be all sorts of different practical reasons for having different ways of settling these matters. Furthermore, the procedure for settling them may depend on the constitution of the union.
Therefore, in subsection (12) we have set out to give the union the widest possible discretion in drawing up its own procedures. It cannot be criticised as being interference in the domestic affairs of a union or an employers' association. Although for the sake of brevity I have referred to trade unions, nothing that I have said is aimed against anyone. It is aimed at both trade unions and employers' associations. I referred only to the one because that makes my speech at least that much shorter.
Subsection (13) brings in the other factor referred to by the Donovan Commission. It is to be observed that in this part of the report the commission was unanimous. It is not a question, as in so many other matters, that some members say one thing and some say another. Here we can talk about the view of the Donovan Commission, of all its members. In dealing with the matters in subsection (11) of the new clause, the commission said that the rules there referred to must be such as to ensure that the rules of natural justice were observed. In subsection (13) we have done justice to that part of Donovan as well by saying:In making provision for any hearing or a determination of any question, whether in relation to an alleged offence, an appeal or a dispute, the rules shall be so framed as not to depart from, or permit any departure from, the rules of natural justice.That is the only fetter that is placed on the discretion for each union to choose its own way of carrying out those requirements. It is not a fetter to which any right hon. or hon. Member would object. All that it is saying is "When you draw these rules, draw them so as to ensure that they are themselves within the rules of natural justice"—I am sure we all want that—"and have in mind also that you should draw them so that nothing would represent a departure from natural justice".
1432 That is the substance of it. I am sure that the best unions would do this automatically without thinking about it. What we are getting at are the unions that do not.
§ Mr. Percival
It is all very well for the hon. Gentleman to say "Which ones?" If he says that every rule book is perfect, I must simply say that I do not think he is right. I have seen some rule books referred to in the courts and heard some of the arguments based on them. Furthermore, even if the hon. Gentleman were right he would remember the kind of case to which I referred in Committee when we were discussing the common law remedy for someone who suffered injustice as a result of a breach of natural justice. The hon. Gentleman will remember that the rules of at least two unions were referred to and that they certainly did not comply with the requirements of this new clause.
I shall be delighted if the Minister tells us that all this is unnecessary, but even if he were right it would do no harm to include it. It will not impose extra work on anybody, so surely he will accept the clause. All the decent unions have complied with the requirements. They have been working hard in the last six years and have reached a suitable standard, but if we include the clause in the Bill it will require new people coming along to observe those standards. It will mean that any new bodies will have to observe them in the same way as existing bodies.
I hope I have satisfied the House that what we are recommending goes no further than reintroducing the 1871 rules and implementing the Donovan recommendations. If the Government doubt this, they can check for themselves whether I am right. What we find difficult to understand is the resistance to our proposal. It has been argued that we should not interfere in the detailed running of an organisation, and we accept that proposition. If we are to expect a big organisation to act responsibly we must give it the opportunity to do so, and we must not try to run every detail of its affairs. We are sure to get it wrong if we try. It is a totally different thing, however, to lay down in general terms 1433 requirements with which the rules as devised by the unions must comply. That was recommended by Donovan and it is fully recognised in the clause.
The only other argument I have heard so far—perhaps others will be put forward in the course of the debate—is that our proposal is not necessary. I hope that the Secretary of State will not make that suggestion. We have grown to admire the frankness with which he faced up to issues in Committee. If he were to put that argument forward, it would be a step backwards for him. Even supposing that the clause is unnecessary at this moment, is any of us so naive as to imagine that even if we pass this law every organisation, present and future, will do all these things? Of course they will not. But if we pass the law we have a much better chance on the one hand of assisting bodies to get their rules into better shape and on the other hand of saying that they have an obligation to comply with these requirements.
That leads me directly to Amendment No. 60. It is not a necessary consequence of the clause. The House will appreciate that when the clause has been added to the Bill, as I hope it will be, Clause 5 (3) will read(3) Any organisation of workers or of employers, whenever formed, whose name is not entered in the relevant list may apply to the Registrar to have its name so entered and, subject to subsection (5) below, the Registrar shall, if satisfied that the organisation is a trade union or employers' association and that subsection (4) below and section "—here we have left a space because we do not know what the section number will be, but it refers to the new clause—of this Act … has been complied with, enter the name of that organisation in the relevant list.Under subsection (2) all the major unions will have been automatically registered. Subsection (3) relates only to those which are not automatically registered and which come later and say to the registrar that they are trade unions as defined and they want to be entered in the relevant list. As the Bill stands, when they do that they have to satisfy him that they have complied with subsections (5) and (4). The amendment would simply mean that they would also have to satisfy him that they had complied with the provisions of the Act.
1434 I ask the rhetorical question, is it not also plain common sense that that should be necessary? Is it not common sense that the registrar should compare the organisation's rules with the requirements of the Act to see that they comply? Those organisations would make doubly certain that their rules complied. Organisations newly starting up and wanting to register would start out with a model set of rules. Is that not wholly to be desired? The manner of achieving that is so simple. We merely add the new clause to the Bill and then we agree to Amendment No. 60
§ Mr. David Mitchell
The House is discussing a clause which lays down certain minimum standards to which all trade union rules must conform. It means that the rules must confirm to natural justice and the like. The House must realise that we are not dealing with a bowling club, a bingo club or something someone can join if he likes. We are dealing here with a wholly exceptional body in that because of the closed shop there is a compulsion to join on anyone wishing to work in his skill and career in many jobs, and also because of the decision of the Government on the previous new clause.
Therefore, it seems to me absolutely right—and I hope it will seem so to the Secretary of State—that there should be certain minimum standards laid down regarding the rules of trade unions. I hope we shall not have to force this matter to a vote and possibly find that some Members of the Liberal Party are not able to make it for a Division, which we would then lose. I hope that the Secretary of State will be able to accept this clause and indeed welcome it, because it would go a long way towards demonstrating a consensus in the House as to the changes which are needed.
A trade union is a vast organisation and it is impossible to keep every shop steward sufficiently in touch with what is or is not acceptable. It is possible for a shop steward to indulge in petty tyranny and, possibly, he may be insensitive and wholly unaware of the effect on someone who is shy or gentle. The effect and the injustice in such circumstances would be no different from what would arise if there were an intention to bully, browbeat and frighten. It does not matter if a shop steward believes passionately that what he is doing is for a good cause—which it may 1435 or may not be; for him to use unacceptable means does not justify the end.
It may be felt that this is airy fairy and that shop stewards do not try to coerce or bully people. I put before the House an example, and I hope that the Minister of State joins me in condemning what it involves. The example refers to a circular sent to members of the AUEW in Basingstoke last week. The circular stated:Because you remained at work after being informed and requested to attend a mass meeting of all ALLEW members, it is recommended that you pay as a fine 39.5 pence into a charity of your choice and to agree to attend future meetings and to accept the majority decisions.If you do not comply with the above request this matter will be taken through Trade Union procedure by informing your Branch Secretary and requesting that you be brought before the Branch Committee.A gentle, older man would be terrified as a result of receiving that, and he would be frightened that he would be "branched" and worried about what might follow in regard to whether he would be allowed to continue to work in a closed shop area. I am sure that the Minister agrees that this is not the sort of procedure the British trade union movement would be proud of, or would wish to have—
§ The Minister of State, Department of Employment (Mr. Albert Booth)
The hon. Gentleman has referred to a circular relating to ALLEW rules. Will he therefore quote the rules of that union in relation to fines imposed by branches, so as to show if that matter is in any way appropriate to what we are now discussing?
§ Mr. Mitchell
I do not have the union rule book with me, but I am sure that the Minister will agree that if the action mentioned in the circular was within the rules of the union it would be wholly undesirable. I am pleased to see his concurrence in that.
If it is not within the rules of the union, it is right that there should be a means of appeal, such as suggested in the clause, for the unfortunate man who feels that he is the recipient of petty and unpleasant bullying. I say this to illustrate that it is not a matter of Westminster theory or of what we think are the niceties of life, but rather the reality of what happens on 1436 the workshop floor. It is not a pleasant reality—
§ Mr. Mitchell
It is all very well for the Minister to take that view, but I am talking about the reality of human life and about the unfortunate chap who is frightened by what he faces. We are concerned here with human nature. We must have a system in which rules are clear and are in conformity with natural justice; in which the individual knows that he has protection against bullying, and in which it is clear to the shop steward or convener concerned that the individual has a right of protection against being bullied—
§ Mr. Ronald Brown (Hackney, South and Shoreditch)
The hon. Gentleman has taken a point in time after the event, whereas the man he has referred to would have known when he took the decision what would be the consequencies if he refused to go along with his colleagues. He would know that he would have to appear before his branch. The man would have taken his decision in the full knowledge of what he was doing
§ Mr. Mitchell
A democratically arrived at decision is one thing, but being told to do something by an official is totally different. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman accepts that.
The clause is important because if the Government are to carry a consensus of the House with them in what they are seeking to do they have a choice. That choice, which relates to reform of trade union and industrial relations in this country, is that we say either there is to be no compulsory membership and no closed shop, or there is to be a closed shop and compulsory membership of a trade union, in which case we must ensure that there is no petty tryranny and that the unions are run in conformity with the laws of natural justice. If the Government are to carry the House and the country with them they must ensure 1437 that a trade union is fair and above board in what it does.
It is important that this clause should be passed. I hope it will be passed not so much through the strength of the vote on this side, but because the Secretary of State accepts it, in which case it will not be necessary to have a Division. This is a matter of simple natural justice.
§ Mr. Richard Wainwright (Colne Valley)
At the time of the publication of the Donovan Report the Liberal Party warmly endorsed virtually all its recommendations, including those referred to from the Opposition Front Bench in this debate. In debates such as these we reflect unhappily on the sad consequences of the rejection of the Donovan Report by the Conservatives at a time when their views were important, and on their arrogant assessment that they knew better than Donovan. We welcome the changed attitude shown from the Opposition Front Bench, an attitude in which all is now right with Donovan.
Although, as always on this bench, the words of the Secretary of State will be heard with care and interest, unless he can reveal some wisdom which was concealed from Donovan our present inclination is to support the new clause, recognising that for the vast majority of trade unions and their branches these provisions will not be required, because they are already observed by the overwhelming majority of trade unionists.
I should like to draw a parallel here with the limited liability company. That sort of company, like trade unions, enjoys fully justifiable privileges legally enacted. It seems to us reasonable that although the vast majority of limited liability companies would carry on business in a proper way and account satisfactorily to their shareholders for their stewardship. the law is required to deal with a small minority of limited liability companies which might through thoughtlessness, fecklessness—or even occasionally deliberately—try to dodge natural justice.
Therefore, I wish to face head on the argument that a clause of this sort is a reflection on the vast majority of trade unions. Small businessmen who carry on their concern with a limited liability do not regard the Companies Acts as a reflection on their integrity. They take it in 1438 their stride, and regard it as a natural requirement to prevent the occasional black sheep from creating abuse.
The case is strengthened by the changing pattern of employment. Many of us know from our constituency experience—I certainly know it from mine—that three-shift working and the arrival of large numbers of immigrants, not only coloured immigrants but people coming to us from other parts of these islands to work, mean that the union is not now the cosy assembly of familiar faces that it used to be in the West Riding of Yorkshire. There are many people who need the protection of things in writing and of a certain formality which is no reflection on the movement but simply caters for a new, more complicated and more difficult pattern of work.
The clause is of a minimal nature. It does not try to interfere in a bureaucratic, officious or rigid way with the conduct of trade unions. It is a simple statement of the obvious, for I should have thought that the vast majority of unions would welcome the enshrinement of these provisions in the law.
Therefore, unless some new wisdom is revealed to us at the end of the debate, it is the intention of the Liberals to support the clause.
§ Mr. Booth
I welcome the tone in which the hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Wainwright) addressed the House. Having listened to the hon. and learned Member for Southport (Mr. Percival), one might have been forgiven for an impression that he thought that rule books were drawn up by unskilled people who did so very carelessly. On the basis of the speech of the hon. Member for Basingstoke (Mr. Mitchell) one would think that union rule books were what enabled petty tyrants to terrorise old men.
§ Mr. Percival
The Minister is less than his usual generous self. I said nothing of the sort. I recognised that most unions go to a great deal of trouble to get their rule book right. I said it at least three times, but I am glad to say it again so that there is no doubt about it.
The hon. Gentleman has misquoted me, I am sure inadvertently. I said that there might be quite small new bodies which would not be very well equipped to 1439 carry out the exercise of drawing up rules, which requires skill and experience, and that they would probably find such a guide as is proposed very useful.
§ Mr. Booth
I welcome that intervention, but the hon. and learned Gentleman did refer to the need for skill and care in the drawing up of union rule books. Therefore, I welcome the fact that he acknowledges openly, not for the first time, that the majority of union rule books are drawn up with a great deal of skill and care. In fact, unions lay down careful rules for the holding of rules conferences and normally make provision for every one of their branches to submit amendments to rules at regular intervals. Those amendments are debated at union conferences, somewhat better attended than this debate, by people who are very concerned about the degree to which their union affairs are controlled by their rule books.
Therefore, when we talk about union rule books we must be conscious that we are talking about documents which have been drawn up on the basis of a considerable amount of experience. They have been drawn up by people who are concerned about their unions and who, through their unions, have sought to achieve a considerable degree of natural justice for their membership and justice in the regulation of the affairs between men in the work place and in the service of this country.
The effect of the clause is to make a highly detailed statutory provision for employers' associations' and trade unions' rules. It is interesting to note, first, that the clause does not cover rules relating to strikes and lock-outs. With all this length of detailed provision on union and employers' associations' rules in the clause, why was no attention given to the question of lock-outs and strikes? Certainly, Opposition Members would not tell the House that strikes and lockouts were unimportant matters, that they were occasions when considerations of natural justice should be set aside, or even occasions when the regulation of appeals by union membership against decisions of elected bodies or officers of the union should be set aside.
One of the reasons may be that in the framing of the new clause it was recog- 1440 nised that there are certain matters at least which are far better left to the experience of those who have for years run employers' associations and trade unions and devised their rule books.
§ Sir Raymond Gower
Could not it be that this provision basically affects the relationship between the unions in making their rules so as to protect the separate members of those unions? It is true that lock-outs and strikes also impinge on the individual, but there the major conflict is often between unions and employers or nationalised industries and so on. Any impingement upon the individual would probably be covered by subsection (12), which refers to the procedure for settling disputes between a member and the trade union or employers' association. If that dispute arose from a strike or lock-out, it would probably be covered by that provision.
§ Mr. Booth
I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's point. It may be that that subsection is intended to be so wide as to cover all these matters, but, if it is, the rest of the clause is possibly unnecessary, provided the rules prescribe a procedure for settling disputes between member and trade union or employers' association or officer of the union or employers' association. If it has that width of meaning, it will cover many other matters which are subject to separate provisions of the clause.
The hon. and learned Gentleman has very fairly pointed out that the clause was largely inspired by Donovan. In fact, it sets Donovan in a form which could be placed on the statute book and modernises part of the 1871 Act requirements. 'I here-fore, it is appropriate to examine the effect of Donovan on union rules.
As I have already pointed out, unions are not insensitive to their rule books or crticisms of them. In 1968 the TUC published "Action on Donovan", in which it undertook to consider the case for formulating certain basic principles for the rule books of unions. I do not know whether employers' associations responded in the same way, but, as the hon. and learned Gentleman's criticisms fell equally, in so far as they are applicable, between employers' associations and unions, the same sort of considerations should apply.
1441 By June 1969 the TUC had organised a special meeting at which it presented the document "Programme for Action". That was endorsed by the conference, which recorded the intention of the General Council of the TUC to draw up a list of basic principles governing admission, discipline, expulsion and election procedure.
Between December 1969 and June 1970 a number of circulars were issued by the TUC which dealt with not only admission and discipline but strike procedures—a matter not covered by the clause—duties and responsibilities of shop stewards, and exclusion of members for arrears. Therefore, in that relatively short time, in response to the Donovan inquiry the British trade union movement had sought to deal with the Donovan criticisms.
I am not saying that that is the finish of that procedure. Of course, the Trades Union Congress must continue to be sensitive to any proper criticism. Let no one imagine that I or any of my right hon. and hon. Friends who have served the trade unions would accept the proposition that because Donovan made some criticism of trade union rules, every rule hook in the country needs drastic overhaul or severe modernisation. In fact, when the unions came to examine the TUC circular against their own rule books, many of them found that there was no need to amend their rule books to meet the requirements of the TUC circular. Some rule books did require minor modification. In some instances that modification could be quite properly described as the modernising of the rule book.
Many of the first rules that trade unions laid down have stood the test of time and many of the laws which have been made in this House have also stood the test of time. Of course, there is a difference between making laws for the country and making rules for trade unions. In one case there is a responsibility to the community as a whole. Trade unions have to demonstrate a responsibility to the community in terms of regulating their members within a movement which has been designed primarily to regulate the conditions of work of its members.
I was interested to note the point that the hon. and learned Member for Southport (Mr. Percival) made on Amendment 1442 No. 60. It is clear that the amendment would have a narrow effect. I take it that it would apply only to those who applied to the Registrar of Friendly Societies to be placed upon the list. If that is the sanction by which we should think of the new clause, I must say that it is rather a weak sanction. Under the construction of the Bill it is not necessary for a union to be on the list to nave immunities and protection, it is merely necessary to comply with the definition of a trade union. Of course, that makes the body which complies—
§ Mr. Percival
I am sure that the Minister will recollect that I did not advocate the effect of the amendment as a sanction but as something that was plain, practical, good common sense. If an organisation says, "We want to register" the registrar should say, "Let me look at your rule book to see whether it complies with the section." That is the spirit in which I advance the amendment, a spirit of plain common sense and not the advancement of a sanction.
§ Mr. Booth
I am happy to examine the proposition in exactly the same spirit of good plain common sense. By applying that common sense there would be a situation in which the Registrar of Friendly Societies could turn down a trade union on the ground that its rule book did not comply with the requirements of new Clause 2. The effect would be that the trade union would be ineligible for tax relief on its provident income. The registrar could turn down employers' associations, but the effect would not be the same. New Clause 2 affects one body differently from another. That might not have been the intention of those who tabled the clause, but that is most certainly the effect. But I would not ask the House only on the strength of that objection to Amendment No. 60 to reject New Clause 2.
In this country the trade union movement, having suffered some rather peculiar experiences—I shall not put it any higher than that so as to keep the tone of the debate reasonably amicable—over the past three years is possibly extremely sensitive to the passing of legislation in this House that has the effect of controlling its affairs. The British trade union movement has a proper concern that in the operation of 1443 its rule books and in the regulation of its membership it should be continually revising its rules, seeking to improve them and adapting them to the requirements of its membership within a changing society.
I believe that it will be able to do so much better if it is left to carry out that task without having to operate within the statutory framework of various requirements. For that reason I hope that the House will reject the amendment if it is put to a Division. I invite hon. Members to withdraw it. I do not suggest that they do so because I believe that it was drafted with evil intent. I do not believe that for one moment. I accept that the hon. and learned Member for Southport is completely sincere in believing that it would have some beneficial effect on the rules of trade unions. I and many of my—
§ 7.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Peter Rees (Dover and Deal)
I have followed the Minister's speech with great care and interest. Will he indicate which provisions the trade unions will find particularly onerous? Or is it that they will not accept any legal supervision of their rules?
§ Mr. Booth
It is not that certain provisions are onerous and it is not that unions will not accept any supervision of their rules. Under the Bill not only do their rules have to be made available but also their accounts. The unions make no objection to that. What the trade union movement prefers as a matter of common sense is to have its rules subject to examination by the Trades Union Congress and to discuss through congress the principles that should apply in making their rule books.
I have the TUC circular if any hon. Member wishes to study its terms. It will be found by those who examine the circular that its terms not only go as far as the requirements of new Clause 2 but in some cases go much further in laying down principles which will guide the unions in the making of their rules. I think that that process, having been started, should be allowed to continue. It will be beneficial for the trade union movement and for employers' associations who are bracketed in the same cause. I 1444 hope that in that spirit the House will be—
§ Mr. Richard Wainwright
I go along entirely with the Minister on the desirability of the TUC continuing its vigilance in these matters. I hope and believe that it will do so. If the new clause were to become part of the statute, will the Minister explain what ultimate sanction the TUC would have if it found itself in conflict with a union?
§ Mr. Booth
I am happy to answer the hon. Gentleman's question. The ultimate sanction of the TUC depends upon the way in which the TUC frames its own rules. The ultimate sanction which the TUC has applied in recent years for breaches of the decisions of Congress has been the expulsion of trade unions. I hope that we shall not consider it a practical possibility in the near future that any unions will be so opposed not only to the principles but to the structure laid down in the TUC circular as to defy the TUC to the point of being expelled. I believe that the unions will amend their rule books to meet the high and stringent standards of the TUC circular. I believe that they will co-operate in the process of expanding their co-operation in so far as it is possible.
§ Sir Raymond Gower
The Minister has made a powerful plea in putting forward the advantages for bodies such as the trade unions to self-govern, as it were, rather than to have any kind of direction or guidance from the State. Of course many bodies would prefer that situation. It can be imagined that joint stock companies would prefer to have the happy position of making their own rules under the benign guidance of some body which they would set up themselves. Similarly, unit trust organisers might feel that they could do far better if the Board of Trade did not interfere and lay down certain minimum requirements. This can be extended a great deal.
The Minister's argument in no way answered the case put forward. All that is being asked for here, by the Liberal Party as well as by the Conservatives, is the prescription of some minimum standards to be written into the Bill. We do not say that they should deal with the detailed requirements of the rules—merely that they should ensure that all rule books 1445 come up to a minimum standard. The Minister explained that this was not necessary, because Donovan had come along and most of the unions had improved the quality of their rule books in accordance with his guidance.
If that is so, we might ask what objection can there be to the inclusion of this suggestion in the Bill. What possible objection can there be to the prescription of minimum standards when practically all unions observe these now? If these rule books are so excellent, why hesitate to incorporate these modest minimum requirements, which might catch the occasional new organisation which applies for registration? The post-Donovan picture according to the Minister indicates that some improvements were made by some unions. That suggests that there was room for improvement. It would be a bold man who said now that there was no room for further improvement.
I could understand the Minister's objection if these requirements were detailed matters, if they constituted pettifogging interference by the legislature. The Minister says that there is a big difference between legislating and the formation of rules. Of course there is. There is also a big difference between legislating in this House and the governing of any profession. The Law Society makes regulations, but this House has the final say. The House would interfere if it felt that such regulations were inadequate. Similarly, the House enacts broad legislation and lays down minimum standards which every company must meet. These are repeatedly being altered and improved, as they have been for most of this century.
Our predecessors here drew up what they thought was a perfect Companies Act in 1908. Succeeding Parliament have improved it. Nevertheless some future Parliament will seek to improve the Companies Acts. Yet apparently there is this one area where no improvement is required—an area peculiar to this country it seems. No minimum standards are required here. That is an extraordinary philosophy.
The hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Wainwright) made one error when he condemned our attitude to Donovan during the years 1970–1973. We did not reject Donovan. We read Donovan carefully and we took action on many of his 1446 suggestions. We also read "In Place of Strife." We applied many of its provisions. We studied the procedure and the legislation all over the world. We do not regard this country as an oasis. We never imagined that we would get a perfect legislative solution at the first attempt. This is not an area in which we can live without legislation.
Labour Members are wrong to imply that this is something so special that it is different from anything else in this country and, conceivably, in the world. Surely the same principles apply here as elsewhere. We want minimum standards. We want to spell out these standards in broad terms, without any pettifogging. The Minister knows that there are differences and inconsistences which are not in accord with such basic requirements. I would have thought that he would be delighted to accept the clause because the requirements are reasonable, they demand so little and are so much in accord with natural justice.
§ Mr. Maurice Macmillan (Farnham)
I hope that the House will give a Second Reading to this clause which my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Southport (Mr. Percival) moved with such moderation. I regard the rules set out in the clause as the bare minimum required to be inserted in the Bill to justify the second part of its title—that part which refers to labour relations. Without some such rules the Secretary of State would be more accurate and more honourable if he were to describe the Bill as the Trade Union and Political Power Bill.
The Minister of State said nothing to reassure this side of the House. I know only too well the great care which unions take in forming their rules. I know of the great care which the TUC and its officials take when dealing with these matters. I am, even now, hoping to meet—socially I hasten to add—a trade union leader busy with a rules conference.
Nothing that has been said provides any reason for setting the trade unions apart from other organisations, for putting them outside the rules of law which govern such organisations. The Minister sought to do this simply on the grounds that unions are different. He said that they took great care. So do other organisations. He said that unions imposed a sense of discipline upon themselves. So 1447 do others. No one argues that such other people or organisations should be outside the rule of law.
In referring to employers' associations, the Minister entirely ignored the difference in the trade union situation where there is the closed shop. Membership of a union is virtually compulsory for any one wishing to earn his living as an employee. When the hon. Gentleman defined the responsibility of the trade unions to the community he made it clear that he was claiming for them a degree of privilege which has not been matched except perhaps by the mediaeval Church or the modern Jockey Club. And what are the sanctions? Excommunication from the Church, a warning-off from the Jockey Club and expulsion from a union. That is not a legal action.
As it stands this Bill not only wipes out most of the 1971 Act, and destroys the central principle that underlay the whole thinking of "In Place of Strife" but it also weakens the concept of the rule of law on which both were founded, thus leaving a state of confusion. It is not much to ask that, in return, the Bill should contain, by statute under the authority of Parliament, the general rules which are set out in the clause.
There is no doubt that the Bill as a whole represents a transfer of power from Government and Parliament to the TUC and the unions. It weakens Parliament but does nothing to strengthen the unions—either the union leadership or the TUC. In an earlier debate my right hon. Friend the Member for Yeovil (Mr. Peyton) said that the TUC could not deliver. He did not say that in any sense of criticism. He stated it as a fact, and the unions have confirmed that it is a fact, in discussions with successive Governments and successive Ministers. The unions are negotiating bodies and not initiating bodies. They respond to a Government initiative but do not start an initiative of their own. How often, when asking the unions what positive contribution they can make to a given situation have I heard the answer "nothing. You put something forward and we will respond". I am not blaming the unions; I simply say that trade unions are organisations of that type.
1448 The unions, rightly, are responsible to their members, and to their members alone. The way they are constituted, the way in which elections are held and the way in which officials are elected all too often mean that the voice of their most vocal and violent minority is the voice that has to be heard. In pretending otherwise, the right hon. Gentleman is producing a Bill that he knows cannot work.
I am not seeking to attack the unions or their leadership. I have said often enough in public and in private that I should like to increase their power provided that they would, or could, accept the responsibility that must go with power. I welcome the unions' conversion to the concept of employee participation, which I have advocated for many years, provided that it includes all employees as persons and not simply unions as organisations. I am attacking the concentration of power in the hands of people who are elected, sometimes irrationally, sometimes ineffectively and sometimes by a tiny proportion of the total union membership.
For those reasons I hope that the House will give a Second Reading to the clause containing this bare minimum of rules to deal with the situation with which we are all too familiar. I am seeking, too, to defend Parliament and the people we represent, and I include the rights of unions and their members. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State was right when he said that industrial relations legislation requires the consent of the unions. But it requires the consent not of the unions alone, still less of a mere powerful minority among them. It requires the consent of all the work people, management and the great mass of our people inside and outside trade unions whom we represent in Parliament.
There should be no conflict, provided that the Secretary of State and the Government regard themselves as accountable first to Parliament and only secondly to the unions and the trade union movement. Their rejection of the clause raises in all our minds and hearts the question, "Who do they regard as their masters—the unions or the people, the TUC or Parliament?"
The rules, contained in the clause, modest as they are, are a defence. They give guidance with the sanction of being 1449 embodied in a statute. The only objection that has been made to them is that no one, not even the House, has the right to interfere and the right to set rules on how unions and employers' associations should conduct their affairs. They alone must have the right to make their own rules, however much their activities may affect the lives of others and, indeed, of the whole nation. If Parliament accepts that principle, we shall have surrendered our claim to represent the people.
An article in the Sun newspaper two days ago referred to this transfer of power from Parliament to the unions in these words:Rarely, if ever, has Parliament offered so unconditional a surrender".That surrender is echoed in the words of the Minister of State and in the whole attitude of the Secretary of State. I hope that in the vote we shall prove that correspondent of the Sun newspaper wrong. In this instance at least I hope that the will of Parliament will prevail and that we shall give a Second Reading to the clause.
§ Mr. Brittan
If debates on industrial relations have sometimes been characterised by exaggeration, this debate has been characterised by one extraordinary under-statement which fell from the lips of the Minister of State when he said that trade unions were extremely sensitive to interference or regulation. It was an under-statement because, to get something approaching the true attitude of trade unions to such regulations and control, one would have to substitute for the words "extremely sensitive" the word "paranoic". The degree of objection to any kind of control or regulation that has been shown by the Minister of State and his hon. Friends is out of all proportion to the extent of regulation proposed in the clause.
I have listened with great care to every word uttered by the Minister of State, but I have been unable to find in his speech a single reason why the new clause is objectionable. Reference was made to the existing rules of unions, and it was said that they were for the most part adequate. No one is disputing that the rules of many unions are now adequate, and if most of the rules are adequate very few unions will have anything to fear from the clause.
1450 Reference was also made to the history of events since the Donovan Report. We heard of the 1968 document "Action on Donovan", the June 1969 TUC "Programme for Action" and the issue of circulars by the TUC to the unions. There was a significant omission. We were not told what proportion of trade unions have complied with the directives issued by the TUC. In the absence of that information, we have no basis for knowing how many trade unions have rules which would satisfy the requirements of the TUC, let alone how many trade unions have rules which would satisfy the requirements of the clause.
The proposition that it is all unnecessary is unsustainable and empirical on the evidence that has been presented and, even if it were right, would be no reason for failing to make sure by in nocuous regulation that the standards of existing unions were maintained and the standards of future unions attained.
The second proposition put forward by the Minister of State in answer to the new clause was that it contained highly detailed statutory requirements. Nothing could be further from the case. The last thing it seeks to do is to intervene in how a union operates its policy. All it seeks to do is to provide certain minimum procedural requirements. It is in that area that the answer can be found to the remark by the Minister that it was strange that the clause did not cover strikes and lock-outs, and that it was recognised by the clause that there were certain matters which should be left to the people most directly concerned—that is to say, to trade union members. There is nothing in the least paradoxical about the fact that strikes and lock-outs are not dealt with by the clause. The clause seeks to deal with procedural matters; it does not seek to interfere with policy matters. That is why it is inherently unobjectionable.
The clause will not prevent any trade union, if it so wishes, holding a strike, or any employers' associations organising a lock-out. It is not designed to do that. It is designed to provide the minimum procedural safeguards necessary for the protection of trade unions if the unions are to have the rôle in our society which they already have, or an increased rôle, which I am sure Labour Members would want them to have.
1451 Finally, it was said by the Minister that the sanctions provided by the clause are weak. If that were true, it should be cause for rejoicing for Labour Members rather than cause for criticism and it should mitigate their fears about the consequences of the clause. I suggest that the sanctions are not spelled out, but that the requirements of the clause in peremptory terms—namely, that the unions must have rules relating to certain matters—are such that if those requirements were not complied with, it would not be a difficult matter to persuade the courts to take action in support of an individual who suffered as a result of the absence of rules dealing with the matters prescribed in the clause. It would not take legal ingenuity to frame a cause of action which would have the effect of ensuring that the union complied with the wording of the statute.
The arguments against the clause are not weak; they are simply non-existent. They are based on needless fear, on paranoia and on disregard for the obligations of trade unions to comply with the minimum standards required by the rest of the community if trade unions are to have, and to deserve, the elevated rôle that is sought for them by Labour Members.
§ 8.15 p.m.
§ Mr. John Page (Harrow, West)
All my hon. Friends who have spoken this afternoon, and particularly my right hon. Friend the Member for Farnham (Mr. Macmillan), have demolished the case advanced by the Minister of State against the new clause. In saying that the trade unions were in a particularly nervous condition, the Minister was suggesting that the confidence they have gained during the term of office of the Labour Government—the present Government being, of course, the political wing of the TUC—was so fragile that it might in some way be stunted or hurt by the new clause.
In appreciating the Minister's sensitivity, I should like to put a different argument to him, to call for his magnanimity and to ask him to put his amour propre back in his pocket. I ask him, on behalf of the trade union movement, to accept the clause to help the small, the very small and the medium- 1452 size firms in their relationships with employers' associations. The Minister may feel that the trade union movement and its rules are faultless. In view of the fairness with which he dealt with hon. Members in the Committee stage, does he not agree that if new rules and controls are imposed on employers' associations, they should likewise be imposed on the trade union movement?
I and many other business men have been worried for a long time about the representation of the business community through employers' associations and ultimately through the TUC. I should have said through the CBI, but it is easy to make a mistake since the relationship between the two is so close that it is difficult to distinguish between them. Most small firms find the availability of their executives insufficient to enable them to spend time in committees with employers' associations. Even the medium-size firms find themselves overawed by the voices of the big companies which carry so much sway in employers' associations. In a plea to the Government for creative magnanimity, I ask them to accept the clause to help employers' associations, through their rule books, to improve the service they give to those they represent.
Subsection (2) of the clause provides that the rules must specify the objects for which an employers' association is established. Under the Bill any group of three or four employers could form themselves overnight into an unincorporated employers' association. They could call themselves the City of Westminster Employers' Association. That association might consist of a few small builders who wanted to have a row with some of the plumbers they employed, and it could then be protected by the umbrella of this great Bill. Would it not be a safeguard to the employees of firms, as well as to the small firms themselves, to stipulate that on the formation of an employers' association the kind of check list of rules shown in the clause should operate? It is important that even the principal office of the employers' association should be specified.
In paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (9) we cover the notification of vacancies, the qualification of candidates for membership of employers' associations and 1453 the making of nominations. Some employers' associations are what might be called a magic circle, and I feel that there is insufficient advertising to enable member firms or potential member firms properly to nominate candidates for election to their governing bodies. Therefore, in humility, on behalf of the small employer and his employees, I ask the Government to accept the new clause.
§ Mr. Mawby
I have looked through the clause very carefully, and I cannot see how the Government can oppose it, especially in view of the fact, as I said in an earlier speech, that the Bill seeks to demolish parts of the 1971 Act which at least made certain that there would be overall supervision of the rules of trade unions and employers' associations.
With the repeal of those parts of the 1971 Act, we are left in a situation where both trade unions and employers' associations are completely free to decide what their rules are to be and completely free to have no regard to the general public interest.
The clause lays down only reasonable requirements. A cursory look at the clause reveals that that is all that it seeks to do. Subsection (9), for example, requires that both trade unions and employers' associations shall provide in their rules the procedures for the notification of vacancies and qualification of candidates, the making of nominations, canvassing and the content of election addresses, where these are permitted, eligibility for voting in any election or ballot, and the procedure preparatory to any election or ballot. All of them are reasonable requirements. Taking into account the fact that the requirements of the 1971 Act are thrown out completely, I believe that reasonable procedures should be laid down whereby both trade unions and employers' associations are required by law to observe what most people would expect to be the normal procedures.
It will probably be said in reply, with complete honesty, that in the majority of cases these are the normal procedures adopted by both employers' associations and trade unions. The difficulty is that, in making laws in this House, we are concerned in the main with the scrimshanker—the person who does not recognise normal rules. We have to concern ourselves with the minority of people who consider themselves outside the 1454 normal rules. Most people will try to carry out normal standard procedures regardless of whether they are required to by law.
Most trade unions—certainly the TUC—recognise that they have to apply the standard rules of behaviour accepted by normal society. But there is always the odd person or group of persons who will not be bothered with normal standards and who will seek to break the law. We have to deal with such persons, and I believe that the clause does so in a perfectly reasonable manner. It does not ask them to do anything unreasonable.
For those reasons I ask the Secretary of State to consider very carefully the possibility of accepting the clause.
§ Mr. Prior
I have not previously listened to a debate in which the arguments have been so one-sided as those that we have heard today. I have a certain sense of despair and dismay when I listen to a speech of the kind that we heard in reply to the debate. I should have thought that, in itself, the attitude of a minority Government to a clause which obviously has massive support both in this House and outside it was a matter on which some concession could be made with a great deal of ease.
We are told that the reason why the clause cannot be accepted is that the trade unions do not want it. An argument of that kind does not reflect the sovereignty of Parliament about which the Secretary of State has lectured us from time to time. This is not the exercise of the sovereignty of Parliament as we wish to see it.
If I am to believe that the TUC is telling the Government that a simple set of rules such as we suggest cannot be put in the Bill simply because the unions do not want it, it really seems that power has passed from Parliament, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Farnham (Mr. Macmillan) suggested.
In effect, we are saying here what Donovan said, that the rules need bringing up to date in many respects. The same was said in "In Place of Strife":For this reason the Government considers that the present legal requirements relating to the rules of trade unions are inadequate, and should be extended in the interests both of the unions and of their members.Now we are told by the Secretary of State that, following a TUC Conference, 1455 the unions themselves have been bringing their rules up to date. He did not say that all unions had done so, but I take it that the majority have done so. So we have the fact that Donovan said that they needed bringing up to date, we have "In Place of Strife" confirming it, and we have the unions themselves thinking that it is right.
Everyone says that there should be a proper set of rules. My right hon. Friend the Member for Farnham thinks that the provisions in the new clause are the very minimum, and I agree with him. But it is a reasonable set of rules, as my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Southport (Mr. Percival) pointed out.
The chief objection to incorporating this set of rules in legislation is that it is being done already. If it is being done already, there is no harm in having it in legislation because it is merely putting into legislative form what the unions are already doing. If the objection is that we cannot have it because the trade unions do not want it, that is not a reason which is acceptable to the House. We cannot allow ourselves to get to the stage of being so feeble that we cannot write into an Act of Parliament a simple set of rules about which 99 people out of 100 would say "This is common sense; we should have had them a long time ago." If Parliament cannot even do that, what can it do?
This is a perfectly reasonable new clause. It is moved in a spirit which wants to see the trade unions accepting the responsibility that comes from their special position. That is an important fact.
For all those reasons I hope that even at this late stage the Government will not oblige us to troop through the Division lobbies again and that the hon. Gentleman will say, "We will write these provisions in; we will accept this new clause. It only confirms what is good union practice already. It is right that Parliament should take this action. Let us move on to the next clause."
§ 8.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Booth
It is most interesting to note the way in which reasons are adduced for one thing in one set of circumstances and for something different in another set. We have been told about 1456 the special position of the trade unions in very much the same terms as we were told about them with regard to the 1971 Act. It was then used to justify rules and legal requirements, which went very much further than this, the controlling of strike procedures, and a number of other matters. Tonight we are told that it justifies only a much more modest proposition which should apply to trade unions and employers' associations alike.
In moving the new clause no reference was made to the defects in the rules of employers' associations which required this provision to be applied to them. We waited with bated breath until the hon. Member for Harrow, West (Mr. John Page) made a plea that we introduce this clause to deal with his fears concerning employers' associations. It comes a little late. Nevertheless it is welcome. I considered very carefully how I might deal with employers' associations. My first thoughts were that there may be a very special case for dealing with this aspect. Employers' associations are possibly not subject to the same scrutiny as are trade union bodies. I have seen the proceedings of the TUC annual conference on television. I have never seen the procedings of the CBI televised.
§ Mr. Booth
It is not because of submissions by employers' associations or the TUC that we ask the House to reject the new clause. It comes from a careful examination of the criticisms which Donovan made and the extent to which they have been met by a voluntary system. Is the hon. and learned Gentleman's proposition that those things which can be done effectively by voluntary methods should therefore be reinforced by this House? That is a different proposition from that on which this House has proceeded for a very long time.
It is proper that the TUC should be subject to more stringent requirements than are laid down in this new clause. I give one example. I will read what the TUC said when it considered the question of discipline and such criticisms as Donovan made of union rules in this 1457 respect. It was enclosed in its circular sent to all member unions. The TUC said that the rules should specify all the offences and corresponding penalties; that the rules should prescribe the procedure for hearing cases, such procedure to comply with rules of natural justice. That provision will appeal to hon. Gentlemen.
The TUC spelt out what was meant by "rules of natural justice." It said the rules must provide for the right of appeal. Additionally, the TUC General Council went on to specify that the right of appeal should be to a body of higher authority; that wherever possible an expelled member should retain his membership pending an appeal; and that powers of appeal bodies to reinstate and reimburse or to make fines should be set down.
It is right and proper that the TUC should go to that length. Hon. Gentlemen did not go to that length. I commend them. They recognised that what the TUC can do in relation to its membership—and what the CBI can do in relation to its membership who have joined it in voluntary association—is different from what we propose to do in this House in making rules for those bodies.
Therefore, we are not acting at the behest tonight of employers' associations
§ although I admit my sympathy with the point made by the hon. Member for Harrow, West. We are not acting at the behest of the TUC in this matter. We seek to urge upon the House that the TUC and the trade unions in general are sensitive to the requirement to maintain their rule books not only in a condition which accords with natural justice for their members but one which makes for the proper regulation of their members' actions in the workplace, and in relation to advancing and defending the conditions of those members at their places of work. That is a condition which we recognise. It is one which we welcome. It is one which we think will develop. The carrying of this new clause would do nothing to forward and would do much to hinder that development.
§ Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:—
§ The House divided—
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Oscar Murton)
Order. I wish to inform the House that there has been a dispute between the Tellers as regards the numbers. I shall, therefore, have to call the Division again.
§ Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 303, Noes 304.1459
|Division No. 72.]||AYES||[8.51 p.m.|
|Adley, Robert||Bryan, Sir Paul||Drayson, Burnaby|
|Aitken, Jonathan||Buchanan-Smith, Alick||du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Buck, Antony||Durant, Tony|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Budgen, Nick||Dykes, Hugh|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Bulmer, Esmond||Eden, Rt. Hn. Sir John|
|Ancram, M.||Burden, F. A.||Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)|
|Archer, Jeffrey||Carlisle, Mark||Elliott, Sir William|
|Atkins, Rt.Hn.Humphrey (Spelthorne)||Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Emery, Peter|
|Awdry, Daniel||Chalker, Mrs. Lynda||Eyre, Reginald|
|Baker, Kenneth||Channon, Paul||Fairgrieve, Russell|
|Balniel, Rt. Hn. Lord||Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Farr, John|
|Banks, Robert||Churchill, W. S.||Fell, Anthony|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Clark, A. K. M. (Plymouth, Sutton)||Fenner, Mrs. Peggy|
|Beith, A. J.||Clark, William (Croydon, S.)||Fidler, Michael|
|Bell, Ronald||Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Finsberg, Geoffrey|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay)||Clegg, Walter||Fisher, Sir Nigel|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Fareham)||Cockcroft, John||Fletcher, Alexander (Edinburgh, N.)|
|Benyon, W.||Cooke, Robert (Bristol, W.)||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles|
|Berry, Hon. Anthony||Cope, John||Fookes, Miss Janet|
|Biffen, John||Cordie, John||Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'field)|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Cormack, Patrick||Fox, Marcus|
|Blaker, Peter||Corrie, John||Fraser, Rt.Hn.Hugh (St'fford & Stone)|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.)||Costain, A. P.||Freud, Clement|
|Body, Richard||Critchley, Julian||Fry, Peter|
|Boscawen, Hon. Robert||Crouch, David||Galbraith, Hn. T. G. D.|
|Bowden, Andrew (Brighton, Kemptown)||Crowder, F. P.||Gardiner, George (Reigate & Banstead)|
|Boyson, Dr. Rhodes (Brent, N.)||Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)||Gardner, Edward (S. Fylde)|
|Braine, Sir Bernard||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj. -Gen. James||Gibson-Watt, Rt. Hn. David|
|Bray, Ronald||Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.)||Gilmour, Rt.Hn. Ian (Ch'sh'&Amsh'm)|
|Brewis, John||Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)|
|Brittan, Leon||Dixon, Piers||Glyn, Dr. Alan|
|Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher||Dodds-Parker, Sir Douglas||Goodhart, Philip|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Dodsworth, Geoffrey||Goodhew, Victor|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec||Goodlad, A.|
|Gorst, John||McCrindle, R. A.||Rost, Peter (Derbyshire, S.-E.)|
|Gow, Ian (Eastbourne)||Macfarlane, Neil||Royle, Sir Anthony|
|Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry)||MacGregor, John||Sainsbury, Tim|
|Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)||McLaren, Martin||St. John-Stevas, Norman|
|Gray, Hamish||Macmillan, Rt. Hn. M. (Farnham)||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Grieve, Percy||McNair-Wilson, Michael (Newbury)||Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)|
|Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)||Shaw, Michael (Scarborough)|
|Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.||Madel, David||Shelton, William (L'mb'th, Streath'm)|
|Grist, Ian||Marshall, Michael (Arundel)||Shersby, Michael|
|Grylls, Michael||Mather, Carol||Silvester, Fred|
|Gurden, Harold||Maude, Angus||Sims, Roger|
|Hall, Sir John||Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Hall-Davis, A. G. P.||Mawby, Ray||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)|
|Hampson, Dr. Keith||Mayhew, Christopher(G'wh, W'wch, E)||Smith, Dudley (W'wick&L'm'ngton)|
|Hannam, John||Mayhew, Piitrick(Royal T' bridgeWells)||Spence, John|
|Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Meyer, Sir Anthony||Spicer, Jim (Dorset, W.)|
|Harvie Anderson, Rt. Hn. Miss||Miller, Hal (B'grove & R'ditch)||Spicer, Michael (Worcestershire, S.)|
|Hastings, Stephen||Mills, Peter||Sproat, Iain|
|Havers, Sir Michael||Miscampbell, Norman||Stainton, Keith|
|Hawkins, Paul||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Hayhoe, Barney||Moate, Roger||Stanley, John|
|Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward||Molyneaux, James||Steel, David|
|Henderson, J.S.B. (Dunbartonshire, E.)||Money, Ernle||Steen, Anthony (L'pool, Wavertree)|
|Heseltine, Michael||Monro, Hector||Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)|
|Higgins, Terence||Moore, J. E. M. (Croydon, C.)||Stodart, Rt. Hn. A. (Edinburgh, W.)|
|Hill, James A.||Morgan, Geraint||Stokes, John|
|Holland, Philip||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.||Stradling Thomas, John|
|Hooson, Emlyn||Morris, Michael (Northampton, S.)||Tapsell, Peter|
|Hordern, Peter||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)||Taverne, Dick|
|Howe, Rt.Hn. Sir Geoffrey(Surrey, E.)||Morrison, Peter (City of Chester)||Taylor, Edward M. (Glgow, C'cart)|
|Howell, David (Guildford)||Mudd, David||Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)|
|Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, North)||Neave, Airey||Tebbit, Norman|
|Howells, Geraint (Cardigan)||Neubert, Michael||Temple-Morris, Peter|
|Hunt, John||Newton, Tony (Braintree)||Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Margaret|
|Hurd, Douglas||Nicholls, Sir Harmar||Thomas, Rt. Hn. P. (B'net, H'dn S.)|
|Hutchison, Michael Clark||Normanton, Tom||Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy|
|Iremonger, T. L.||Nott, John||Townsend, C. D.|
|Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Onslow, Cranley||Trotter, Neville|
|James, David||Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|Jenkin, Rt.Hn.P. (R'dgeW'std&W'fd)||Osborn, John||Tyler, Paul|
|Jessel, Toby||Page, Rt. Hn. Graham (Crosby)||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)||Page, John (Harrow, W.)||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard|
|Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Pardoe, John||Viggers, Peter|
|Jones, Arthur (Daventry)||Parkinson, Cecil (Hertfordshire. S.)||Waddington, David|
|Jopling, Michael||Pattie, Geoffrey||Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)|
|Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Percival, Ian||Wakeham, John|
|Kaberry, Sir Donald||Peyton, Rt. Hn. John||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
|Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine||Pink, R. Bonner||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)|
|Kershaw, Anthony||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Wall, Patrick|
|Kimball, Marcus||Prior, Rt. Hn. James|
|King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Quennell, Miss J. M.||Walters, Dennis|
|King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Raison, Timothy||Warren, Kenneth|
|Kirk, Peter||Rathbone, Tim||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Kitson, Sir Timothy||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter||Wells, John|
|Knight, Mrs. Jill||Redmond, Robert||Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William|
|Knox, David||Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal)||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Lamont, Norman||Rees-Davies, W. R.||Winstanley, Dr. Michael|
|Lane, David||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David (H't' gd' ns' re)||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Langford-Holt, Sir John||Renton, R. T. (Mid-Sussex)||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Latham, Michael (Melton)||Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon||Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher|
|Lawrence, Ivan||Ridsdale, Julian||Worsley, Sir Marcus|
|Lawson, Nigel (Blaby)||Rifkind, Malcolm||Young, Sir George (Ealing, Acton)|
|Lester, Jim (Beeston)||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey||Younger, Hn. George|
|Lewis, Kenneth (Rtland & Stmford)||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.-W.)|
|Lloyd, Ian (Havant & Waterloo)||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Loveridge, John||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)||Mr. Adam Butler and|
|Luce, Richard||Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)||Mr. Spencer Le Marchant.|
|MacArthur, Ian||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Abse, Leo||Bennett, Andrew F. (Stockport, N.)||Buchan, Norman|
|Allaun, Frank||Bidwell, Sydney||Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Springb'rn|
|Archer, Peter||Bishop, E. S.||Butler, Mrs.Joyce (H'gey, WoodGreen)|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Blenkinsop, Arthur||Callaghan, Rt.Hn. James (Cardiff, S.E.)|
|Ashley, Jack||Boardman, H.||Callaghan, Jim (M'dd'ton & Pr'wich)|
|Ashton, Joe||Booth, Albert||Campbell, Ian|
|Atkins, Ronald||Boothroyd, Miss Betty||Cant, R. B.|
|Atkinson, Norman||Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Carmichael, Neil|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland)||Carter, Ray|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Bradley, Tom||Carter-Jones, Lewis|
|Barnett, Joel (Heywood & Royton)||Broughton, Sir Alfred||Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara|
|Bates, Alf||Brown, Bob(Newcastle upon Tyne, W.)||Clemitson, Ivor|
|Baxter, William||Brown, Hugh D. (Glasgow, Provan)||Cocks, Michael|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Brown, Ronald (H'kney, S.&Sh'dltch)||Cohen, Stanley|
|Coleman, Donald||Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Padley, Walter|
|Colquhoun, Mrs. M. N.||Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Palmer, Arthur|
|Concannon, J. D.||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, North)||Park, George (Coventry, N.E.)|
|Conlan, Bernard||Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Parker, John (Dagenham)|
|Cook, Robert F. (Edinburgh, C.)||Hunter, Adam||Parry, Robert|
|Cox, Thomas||Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir A. (L'p'I, EdgeHI)||Pavitt, Laurie|
|Craigen, J. M. (G'gow, Maryhill)||Irving, Rt. Hn. Sydney (Dartford)||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Jackson, Colin||Pendry, Tom|
|Cronin, John||Janner, Greville||Perry, Ernest G.|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Phipps, Dr. Colin|
|Cryer, G. R.||Jeger, Mrs. Lena||Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg|
|Cunningham, G.(Isl'ngt'n, S & F'sb'ry)||Jenkins, Hugh (W'worth, Putney)||Prescott, John|
|Cunningham, Dr. John A.(Whiteh'v'n)||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (B'ham, St'fd)||Price, Christopher (Lewisham, W.)|
|Dalyell, Tam||John, Brynmor||Price, William (Rugby)|
|Davidson, Arthur||Johnson, James (K'ston uponHull, W)||Radice, Giles|
|Davies, Bryan (Enfield, N.)||Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)||Rees, Rt. Hn. Merlyn (Leeds, S.)|
|Davies, Denzil (Lianelli)||Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)||Reid, George|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Richardson, Miss Jo|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)||Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Deakins, Eric||Jones, Alec (Rhondda)||Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)|
|Dean, Joseph (Leeds, W.)||Judd, Frank||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Kaufman, Gerald||Roderick, Caerwyn E.|
|Delargy, Hugh||Kelley, Richard||Rodgers, George (Chorley)|
|Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||Kerr, Russell||Rodgers, William (Teesside, St'ckton)|
|Dempsey, James||Kilroy-Silk, Robert||Rooker, J. W.|
|Doig, Peter||Kinnock, Neil||Roper, John|
|Dormand, J. D.||Lambie, David||Rose, Paul B.|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Lamborn, Harry||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Lamond, James||Rowlands, Edward|
|Dunnett, Jack||Latham, Arthur(CityofW'minsterP'ton)||Sandelson, Neville|
|Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth||Lawson, George (Motherwell&Wishaw)||Sedgemore, Bryan|
|Eadie, Alex||Leadbitter, Ted||Selby, Harry|
|Lee, John||Shaw, Arnold (Redbridge, Ilford, S.)|
|Edelman, Maurice||Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough)||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Edge, Geoff||Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (S'pney&P'plar)|
|Edwards, Robert (W'hampton, S.E.)||Lewis, Arthur (Newham, N.)||Short, Rt. Hn. E. (N'ctle-u-Tyne)|
|Ellis, John (Brigg & Scunthorpe)||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hamp'n, N.E.)|
|Ellis, Tom (Wrexham)||Lipton, Marcus||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (L'sham.D'ford)|
|English, Michael||Lomas, Kenneth||Silkin, Rt. Hn. S.C. (S'hwark, Dulwich)|
|Ennals, David||Loughlin, Charles||Sillars, James|
|Evans, Fred (Caerphilly)||Loyden, Eddie||Silverman, Julius|
|Evans, Ioan (Aberdare)||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Skinner, Dennis|
|Evans, John (Newton)||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, W.)||Small, William|
|Ewing, Harry (St'ling.F'kirk&G'm'th)||McCartney, Hugh||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)|
|Ewing, Mrs. Winifred (Moray&Nairn)||MacCormack, Iain||Snape, Peter|
|Faulds, Andrew||McElhone, Frank||Spearing, Nigel|
|Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E.||MacFarquhar, Roderick||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||McGuire, Michael||Stallard, A. W.|
|Fitt, Gerard (Belfast, W.)||Mackenzie, Gregor||Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)|
|Flannery, Martin||Maclennan, Robert||Stewart, Rt. Hn. M. (H'sth.Fulh'm)|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Stoddart, David (Swindon)|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||McNamara, Kevin||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John|
|Foot, Rt. Hn. Michael||Madden, M. O. F.||Stott, Roger|
|Ford, Ben||Magee, Bryan||Strang, Gavin|
|Forrester, John||Mahon, Simon||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|Fowler, Gerry (The Wrekin)||Mallalieu, J. P. W.||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|Fraser, John (Lambeth, Norwood)||Marks, Kenneth||Swain, Thomas|
|Freeson, Reginald||Marquand, David||Thomas, D. E. (Merioneth)|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||Marshall, Dr. Edmund (Goole)||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
|Garrett, John (Norwich. S.)||Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy||Thorne, Stan (Preston, S.)|
|Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend)||Meacher, Michael||Tierney, Sydney|
|George, Bruce||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Tinn, James|
|Gilbert, Dr. John||Mendelson, John||Tomlinson, John|
|Ginsburg, David||Mikardo, Ian||Tomney, Frank|
|Gourlay, Harry||Millan, Bruce||Torney, Tom|
|Graham, Ted||Miller, Dr. M. S. (E. Kilbride)||Urwin, T. W.|
|Grant, George (Morpeth)||Milne, Edward||Varley, Rt. Hn. Eric G.|
|Grant, John (Islington, C.)||Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)|
|Griffiths, Eddie (Sheffield, Brightside)||Molloy, William||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, Ladywood)|
|Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Moonman, Eric||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Hamilton, William (Fife, C.)||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Walker, Terry (Kingswood)|
|Hamling, William||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Watkins, David|
|Hardy, Peter||Morris, Rt Hn. John (Aberavon)||Watt, Hamish|
|Harper, Joseph||Moyle, Roland||Weitzman, David|
|Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Wellbeloved, James|
|Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||Murray, Ronald King||White, James|
|Hattersley, Roy||Newens, Stanley (Harlow)||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Hatton, Frank||Oakes, Gordon||Whitlock, William|
|Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis||Ogden, Eric||Wigley, Dafydd (Caernarvon)|
|Heffer, Eric S.||O'Halloran, Michael||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Henderson, Douglas (Ab'rd'nsh're, E)||O'Malley, Brian||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Hooley, Frank||Orbach, Maurice||Williams, Alan Lee (Hvrng, Hchurch)|
|Horam, John||Orme, Rt. Hn. Stanley||Williams, Rt.Hn.Shirley(H'f'd&St'ge)|
|Howell, Denis (B'ham, Small Heath)||Ovenden, John||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Huckfield, Leslie||Owen, Dr. David||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Wilson, Gordon (Dundee, E.)||Woodall, Alec||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)||Woof, Robert|
|Wilson, William (Coventry, S.E.)||Wrigglesworth, Ian||Mr. John Golding and|
|Wise, Mrs. Audrey||Young, David (Bolton, E.)||Mr. James A. Dunn.|
§ Question accordingly negatived.