§ Amendments made: No. 23, in page 25, leave out paragraph 1 (General Principles).
No. 24, in page 25, line 29, leave out 'specified in paragraph 1(1) above' and insert:
'of promoting good industrial relations'.
§ No. 25, in page 27, line 6, leave out 'Subject to sub-paragraph (5) below,'.
§ No. 26, in page 27, line 29, leave out sub-paragraph (5).—[Mr. Booth.]
§ Amendment proposed: No. 96, in page 27 leave out lines 35 to 43 and insert:
- '(a) it is the practice in accordance with a union membership agreement, for all the employees of this employer or all employees of the said class as the dismissed employee to belong to independent trade unions; and
- (b) the reason for the dismissal was that the employee was not a member of an appropriate independent trade union and had refused or proposed to refuse to become or remain a member of such a trade union'.—[Mr. Percival.]
§ Question put, That the amendment be made:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 290, Noes 291.
|Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon|
|Fidler, Michael||Kitson, Sir Timothy||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Finsberg, Geoffrey||Knight, Mrs. Jill||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey|
|Fisher, Sir Nigel||Knox, David||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.-W.)|
|Fletcher, Alexander (Edinburgh, N.)||Lamont, Norman||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Lane, David||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)|
|Fookes, Miss Janet||Langford-Holt, Sir John||Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)|
|Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'field)||Latham, Michael (Melton)||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Fox, Marcus||Lawrence, Ivan||Rost, Peter (Derbyshire, S.-E.)|
|Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone)||Lawson, Nigel (Blaby)||Royle, Sir Anthony|
|Freud, Clement||Lester, Jim (Beeston)||Sainsbury, Tim|
|Fry, Peter||Lewis, Kenneth (Rtland & Stmford)||St. John-Stevas, Norman|
|Galbraith, Hn. T. G. D.||Lloyd, Ian (Havant & Waterloo)||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Gardiner, George (Reigate & Banstead)||Loveridge, John||Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)|
|Gardner, Edward (S. Fylde)||MacArthur, Ian||Shaw, Michael (Scarborough)|
|Gibson-Watt, Rt. Hn. David||McCrindle, R. A.||Shelton, William (L'mb'th, Streath'm)|
|Gilmour, Rt. Hn. Ian (Ch'sh' & Amsh'm)||Macfarlane, Neil||Shersby, Michael|
|Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||MacGregor, John||Silvester, Fred|
|Glyn, Dr. Alan||McLaren, Martin||Sims, Roger|
|Goodhart, Philip||Macmillan, Rt. Hn. M. (Farnham)||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Goodhew, Victor||McNair-Wilson, Michael (Newbury)||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Goodlad, A.||McNalr-Wilson, Patrick (New Forset)||Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)|
|Gorst, John||Madel, David||Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'm'ngton)|
|Gow, Ian (Eastbourne)||Marshall, Michael (Arundel)||Spence, John|
|Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry)||Mather, Carol||Spicer, Jim (Dorset, W.)|
|Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)||Maude, Angus||Spicer, Michael (Worcestershire, S.)|
|Gray, Hamish||Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald||Sproat, Iain|
|Grieve, Percy||Mawby, Ray||Stainton, Keith|
|Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.||Mayhew, Christopher (G'wh, W'wch, E)||Stanley, John|
|Grist, Ian||Mayhew, Patrick (RoyalT'bridge Wells)||Steel, David|
|Grylls, Michael||Meyer, Sir Anthony||Steen, Anthony (L'pool, Wavertree)|
|Gurden, Harold||Miller, Hal (B'grove & R'ditch)||Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)|
|Hall, Sir John||Mills, Peter||Stodart, Rt. Hn. A. (Edinburgh, W.)|
|Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Miscampbell, Norman||Stokes, John|
|Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Stradling, Thomas John|
|Hannam, John||Moate, Roger||Tapsell, Peter|
|Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Money, Ernie||Taylor, Edward M. (Glgow, C'cart)|
|Harvie Anderson, Rt. Hn. Miss||Monro, Hector||Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)|
|Hastings, Stephen||Moore, J. E. M. (Croydon, C.)||Tebbit, Norman|
|Havers, Sir Michael||Morgan, Geraint||Temple-Morris, Peter|
|Hawkins, Paul||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.||Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Margaret|
|Hayhoe, Barney||Morris, Michael (Northampton, S.)||Thomas, Rt. Hn. P. (B'net, H'dn S.)|
|Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)||Thorpe, Rt. Hon. Jeremy|
|Henderson, J. S. B. (Dunbartonshire, E.)||Morrison, Peter (City of Chester)||Townsend, C. D.|
|Heseltine, Michael||Mudd, David||Trotter, Neville|
|Higgins, Terence||Neave, Airey||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|Holland, Philip||Neubert, Michael||Tyler, Paul|
|Hooson, Emlyn||Newton, Tony (Braintree)||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Hordern, Peter||Nott, John||Viggers, Peter|
|Howe, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Surrey, E.)||Onslow, Cranley||Waddington, David|
|Howell, Ralph (Guildford)||Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally||Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)|
|Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, North)||Osborn, John||Wakeham, John|
|Howels, Geraint (Cardigan)||Page, Rt. Hn. Graham (Crosby)||Walder, David (Clltheroe)|
|Hunt, John||Page, John (Harrow, W.)||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)|
|Hurd, Dougas||Pardoe, John||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Hutchison, Michael Clark||Parkinson, Cecil (Hertfordshire, S.)||Wall, Patrick|
|Iremonger, T. L.||Pattie, Geoffrey||Walters, Dennis|
|Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Percival Ian||Warren, Kenneth|
|James, David||Peyton, Rt. Hn. John||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Jenkin, Rt. Hn. P. (R'dgeW'std & W'fd)||Pink, R. Bonner||Wells, John|
|Jessel, Toby||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Whitelaw, Rt. Hon. William|
|Josnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)||Prior, Rt. Hn. James||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Quennell, Miss J. M.||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Jones, Arthur (Daventry)||Raison, Timothy||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Jopling, Michael||Rathbone, Tim||Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher|
|Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter||Worsley, Sir Marcus|
|Kaberry, Sir Donald||Redmond, Robert||Young, Sir George (Ealing, Acton)|
|Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine||Rees-Davies, W. R.||Younger, Hn. George|
|Kershaw, Anthony||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David (H't' gd' ns' re)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Kimball, Marcus||Renton, R. T. (Mid-Sussex)||Mr. Spencer le Marchant and|
|King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Dr. Gerald Vaughn.|
|Abse, Leo||Barnett, Joel (Heywood & Royton)||Booth, Albert|
|Allaun, Frank||Bates, Alf||Boothroyd, Miss Betty|
|Archer, Peter||Baxter, William||Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland)|
|Ashton, Joe||Bennett, Andrew F. (Stockport, N.)||Bradley, Tom|
|Atkins, Ronald||Bidwell, Sydney||Broughton, Sir Alfred|
|Atkinson, Norman||Bishop, E. S.||Brown, Bob (Newcastle upon Tyne, W)|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Blenkinsop, Arthur||Brown, Hugh D. (Glasgow, Provan)|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Boardman, H.||Brown, Ronald (H'kney, S. & Sh'ditch)|
|Buchan, Norman||Hardy, Peter||Ogden, Eric|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Springb'rn||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||O'Halloran, Michael|
|Butler, Mrs.Joyce (H' gey, WoodGreen)||Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||O'Malley, Brian|
|Callaghan, Jim (M'dd'ton & Pr'wich)||Hatton, Frank||Orbach, Maurice|
|Campbell, Ian||Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis||Ovenden, John|
|Cant, R. B.||Heffer, Eric S.||Owen, Dr. David|
|Carmichael, Neil||Hooley, Frank||Padley, Walter|
|Carter, Ray||Horam, John||Palmer, Arthur|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis||Howell, Denis (B'ham, Small Heath)||Park, George (Coventry, N.E.)|
|Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Huckfield, Leslie||Parker, John (Dagenham)|
|Clemitson, Ivor||Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Perry, Robert|
|Cocks, Michael||Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Pavitt, Laurie|
|Cohen, Stanley||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, North)||Pendry, Tom|
|Coleman, Donald||Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Perry, Ernest G.|
|Colquhoun, Mrs. M. N.||Hunter, Adam||Phipps, Dr. Colin|
|Conlan, Bernard||Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir A. (L'p'I, EdgeHI)||Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg|
|Cook, Robert F. (Edinburgh, C.)||Irving, Rt. Hn. Sydney (Dartford)||Prescott, John|
|Cox, Thomas||Jackson, Colin||Price, Christopher (Lewisham, W.)|
|Craigen, J. M. (G'gow, Maryhill)||Janner, Greville||Price, William (Rugby)|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Radice, Giles|
|Cronin, John||Jeger, Mrs. Lena||Reid, George|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Jenkins, Hugh (W'worth, Putney)||Richardson, Miss Jo|
|Cryer, G. R.||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (B'ham, St'ffd)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Cunningham, G. (Isl'ngt'n, S & F'sb'ry)||John, Brynmor||Roberts, Gwllym (Cannock)|
|Cunningham, Dr. John A.(whiteh'v'n)||Johnson, James (K'ston-upon Hull, W)||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Dalyell, Tam||Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)||Roderick, Caerwyn E.|
|Davidson, Arthur||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Rodgers, George (Chorley)|
|Davies, Bryan (Enfield, N.)||Jonas, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)||Rodgers, William (Teesside, St'ckton)|
|Davies, Denzil (Llanelli)||Jones, Alec (Rhondda)||Rooker, J. W.|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Judd, Frank||Roper, John|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)||Kelley, Richard||Rose, Paul B.|
|Deakins, Eric||Kerr, Russell||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)|
|Dean, Joseph (Leeds, W.)||Kilroy-Silk, Robert||Rowlands, Edward|
|de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Kinnock, Neil||Sandelson, Neville|
|Delargy, Hugh||Lambie, David||Sedgemore, Bryan|
|Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||Lamborn, Harry||Selby, Harry|
|Dempsey, James||Lamond, James||Shaw, Arnold (Redbridge, Ilford, S.)|
|Doig, Peter||Latham, Arthur (City of W'minster P'ton)||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Dormand, J. D.||Lawson, George (Motherwell & Wishaw)||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (S'pney & P'plar)|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Leadbitter, Ted||Short, Rt. Hn. E. (N'ctle-u-Tyne)|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Lee John||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N.E.)|
|Dunn, James A.||Lester, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough)||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (L'sham.D'ford)|
|Dunnett, Jack||Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold||Silkin, Rt. Hn. S. C. (S'hwark, Dulwich)|
|Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth||Lewis, Arthur (Newham, N.)||Sillars, James|
|Edelman, Maurice||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Silverman, Julius|
|Edge, Geoff||Lipton, Marcus||Skinner, Dennis|
|Edwards, Robert (W'hampton, S.E.)||Lomas, Kenneth||Small, William|
|Ellis, John (Brigg & Scunthorpe)||Loughlin, Charles||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)|
|Ellis, Tom (Wrexham)||Loyden, Eddie||Snape, Peter|
|English, Michael||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Spearing, Nigel|
|Ennals, David||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, W.)||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Evans, Fred (Caerphilly)||McCartney, Hugh||Stallard, A. W.|
|Evans, Ioan (Aberdare)||MacCormack, Iain||Stewart, R. Hn. M. (H'sth, Fulh'm)|
|Evans, John (Newton)||McElhone, Frank||Stoddart, David|
|Ewing, Harry (St'ling, F'kirk & G'm'th)||MacFarquhar, Roderick||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John|
|Ewing, Mrs.Winifred (Moray & Narn)||McGuire, Michael||Stott, Roger|
|Faulds, Andrew||Mackenzie, Gregor||Strang, Gavin|
|Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E.||Maclennan, Robert||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|Fitt, Gerard (Belfast, W.)||McNamara, Kevin||Swain, Thomas|
|Flannery, Martin||Madden, M. O. F.||Thomas, D. E. (Merioneth)|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Magee, Bryan||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Mahon, Simon||Thorne, Stan (Preston, S.)|
|Foot, Rt. Hn. Michael||Mallalieu, J. P. W.||Tierney, Sydney|
|Ford, Ben||Marks, Kenneth||Tinn, James|
|Forrester, John||Marquand, David||Tomlinson, John|
|Fowler, Gerry (The Wrekin)||Marshall, Dr. Edmund (Goole)||Tomney, Frank|
|Fraser, John (Lambeth, Norwood)||Meacher, Michael||Torney, Tom|
|Freeson, Reginald||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Tuck, Raphael|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||Mendelson, John||Urwin, T. W.|
|Garrett, John (Norwich, S.)||Mikardo, Ian||Varley, Rt. Hn. Eric G.|
|Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend)||Millan, Bruce||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)|
|George, Bruce||Miller, Dr. M. S. (E. Kilbride)||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, Ladywood)|
|Gilbert, Dr. John||Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Ginsburg, David||Molloy, William||Walker, Terry (Kingswood)|
|Godber, Rt. Hn. Joseph||Moonman, Eric||Watkins, David|
|Gourlay, Harry||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Watt, Hamish|
|Graham, Ted||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Weitzman, David|
|Grant, George (Morpeth)||Mo
rris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)
|Grant, John (Islington, C.)||Moyle, Roland||White, James|
|Griffiths, Eddie (Sheffield, Brightside)||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Murray, Ronald King||Whitlock, William|
|Hamilton, William (Fife, C.)||Newens, Stanley (Harlow)||Wigley, Dafydd (Caernarvon)|
|Hamling, William||Oakes, Gordon||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|Williams, Alan Lee (Hvrng, Hchurch)||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.E.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Williams, Rt. Hn. Shirley (H'f'd & St'ge)||Wise, Mrs. Audrey||Mr. Joseph Harper and|
|Williams, W. T. (Warrington)||Woof, Robert||Mr. Walter Johnson.|
|Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)||Wrigglesworth, Ian|
|Wilson, Gordon (Dundee, E.)||Young, David (Bolton, E.)|
§ Question accordingly negatived.1699
§ Mr. Speaker
With this we may take the following amendments: No. 87, in page 27, line 44, at end insert:'or as a matter of deeply held personal conviction'.No. 88, in page 27, line 45, leave out 'and trade union whatsoever' and insert:'that union or one of those unions'.No. 66, in page 27, line 45, at end insert:'or on any reasonable grounds to being a member of a particular trade union'.Order. Will hon. Members who wish to withdraw from the Chamber do so quietly and quickly and conduct their conversations outside.
§ Mr. Hayhoe
Amendment No. 86 covers an extremely important point, as did the previous amendment. We debated the point in Committee and arrived at a tied vote. Therefore, it is right that we should consider it again on Report.
As the Bill stands it makes the provision under which someone may opt out of a union membership agreement the very narrow one of religious grounds. In choosing those words the Government have clearly selected the most narrow interpretation possible. The Donovan Commission looked into this matter with considerable care and very properly said that grounds of religious view should be taken into account. But Donovan also went wider than that and indicated that the grounds ought to be religious or conscientious—seeing, therefore, a wider definition of the word "conscientious" than that purely of religious belief. In the context of unfair dismissal the Donovan Report used the phrase "other reasonable grounds."
With this series of amendments we should certainly meet the overall Donovan position. Putting Amendments No. 86 and 66 together with the existing provisions of this part of the schedule, we arrive at a wrap-around of the total position which Donovan suggested.
In matters as important as safeguarding the liberty and freedom of the individual—which are involved in these 1700 amendments—within the closed shop provision, it is right that we should discuss this matter. When we come to vote I hope that we shall be able to carry the amendments. I also hope that it will be noted outside the House that on the previous series of amendments, which alas we failed to carry, hon. Members from the Scottish National Party seemed to continue to vote as mere appendages of the Labour Party on this issue.
In Committee one hon. Member from the Scottish National Party made one speech on one occasion. On that occasion, on the vote that we had in Committee, he voted against the Government. That was on the question of the Code of Practice. That amendment was carried. I am not sure what happened after that vote, but from that moment onwards the hon. Member in question was totally silent in Committee and he clearly took a nod from the Labour Whip as to how he should vote.
As regards the proceedings on Report, let it be quite clear that the Scottish Nationalists have voted with the Government in order to improve the position of the strong and to make sure that protections and immunities for the strong are maintained, whereas the safeguards for the weak are being eroded. On the issue that we were discussing earlier concerning the choice between the strong and the weak union in a closed shop situation, again as far as one can judge the Scottish Nationalists voted in the same direction. As we approach the concluding provisions in the Bill, let us hope that they revert to the good habits with which they started and that they vote with the Opposition in defence of matters which are worth while instead of following behind the Government like poodles.
I hope that this amendment will commend itself to hon. Members on the Government side. Certainly it is the practice among many unions in a closed shop situation to allow their potential members to have a wider freedom of dissent than is permitted by the Government in the Bill. I have met constituency cases in the past where unions have rightly and properly operated an arrangement recognising conscientious objection to union membership in a closed shop situation, when the grounds were wider than the 1701 narrow grounds of religious belief. One could argue that one would be following good union practice in widening the grounds to include the words "or conscience". Also, it would be right that in the unfair dismissal provisions we should follow the clear recommendations of Donovan that there should be "other reasonable grounds" apart from those of conscience and religious belief for objecting to membership of a specified union in a closed shop situation.
I therefore commend in particular Amendment No. 86, as well as Amendment No. 66 in the name of the Leader of the Liberal Party and his hon. Friends. Those two amendments would be a very good combination to get into the Bill. Amendment No. 87 is covered by Amendment No. 66, although I know that Labour Members have an attachment to the phrase.or as a matter of deeply help personal convictionIn fact, that phrase is taken from the Parliamentary Labour Party's constitution.
I believe that the situation would be covered by the acceptance of Amendments Nos. 86 and 66. They would give proper protection to the individual.
§ Mr. Booth
The provision under discussion enables an employee who genuinely objects on grounds of religious belief to being a member of a trade union to remain within the provisions of the clause which covers union membership and to be protected against unfair dismissal in that situation. The amendments seek to extend the provision beyond the admittedly narrow grounds of religious belief. It therefore falls to me to defend the situation in the Bill in which we make a pure and clear distinction between objections because of religious belief and on any other grounds.
We believe that there are deeply-held religious beliefs which are inexplicable to other people. They are based on precepts of faith which can be tested only by those who possess that faith. If in a civilised society we cannot respect that as being something peculiar to the individual, we are going against the traditions of many generations in which people have fought for the recognition of their right to practise and work in accordance with their own religious beliefs. We do not believe that in the Bill we should ask 1702 any of those who hold this religious belief to explain it to the satisfaction of their fellow workers of the union, but we believe that they should be allowed to practise in accordance with it.
§ Mr. Timothy Raison (Aylesbury)
I make no apology for reverting to the subject of the Press. I speak as someone who has been and occasionally still is a journalist, and I address my remarks directly to the Secretary of State in the hope that possibly he will understand what the argument is all about, because it is evident that the Minister of State failed to do so.
We used to believe that the Secretary of State cared about liberty. He used to quote from time to time the words of Rainborowe about the position of the "poorest he", and he will recall the works of Milton in "Areopagitica".Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.What the Government are proposing in the Bill isGive me the liberty to know, to utter and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties",subject only to Schedule 1 to the Trade Union and Labour Relations Bill.
The truth is that conscience is a vital part of freedom. The Minister of State said that there was a mysterious religious factor which no one else seemed to be able to understand which justified exemption. I agree. It is correct that religion should feature in this question, but it is equally essential that conscience should feature too. The hon. Gentleman may not understand that conscience is a deeply-held belief which people hold, but it is a vital part of journalism today. I know journalists to whom the whole principle of the closed shop is a denial of liberty. In many newspapers there is in effect a closed shop to the extent at least of the choice between trade unions, but to some journalists this position is anathema and it is entirely wrong that it should be reinforced by law.
We have already seen the growth of political action for avowedly political ends, and the Bill is likely to increase the probability of this happening in journalism. The conscience safeguard is vital if unions are not to say that only certain sorts of people are able to work on a particular publication 1703 and put forward their views and if we are not to risk a diminution of free speech. Freedom of speech embraces freedom of conscience, and if we pass a Bill which writes out freedom of conscience we are denying freedom of speech and denying attitudes which the Secretary of State has so often put forward in the House.
§ Mr. Tom King (Bridgwater)
I support my hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Raison) although I appreciate the view that the Minister of State has so fairly put forward. I can appreciate the pressures that are on him. This is an embarrassing, awkward and tiresome amendment. It would be much easier in union affairs if exemptions could be kept to the narrowest possible grounds.
I appreciate, having worked in industry and worked closely with unions, that there are people who will abuse and exploit such a provision. There are those who do not hold genuine convictions and who will try to swing the lead. I know that exemptions are often a great inconvenience to fathers of chapels, shop stewards and branch secretaries and that they can cause enormous disturbance. I recognise that there are trouble-makers in every activity. At the same time, the points that my hon. Friends the Members for Aylesbury and for Brentford and Isle-worth (Mr. Hayhoe) have made merit serious consideration.
Perhaps insufficient emphasis was given to the point that if Labour Members consider it right to recognise deeply-held personal convictions, and if it is right for themselves to hold such convictions, everybody else should have that right. We respect that there is such a clause in the constitution of the Parliamentary Labour Party. I think all hon. Members will consider that that is right, but if it is right for Labour Members why is it not right for union members as well?
We live in a not very religious age. Men live by many faiths, some of which are not traditional religious faiths in the strictest and narrowest sense of the word. However, I think that the House should recognise deeply-held personal convictions. While this exemption will be awkward, while it will increase prob 1704 lems for branch secretaries and union officials, while it may increase difficulties in branches and while there are those who will try to exploit it, I believe that the House should support the amendment in the interest of people who honestly hold certain views.
§ Mr. Cyril Smith
I support Amendment No. 66. I shall be brief because the amendment is self-explanatory. I shall make three short points. First, men of conscience may or may not be men of religion. It is possible to be an atheist yet still be a man of conscience. I take the view, as do my hon. Friends, that the clause as it stands, on the basis of religious belief, is not in itself sufficiently wide to cover all cases. We take the view that any man, whether or not he is a person of religious belief, should be protected against unfair dismissal for non-membership of a union.
Secondly, we take the view that a man may prefer to belong to one union as opposed to another. Amendment No. 66 simply states that a man may belong to any particular union rather than be required to join a particular union. That is the substance of the amendment. It strikes me as being perfectly reasonable and rational. I hope that the Government will find it possible to accept it in the spirit in which it is moved.
§ 11.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Peyton
I rise to draw the attention of the House to the rather strange grounds the Minister selected for asking the House to reject the amendment. He said that religious grounds alone were incapable of explanation to a man's fellow workers or to anyone else. If I misunderstood him I hope that he will correct me, but I understood him to say clearly that religious grounds were those which somehow picked themselves out as being alone incapable of explanation to other people. That seems very odd.
§ Mr. Peyton
I am much obliged to the hon. Gentleman. I do not think he has helped himself very much by that intervention. Are any of us capable of drawing a hard line to distinguish 1705 between religious belief and conscience? Ever since I have been a Member of Parliament I have frequently heard the suggestion from the Labour Party that conscience was important, something that held a high place in socialist thinking but which on the whole the Conservative Party was alleged not to take so seriously.
How can the Minister possibly distinguish between conscience and religious belief simply by asserting that religious belief is inexplicable to other people, presumably claiming that conscience is immediately explicable? I believe—[Interruption.] I have all the time in the world. The very refreshing change that you and I, Mr. Deputy Speaker, are enjoying tonight is that for the first time during the debate on this Bill, so crucial to the Government party, the Government benches are occupied—partially. I am not suggesting—because that would be to distort the truth—that those benches look nicer as they are now.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. George Thomas)
Order. The right hon. Gentleman said that he would give way in a moment, and it will help us all if we speak one at a time.
§ Mr. Peyton
I thank you most cordially, Mr. Deputy Speaker, for that excellent advice. May I express the sincere hope that I was not the only one who heard it. Now I give way to the hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. Bidwell
I am much obliged. The right hon. Gentleman, who as Minister responsible for transport could not even go so far as to exempt Sikhs from wearing crash helmets when riding motor cycles, is in no position to sermonise to the House tonight.
§ Mr. Peyton
It is absolutely fascinating to hear that sort of observation from the hon. Gentleman. You have far more experience in this respect than I do, Mr. Deputy Speaker, but I find that few interventions in the House, particularly at this hour of the night, ever reflect credit upon those who make them. The hon. Gentle 1706 man's skill at casting a net and gathering in some stinking old red herring is almost unrivalled, even in this place. [Interruption.] An hon. Gentleman opposite refers to closing time. He had better hurry up, otherwise he will be too late. His remark suggests that his interest is far nearer matters of liquid sustenance than matters of conscience.
Before I was interrupted I was about to say that we have here a Government—supported by the Labour Party which has always made so much of matters of conscience—who are to ask the House to reject this modest and moderate amendment. I do not believe the trade union movement to be so weak a force that it need be frightened of people being given a loophole through which they can escape from compulsory membership because their conscience leads them to believe it to be wrong.
§ Mr. John Gorst (Hendon, North)
The Government's attitude in this matter is inconsistent, unethical and in short, tyrannical. When we first enter this House we are allowed either to affirm or to take the oath, depending on which way our conscience lies. We are given the same choice in a court of law. Why should the trade union movement be any different in its constitution in this respect from Parliament or from courts of law? I leave that thought with the Secretary of State.
§ Mrs. Elaine Kellett-Bowman (Lancaster)
Before the terms of the Bill were published there was a rumour in the Press that trade unionists were to be denied rights of conscience. I received a number of letters on this matter, and I was assured by the Department that when the Bill was published my correspondents would find that they had nothing to fear. They now know that they have everything to fear. I strongly support the amendment and I particularly endorse what my hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Raison) said. He knows very well what he is talking about. How sadly the Secretary of State has fallen from his pristine grace.
§ Mr. Maurice Edelman (Coventry, North-West)
This is a vital subject and I do not apologise for detaining the House for a few minutes, even at this late hour. Anyone who has seen great factories made idle—as 1707 Members for Coventry constituencies have seen—when individuals have opted out of trade union membership, sometimes for purposes which under the mask of conscience are really political calculations, will recognise the importance of trying to define exactly the frontier between those with a genuine conscience, which is capable of being measured by an objective criterion, and those who simply use the plea of conscience to try to disguise an ulterior motive.
That is why it is important that we should support the Government's position. They have tried to seek some sort of institutional criteria by which to measure the sincerity of those who seek to opt out of this provision. Obviously we can achieve only a rough-and-ready solution. I believe that the definition of religion as the measurement of conscience is one that is measurable and definable. It can be related to certain objective standards.
To that extent it is appropriate for the Government to include the word "religion" in the clause. It is true that we are operating in a metaphysical region where we cannot really measure the subjective justification of those who plead the cause of religion to justify themselves in opting out. When we come to conscience, which is unrelated to religious matters, we are in the region of calculation, and when examined this calculation almost always tends to boil down to political considerations and purposes. The Governments are right to draw the frontier between the objective criteria of religion and those other considerations which are calculations and, worse than which have brought great factories in that, political calculations of a kind which have brought great factories in Coventry to a standstill, which have resulted in great misery and which in this case would wholly frustrate the object of the Bill.
§ Mr. Raison
The hon. Member is a well-known journalist. I put it to him that in the case of journalism there is a special importance in these words and the idea of conscience. It is part of free speech. Surely we can accept there is something extremely important here.
§ Mr. Edelman
Obviously I accept the point that conscience is something with 1708 which we are all concerned and, therefore, we must take account of it. In this context it seems that the amendment proposes a method by which political calculations can enter into judgment, and therefore it is not suitable for the Bill.
§ Mr. David Mitchell
It seems that the great trade union movement, 10 million to 11 million strong, does not need to reject the amendment and harry the odd individual into being compelled to join a union in a closed shop situation. I do not believe that the movement will gain from having conscripts rather than volunteers. In the long run it will do itself more good if it can prove by the service it renders that it is worth while joining than by compelling people to join against their will.
The Labour Government of 1948 signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is one thing for a Government to sign an international charter and not to alter its legislation to conform to it at the time. It is a quite different thing for a Government subsequently to introduce legislation in defiance of the highest international standards of conduct in human affairs. The reality is that the Universal Declaration states that no man shall be forced to join an organisation against his will. The Government have the opportunity to accept the amendment and put the provisions of the declaration into effect. The House has the right to call on the Minister to do so on those grounds alone.
I listened to the poor speech delivered by the Under-Secretary of State—which was in contrast to the many good speeches he has made—in which he gave his explanation of the difference between religion and conscience. He said that a peculiar and special characteristic of religion was that it was inexplicable and was within a person. But that also applies to conscience. If it does not, why does not the Labour Party's constitution provide that a Member shall not be compelled to vote in a Division against his religious beliefs instead of providing that a Member shall not be compelled to vote in a Division against his conscience? Why should not that same criterion apply to trade unionists as well as to Members of the House?
1709 The Government have a difficult choice to make in dealing with the closed shop. They could have accepted the amendment which we pressed yesterday and which provided for the rules of a trade union to be such that no man could object on ground of conscience to joining a union, or they could allow a man to opt out on the ground of conscience. The Government have refused to make a choice. I hope, therefore, that they will accept this moderate amendment, but it would have been better had they accepted the amendment which we moved yesterday.
§ Mr. Maurice Macmillan (Farnham)
The hon. Member for Coventry, North-West (Mr. Edelman) said that religion was the only acceptable ground for not belonging to a trade union, on the basis that the religious stand was objective. On the other hand, the Minister of State said that religion was the only acceptable ground for not belonging to a trade union because religion was inexplicable except to the believer. There seems to be confusion between those two definitions.
In view of those two definitions, is it enough for a person simply to state, without explanation and without identifying his religion, "I object on religious grounds"? If it is, why do the Secretary of State, the Minister of State and the Government object to going one step further and allowing the man to say "My conscience leads me to object"?
If a man does not have to explain his religious grounds because they are inexplicable, the Minister is making a great fuss about nothing and is trying to defend the indefensible by putting his projudices against the freedoms which the Opposition are setking to preserve.
§ Mr. Brittan
Two objections have been put forward to conscience as a criterion for refusal to be a member of a trade union. The first is that, unlike religion, conscience may be explicable. The second is that it is an unworkable criterion. If that is so, why has it been possible for 50 years for men to refuse to engage in military service on the ground of conscience and why is it regarded as objectionable that a man should decline to join a trade union on the ground of conscience? If in time of war, when the country is fighting for its life, a man 1710 may say, not on the ground of inexplicable religion but on the ground of humanistic conscience, "I will not fight, I will not bear arms", why cannot a man in time of peace say on the ground of conscience "I refuse to join a trade union"?
§ Mr. Waddington
I must take issue with what the hon. Member for Coventry, North-West (Mr. Edelman) said about factories being made idle because of the activities of people who were not prepared to join unions. Far more often it would be correct to say that factories have been made idle because of an intolerant attitude to a dissenter.
It is shocking that Labour Members are seeking to encourage an intolerant attitude. It has been their attitude throughout the proceedings on the Bill that those who will not go along with the majority must be persecuted. That cannot be right. Surely it is in the interests of the great trade unions of the land that they should be magnanimous. If they are magnanimous—and the unions are strong now, not weak, and are well able to be magnanimous—they will attract more rather than less public support; they will have more influence in work-places rather than less. I cannot understand why the Government cannot accept this simple amendment to extend the rights of the individual rather than limit them further.
§ Mr. Prior
This is a simple amendment and should surely be given universal support in all parts of the House. However, the lack of Government support is symptomatic of their attitude during the last two days. They have not been prepared to listen to any of the reasonable arguments which we have advanced.
We in this country are in a situation in which we need to have greater national unity and purpose than we have had perhaps at any time since the war. But we find the present minority Government not even prepared to help us on a matter of conscience. For that reason, I hope that my hon. Friends will divide the House in support of the amendment.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
Order. It is not for the occupant of the Chair to decide who shall speak—at least, not to say who must speak.
|Division No. 80.]||AYES||[11.22 p.m.|
|Adley, Robert||du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Jenkin, Rt. Hn. P. (R'dge W'std & W'fd)|
|Aitken, Jonathan||Durant, Tony||Jessel, Toby|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Dykes, Hugh||Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Eden, Rt. Hn. Sir John||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Jones, Arthur (Daventry)|
|Ancram, M.||Elliott, Sir William||Jopling, Michael|
|Archer, Jeffrey||Emery, Peter||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith|
|Atkins, Rt. Hn. Humphrey (Spelthorne)||Eyre, Reginald||Kaberry, Sir Donald|
|Awdry, Daniel||Fairgrieve, Russell||Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine|
|Baker, Kenneth||Farr, John||Kershaw, Anthony|
|Balniel, Rt. Hn. Loro||Fell, Anthony||Kimball, Marcus|
|Banks, Robert||Fenner, Mrs. Peggy||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Fidler, Michael||King, Tom (Bridgwater)|
|Beith, A. J.||Finsberg, Geoffrey||Kitson, Sir Timothy|
|Bell, Ronald||Fisher, Sir Nigel||Knight, Mrs. Jill|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay)||Fletcher, Alexander (Edinburgh, N.)||Knox, David|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Fareham)||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Lamont, Norman|
|Berry, Hon. Anthony||Fookes, Miss Janet||Lane, David|
|Biffen, John||Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'field)||Langford-Holt, Sir John|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Fox, Marcus||Latham, Michael (Melton)|
|Blaker, Peter||Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone)||Lawrence, Ivan|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.)||Freud, Clement||Lawson, Nigel (Blaby)|
|Body, Richard||Fry, Peter||Le Marchant, Spencer|
|Boscawen, Hon. Robert||Gardiner, George (Reigate & Banstead||Lester, Jim (Beeston)|
|Bowden, Andrew (Brighton, Kemptown)||Gardner, Edward (S. Fylde)||Lewis, Kenneth (Rtland & Stmford)|
|Boyson, Dr. Rhodes (Brent, N.)||Gibson-Watt, Rt. Hn. David||Lloyd, Ian (Havant & Waterloo)|
|Braine, Sir Bernard||Gilmour, Rt. Hn. Ian (Ch'sh' & Amsh'm)||Loveridge, John|
|Bray, Ronald||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||MacArthur, Ian|
|Brewis, John||Glyn, Dr. Alan||McCrindle, R. A.|
|Brittan, Leon||Goodhart, Philip||Macfarlane, Neil|
|Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher||Goodhew, Victor||MacGregor, John|
|Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Goodlad, A.||McLaren, Martin|
|Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Gorst, John||Macmillan, Rt. Hn. M. (Farnham)|
|Bryan, Sir Paul||Gow, Ian (Eastbourne)||McNair-Wilson, Michael (Newbury)|
|Buchanan-Smith, Alick||Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry)||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)|
|Buck, Antony||Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)||Madel, David|
|Budgen, Nick||Gray, Hamish||Marshall, Michael (Arundel)|
|Bulmer, Esmond||Grieve, Percy||Mather, Carol|
|Burden, F. A.||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Maude, Angus|
|Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Grist, Ian||Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald|
|Grylls, Michael||Mawby, Ray|
|Carlisle, Mark||Gurden, Harold||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Hall, Sir John||Mayhew, Christopher (G'wh, W'wch, E)|
|Chalker, Mrs. Lynda||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Mayhew, Patrick (RoyalT'bridge Wells)|
|Channon, Paul||Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Meyer, Sir Anthony|
|Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Hannam, John||Miller, Hal (B'grove & R'ditch)|
|Churchill, W. S.||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Mills, Peter|
|Clark, A. K. M. (Plymouth, Sutton)||Harvie Anderson, Rt. Hn. Miss||Miscampbell, Norman|
|Clark, William (Croydon, S.)||Hastings, Stephen||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)|
|Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Havers, Sir Michael||Moate, Roger|
|Cockcroft, John||Hawkins, Paul||Money, Ernie|
|Cooke, Robert (Bristol, W.)||Hayhoe, Barney||Monro, Hector|
|Cope, John||Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward||Moore, J. E. M. (Croydon, C.)|
|Cordle, John||Heseltine, Michael||Morgan, Geraint|
|Cormack, Patrick||Higgins, Terence||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.|
|Corrie, John||Holland, Philip||Morris, Michael (Northampton, S.)|
|Costain, A. P.||Hordern, Peter||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)|
|Crouch, David||Howe, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Surrey, E.)||Morrison, Peter (City of Chester)|
|Crowder, F. P.||Howell, David (Guildford)||Mudd, David|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)||Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, North)||Neave, Airey|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj. -Gen. James||Howells, Geraint (Cardigan)||Neubert, Michael|
|Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.)||Hunt, John||Newton, Tony (Braintree)|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.||Hurd, Douglas||Nott, John|
|Dixon, Piers||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Onslow, Cranley|
|Dodds-Parker, Sir Douglas||Iremonger, T. L.||Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally|
|Dodsworth, Geoffrey||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Osborn, John|
|Drayson, Burnaby||James, David||Page, Rt. Hn. Graham (Crosby)|
§ that conscience doth make cowards of them all?
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
It is very much to be deprecated when hon. Members raise points of order for the purpose of poltical arguments.
§ Question put, That the amendment be amendment be made:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 284, Noes 286.
|Page, John (Harrow, W.)||Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)||Townsend, C. D.|
|Pardoe, John||Shaw, Michael (Scarborough)||Trotter, Neville|
|Parkinson, Cecil (Hertfordshire, S.)||Shelton, William (L'mb'th, Streath'm)||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|Pattie, Geoffrey||Shersby, Michael||Tyler, Paul|
|Percival, Ian||Silvester, Fred||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Peyton, Rt. Hn. John||Sims, Roger||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard|
|Pink, R. Bonner||Sinclair, Sir George||Viggers, Peter|
|Price, David (Eastleigh)||Skeet, T. H. H.||Waddington, David|
|Prior, Rt. Hn. James||Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)||Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)|
|Raison, Timothy||Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'm'ngton)||Wakeham, John|
|Rathbone, Tim||Spence, John||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
|Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter||Spicer, Jim (Dorset, W.)||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)|
|Redmond, Robert||Spicer, Michael (Worcestershire, S.)||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Rees-Davies, W. R.||Sproat, Iain||Wall, Patrick|
|Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David (H't' gd' ns' re)||Stainton, Keith||Walters, Dennis|
|Renton, R. T. (Mid-Sussex)||Stanbrook, Ivor||Warren, Kenneth|
|Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon||Stanley, John||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Ridsdale, Julian||Steel, David||Wells, John|
|Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey||Steen, Anthony (L'pool, Wavertree)||Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William|
|Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.-W.)||Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Roberts, Wyn (Conway)||Stokes, John||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)||Stradling Thomas, John||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)||Tapsell, Peter||Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher|
|Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)||Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)||Worsley, Sir Marcus|
|Rost, Peter (Derbyshire, S.-E.)||Tebbit, Norman||Young, Sir George (Ealing, Acton)|
|Royle, Sir Anthony||Temple-Morris, Peter||Younger, Hn. George|
|Sainsbury, Tim||Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Margaret||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|St. John-Stevas, Norman||Thomas, Rt. Hn. P. (B'net, H'dn S.)||Mr. W. Benyon and|
|Scott-Hopkins, James||Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy||Mr. Walter Clegg.|
|Abse, Leo||Davies, Denzil (Llanelli)||Hamilton, William (Fife, C.)|
|Allaun, Frank||Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Hamling, William|
|Archer, Peter||Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)||Hardy, Peter|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Deakins, Eric||Harper, Joseph|
|Ashton, Joe||Dean, Joseph (Leeds, W.)||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)|
|Atkins, Ronald||de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith|
|Atkinson, Norman||Delargy, Hugh||Hatton, Frank|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Dempsey, James||Heffer, Eric S.|
|Barnett, Joel (Heywood & Royton)||Dormand, J. O.||Hooley, Frank|
|Bates, Alf||Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Horam, John|
|Baxter, William||Duffy, A. E. P.||Howell, Denis (B'ham, Small Heath)|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Dunn, James A.||Huckfield, Leslie|
|Bennett, Andrew F. (Stockport, N.)||Dunnett, Jack||Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth||Hughes, Mark (Durham)|
|Bishop, E. S.||Edelman, Maurice||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, North)|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Edge, Geoff||Hughes, Roy (Newport)|
|Boardman, H.||Edwards, Robert (W'hampton, S.E.)||Hunter, Adam|
|Booth, Albert||Ellis, John (Brigg & Scunthorpe)||Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir A. (L'p'I. EdgeHl)|
|Boothroyd, Miss Betty||Ellis, Tom (Wrexham)||Irving, Rt. Hn. Sydney (Dartford)|
|Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur||English, Michael||Jackson, Colin|
|Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland)||Ennals, David||Janner, Greville|
|Bradley, Tom||Evans, Fred (Caerphilly)||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas|
|Broughton, Sir Alfred||Evans, Ioan (Aberdare)||Jeger, Mrs. Lena|
|Brown, Bob (Newcastle upon Tyne, W.)||Evans, John (Newton)||Jenkins, Hugh (W'worth, Putney)|
|Brown, Ronald (H'kney, S.&Sh'ditch)||Ewing, Harry (St'ling, F'kirk&G'm'th)||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (B'ham, St'fd)|
|Buchan, Norman||Ewing, Mrs. Winifred (Moray & Nairn)||John, Brynmor|
|Butler, Mrs.Joyce (H'gey, WoodGreen)||Faulds, Andrew||Johnson, James (K'ston upon Hull, W)|
|Callaghan, Jim (M'dd'ton & Pr'wich)||Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E.||Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)|
|Campbell, Ian||Fitch. Alan (Wigan)||Jones, Dan (Burnley)|
|Cant, R. B.||Fitt, Gerard (Belfast, W.)||Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)|
|Carmichael, Neil||Flannery, Martin||Jones, Alec (Rhondda)|
|Carter, Ray||Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Judd, Frank|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Kelley, Richard|
|Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Foot, Rt. Hn. Michael||Kerr, Russell|
|Clemilson, Ivor||Ford, Ben||Kilroy-Silk, Robert|
|Cocks, Michael||Forrester, John||Kinnock, Neil|
|Cohen, Stanley||Fowler, Gerry (The Wrekin)||Lambie, David|
|Coleman, Donald||Fraser, John (Lambeth, Norwood)||Lamborn, Harry|
|Colquhoun, Mrs. M. N.||Freeson, Reginald||Lamond, James|
|Conlan, Bernard||Galpern, Sir Myer||Latham, Arthur(City of W'minster P'ton)|
|Cook, Robert F. (Edinburgh, C.)||Garrett, John (Norwich, S.)||Lawson, George (Motherwell & Wishaw)|
|Cox, Thomas||Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend)||Leadbitter, Ted|
|Craigen, J. M. (G'gow, Maryhill)||George, Bruce||Lee, John|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Gilbert, Dr. John||Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough)|
|Cronin, John||Ginsburg, David||Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Golding, John||Lewis, Arthur (Newham, N.)|
|Cryer, G. R.||Gourlay, Harry||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)|
|Cunningham, G. (Isl'ngt'n, S & F'sb'ry)||Graham, Ted||Lipton, Marcus|
|Cunningham, Dr. John A.(Whiteh'v'n)||Grant, George (Morpeth)||Lomas, Kenneth|
|Dalyell, Tam||Grant, John (Islington, C.)||Loughlin, Charles|
|Davidson, Arthur||Griffiths, Eddie (Sheffield, Brightside)||Loyden, Eddie|
|Davies, Bryan (Enfield, N.)||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)|
|Lyons, Edward (Bradford, W.)||Pendry, Tom||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|McCartney, Hugh||Perry, Ernest G.||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|McElhone, Frank||Phipps, Dr. Colin||Swain, Thomas|
|MacFarquhar, Roderick||Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg||Thomas, D. E. (Merioneth)|
|McGuire, Michael||Prescott, John||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
|Mackenzie, Gregor||Price, Christopher (Lewisham, W.)||Thorne, Stan (Preston, S.)|
|Maclennan, Robert||Price, William (Rugby)||Tierney, Sydney|
|McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Radice, Giles||Tinn, James|
|McNamara, Kevin||Reid, George||Tomlinson, John|
|Madden, M. O. F.||Richardson, Miss Jo||Tomney, Frank|
|Magee, Bryan||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)||Torney, Tom|
|Mahon, Simon||Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)||Tuck, Raphael|
|Mallalieu, J. P. W.||Roderick, Caerwyn E.||Urwin, T. W.|
|Marks, Kenneth||Rodgers, George (Chorley)||Varley, Rt. Hn. Eric G.|
|Marquand, David||Rodgers, William (Teesside, St'ckton)||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)|
|Marshall, Or. Edmund (Goole)||Rooker, J. W.||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, Ladywood)|
|Meacher, Michael||Roper, John||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Rose, Paul B.||Walker, Terry (Kingswood)|
|Mendelson, John||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)||Watkins, David|
|Mikardo, Ian||Rowlands, Edward||Watt, Hamish|
|Millan, Bruce||Sandelson, Neville||Weitzman, David|
|Miller, Dr. M. S. (E. Kilbride)||Sedgemore, Bryan||Wellbeloved, James|
|Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)||Selby, Harry||White, James|
|Molloy, William||Shaw, Arnold (Redbridge, Ilford, S.)||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Moonman, Eric||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)||Whitlock, William|
|Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (S'pney&P'plar)||Wigley, Dafydd (Caernarvon)|
|Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Short, Rt. Hn. E. (N'ctle-u-Tyne)||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hamp'n, N.E.)||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Moyle, Roland||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (L'sham, D'ford)||Williams, Alan Lee (Hvrng, Hchurch)|
|Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Silkin, Rt. Hn. S. C.(S'hwark, Dulwich)||Williams, Rt. Hn. Shirley (H'f'd & St'ge)|
|Murray, Ronald King||Sillars, James||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Newens, Stanley (Harlow)||Silverman, Julius||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Oakes, Gordon||Skinner, Dennis||Wilson, Gordon (Dundee, E.)|
|Ogden, Eric||Small, William||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|O'Halloran, Michael||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.E.)|
|O'Malley, Brian||Snape, Peter||Wise, Mrs. Audrey|
|Orbach, Maurice||Spearing, Nigel||Woof, Robert|
|Ovenden, John||Spriggs, Leslie||Wrigglesworth, Ian|
|Owen, Dr. David||Stallard, A. W.||Young, David (Bolton, E.)|
|Padley, Walter||Stewart, Rt. Hn. M. (H'sth, Fulh'm)|
|Palmer, Arthur||Stoddart, David (Swindon)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Park, George (Coventry, N.E.)||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John||Mr. Walter Johnson and|
|Parker, John (Dagenham)||Stott, Roger||Mr. Laurie Pavitt.|
|Parry, Robert||Strang, Gavin|
§ Question accordingly negatived.
Amendment made: No. 28, in page 27, line 45, after 'whatsoever', insert
', in which case the dismissal shall be regarded as unfair'.—[Mr. Michael Foot.]
§ Amendment proposed: No. 66, in page 27, line 45, at end insert
|Division No. 81.]||AYES||[11.35 p.m.|
|Adley, Robert||Bray, Ronald||Cormack, Patrick|
|Aitken, Jonathan||Brewis, John||Corrie, John|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Brittan. Leon||Costain, A. P.|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher||Crouch, David|
|Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian||Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)||Crowder, F. P.|
|Ancram, M.||Bruce-Gardyne, J.||Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)|
|Archer, Jeffrey||Bryan, Sir Paul||d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj,-Gen. James|
|Atkins, Rt.Hn.Humphrey(Spelthorne)||Buchanan-Smith, Alick||Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.)|
|Awdry, Daniel||Buck, Antony||Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.|
|Baker, Kenneth||Budgen, Nick||Dixon, Piers|
|Balniel, Rt. Hn. Lord||Bulmer, Esmond||Dodds-Parker, Sir Douglas|
|Banks, Robert||Burden, F. A.||Dodsworth, Geoffrey|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Butler, Adam (Bosworth)||Drayson, Burnaby|
|Beith, A. J.||Carlisle, Mark||du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward|
|Bell, Ronald||Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Durant, Tony|
|Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Fareham)||Chalker, Mrs. Lynda||Dykes, Hugh|
|Benyon, W.||Channon, Paul||Eden, Rt. Hn. Sir John|
|Berry, Hon. Anthony||Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher||Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)|
|Biffen, John||Churchill, W. S.||Elliott, Sir William|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Clark, A. K. M. (Plymouth, Sutton)||Emery, Peter|
|Blaker, Peter||Clark, William (Croydon, S.)||Eyre, Reginald|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.)||Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)||Fairgrieve, Russell|
|Body, Richard||Clegg, Walter||Farr, John|
|Boscawen, Hon. Robert||Cockcroft, John||Fell, Anthony|
|Bowden, Andrew (Brighton, Kemptown)||Cooke, Robert (Bristol, W.)||Fenner, Mrs. Peggy|
|Boyson, Dr. Rhodes (Brent, [...].)||Cope, John||Fidler, Michael|
|Braine, Sir Bernard||Cordle, John||Finsberg, Geoffrey|
§ 'or on any reasonable grounds to being a member of a particular trade unon'.—[Mr. Cyril Smith.]
§ Question put, That the amendment be made:
§ The House divided: Ayes 283, Noes 283.
|Fisher, Sir Nigel||Knight, Mrs. Jill||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Fletcher, Alexander (Edinburgh, N.)||Knox, David||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey|
|Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Lamont, Norman||Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.-W.)|
|Fookes, Miss Janet||Lane, David||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'field)||Langford-Holt, Sir John||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)|
|Fox, Marcus||Latham, Michael (Melton)||Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)|
|Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone)||Lawrence, Ivan||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Freud, Clement||Lawson, Nigel (Blaby)||Rost, Peter (Derbyshire, S.-E.)|
|Fry, Peter||Le Marchant, Spencer||Royle, Sir Anthony|
|Gardiner, George (Reigate & Banstead)||Lester, Jim (Beeston)||Sainsbury, Tim|
|Gardner, Edward (S. Fylde)||Lewis, Kenneth (Rtland & Stmford)||St. John-Stevas, Norman|
|Gibson-Watt, Rt. Hn. David||Lloyd, Ian (Havant & Waterloo)||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Gilmour, Rt. Hn. Ian (Ch'sh' & Amsh'm)||Loveridge, John||Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)|
|Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||MacArthur, Ian||Shaw, Michael (Scarborough)|
|Glyn, Dr. Alan||McCrindle, R. A.||Shelton, William (L'mb'th, Streath'm)|
|Goodhart, Philip||Macfarlane, Neil||Shersby, Michael|
|Goodhew, Victor||MacGregor, John||Silvester, Fred|
|Goodlad, A.||McLaren, Martin||Sims, Roger|
|Gorst, John||Macmillan, Rt. Hn. M. (Farnham)||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Gow, Ian (Eastbourne)||McNair-Wilson, Michael (Newbury)||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry)||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)||Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)|
|Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)||Madel, David||Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'm'ngton)|
|Gray, Hamish||Marshall, Michael (Arundel)||Spence, John|
|Grieve, Percy||Mather, Carol||Spicer, Jim (Dorset, W.)|
|Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Maude, Angus||Spicer, Michael (Worcestershire, S.)|
|Grist, Ian||Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald||Sproat, Iain|
|Grylls, Michael||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Stainton, Keith|
|Gurden, Harold||Mayhew, Christopher (G'wh, W'wch, E)||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Hall, Sir John||Mayhew, Patrick (RoyalT' bridge Wells)||Stanley, John|
|Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Meyer, Sir Anthony||Steen, Anthony (L'pool, Wavertree)|
|Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Miller, Hal (B'grove & R'ditch)||Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)|
|Hannam, John||Mills, Peter||Stokes, John|
|Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Miscampbell, Norman||Stradling Thomas, John|
|Harvie Anderson, Rt. Hn. Miss||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Tapsell, Peter|
|Hastings, Stephen||Moate, Roger||Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)|
|Havers, Sir Michael||Money, Ernle||Tebbit, Norman|
|Hawkins, Paul||Monro, Hector||Temple-Morris, Peter|
|Moore, J. E. M. (Croydon, C.)||Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Margaret|
|Hayhoe, Barney||Morgan, Geraint||Thomas, Rt. Hn. P. (B'net, H'dn S.)|
|Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward||Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.||Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy|
|Heseltine, Michael||Morris, Michael (Northampton, S.)||Townsend, C. D.|
|Higgins, Terence||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)||Trotter, Neville|
|Holland, Philip||Morrison, Peter (City of Chester)||Tugendhat, Christopher|
|Hooson, Emlyn||Mudd, David||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Hordern, Peter||Neave, Airey||Vaughan, Dr. Gerard|
|Howe, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Surrey, E.)||Neubert, Michael||Viggers, Peter|
|Howell, David (Guildford)||Newton, Tony (Braintree)||Waddington, David|
|Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, North)||Nott, John||Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)|
|Howells, Geraint (Cardigan)||Onslow, Cranley||Wakeham, John|
|Hunt, John||Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally||Walder, David (Clitheroe)|
|Hurd, Douglas||Osborn, John||Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)|
|Hutchison, Michael Clark||Page, Rt. Hn. Graham (Crosby)||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Iremonger, T. L.||Page, John (Harrow, W.)||Wall, Patrick|
|Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Pardoe, John||Walters, Dennis|
|James, David||Parkinson, Cecil (Hertfordshire, S.)||Warren, Kenneth|
|Jenkin, Rt. Hn. P. (R'dge W'std & W'fd)||Pattie, Geoffrey||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Jessel, Toby||Percival, Ian||Wells, John|
|Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)||Peyton, Rt. Hn. John||Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William|
|Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Pink, R. Bonner||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Jones, Arthur (Daventry)||Price, David (Eastleigh)||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Jopling, Michael||Prior, Rt. Hn. James||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Raison, Timothy||Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher|
|Kaberry. Sir Donald||Rathbone, Tim||Worsley, Sir Marcus|
|Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine||Rawllnson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter||Young, Sir George (Ealing, Acton)|
|Kershaw, Anthony||Redmond, Robert||Younger, Hn. George|
|Kimball, Marcus||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Ronton, Rt. Hn. Sir David (H't' gd' ns' re)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|King, Tom (Bridgwater)||Ronton, R. T. (Mid-Sussex)||Mr. David Steel and|
|Kitson, Sir Timothy||Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon||Mr. Paul Tyler.|
|Abse, Leo||Bishop, E. S.||Cant, R. B.|
|Allaun, Frank||Blenkinsop, Arthur||Carmichael, Neil|
|Archer, Peter||Boardman, H.||Carter, Ray|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Booth, Albert||Carter-Jones, Lewis|
|Ashton, Joe||Boothroyd, Miss Betty||Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara|
|Atkins, Ronalo||Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur||Clemitson, Ivor|
|Atkinson, Norman||Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland)||Cocks, Michael|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Bradley, Tom||Cohen, Stanley|
|Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)||Broughton, Sir Alfred||Coleman, Donald|
|Barnett, Joel (Heywood & Royton)||Brown, Bob (Newcastle upon Tyne, W.)||Colquhoun, Mrs. M. N.|
|Bates, Alf||Brown, Ronald (H'kney, S. & Sh'ditch)||Conlan, Bernard|
|Baxter, William||Buchan, Norman||Cook, Robert F. (Edinburgh, C.)|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Butler, Mrs. Joyce (H'gey, WoodGreen)||Craigen, J. M. (G'gow, Maryhiil)|
|Bennett, Andrew F. (Stockport, N.)||Callaghan, Jim (M'dd'ton & Pr'wich)||Crawshaw, Richard|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Campbell, Ian||Cronin, John|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Janner, Greville||Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg|
|Cryer, G. R.||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Prescott, John|
|Cunningham, G. (Isl'ngt'n, S & F'sb'ry)||Jeger, Mrs. Lena||Price, Christopher (Lewisham, W.)|
|Cunningham, Dr. John A.(Whiteh'v'n)||Jenkins, Hugh (W'worth, Putney)||Price, William (Rugby)|
|Dalyell, Tam||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (B'ham, St'fd)||Radice, Giles|
|Davidson, Arthur||John, Brynmor||Reid, George|
|Davies, Bryan (Enfield, N.)||Johnson, James (K'ston uponHull, W)||Richardson, Miss Jo|
|Davies, Denzil (Llanelli)||Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)||Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)|
|Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Roderick, Caerwyn E.|
|Deakins, Eric||Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)||Rodgers, George (Chorley)|
|Dean, Joseph (Leeds, W.)||Jones, Alec (Rhondda)||Rodgers, William (Teesside, St'ckton)|
|de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Judd, Frank||Roper, John|
|Delargy, Hugh||Kelley, Richard||Rose, Paul B.|
|Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund||Kerr, Russell||Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)|
|Dempsey, James||Kilroy-Silk, Robert||Rowlands, Edward|
|Dormand, J. D.||Kinnock, Neil||Sandelson, Neville|
|Douglas-Mann, Bruce||Lambie, David||Sedgemore, Bryan|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Lamborn, Harry||Selby, Harry|
|Dunnett, Jack||Lamond, James||Shaw, Arnold (Redbridge, Ilford, S.)|
|Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth||Latham, Arthur (City of W'minster P'ton)||Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Edelman, Maurice||Lawson, George (Motherwell & Wishaw)||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (S'pney & P'plar)|
|Edge, Geoff||Leadbitter, Ted||Short, Rt. Hn. E. (N'ctle-u-Tyne)|
|Edwards, Robert (W'hampton, S.E.)||Lee, John||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hamp'n, N.E.)|
|Ellis, John (Brigg & Scunthorpe)||Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough)||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (L'sham, D'ford)|
|Ellis, Tom (Wrexham)||Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold||Silkin, Rt. Hn. S. C. (S'hwark, Dulwich)|
|English, Michael||Lewis, Arthur (Newham, N.)||Sillars, James|
|Ennals, David||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Silverman, Julius|
|Evans, Fred (Caerphilly)||Lipton, Marcus||Skinner, Dennis|
|Evans, Ioan (Aberdare)||Lomas, Kenneth||Small, William|
|Evans, John (Newton)||Loughlin, Charles||Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)|
|Ewing, Harry (St'ling, F'kirk & G'm'th)||Loyden, Eddie||Snape, Peter|
|Ewing, Mrs.Winifred (Moray & Nairn)||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Spearing, Nigel|
|Faulds, Andrew||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, W.)||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E.||McCartney, Hugh||Stallard, A. W.|
|McElhone, Frank||Stewart, Rt. Hn. M. (H'sth, Fulh'm)|
|Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||MacFarquhar, Roderick||Stoddart, David (Swindon)|
|Fitt, Gerard (Belfast, W.)||McGuire, Michael||Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John|
|Flannery, Martin||Mackenzie, Gregor||Stott, Roger|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Maclennan, Robert||Strang, Gavin|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.|
|Foot, Rt. Hn. Michael||McNamara, Kevin||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|Ford, Ben||Madden, M. O. F.||Swain, Thomas|
|Forrester, John||Magee, Bryan||Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)|
|Fowler, Gerry (The Wrekin)||Mahon, Simon||Thorne, Stan (Preston, S.)|
|Fraser, John (Lambeth, Norwood)||Mallalieu, J. P. W.||Tierney, Sydney|
|Freeson, Reginald||Marks, Kenneth||Tinn, James|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||Marquand, David||Tomlinson, John|
|Garrett, John (Norwich, S.)||Marshall, Dr. Edmund (Goole)||Tomney, Frank|
|Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend)||Meacher, Michael||Torney, Tom|
|George, Bruce||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Tuck, Raphael|
|Gilbert, Dr. John||Mendelson, John||Urwin, T. W.|
|Ginsburg, David||Mikardo, Ian||Varley, Rt. Hn. Eric G.|
|Golding, John||Millan, Bruce||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)|
|Gourlay, Harry||Miller, Dr. M. S. (E. Kilbride)||Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, Ladywood)|
|Graham, Ted||Mitchell, R. C. (S'hamplon Itchen)||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Grant, George (Morpeth)||Molloy, William||Walker, Terry (Kingswood)|
|Grant, John (Islington, C.)||Moonman, Eric||Watkins, David|
|Griffiths, Eddie (Sheffield, Brightside)||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Watt, Hamish|
|Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Weitzman, David|
|Hamilton, William (Fife, C.)||Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)||Wellbeloved, James|
|Hamling, William||Moyle, Roland||White, James|
|Hardy, Peter||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Harper, Joseph||Murray, Ronald King||Whitlock, William|
|Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Newens, Stanley (Harlow)||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith||Oakes, Gordon||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Hatton, Frank||Ogden, Eric||Williams, Alan Lee (Hvrng, Hchurch)|
|Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis||O'Halloran, Michael||Williams, Rt. Hn. Shirley (H'f'd & St'ge)|
|Heffer, Eric S.||O'Malley, Brian||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Hooley, Frank||Orbach, Maurice||Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)|
|Horam, John||Ovenden, John||Wilson, Gordon (Dundee, E.)|
|Howell, Denis (B'ham, Small Heath)||Owen, Dr. David||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)|
|Huckfield, Leslie||Padley, Walter||Wilson, William (Coventry, S. E.)|
|Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Palmer, Arthur||Wise, Mrs. Audrey|
|Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Park, George (Coventry, N.E.)||Woof, Robert|
|Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, North)||Parker, John (Dagenham)||Wrigglesworth, Ian|
|Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Parry, Robert||Young, David (Bolton, E.)|
|Hunter, Adam||Pavitt, Laurie|
|Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir A. (L'p'I, EdgeHI)||Pendry, Tom||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Irving, Rt. Hn. Sydney (Dartford)||Perry, Ernest G.||Mr. James A. Dunn and|
|Jackson, Colin||Phipps, Dr Colin||Mr. Thomas Cox.|
§ The numbers being equal—1720
§ vote with the Noes, to keep the Bill as it is.
§ Question accordingly negatived.1721
Amendment made: No. 29, in page 27, line 45, at end insert—
'(6A) Any reason by virtue of which a dismissal is to be regarded as unfair in consequence of sub-paragraph (4) or (6) above is hereafter in this Schedule referred to as an inadmissable reason'.—[Mr. John Fraser.]
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
Order. When the House is in session, crowded as the Chamber may be at the back, hon. Members should not stand this side of the Bar. Mr. Percival.
§ 11.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Percival
Amendment No. 89, in page 28, line 15, leave out`the employer can satisfy the tribunal that'.and Amendment No. 90, inpage 28, line 17, after `reasonably' insert `or unreasonably,are amendments which we moved in Committee. They raise the not unimportant question of the onus of proof in proceedings for compensation for unfair dismissal. I stress the words "not unimportant question." Indeed, it is too important to be discussed in the atmosphere of the House at present and at this time of night. We can probably strike a note of agreement in all quarters of the House by saying that this matter would be better pursued in another place at another time and at a reasonable time of day. I say that because I want to make it clear that it is for that reason and no other that I propose not to move these amendments.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
With this Amendment we may take the following:
Amendment No. 68, in page 31, line 12, at end insert`but this paragraph shall have effect in a case where the effective date of termination falls within the period of six months beginning with the commencement of this Schedule as if the reference in sub-paragraph (a) to 26 weeks were a reference to 52 weeks'.Amendment No. 105, in page 31, line 7, leave out '12' insert '52'.
§ Mr. Foot
These amendments deal with the important matter of the qualifying period under the unfair dismissal procedure. An important amendment was 1722 carried by my hon. Friends in Committee. The Government cannot go quite so far as they wished, for technical reasons which I have explained to them, but we are moving fast in their direction, and I hope the amendment will be accepted on that basis.
§ Mr. Percival
There is a very small difference between Government Amendment No. 67 and our Amendment No. 105 on paper, but a very big difference in fact. What we are asking the Government to do in Amenment No. 105 is to go back to what they intended to do and what they were prevented from doing by the exercise by their own back bench Members in Committee.
The reason why I pursue the question is this. I am sure that the Secretary of State and the Minister of State must have received representations not only from the CBI but from the construction industry. It seems that it is in the construction industry in particular that very real problems arise from the reduction of the qualifying period about which we are speaking. I think that it was probably for that reason in particular that the right hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends decided in the first instance to do what we had proposed to do and, as a first step, reduce the period from 104 to 52 weeks. I think they must have been persuaded that once one gets below 52 weeks, about which we are all agreed, practical problems arise.
I hope this is non-controversial. I am paying the right hon. Gentleman the compliment of suggesting that his first idea was very practical. Now I am saying to him: yes, there was a muddle in the Committee. I am sure he did not want the result which occurred. We shall assist him to put it back to what was his considered first opinion. Is that not the right thing to do in the circumstances? If he was right in his first decision to make the period 52 weeks, is that decision not still right, and will he not accept the hand of friendship to enable him to do that what is right?
§ Mr. Foot
I am sure that the hon. and learned Gentleman has made his offer with the highest of motives, but I am equally sure that my hon. Friends moved their amendment in Committee with even higher motives. I must have regard to the fact that it was the occasion of the 1723 biggest thumping majority in the whole of the Committee proceedings on the Bill. Whereas we had 20 ties on other matters, on this we had a roaring majority of, I think, three. I am sure that it would offend all those principles of freedom that we have heard so much about today if I were to show a lack of respect for a majority of three.
As I said at the time, I have the strongest sympathy with the views expressed by my hon. Friends, because what they were seeking to do by reducing the period was precisely to assist the freedom of individuals. That is what we are discussing—individuals who are wrongly dismissed. That is what we have been fighting for in this Bill. The amendment therefore provides a better cover for that than the original clause. However, we are faced with the difficulty that the tribunals are not fully manned to carry out the procedure, and that is the only reason we are not able to agree to the amendment proposed and carried by my hon. Friends in Committee being made in one step. We are, however, proposing to do it in two or three steps. I strongly urge the House to accept the views of my hon. Friends and move in their direction in the name of individual freedom by accepting the amendment.
§ Mr. Percival
It is surprising that the Secretary of State, who was so silent on the matter of conscience, finds himself so eloquent and passionate in support of something carried against him on a previous occasion.
§ Mr. James Sillars (South Ayrshire)
My hon. Friends and I who were on the back benches in the Committee are reluctantly prepared to go along with the compromise contained in the amendment. Most of us would prefer the period of 13 weeks, but we will accept 26 weeks because of the difficulties.
I rise to put the record straight. There was no muddle in the Committee except on the Conservative side. When the Committee divided the Government Front Bench and the Government Whip voted against the amendment, and the Labour back benchers voted unanimously for it. One Conservative actually voted for the amendment, two voted against, and their Front Bench abstained. The House 1724 should reject the claptrap we have heard form the Opposition tonight.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Amendment made:
No. 68, in page 31, line 12, at end insert:
'but this paragraph shall have effect in a case where the effective date of termination falls within the period of six months beginning with the commencement of this Schedule as if the reference in sub-paragraph (a) to 26 weeks were a reference to 52 weeks'.—[Mr. Michael Foot.]
§ Mr. Percival
I beg to move Amendment No. 106, in page 33, line 32, at end insert:'(1) The provisions of this paragraph shall have effect where, in any proceedings on a complaint under paragraph 14 of this Schedule, an industrial tribunal makes an award of compensation to be paid by an employer in consequence of action taken by the employer or by a person acting on his behalf, and the employer claims that the action so taken by him or on his behalf was induced by pressure exercised on him by another person (in this paragraph referred to as "the third party") by means of action to which the proceeding paragraph of this Schedule applies.(2) In the circumstances specified in the preceding sub-paragraph, the employer may, in accordance with industrial tribunal regulations, require the third party to be joined as a party to the proceedings; and if in the proceedings the industrial tribunal finds that the claim of the employer (as specified in the above subparagraph) is well-founded, then, subject to sub-paragraph (4) of this paragraph, the tribunal may, if it considers that it would be just and equitable to do so, make an order requiring the third party to pay to the employer a contribution in respect of the compensation awarded against him.(3) The amount of the contribution ordered to be paid under this section in respect of any compensation—
- (a) shall be such amount as the industrial tribunal considers to be just and equitable in the circumstances, and
- (b) may, if the tribunal so determines, be such as to constitute a complete indemnity.(4) Where the third party is an official of a trade union, and it is shown that in taking the action in question, he was acting in his capacity as such an official and within the scope of his authority on behalf of the trade union—The amendment assumes even more importance in view of the decision of the 1725 House on Amendment No. 96. It is designed to ensure that where a union brings pressure to bear on an employer to dismiss a man, whether he be a member of the union or not, and the employer is then called upon to pay compensation, the employer should at least have the right to go to the tribunal and explain that he had to dismiss the man because of irresistible union pressure. Under the provisions about unfair dismissal that pressure has to be disregarded in deciding whether the dismissal is fair or unfair. He is therefore not permitted to explain that he dismissed the man because of union pressure. We believe that the employer should be able to have the union called before the tribunal, and, if the tribunal thinks the situation is inequitable, that it should direct that the union should contribute towards the dismissed man's compensation.
- (a) the industrial tribunal shall not order him to pay any contribution to the employer under this paragraph but
- (b) nothing in sub-paragraph 4(a) above shall affect the power of the tribunal to order a contribution to be paid by the trade union'.
What could be fairer than that? I do not think that any of my right hon. and hon. Friends or Government right hon. and hon. Members would expect such provisions to be used very often. That is true of much of our law. Very few provisions of our law are used frequently but they are available to meet the case that calls for their use. They are not used in any other circumstances.
We have had some experience of this kind of provision. I think that it was the combined effect of Sections 5, 33 and 119 of the 1971 Act which produced the consequence that where a man was dismissed as a result of pressure brought by the union, and where the employer had to pay compensation because he could not show the pressure as a reason for dismissing the man, the employer could ask the tribunal to bring the union into the procedings and to consider making an order. In those circumstances the tribunal would not be obliged to make an order but it would be able to consider all the circumstances and to decide whether it would be right that the union which brought about the dismissal should make some contribution to wards the cost incurred by the employer.
In a few cases the procedures available to employers under the 1971 Act have been used. I know that the Minister will know of the case of Moppett. In that case the procedure to which I have referred was used and an order was made.
1726 I suggest to the Government, and particularly to those right hon. and hon. Members who are rightly proud of being members of a great movement, that it would be very much more in keeping with the status of the movement if they were to say, "Yes, we shall accept the amendment". I believe that all unions and most unionists are as much concerned as we are to see that a man who loses his job in the circumstances which have been defined as unfair should receive compensation. Would it not be so much more to the credit of their great movement if they were to say, "Yes, we accept that if we bring about a man's dismissal his compensation should not fall entirely on the shoulders of the employer who was not to blame for dismissing the man. We are willing to accept our responsibility for meeting some of the compensation which we want to see go to the man in that position."
The question we ask in the amendment is whether it would be a fitting practice for such a great movement to take such an attitude towards compensation even at this late stage. We hope that the reasoning behind the amendment will find some support from the Government. We should very much like to hear why the Minister says that such a provision should not be accepted.
§ Mr. Booth
The hon. and learned Gentleman has, as ever, made very clear the intention of the amendment. He intends it to be read so that "third party" means trade union. He intends it to apply in such a way that if an employer dismisses an employee under union pressure the employer shall have the right to bring the trade union before the court and to say "I did it under union pressure". It is the hon. and learned Gentleman's intention that the tribunal shall decide whether the compensation order against the employer for unfair dismissal shall in part be the responsibility of the union concerned. The simple answer is that if a union were to bring pressure to bear upon an employer to dismiss an employee other than in circumstances in which the employee was in breach of the union membership agreement the union would be acting illegally and the employer would be acting wrongly to dismiss the employee.
1727 The union has no right to press an employer in those circumstances. Therefore, it would not be proper to make such a provision in the Bill. Anyway, it is most unlikely that many employers would have recourse to it if it existed, because those employers who concede union membership agreements usually intend to abide by them, and in doing so will not be liable under the Bill for compensation for unfair dismissal; it will be fair to dismiss the employee who goes outwith the union membership agreement.
For that reason, I advise the House to reject the amendment.
§ Mr. Percival
I rise—[interruption.] If hon. Members groan, the proceedings will only be prolonged.
I hope to make a constructive suggestion. I think the Minister is wrong. He is assuming that my point arises only in the union membership agreement situation. I was hoping that he would go on for another minute, both because we might have had a fuller explanation and because I might have been able to turn up the appropriate paragraph. Those who have taken a close interest in our proceedings will appreciate my difficulty; one cannot always find the appropriate paragraph in 30 seconds.
I think that the hon. Gentleman is right in saying that where there is a union membership agreement the point will not arise. Therefore, perhaps I was wrong when I said that the amendment was all the more important because of what happened on Amendment No. 96. What the hon. Gentleman said supports what we said on Amendment No. 96. If there is a union membership agreement an unfortunate chap who is sacked will not receive compensation. Therefore, this question will not arise.
§ Mr. Booth
I concede the hon. and learned Gentleman's point. It is conceivable that there could be circumstances, other than those in which a union membership agreement existed, where a union might pressurise an employer to dismiss an employee, in which case it would not be unfair. But my response is that unions do not act in that way. They are properly concerned in the dis 1728 missal of an employee only where the union membership agreement exists.
§ Mr. Percival
I am much obliged to the hon. Gentleman. It is always comforting to find that what one thought was probably right is right. But although what the Minister says is of assistance to me in some respects, it does not meet the point.
I think that the position is that an employer can never put forward the fact that pressure was brought to bear on him as an anwer to a claim for compensation for unfair dismissal. Therefore, otherwise than in a union membership agreement situation, an employer could be pressurised into dismissing someone whom he did not want to dismiss. That follows, because otherwise pressure would not be necessary. Therefore, he finds himself quite properly faced with a claim for compensation for unfair dismissal and is not allowed to say "I was pressurised into doing this." As a result, he has to pay compensation.
In those circumstances, why should not the union be prepared to act responsibly and pay its share of the compensation? Why should it not say, "We brought about the situation and we shall pay our whack of the compensation that we want the man to get"?
The fact that it is unlikely to happen is irrelevant. We know that it has happened. It has happened in the past three years, when similar provisions were in existence. In the case of Moppett a contribution was ordered.
Of course, it will not happen very often. We lawyers are constantly persuading people not to go to law but to find a solution by agreement. [Laughter.] I thought that that would wake the place up. That remark was meant not only as a pin to stick in hon. Gentlemen to waken them up; it also happens to be the truth. We are constantly saying to people. "For heaven's sake find a solution to this by agreement." However, there is the odd case where, for one reason or another, the parties cannot reach an agreement, and it is then essential to have a legal process for resolving their differences.
In the hope that the hon. Gentleman might have another think about this, and in the realisation that there is another place that can think about it 1729 and that, with great respect to the House, this is neither the time nor the place to reach a decision on a matter of such great importance, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. Ivor Clemitson (Luton, East)
I beg to move Amendment No. 30, in page 34, line 13, after 'be', insert `reinstated or'.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
With this amendment we may take the following amendments:
Amendment No. 31, in page 34, line 18, after 'so', insert 'reinstated,'.
Amendment No. 32, in page 35, line 35, after 'of', insert 'reinstatment'.
Amendment No. 35, in page 39, line 37, at end insert 'the reinstatement or'.
Amendment No. 36, in page 39, line 42, after 'such', insert 'reinstatement,'.
§ Mr. Clemitson
The effect of this series of amendments would be to present tribunals with a third option where a successful case of unfair dismissal is brought—that is, the option of recommending reinstatement—and to offer a similar option to conciliation officers.
The distinction between reinstatement and re-engagement is very important. Reinstatement means putting the person back in the same position he was in before dismissal in respect of seniority, continuity of employment, salary level, and so on. There may be difficulties in reinstating a person in his former job. Re-engagement, on the other hand, may mean no more than being engaged on an entirely new contract of employment, and the consequent loss of continuity of employment and seniority could result in serious financial loss to a person—much greater, incidentally, than many of the cash awards which industrial tribunals have awarded in cases of unfair dismissal.
These amendments are of the mildest possible kind; indeed, they are arguably too mild. Ideally, I should like to see a right of reinstatement established for innocent victims of unfair dismissal, always provided that the person concerned wishes it.
In Committee my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State was concerned that tribunals should have a choice of 1730 remedies. The effect of these amendments would be to widen the choice—to add reinstatement to the present options of re-engagement and compensation. My right hon. Friend was also concerned that reinstatement be seen as a first priority. I am afraid that the amendments do not go that far, but I hope that they will be seen as a useful interim improvement until a thorough improvement of the whole matter of unfair dismissal is made in the promised Employment Protection Bill.
My right hon. Friend also said in Committee that those of us who were putting forward the original amendments were pushing at a semi-open door. I trust that the door will now be opened a little wider to allow these modest amendments to squeeze through.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. Christopher Woodhouse (Oxford)
I beg to move Amendment No. 40, in page 34, line 16, leave out 'a recommendation' and insert 'an order'.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
With this amendment it may also be convenient for the House to consider the following amendments:
Amendment No. 41, in page 34, line 21, leave out 'a recommendation' and insert 'an order'.
Amendment No. 42, in page 34, line 23, leave out 'a recommendation' and insert 'an order'.
Amendment No. 43, in page 34, line 24, leave out 'recommendation' and insert 'order'.
§ Mr. Woodhouse
I hope that I shall have the same good fortune as the hon. Member for Luton, East (Mr. Clemitson). This amendment rests on the principle that when a worker has been adjudged to have been unfairly dismissed he or she 1731 should have an absolute, unqualified right to re-engagement, or reinstatement, in terms of Amendment No. 30.
This amendment will help remedy an anomaly which was to be found in the 1971 Act and which is continued by Schedule 1, paragraph 18 of which reenacts Section 106 of the original Act, with certain amendments. It does not amend this anomaly by which a dismissed worker is denied the automatic right of re-engagement. It can only be embodied in the form of an order by the court, and not in the form of a recommendation.
It might be thought that the difference between an order and a recommendation is so small as to be negligible. This is not the case. If we examine the 1971 Act in detail we find that there are numerous points of a similar kind relating to unfair industrial practices in which the court has the power, or is required, to make an order rectifying the situation. This situation in Section 106 is the only one in which the term used is "recommendation" instead of "order". It is clear that there is a substantial difference between the two words and it is because of this that I wish to substitute the word "order" for the word "recommendation".
The case for this amendment in principle is self-evident. There is one other point I will add to commend it to the Minister. When the Industrial Relations Act was going through the House in 1971 I tabled an identical amendment to Clause 94 of the then Bill. It will be found on the Order Paper for 17th February 1971, of which I have a copy. The amendment had the support of a number of Labour Members including the right hon. Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle), the hon. Members for Doncaster (Mr. Walker), Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer), Manchester, Blackley (Mr. Rose) and Derby, South (Mr. Johnson). This was the only amendment tabled to the then Bill to be supported by both Labour and Conservative Members. I hope that those right hon. and hon. Members can prevail upon the Government to accept this amendment.
§ Mr. John Page (Harrow, West)
May I ask my hon. Friend a question before 1732 he sits down. My hon. Friend suggests that an order of compensation should be made if, for whatever reason, an order is not complied with under paragraph (3)(b). Would it be appropriate, or even possible, for the court to make an order and for it not to be complied with without that consituting contempt of court? If that is the case, it is not merely a small matter. It is surely a major matter of distinction in law. I would have thought that my hon. Friend is not taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut—he is using a bulldozer instead of a very small spade. Unless he can give me some—
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
Order. The hon. Member got up to ask a question before his hon. Friend sat down—ages ago. I think he has completed his question.
§ Mr. Woodhouse
My hon. Friend's question would be better addressed to the Minister. If he examines the other sections of the 1971 Act in which courts or tribunals are empowered to make orders he will find that exactly similar language is used.
§ Mr. John Fraser
The hon. Member for Harrow, West (Mr. Page) put his finger on the difficulty. It does not matter whether one uses "order" or "recommendation" if the order cannot be enforced. The procedure if the recommendation is not observed is by way of aggravated compensation under a later provision of Schedule 1. The amendment does not provide a method of enforcing the suggested order apart from the existing provisions. It follows that what the tribunal directs is a recommendation and not an order. It would, therefore, be confusing and misleading to use "order".
So far in this country the courts have always taken the view that specific performance is not appropriate to the contract of service. It is difficult to supervise. There is only one other country which has a provision both for an order and for the specific performance of that order. That country is Italy, and I am advised that the procedure does not work very well. Only one other country in the Western world has provision for the specific performance of an order for reinstatement, and that is the United States. Again, that procedure has been found not to work very well for trade union officials.
1733 We should recognise the reality and keep "recommendation", because no enforcement procedure is available. I ask the House to reject the amendment.
§ Mr. Woodhouse
I do not find that reply satisfactory. I doubt whether the right hon. Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle), who supported my amendment in 1971, would have found that answer satisfactory had the amendment not fallen under the guillotine.
I see no reason why, out of all the passages of the 1971 Act in which provision was made for an order to be made by a court or tribunal, in this context alone the feebler measure of a recommendation should be substituted for an order. I am, therefore, not willing to withdraw the amendment.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Amendments made: No. 31, in page 34, line 18, after 'so', insert 'reinstated,'.
§ No. 32, in page 35, line 35, after 'of', insert 'reinstatement'.—[Mr. Clemitson.]
§ Mr. Percival
I beg to move Amendment No. 107, in page 36 leave out lines 12 to 14.
It is interesting to notice how many more hon. and right hon. Gentlemen are on the Government benches than there were yesterday. It would be discourteous of me to suggest that their purpose is to be on the spot so that they may make a bolt for home as soon as the traps are open. I can only assume that the reason for their presence—
§ Mr. James Sillars (South Ayrshire)
Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware that the next plane or train for us is at 8 o'clock?
§ Mr. Percival
I take it that the purpose of the hon. Gentleman's intervention is to make me feel under no obligation to hurry. I was doing those present the courtesy of suggesting that they are here because they are interested in the amendments which, though they come late, are none the less important.
The amendment deals with the maximum amount of compensation. What surprises me is that Labour Members should object to an amendment which seeks to remove an arbitrary limit on compensation and thus enable some persons, who are at present under the Bill 1734 limited to £5,000, to obtain the same measure of compensation as others whose 104 weeks 'wages would be less than the monetary total allowed. There is no great logic in saying "104 weeks or a maximum", since that would be significant only if the maximum were less than 104 weeks. It must produce the result that whereas some people will get up to 104 weeks as the measure of their compensation, others will get less. What is the sense in that? What is the logic in fixing the limit at £5,200 or any other sum? Why should there not be the same measure for everybody? Is that not more in line with the equalitarian principles so often propounded by Labour Members?
Who is it that the Government are seeking to protect in these provisions by limiting the sum to £5,200? I beg to doubt that it is the employer. Do they have a rooted objection to anybody earning more than £2,600 a year, and do they take the view that anybody who earns more than that sum should have a smaller measure of compensation? If so, I wonder what the miners think about it. It is no very great sum in this day and age.
We find it difficult to understand why there should be any resistance to the amendment. It would do no more than justice to many people who, although their incomes are by no means exorbitant, would be limited by the provisions as they stand to receiving a lesser measure of compensation than others simply because they happen to be earning a little more. I invite the Minister to say what possible purpose there can be for preserving what has now become an antiquated and wholly illogical series of provisions.
§ Mr. Booth
The effect of the amendment would be to remove the upper limit of £5,200 on the compensation which an industrial tribunal can award for unfair dismissal. It was pointed out that this could benefit only those with a salary in excess of £2,600 a year since the Bill also contains a two-year salary limit on the maximum compensation that can be paid. In practice in the vast majority of cases tribunals have awarded compensation less than the maximum provided by the 1971 Act. The provision of this compensation is more important to the lower paid and unorganised than it is to the highly paid and highly organised since they may have 1735 available to them other means of protection and redress. Half of the male applicants for unfair dismissal compensation in 1973 were people who earned less than £30 a week. There have been only ten out of the 1,428 awards up to the end of 1973 in which more than £4,000 has been awarded. Tribunals of this sort are possibly not the most suitable bodies for dealing with unlimited sums of compensation, up to the limit of two years of the highest salaries.
I accept the criticism that the sum we have proposed is an arbitrary figure. We are exchanging the arbitrary lower figure of the 1971 Act for an arbitrary higher figure and it is only to that extent that I can commend it as an improvement. However, there is provision in this Clause for the limit to be changed by order. I suggest that we should consider under those powers the proper time for an increase, and I ask the House to reject the amendment.
§ 12.30 a.m.
§ Mr. Percival
The Minister has at least conceded that there is something to be considered here by suggesting that there will be power by order to vary the figure. He is wide of the mark in two respects. It is good that in the vast majority of cases sums are awarded far below the maximum, because the compensation is the measure of what someone has lost. Assuming the tribunals have done their job properly—there is no reason to suggest that they have not, and there is an appellate court if they ever failed to do so—what people have lost is far less than the limit of what could have been awarded. It is far better to lose something to than lose it and not be compensated. This means that people have got other employment fairly quickly, and that is good.
I wish that the House would sometimes do what the lawyers do. We are willing to learn from others. Ours is a practical profession, when we deal with a case, often on behalf of a union, what we want to know are the facts. The law is a longstop. We hope that it will not be necessary for people to use it, but it should be there and it should be adequate to meet the case when it arises, however unlikely such a case may be. Cases may be more likely if this new provision remains unaltered. The day may be getting 1736 nearer when the losses suffered are greater and therefore compensation will be higher. It is illogical that because someone is earning £2,600—that is not a sin at the present rate of wages—he should be limited to twice £2,600, whereas someone earning less would get proportionately more.
However, the Minister has offered something of an olive branch and suggested that there is something here which requires further thought. With even that little chink, rather than force the House to take a decision, it is better to take the course which leaves room for that further consideration. I therefore beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. Percival
I beg to move Amendment No. 33, in page 37, line 41, leave out 'six ' and insert 'three'.
§ Mr. Percival
I shall not be seeking leave to withdraw this amendment—I have good reason to believe that that will not be necessary. Because of the courtesy which has been extended to me by Ministers throughout the passage of the Bill—including over the past few days—I have reason to be optimistic about the outcome of my speech.
We are ready enough to criticise when we believe that criticism is justified. The Minister of State will not complain about that. By the same token, we should show our appreciation when it is due. We are glad that the amendment is to be accepted because we think that in practice it makes a lot of difference. All the way through this legislation—including our own legislation—we have accepted that in practice a heavy burden would fall upon the employer. If that were not so, it would detract greatly from the remedy we sought to provide in the unfair dismissal provisions. We have said that there must be a balance in this as in everything else, and we should not make it too heavy a burden for those who are to pay.
The six months limit would in many cases have presented a real practical problem. The situation is not on all fours with the situation in redundancy cases. In the case of unfair dismissals the retention of the six months limit would have presented a real problem. We are glad 1737 that the Government are to accept the reduction of the period from six months to three months.
§ Mr. Booth
The combined effect of the two amendments would be to reduce the time limit for presenting a complaint of unfair dismissal from six months to three and to enable tribunals to hear complaints within a reasonable time thereafter where they are satisfied that it had not been reasonably practicable for the complaint to be presented within the three months limit. The two amendments combined have this effect, which will be beneficial.
I thank the hon. and learned Gentleman for the way he has presented the matter. This is an amicable note on which he and I address the House for the last time on Report on the Bill.
§ Amendment agreed to.
Amendments made: No. 34, in page 37, line 42, at end insert:
'or within such further period as the tribunal consider reasonable in a case where it is satisfied that it was not reasonably practicable for the complaint to be presented within the period of three months'.—[Mr. Booth.]
§ No. 35, in page 39, line 37, at end insert 'the reinstatement or'.
§ No. 36, in page 39, line 42, after 'such' insert 'reinstatement'.—[Mr. Clemitson.]