§ Mr. JOHN RUTHERFORD
asked the Home Secretary if he would make inquiries through the chief labour adviser how many trade unions have held ballots on the Osborne Judgment; what were the results of the voting in each case; and what were the terms of the question placed before the members of the various societies?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I am informed by Mr. Shackleton, the Senior Labour Adviser to the Home Office, that very few trade unions have taken a ballot of their members since the Osborne Judgment was given, but all of those affiliated to the Labour party received the sanction of their members before joining. The majorities in favour of Parliamentary representation varied from two to one to ten to one. The exact terms of the question placed before the members would take some time to collect, but generally the questions were simply—(1) Are you in favour of direct representation in Parliament? (2) Are you in favour of a special levy of (amount stated) for this purpose? The textile trades of Lancashire put the questions in the following form (1) Are you in favour of direct representation in Parliament? (2) Are you in favour of paying a levy of one penny per member per quarter from the funds of your amalgamation to provide a fund for the maintenance of two Members in Parliament and to defray the necessary expenses of their election? There voted for the first, 84,154; against, 19,856; for the second, 82,547; against, 20,353.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I am not yet fully informed as to the direction in which the inquiry will be made or what the scope of the report will be.