HC Deb 10 March 1920 vol 126 cc1262-3
42. Commander BELLAIRS

asked the Minister of Labour whether Clause 4, Sub-section (1) of the Trade Union Act, 1913, which enjoins the Registrar of Friendly Societies not to approve of the ballot rules of a trade union unless he is satisfied that every member has an equal right and, if reasonably possible, a fair opportunity of voting, and that the secrecy of the ballot is properly secured, is applicable to all subjects on which ballots are held; what steps the Registrar takes to satisfy himself that ballots are so conducted; and whether he is aware that ballots are conducted in circumstances in which intimidation takes place and there is no secrecy whatsoever?


The Section only applies to a ballot taken for the purpose of enabling a trade union to apply its funds to political objects as denned by the Act, and it is the duty of the Registrar to see that the union's rules provide for the matters referred to in the question. This has been effected by the preparation of sets of model rules, which have been adopted by the unions in every case. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer is not aware of any case of a ballot within his jurisdiction where there has been intimidation or any absence of secrecy.

Commander BELLAIRS

Will my right hon. Friend state what means the Registrar possesses for satisfying himself that these rules are carried out?


It is his duty to see that they are, and he does it.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the regulations of some trade unions make a provision for sending ballot papers to the men's homes, and that councils can cancel certificates, and that the Registrar has got no power over them at all?

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