HC Deb 06 March 1925 vol 181 cc805-6

(by Private Notice) asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that the figures given as the number of trade unionists exempted from contributing to the political fund include members who are exempt under the rules of their union, in addition to those who have claimed exemption under the Trade Union Amendment Act, 1913?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. G. Locker-Lampson)

The hon. Member has been good enough to bring to my notice, and to that of the Chief Registrar, evidence that in the case of a certain union the figures are on the basis indicated in the question, and this suggests that in certain other cases also the unions making the returns may have included in the number of exempted members members not liable under the unions' rules (usually for reasons of age) to pay a contribution to the political fund. Is well as those exempted by claim under the Act of 1913. It would follow that the figures in the last column of the table given in reply to the hon. and gallant Member for Leith (Captain W. Benn) on the 24th February last may in those cases be larger than the actual number of members who claimed exemption, but how much larger I am not, in a position to say. Steps will at once be taken by the Chief Registrar to obtain from the unions supplementary information to enable him to ascertain the number who actually claimed exemption.