HC Deb 10 March 1926 vol 192 cc2285-6
45. Lieut.-Colonel MOORE

asked the Prime Minister whether, in deference to the widespread feeling amongst many sections of the community, he will consider the desirability of introducing, at an early date, a Measure which will enable all members of trades unions to register their votes in cases of industrial disputes according to the accepted Parliamentary method?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Baldwin)

There is no statutory restriction, except in respect of a political levy, on the freedom of trade unions to determine their own procedure for ascertaining the views of their members on particular questions. As at present advised, I am not satisfied that it is necessary to interfere with this freedom.

Lieut.-Colonel MOORE

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the fact that this request emanates from the people most concerned, that is, trade union members and their wives; and will he also consider that these people are among the most loyal and staunch supporters of the Government?


Has the Prime Minister received representations for this reform from any of the trade unions in the country?


I have had no representations, but they would not necessarily come to me.


On a point of Order. Is it in order for an hon. Member to express an opinion, as in this question, that there is a widespread feeling among many sections, when it is not true of any trade union? [HON. MEMBERS: "It is true!"]


I am very reluctant to express an opinion on the matter. Hon. Members in all parts of the House are inclined to think that there is a widespread opinion when it is their own.


On a point of Order. Are hon. Members entitled to say that a thing is not true, when every single Member on this side of the House has received such representation?


Each Member thinks his opinion to be the true one.

46. Mr. TAYLOR

asked the Prime Minister if he will consider the summoning of a representative industrial conference to explore the possibilities of an agreed policy as the basis of an era of industrial peace in all the great staple industries of the country; and whether he would be willing to charge such a conference with the duty of considering and reporting upon a national living wage, the over-capitalisation of industry, the effect of monetary policy, and the incidence of local and national taxation upon the economic life of the nation?


As the hon. Member is probably aware, discussions are already in progress in a number of industries. I feel sure that the method of approaching the matter industry by industry is the most profitable one, and it seems to me a general conference of the kind proposed would not serve any useful purpose at the present time.