HC Deb 13 February 1941 vol 368 cc1516-8
37. Mr. Gallacher

asked the Home Secretary whether he has considered the letter from Professor G. B. S. Haldane, which has been sent to him, enclosing a resolution passed by the machine room chapel of the "Daily Worker" repudiating the police report made to the Minister; and whether he has any further statement to make in the light of this repudiation?

Mr. Peake

Yes, Sir. My right hon. Friend, after considering the communication from Professor Haldane and making inquiries, adheres unreservedly to the statement which he made in the House on 28th January. As the workman whose colourful remarks my right hon. Friend quoted was not a member of the chapel in question, the letter of repudiation from that chapel is valueless and misleading. I may add that my right hon. Friend has had the opportunity of seeing two earlier drafts of this letter of repudiation which had been prepared by their former employers and which the men refused to sign.

Mr. Gallacher

Is it not the case that the chapel, which represents the printers employed, repudiated quite categorically the statement that they went on strike in order to stop any production of the "Daily Worker"; and is it not the case that the obliging trade union secretary who corroborated the statement of the Minister in this House approved the resolution that was sent to the Minister?

Mr. Peake

I understand that there is some difference of opinion as to what is meant by the phrase "going on strike." I understand that in this case the workmen remained in a public house outside until they were satisfied with the nature of the matter which they would be called upon to print.

Mr. Isaacs

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the management of this paper asked this chapel of members of my society if they would sign this: At no time in the history of the 'Daily Worker' has there been any strike for the purpose of bringing about alterations in the contents of the paper, and that the men refused to sign it, and adhere to their statement that they have taken action?

Mr. Peake

Those facts have been brought to the notice of my right hon. Friend, and I can only add that if the methods used by the employers in this case for procuring statements were to be followed by the police, then hon. Members would indeed have good cause for complaint.

69. Sir Waldron Smithers

asked the Home Secretary whether he is in a position, without prejudicing the national interest, to publish a balance-sheet for the last available financial year of the "Daily Worker" and the "Week"?

Mr. Peake

No question of prejudicing the national interest arises, but my right hon. Friend is not in a position to draw up and publish such balance-sheets.

Sir W. Smithers

May I take it that a balance-sheet is not available?

Mr. Mabane

I am told that the "Daily Worker" is a private company, and the balance-sheets of private companies are not normally available.