HC Deb 14 December 1950 vol 482 cc1346-7
46. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the Prime Minister whether he is now in a position to make a statement as to the result of the discussions between His Majesty's Government and the Durham County Council on the subject of the latter body's intention to make membership of a professional association or a trade union a condition of employment by it; and whether he will make available to hon. Members the correspondence which has passed between His Majesty's Government and the council.

Mr. H. Morrison

I have been asked to reply. My right hon. Friends the Ministers of Health and Education discussed this question with a deputation from the council yesterday afternoon. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister does not consider that any further statement is necessary at this stage. I will arrange to have copies of the correspondence laid in the Library in so far as correspondence exists.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

In view of the imminence of the Recess, and the special responsibility which rests on the Government for having legalised this attitude in 1946, will the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that any person who loses his job as a result of this decision of the county council, will secure the effective protection of the Government?

Mr. Morrison

I am satisfied that the county council intend to take no precipitate action to enforce their policy upon their employees. If I may say so, the House would be well advised to leave it there for the time being.

Mr. Awbery

Is my right hon. Friend aware that for many years it was a rigid law of many county councils and employers that men who were members of a union should not be employed, and that during that period the friends of freedom did not raise their voices against it in this House?

Mr. Henry Strauss

Is the Lord President aware that the action condemned in the last supplementary question put to him, was made illegal by the Act of 1927?