HC Deb 06 May 1954 vol 527 cc565-6
29 Lieut-Colonel Hyde

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will take steps to prevent the operation of the closed shop, the so-called 100 per cent, shop, or any other form of compulsory member ship of specified trades unions in Government Departments where the purpose can be shown to be the destruction of an existing union and the compulsory recruitment of its members into other unions, as contrary to Article 11 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which was ratified on behalf of Her Majesty's Government on 22nd February, 1951.

Sir W. Monckton

No such action is necessary. Moreover, the Article in question deals with freedom of association for a lawful object, including the right to form and join trade unions. This freedom is fully protected by existing law.

Lieut-Colonel Hyde

Would not my right hon. and learned Friend be disposed to take steps to invoke the operation of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights at least on behalf of the employees of B.O.A.C., who are suffering economic sanctions by agreement within the National Joint Council for Civil Air Transport in order to force them to give up their membership of the Aeronautical Engineers Association?

Sir W. Monckton

The Question on the Order Paper related to people employed in Government Departments, and I understand that the supplementary question related to an airways corporation. It is suggested that I should take action because what was happening 'was contrary to Article 11 of the Convention. I am advised that there is no contravention of that Article.

Mr. Mikardo

Is the Minister aware that the same Convention demands freedom for people to join trade unions if they wish and not be discriminated against if they do so, and that that freedom is violated in many engineering establishments in respect of supervisory workers? Will the Minister do something about that?

Sir W. Monckton

I am well aware of the provisions of that Article; indeed, I drew attention to them in my original reply. If there is any contravention of them to which the hon. Member will draw my attention, I will look into it.