HC Deb 22 December 1964 vol 704 cc1048-9
Q3. Mr. Ridley

asked the Prime Minister if he will publish the report which he has now received from the Minister of Labour into the political motivation of strikes at election times, together with minutes of the evidence taken.

Q4. Sir D. Glover

asked the Prime Minister if he will now take steps to establish permanent machinery for the investigation of political motivation behind any future industrial dispute.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. I have already informed the House of the results of my right hon. Friend's examination. No evidence was taken outside his Department and no other kind of permanent machinery is required.

Mr. Ridley

Would not the Prime Minister agree that this House is a very fair place? If he were prepared to withdraw the allegation that he made instead of trying to justify it, this question could now be dropped.

The Prime Minister

If I thought that there was anything to withdraw I would, but I have explained several times to the House my reasons for thinking there was something suspicious going on and calling for an inquiry. I was not wrong in saying that there was something suspicious going on. What no one could foresee, and what shocked the right hon. Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd) in a recent Question, was that within 24 hours we would get very clearly what was the reason for this dispute in a statement which I do not think anyone would have expected he would be likely to hear, and that is now the explanation.

Mr. Ronald Bell

Is the Prime Minister aware that the slow progress in this matter suggests a lack of dynamism? Will he take energetic action to allay public suspicion that many strikes are due to conscious and purposive Socialist planning?