HC Deb 16 February 1971 vol 811 cc1735-73

Again considered in Committee.

[Sir ROBERT GRANT-FERRIS in the Chair]

Question again proposed, That the Clause stand part of the Bill.

Mr. Fletcher

This legislation will not frighten the trade unions. They will not be intimidated by it. There will be so much disregard for the law that the Government will have to think again about this. The Government should think carefully about how far they will go along this road. Whether they bring the legislation forward or not, the trade union movement will continue in the way that it has over the last 150 years. The trade union is a shield amongst working people which they have built up to frustrate the attacks of employers and to obtain the best possible terms and conditions of employment that they can. They will not be frustrated by Clause 85 or by any other Clause.

Mr. Tom King

The hon. Member for Darlington (Mr. Ted Fletcher) argued about how close we might be to a general strike. His problem may be that he is almost too close to many of his friends, both inside and outside the Committee, who are deeply involved. Without any attempt at propaganda, may I merely pass on my belief, borne of my observations, that the overwhelming mass of people in industry do not have such highly charged feelings about this legislation and that it commands much wider support than one would imagine on listening to speeches from hon. Members opposite.

I recognise that there are highly charged feelings among union representatives. I had a meeting last Friday at a Labour headquarters with union officials. My experience there was that with the highly charged feelings went a certain lack of information and understanding as to what the provisions of the Bill were. Hon. Members on both sides of the Committee recognise the problems in communicating the intentions and provisions of the Bill.

Mr. Kinnock

My intervention would be unnecessary if the hon. Member for Bridgwater (Mr. Tom King) had been in the Chamber earlier. The problem of communication will be overcome if and when the Bill becomes law. When it is applied to the day-by-day problems of industry, the hon. Gentleman will see that whatever public opinion appears to be at present, and however deep is the lack of knowledge of the minutiae of the Bill, the working people, because it is such an infringement of their freedom and an inconvenience in the way they conduct their working lives, will rise up against the Bill. The hon. Gentleman should not be too sanguine about his expectations for the Bill.

Mr. King

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that intervention. I agreed with everything in it until his final conclusion, and when he said that I was not here earlier. I think that I was here a little earlier than he, but I had to leave. The hon. Gentleman was not able to be here for the earlier part. We have been debating this issue, either on the main Question or on various Amendments, since the Committee started sitting this afternoon.

As to the hon. Gentleman's point about the Bill's not being understood until it comes into operation, a professor who has been lecturing on this subject has said that in his opinion when the Bill is enacted its impact on companies and industries with good industrial relations will be almost negligible. This entirely supports what my right hon. Friends have said. We intend the Bill very much as a measure for those industries where good industrial relations are absent or have collapsed. We do not intend the Bill to obstruct or inhibit the development of good industrial relations in areas which are at the moment satisfactory.

I, like the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer), have experience in an industry in which industrial relations are at present satisfactory and which is making its own arrangements, as the hon. Gentleman knows, to ensure that nothing in the Bill will adversely affect their progress or the continuance of good relations. This is being secured by mutual agreement as to how certain Clauses will be interpreted. The hon. Gentleman will remember that the Clause dealing with legal enforceability is one such Clause.

The hon. Member for Darlington treated us to an emotionally delivered catalogue of the situations that can occur. We have had this catalogue on this Clause and we had it on all preceding Clauses.

Hon. Members opposite were very unkind in taking exception to my hon. and learned Friend's use of the expression "the drop of a hat" and saying that he had no experience in industry and that this was not a situation which arose. Hon. Members on both sides who have experience of industry know very well that situations can arise which can be described accurately by the expression "at the drop of a hat". Perhaps arising from a background of continuing friction, eventually some flash occurs. It may not be something which blows up from nothing in five minutes, but from a difficult background, it can result in "the drop of a hat" situation in which an agreement is thrown overboard.

What needs stressing on this and all other Clauses is the point which was made by my hon. Friend the Member for Basingstoke (Mr. David Mitchell). I have found both inside and outside the House of Commons that critics of the Bill are under the impression that the Bill's provisions will create an immediate offence and that the very existence of an offence will make people not just liable to prosecution but certain to be prosecuted.

I can think of nothing more farcical than the suggestion that an employer will hunt round Fleet Street to raise a lot of prosecutions against various leader writers, correspondents or feature writers. This suggestion convinces me how farfetched are some of the arguments advanced by hon. Members.

Against every one of these provisions there must be set the position of the employer. The hon. Member for Dar- lington took great delight in stating that this demonstrated that the Bill was not valid because in the majority of cases—I do not think that any of my right hon. or hon. Friends would deny this—no sensible employer would dream of acting. What employer would consider mouting a prosecution in the case instanced by the hon. Member for Darlington of the ladies' lavatory and the table? The hon. Member said that there was no prosecution against the employer, but I ask him whether the girls had their pay docked, otherwise I understand that three hours' work was lost by 3,000 girls and presumably the employer stood that and, although there was no prosecution, he paid a financial penalty in loss of production for his own folly. So the argument that he was not open to prosecution hardly seems to be valid.

Mr. Ted Fletcher

Will the hon. Gentleman answer a straightforward question? Would these girls be in breach of the Clause? Would they be guilty of the offence of taking unofficial action and breaking their contract?

Mr. King

Without knowledge of the agreement and the situation I find it impossible to answer the hon. Gentleman. Since the hon. Gentleman has not answered my question to him, I presume the employer did not dock the pay of these girls, which means that he took this on the chin and lost 9,000 girl-hours, which must be equivalent to £4,000, for one piece of stupidity. This is a considerable financial penalty, far greater than the penalty which might be applied by a court. To say that he was not prosecuted is utterly spurious; he paid a heavy penalty.

This is indicative of the muddled thinking there has been about the Bill. The whole impact of this Clause, as with others, will depend on the attitude of the employer. Unless the employer wants to put himself rapidly out of business, it will be only as a last resort that he will be driven to a prosecution. It will only be where the situation has so far deteriorated that he has no alternative that he will be prepared to face the problems and instruct a prosecution with all the damage it will do to human relations in his company.

Mr. James Sillars (South Ayrshire)

I take the hon. Gentleman's mind back to the B.S.R. dispute in East Kilbride. That was not about lavatories but about recognition. That involved an exceptionally stupid employer who went to the ultimate in legality to get his own back on the workers. Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that the workers at East Kilbride would be at risk under the Bill?

Mr. King

I know that that was a recognition dispute and I know the company to which the hon. Gentleman refers, but I do not know all the details of the dispute. That is a question which might be answered by my hon. and learned Friend, equipped with the necessary backing. I accept that, unfortunately, neither employers nor unions have the sole prerogative in having some extremely stupid members among their ranks, and one cannot always cater for this. No sensible employer will use any of these provisions unless he has no alternative, and unless he is exposed to continual provocation so that action along these lines is imperative.

For this reason, and because the Clause provides the ultimate fall-back safeguard for an employer who is being victimised and taken advantage of, I support the Clause.

[Miss HARVIE ANDERSON in the Chair]

10.15 p.m.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

I am pleased to follow the hon. Member for Bridgwater (Mr. Tom King), because I have sat through this debate since 7 o'clock with one short interruption to go out to the toilet, for which I was not fined. With the exception of those few minutes, I have been present for the whole of this debate.

I heard my hon. Friend for Darlington (Mr. Ted Fletcher) and my hon. Friend for Barking (Mr. Driberg) put excellent arguments. The hon. Member for Bridgwater spoke about what may happen in these circumstances. My hon. Friend the Member for Barking gave actual instances of what did happen. I remember Regulation 1AA quite well. That was a Statutory Instrument which was on the exact lines of Clause 85. I well remember how punitive and reactionary that was. That Regulation was introduced in wartime conditions. I warn the Government that even those penal sanctions did not stop strikes. Strikes took place in spite of Regulation 1AA and there will be strikes as a result of this provision.

We are objecting to the fact that the present reactionary Government should bring in these penal Clauses to prevent ordinary working-class people from selling the only thing they have to sell—that is, their labour power at free, competitive rates.

When I hear the legal gentleman coming to the House to give us their legal views and suggesting how this should be implemented, it reminds me that the lawyers have the greatest trade union of all. They operate a closed shop and get more in one day in refresher briefs than many mine-workers, for example, earn in a week. Indeed, some lawyers earn more in a week than many working people earn in a year. It ill becomes those sorts of people to come to the House and tell workers in the pits or in the workshops that it is wrong for them to come out on strike for a few extra shillings a week.

What will happen once the Clause is carried into law? The Clause uses the words any person in contemplation or furtherance of an industrial dispute … That means that even if a person is thinking of doing something, for example, telling Post Office workers or Ford workers to come out on strike, he can be liable, even though he may not in fact have told them to come out on strike.

It is customary for all hon. Members taking part in discussions to declare their interests, and I shall do so in this debate. I believe that I am the only Member in the House who can boast—and I emphasise that it is a boast—to holding three trade union tickets, of having been a trade union official while a Member of this House and actually leading official and unofficial strikes and of having the law brought in against me with an injunction. But it did not stop me and it will not stop trade unionists. The Government can bring in all the repressive penal legislation they like. The working class and the trade unions will get round it.

The Clause says that it would be wrong in furtherance of an industrial dispute to induce another person to break a contract to which that other person is a party … Once the Clause is passed and I go to my Ford workers and say to them as a shop steward, "I am telling you that you must not strike", what will happen if I know that on the following day all the directors of the company will be going on strike, or its equivalent, since they will be away attending Ascot or Epsom? [Interruption.]—What happens if I then tell the workers, "Do not come out on strike and do not let us go and discuss the matter with these people at Ascot or Epsom"—[Interruption.]—but the workers decide, against my advice, that they will go and discuss with these people, who are not on strike but happen to be golfing or grouse shooting?

Mr. Tom King rose——

Mr. Lewis

I am not giving way. Or I might suggest to my workers, "Do not let us strike because it is illegal, but West Ham happens to be at home tomorrow and I shall watch the match. I shall not be on strike but you must not join me because that might be illegal industrial action." What if the workers decide that they will come and watch West Ham at home and win—which will be a change? Under this Clause, the Government will impose their penal sanctions.

Mr. King rose——

Mr. Lewis

I am not giving way.

Mr. King rose——

Mr. Lewis

I am not giving way. The hon. Gentleman supported the guillotine. He helped to restrict the discussion. If he had not supported the guillotine I would have given way.

Mr. King rose——

Mr. Lewis

I am not giving way. I am not giving way. This is the trouble with hon. Members opposite. They just will not listen. "I am not giving way" means that I am not giving way. I am explaining that there are 101 ways in which this Clause can be interpreted and evaded. I oppose the Clause because it is punitive. [Interruption.] If the hon. Gentleman wishes to discuss with the Chair he can do so, but he must not sit and mutter.

Mr. King rose——

Mr. Lewis

I am sorry but I am not going to give way. The hon. Gentleman should not have supported the guillotine.

I am against this Clause because it is an attack upon the freedom of speech and freedom of action of such people as journalists and radio commentators. Earlier, the Solicitor-General, when most hon. Members who are here now were not present, admitted that if a journalist—it may be my hon. Friend the Member for Barking or my right hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, East (Mr. Cross-man), or one of the radio or television commentators—happens to get an unofficial striker on to television and happens to use words Which could be called an inducement to him and his colleagues to break contracts, he can be liable under this Clause [HON MEMBERS: "And you."] Yes, of course—and me. But I am not afraid. I would be quite willing to do this. I am not afraid to get up and tell the workers. As far as I am concerned, I am happy to be liable.

We have heard four lawyers give their views today. But I say, with great respect to them, that four have spoken and we have heard four different opinions. But that is not unusual. If one wants a legal opinion, one can get 100 different opinions from the 100 lawyers in the House. I do not say that in any derogatory sense, but it is true. What is going to happen under Clause 85? A lawyer might well say to a shop steward or a trade union, "I think that you should take action and refuse to do this because in my opinion it would be wrong for you to do it". Thereby, if they heed his opinion, the workers will be breaking a contract. Will the lawyer then be liable for inciting or contemplating incitement to induce a person or threatening a person to break a contract, although he is giving there a genuine piece of advice which may, however, be completely contrary to that given by other lawyers? Hence, the Clause is so widely drawn that it does not allow anyone to give an opinion without laying himself or herself open to action.

The Clause states: It shall be an unfair industrial practice for any person, in contemplation or furtherance of an industrial dispute, to induce or threaten to induce another person to break a contract". What does "threaten" mean? What is the position if I go to my Ford workers and say, "I do not think that you should put up with this; I think that you should take action", and they then come out on strike? I did not mean them to come out on strike; I meant them to go through the usual procedure. However, as I suggested that they should take action, I suppose that I could be reported under the Clause because I, or any member of the public, suggested that they should take action which resulted in the furtherance of a dispute—[Interruption.] If the hon. Gentleman looks at the Bill, he will see that it refers to "any person". That means that any hon. Member or any member of the public could be liable because he was threatening to induce a stoppage.

My hon. Friend the Member for Darlington mentioned lavatories. The hon. Gentleman who tried to reply suggested that that employer, who I say was mainly responsible for that industrial dispute because of adopting a punitive, reactionary and antediluvian attitude in putting a time clock outside the ladies' loo, would not go to law. Would he not? That stupid type of employer, who took such punitive action, would invoke this Clause. The progressive employer would discuss the matter with his workers and would not put in these penal restrictive reactionary points which cause disputes like this to happen. The reactionary type of employer does not give two hoots about the workers in his factory; all he is concerned about is how much money he has lost because of a strike. He does not think that he has lost the money because he caused the strike. He is concerned only that 3,000 girls are out on strike for an hour or so and he has lost money. He conveniently forgets that he has been responsible for the calling of the strike and losing that money. That type of employer would be the first to take action to try to sue for damages against trade union workers in that establishment. Therefore, I hope that my right hon. and hon. Friends will oppose the Clause.

Finally, to those who suggest that trade unionists are not up in arms, I say do not be so kidded. I ask those who suggest that there is no reaction on the part of trade unionists to try to walk or drive their cars down Oxford Street on Sunday next, because there will be thousands upon thousands of workers marching through the West End of London in protest against this punitive Clause.

[Sir ROBERT GRANT-FERRIS in the Chair]

10.30 p.m.

Mr. Fernyhough

Listening to the debate I have been nonplussed. It has been very difficult for me to understand why hon. Gentlemen opposite are being kept here longer than they like. If we believe what they have said, the Bill and this particular Clause will have no effect upon the general body of people who engage in unofficial strikes. We have not been given one instance of unofficial action in which the Bill would have led to the employer taking action. The Bill is intended to reduce the number of official and unofficial strikes, yet the speeches of hon. Members opposite convince me that they do not believe that it will have any effect.

Anyone with wide experience of industry knows that 90 per cent. of our strikes are to do not with money but with conditions and atmosphere. Hon. Members opposite must realise that unofficial action will be taken without the influence of Maoists or Trotskyists. Last week, in London, a Woolworth store was closed because of some derogatory remarks which one of the officials admitted. The girls in question looked on it as a slight, as a superior citizen talking to the inferior. They immediately decided that the only way to teach that responsible official how to use decent language about those serving under him was to walk out and close the store.

In my constituency, which has not been free of industrial disputes, most of those which have been most difficult to solve had to do not with wages but with working conditions. Anyone who knows anything about the shipyards, the brick works or heavy industry in general knows that sometimes too much heat or cold or dust or noise can drive men to breaking point. I ask hon. Members opposite to go to any modern automated factory and see some of the people there, who are almost automated themselves, and ask themselves, if they had to do that job eight hours a day, five days a week, how long they would be as calm and collected and reasonable as they are expecting the men and women in the trade union movement to be.

The tempo of modern industry is such that some of the men and women hate the very place. It is no good our saying that they should seek alternative employment, because it is not available in my constituency or in many others in the North-East and Scotland and various other areas. They cannot walk out, not only because there may not be other employment for them but because they would not be entitled to unemployment benefit because they would be out of work as a consequence of their own action.

Let us now consider who could be prosecuted under this Clause.

Mr. Gower

Nobody. Hon. Gentlemen opposite keep referring to people being prosecuted. There is no such provision in the Bill.

Mr. Fernyhough

Then let us consider the penalties. If, on visiting an industrial estate, I am asked by some workpeople in a factory "What do you think of our job?" and I reply "I would not work here for three times the money you boys get", would I be inducing them to strike?

Hon. Members


Hon. Members


Mr. Arthur Lewis

The lawyers say "Yes" and the rest say "No".

Mr. Fernyhough

If I am in a pub or club discussing their jobs with some workers and I say, "If I worked there I would do something about it", would I be inducing them to take industrial action? If the following day they went on strike, would I, having spoken to them in a public place, have induced them to break their contracts?

Mr. Michael Fidler (Bury and Radcliffe)

The answer seems to be "No" if the right hon. Gentleman came under subsection (1)(a) and (b).

Mr. Fernyhough

The Clause says: It shall be an unfair industrial practice for any person, in contemplation or furtherance of an industrial dispute, to induce or threaten to induce another person to break a contract to which that other person is a party, unless the person so inducing or threatening to induce the breach of contract. Would I be guilty?

Mr. Arthur Lewis

The Solicitor-General should tell us.

Mr. Fernyhough

I am asking the hon. and learned Gentleman.

Mr. Gower

Nobody would suggest that the right hon. Gentleman was in furtherance of an industrial dispute. In any event, if he said he would not work there, they would probably tell him that they would not have his job.

Mr. Fernyhough

The provision refers to "any person" and I await the Solicitor-General's reply.

There has been much talk about trade union officials and shop stewards. We should remember that there are nine million trade unionists in Britain out of 24 million people in employment, which shows that many people are outside the trade union movement. There are still a lot of people outside the trade union movement who come out on unofficial strike. In fact, very often the unofficial strike is the beginning of their belonging to a trade union. When they come out, the trade union representatives go along and say, "Right, boys"—or "girls"—"we shall be here henceforth to assist you, to organise you, to guide you, to help you, and to see that your disputes are official from now on". That is what happens, but in such cases as that——

The Chairman

Order. There is a tendency for the Committee to be a little too colloquial.

Mr. Fernyhough

The problem here, Sir Robert, is that the debate has been carried on as though the 24 million employees in this country were all members of trade unions and that the unions could have some responsibility for the conduct of all employees. In fact, as hon. Members opposite are eager to point out in different circumstances and a different atmosphere from this, there are only 9 million in the trade unions and there are 15 million outside. Many of those 15 million come out on strike. They often have disputes. How in those circumstances are we to be able to pin it down and say who is responsible and who produced a particular dispute?

Mr. Arthur Lewis

Was my right hon. Friend here earlier when the Solicitor-General admitted—this could apply to him—that if he were to write in his union journal—the New Dawn, I think it is—that others should join workers who were on strike, or that others in other industries should join them, he could be liable for just writing that article? [HON. MEMBERS "No."] Yes, the Solicitor-General said that.

Mr. Fernyhough

Yes, I heard that discussion, and I was not greatly charmed by the hon. and learned Gentleman's reply. He may be learned, but he seemed to be skating on very thin ice, and he was not very convincing to those of his own profession who heard his answer.

What staggers me is the assertion we have heard that there is wide support for the Bill. Where?—among large employers or federations of employers? Of course, in the Monday Club and the Primrose League hon. Members opposite can get their cheers about clobbering the unions and putting them in their place. But what is the purpose? If hon. Members opposite still think that these provisions will produce the results which they expect and desire, I beg them to read Appendix 6 to the Donovan Report, remembering that that deals with what happened in time of war when everyone felt that anything against the national effort was support for Hitlerism. Over 1,000 people defied the law nevertheless. We had Cabinet Ministers going to negotiate with men in prison to see whether they would call off the strike. The Minister went to negotiate with the strikers in prison, saying, "I think I can get you out". But then he had to go back to the Home Secretary, because it is the Home Secretary's job to release prisoners. It is not the job of the Minister of Labour.

It will take hon. Members only five minutes to read Appendix 6. Then they should ask themselves whether, if any offences are committed under the Clause, they think that they will be able to give the law greater standing and greater morality than the law under which those men were prosecuted and the prosecutions brought completely into disrepute the law that was supposed to discipline them.

The Government are in a mess. The country is in a mess, and we cannot begin to get out of that mess until such time as the Government begin to understand the trade union movement. Without the help and co-operation of the organised workers the Government cannot solve the big problems that they face. If they accept that premise, the Government, for the sake of their own limited life, should make, if not all the concessions for which we have asked, at least the concession for which we have asked on the Clause.

10.45 p.m.

Mr. James Hill (Southampton, Test)

The right hon. Member for Jarrow (Mr. Fernyhough) wanted an example of whether the Clause could be brought in; he asked for a categoric illustration of a strike with which the legislation could have dealt. I ask him particularly to cast his mind back to last year, when we had the national dock strike. The union executive on behalf of the dock workers accepted a figure and conditions which shortly afterwards the London, Liverpool and Southampton dockers did not accept. The militants there rebelled, for want of a better term, against their own executive. That is one sort of case where we know that the Clause would have been of some use, with the wording "furtherance of an industrial dispute".

Listening to right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite, we might feel that all is well in the world of union disputes. We might think that all is lily-white and that it is the rascals of employers, the employers' associations and the rest of the public who are not union members who are causing all the nasty strife. The public must have a balanced view of this.

All is not right in the industrial world. Wherever we apportion the blame, we on this side realise that the Clause would deal with such a case as I have mentioned, and with many other cases that we could mention if there were time. But we have been reminded that it is our guillotine, and I should like to sit down there.

Mr. Fernyhough rose——

The Chairman

Mr. Frederick Lee.

Mr. Fernyhough rose——

The Chairman

Order. Did the hon. Gentleman give way, or had he finished?

Mr. Hill

I will give way Sir Robert.

Mr. Fernyhough

All I said was that it was remarkable that nobody had yet met an employer who, if the Bill were law, would use it. The Government say that everybody wants the Bill, but no one can name any employer who says, "I wish that the Bill had been on the Statute Book 12 months ago so that I could have dealt with my employees."

Mr. Hill

From experience, I know that to be untrue. I meet many employers who say quite the reverse. It is fair to say that there is a general feeling in the country at present that the Bill is our only salvation in the industrial world. The reason why it is meeting such fierce opposition in the Committee is that right hon. and hon. Members opposite are aware of the defects in their own procedures. When this Measure becomes law, I am sure that all responsible trade union officials will feel the benefit of it.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

They are queuing up outside.

Mr. Frederick Lee

I want mainly to urge the Solicitor-General to address himself to subsection (1)(b). Earlier, both my hon. Friend the Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) and I referred to the dilemma in which a shop steward might find himself in certain circumstances.

Suppose that there had been a long-established custom and practice in a factory, and that the employer decided suddently to contravene it. The shop steward would be in a dilemma in this sense. If he permitted that breach of custom and practice without challenge, it would go, and the employer could claim that what he had instigated was to be the custom and practice from then on. On the other hand, if the shop steward protested, the only way in which he could do it would be first by discussing the matter with the employer and, if that failed, by withdrawing his labour—at which stage, I take it, he would fall foul of Clause 85.

In that event, the Solicitor-General would come up against an even greater difficulty. He might argue that, from the moment that this Measure is enacted, it is for the trade union concerned so to change its rules as to bring its representatives in factories within the meaning of Clause 85. But we now know that a number of important trade unions intend to refuse to register under these provisions. I ventured to suggest that possibility a few days ago, though I did not know that that was the intention.

Mr. James Hamilton (Bothwell)

I think that it should be made clear that the General Council of the T.U.C. has advised all affiliated organisations not to register. I am quite sure that they will accept the council's leadership.

Mr. Lee

I agree. I merely suggested the possibility that some unions might not register. In such a situation, in what way will these provisions apply to unions which do not wish to register and whose rules, presumably, will not be vetted by the registrar? The result will be, surely, a number of trade unions whose rules are at complete variance with these provisions.

In such circumstances, a shop steward cannot possibly win. That is why this kind of law must be flouted by conscientious people who find themselves in that situation. It does not matter what Measure we are discussing: if we reach a position of that sort, we bring the law into contempt. Here are conscientious people desirous of doing their duty by their fellow workers. They know that, if they take the only course open to them and advise a withdrawal of labour, they may fall foul of these provisions.

The Solicitor-General had better tell us, particularly in the light of the recent T.U.C. advice, how he proposes to deal with a situation in which this legislation is bound to be at variance with the decision of the vast majority of unions not to register. This is a practical problem with nothing high falutin about it. I had the experience, especially during the war, of being threatened with prosecution by employers because I was trying to carry out the provision of my trade union rules at a time when there were restrictions such as 1AA operating, restrictions similar to the provisions of Clause 85.

It cannot have escaped the notice of the Government that the trade union movement has based its rules upon consultation and collective bargaining. For 70 years we have led the world in collective bargaining and making agreements, most of which have always been honoured. Surely the fact that a movement of this sort, highly respected in the I.L.O. and other international circles, with its civilised approach, is now being driven by this legislation into a position when it is trying to avoid the provisions of what will become the law of the country shows how bad this Measure is.

It is time that the Government began to take notice. These are not anarchists looking for a way out. They are trying to retain their constitutional approach to life and at the same time to prevent their members becoming victims of this kind of Measure. If the Government are to continue to be as insensitive as they have been up to now they must not complain if the trade union movement rebels in the way that I have suggested.

I think that all Tory Governments are bad, but a frightened Tory Government is even worse. Twice since the first world war they have been frightened. The first occasion was the general strike in 1926. That began the Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Act, 1927, conceived in malice and fear because of the general strike. Now we have a period in our industrial history when they are frightened again and the reason why they are frightened is because they do not understand why it is that trade unions can go on demanding more and more wage increases instead of having to defend themselves against wage reductions. This has brought a frightened Tory Government into being. Hon. Members opposite say that this is a poor pussy-cat of a Bill which will never be used; its provisions are long-stops and we are exaggerating the position when we point out what it really means.

But the attitude of the Prime Minister is different. When he was running round Britain telling us that he had the answer to the vastly increasing number of days lost through strikes. He said that these provisions would be rigorously applied to any who dared contravene the agreements. The party opposite had better make up its mind. Is the Prime Minister wrong and, if so, is it just another way in which he misled the people in June last year?

Mr. Tom King

The hon. Member will surely know the answer to the admitted conundrum he has attempted to create. He knows that there is a concentration of disputes in problem areas and in the bulk of companies and industries there is no trouble. This is common ground. The answer to the conundrum is to say that there is no discrepancy between the arguments we are making and the position of our Prime Minister.

11.0 p.m.

Mr. Lee

There is a grain of truth in what the hon. Gentleman says. For instance, a great number of working days is lost in the motor-car industry. But we shall not cure that by blanket legislation of this sort. We shall cure it by examining the car industry's problems. One day some genius will discover that they are caused by repetitive processes and the fact that highly skilled engineers can obtain more money in semi-skilled work on an assembly line than by working in the tool room at their own job. When skilled men are employed on repetitive work they occasionally blow up and have a strike.

If the Government want the answer, that is the way to try to investigate, and not by bringing in this nonsense, which in every way condemns 26 million people to unnecessary restrictions given the background of the present position in our industries.

One hon. Member opposite said that we on this side of the Committee were haunted by the past. The Government are haunted by the present. They do not know the answers. The Prime Minister tells us about the inflation problem. Apparently the only issue which brings inflation is wage increases. But when the Labour Government had an incomes policy and set a maximum above which increases should not go, the right hon. Gentleman led his troops into the Division Lobby every time any group tried to raise that ceiling. Was it inflationary then? Has it only become inflationary in the last six months or so?

The generalisations and questions of principle which the Solicitor-General rides on will not do. I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) that this is a key Clause to which we take violent exception. It is a Clause which is causing the greatest constitutional trade union movement that the world has seen to refuse point blank to register under the aegis of this legislation. It is high time that the Government began to take notice of that.

Mr. Maurice Orbach (Stockport, South)

I have listened to almost every speech from the other side of the Committee today, both in the debate on the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill" and in the debate on the Amendments which preceded that. I very much appreciated the speech of the right hon. Member for Portsmouth, Langstone (Mr. Ian Lloyd), who called upon the Solicitor-General and the Secretary of State to withdraw the Clause.

Various hon. Members opposite, who are concerned with omitting some parts of the Clause or with replying to my right hon. and hon. Friends, spoke on the basis that they were talking about hypothetical situations or employers who would finally have their businesses placed in the bankruptcy court.

I speak as a trade unionist and as an employer. Therefore, I hope that I am in an objective position to deal with this subject. In the last few years we had "the £1 million strike" in which violence occurred and people were arrested. Many people in other industries struck in sympathy. At the behest of the employers, the chief constable of Stockport invited the Mayor to read the Riot Act. In consequence, the Riot Act was repealed.

The strike was the Roberts Arundel strike, which continued for weeks. It caused great division in the town I represent. At one stage I endeavoured to mediate and met management and employees over a weekend for hour after hour in an attempt to end the strike and resolve the difficulties. I achieved the result of having the chairman of the company, who lived in South Carolina, renege on his own managing director. In the interim period I listened to all the complaints made by employees and management; and to all the accusations levelled by the employees against the employers because of the bad working conditions and the failure to recognise trade unionism the employers' answer was that there had been 13 unofficial strikes before the union had accepted that there was an official strike in existence. In that instance people had joined the union so that an official strike should be declared.

The 13 strikes were not hypothetical The first strike was occasioned—my hon. Friend the Member for Darlington (Mr. Ted Fletcher) referred to a hypothetical case; this is an actual one—because on one of the coldest days in the winter there was no heat in the factory. The second strike occurred because there was no water in the compartments that my hon. Friend the Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Arthur Lewis) continually refers to. All the strikes were trivial, but they were things that no hon. Member would be prepared to accept in any circumstances.

My hon. Friends have pleaded with the Solicitor-General to drop these stupid Clauses in Part V.

Mr. David Waddington (Nelson and Colne)

Before the hon. Gentleman leaves the subject of the Roberts Arundel dispute, so that we may learn some lessons from it, will he tell us whether the firm is still in existence in Stockport and if anybody is working there now?

Mr. Orbach

If the hon. Gentleman wants me to reply, I will do so. There are now nine people employed in the factory.

Mr. Waddington


Mr. Orbach

Nine out of the scores that were employed there.

Mr. Waddington


Mr. Orbach

Not because of trade unionism, but because of a stupid or rather devious employer who had no other purpose than to close factory after factory and sell the land upon which his factories stood, for a very good price considering the period when he bought and when he sold. I met the gentleman concerned. He was a member of Moral Rearmament. He had declared to the newspapers on his arrival in Stockport that he had met me and had agreed to the terms of a settlement. At that stage he had never met me in his life.

Mr. Patrick Wolrige-Gordon (Aberdeenshire, East)

Is the hon. Gentleman implying that the owner of the Roberts Arundel factory in Stockport was a member of Moral Rearmament? If so, it is absolutely untrue?

Mr. Orbach

I am saying that.

Mr. Wolrige-Gordon

It is untrue.

Mr. Orbach

This gentleman declared it.

Mr. Wolrige-Gordon

It is untrue.

Mr. Orbach

Then he is doubly a liar. This is the sort of action which is to be called unfair industrial practice—people walking out in protest against an employer who imposes such conditions and who on every possible occasion lies, not only to his own people but to every other authority in the town.

Right hon. and hon. Members opposite should reconsider this matter.

Mr. James Hill

The union in this case was particularly lacking in allowing 13 unofficial strikes before coming to life and declaring an official strike. This puts the blame more on the shoulders of the union than on the employer.

Mr. Orbach

Perhaps I should explain that at the beginning of the unofficial strikes a small minority of workers were members of a trade union. As unofficial strikes continued more workers joined the trade union to force official action and to get round the bargaining table with the employers. This has all been written up. I am making no unfair or untrue statements. When I was sitting on the Government side of the House I discussed this with the Minister of Labour and raised it on the Adjournment.

In addition to the incidents I have described, the stupid chief constable, who is fortunately no longer there, tried to get the mayor to read the Riot Act, and those who were brutally treated by the police during the strike received compensation. The strike roused the whole city to militancy; business was disrupted, windows were broken, and heads, and many things were done which should not have been done.

When I was acting as mediator I called in the union people and asked what exactly was the position. They went through the 13 strikes and said that the management had been responsible. My answer, which has a bearing on the Clause, was, "I am an accessory after the fact because, had I known of the conditions in the factory, I would have persuaded your members to strike and refuse to work under such conditions."

On that basis I appeal to the Solicitor-General to give up his legal garb. He is a reasonable man to talk to in the Lobbies. I hope he will be reasonable now and listen to the lone voice on his side and the voices of hon. Members on this side and withdraw the Clause.

The Solicitor-General

At an earlier stage in the debate it was suggested that we were not here trying to grapple with a real problem because unofficial strikes are not of grave importance. But I suggest that both sides of the Committee start from the premise which underlies all discussion about this in recent years—and the Donovan Commission said it earlier on—that the prevalence of unofficial strikes and their tendency to increase have such serious economic implications that measures to deal with them are urgently necessary. We may have got the wrong measures, or the right measures, but I hope the Committee can start from the premise that we are setting out to try to reduce that problem.

Hon. Members on both sides of the Committee—perhaps mainly on the Opposition side—have tended to suggest that there is an accumulation of legal wisdom on the Government side and practical experience on the Opposition side of the Committee. Throughout the Committee, as throughout the country, there is experience and wisdom of all kinds about this matter, and the proposals in the Bill have not been evolved, as several hon. Members opposite have suggested, in the forensic bosom of the Solicitor-General. They are a seriously considered, well-balanced attempt by the Government—and it is the policy of the Government which I am putting forward—developed with a great deal of thought over a number of years, taking into account all the factors.

The proposals involve a change in the legal setting against the background of which people on both sides of industry will conduct themselves, but we all conduct ourselves in all aspects of our life, consciously or unconsciously, to a greater or lesser extent, against a legal background, and the question is whether the quite modest but important shift we are proposing is or is not rightly balanced.

11.15 p.m.

The right hon. Member for Jarrow (Mr. Fernyhough) said that it was time the Government understood the anxieties of the trade union movement about what is now being debated. With equal force, I beg hon. Members opposite and the trade union movement to understand, more precisely than some speeches have suggested, the limits of the intentions of the Government's proposals. We are not setting out to clobber the trade union movement. That suggestion is a positive antithesis of the exceptions contained in subsection (1)(a) and (b).

If one tries to strike a fair balance one finds an illustration of a lack of understanding in the ambiguous current of criticism that has flowed from hon. Members opposite. In one speech they say, "If this goes through no trade unionist will ever be able to walk in safety; everyone will be at risk of being penalised, whatever he does and wherever he goes", and, in the next speech, "Why are you fussing so much about this, if nothing is to happen?". Hon. Members opposite say, "No employer will dare to make use of this. It is futile. We can advise our trade union friends to ignore it". That has been said by hon. Members opposite. I beg the Committee to accept the possibility that the truth lies somewhere between the two extremes, and that what we have arrived at is a reasonable balance—which is what we have been striving for.

I come back to the question of the limits of what we are trying to do. It is not—as was suggested by the hon. Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Arthur Lewis)—that the contemplation of industrial disputes should be unfair; the suggestion is that the right to call strikes without due notice is a right that should be enjoyed by registered trade unions and their officials within the scope of their authority, but is not a right which, in a free but complex, modern industrial society, should be enjoyed by everyone and anyone.

To suggest—as one hon. Member opposite has done—that this is destroying the shield that the trade union movement represents to workers throughout industry is to misunderstand the purpose of the exercise. I would not stand in this House or anywhere else seeking to destroy that shield. My grandfather was a founder member of the tinplate workers' trade union in South Wales. My whole upbringing has been in South Wales. I know as much as other hon. Members about the importance of the trade union movement as a shield for our working classes.

We are not seeking to destroy that shield; we are saying that the right to induce strikes in this sense should be confined to people who can legitimately hold that shield and say, "I am an official of the trade union, acting within the scope of my authority". Within those limits the law remains unimpaired.

Mr. Loughlin

The significance of the Clause is contained in the phrase "to induce" or "threaten to induce". Unless that phrase is clearly defined or an explanation given, we cannot begin to assess this Clause and its implications for the trade union movement. Would the Solicitor-General now begin to look at the Clause on the basis of defining that phrase?

The Solicitor-General

The point is one with which I am going to deal. I have very little time to deal with all the points which have been put, so I shall come to it.

For example, the proposition that due notice should be given within the limited range of the Clause by unofficial unregistered strike leaders is not unreasonable or out of tune with what was said by the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer). He said that in many situations the causes of tension build up over a period of time—[An HON. MEMBER: "And they break."] Yes, and they break. It is not unreasonable in the normal course of developing tension that due notice should be given at least by unofficial workplace leaders.

To look at the other side of the matter, the hon. Member for Southall (Mr. Bidwell) said very compellingly—and I acknowledge the force of his argument—that we are here dealing with the rights of individual workpeople whose sole stake in the modern industrial society in which we live is their job and that in the process of collective bargaining with their employer it is only then they can throw these matters into the scale, and it is right that they should be entitled to do so collectively. I agree with that, but we must remember that there are many people—these are the people whose support we on this side of the Committee claim—who are in a workplace and whose desire is not merely to retain that job and be able to bargain for better terms with their employer, but to have some prospect of remaining stably at work. They are just as discontented as anybody else by the calling of a succession of short-notice unofficial strikes which jeopardise their right to remain at work as much as they jeopardise any other aspects of society.

When we say that there should be this measure of change, that the inducing of unofficial strikes by unauthorised people outside the trade union movement should be subject in the ordinary way to the obligation to give notice, we are doing so not just in the interests of employers and of society on a wider scale, but in the interests of people who work in those places and who can be just as fed up by persistent unofficial strikes.

Mr. Bidwell

It is to be hoped that circumstances will be as sweet as the Solicitor-General says they will be, but often this is not the case. Often when workers are aggrieved they go on moaning, eventually moaning to the management, and then comes a breaking point. There is no formality in these matters. That is the reality of British industrial life. It suddenly blows hot and cold. The law cannot take care of hot and cold human behaviour.

The Solicitor-General

I shall come to that, if I may.

Mr. Loughlin

Come to mine first.

The Solicitor-General

I hope the hon. Gentleman will be patient. We have had some five hours on the Question, That the Clause stand part, and I am trying to deal with the points which have been put to me, and I will do so.

The right hon. Member for Newton (Mr. Frederick Lee) raised the question of a shop steward who challenges a change in custom or practice or is taken to have allowed it to go by default. If that shop steward is a union official acting within the scope of his authority, he may challenge forthwith the change in custom or practice in whatever way he thinks fit. He may persuade his fellow employees to quit work immediately, if he is acting within the scope of his authority. Of course, in order for it to be shown that he is acting within the scope of his authority, as the right hon. Gentleman observed, the rules of the union, as laid down in Schedule 3, would no doubt specify what authority he had and in what situation he could or could not call strike action, and could say that he had the specific authority for which the right hon. Gentleman asked.

Of course, if the union is not registered, it is clear that the question never arises, because the official of an unregistered union does not come within the protection conferred by the exceptions in Clause 85(1)(a) and (b). There is no secret about that. It is what we have been saying throughout the debate. These privileges, which survive and deserve to survive, should be confined to the officials of registered unions acting within their scope or authority. This is neither the time nor the place to consider how far and how wide any response may be to advice given to unions not to register. We have to look forward, as the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson) said, to the time when the Bill is on the Statute Book, when cooler thoughts are prevailing. I cannot believe that this problem will arise in that way.

Mr. Orme

What if no trade union registers?

The Solicitor-General

That again is a question we are very unlikely to have to contemplate. The provisions here contained are following the simple central proposition that the right to call strike action without notice is one that can legitimately be confined to registered trade unions in that way.

I come to the other point raised in a wider sense. My hon. Friend the Member for Basingstoke (Mr. David Mitchell) intervened earlier to make clear a point which appeared thereafter to become obscure. I repeat it. Nothing in the Clause affects in any way the right of individuals to cease work and go on strike. Clause 85 does not impair it; Clause 114 makes plain the right of individual people to quit work.

The hon. Member for Darlington (Mr. Ted Fletcher) quoted the example of the girls who walked out as a result of the placing of a table outside their lavatory. He asked whether those girls would be punishable. The answer is that there is no question of punishment in any event. Those who take part in spontaneous—a word used often by hon. Members oppo- site—action of this kind would not he under any kind of responsibility more than they are today—indeed, rather less, because it seems that they would have a right to a complaint of an unfair industrial practice, which they would not have today.

The hon. Member also mentioned the Betteshanger case but missed the important fundamental principle of the Bill. It does not propose any criminal remedies at all, and it does not propose any remedies against individual workers who have gone on strike. It is confined, so far as this Clause is concerned, to those who induce action in break of contract of employment and are not trade union officials acting within the scope of their authority. We are on the validity of our proposals in respect of a very narrow middle ground. The unions official is all right; the individual worker is all right—indeed, more so than he is today. We are concerned, therefore, with the very narrow question of restricting the rôle of the unofficial leader.

My hon. Friend the Member for Paddington, South (Mr. Scott) and others asked me to address some remarks to the question of inducing. I put it in this way: inducing implies first of all that the person who is said to have induced another person to break a contract should know of that contract; that he should have the intention to procure the breach of that contract, and that he should have brought persuasion to bear with the result of producing that breach. In other words, he must be shown to have acted purposely to secure those breaches with the intention of causing them. Without deliberation and intention the point of the effectiveness of the Clause would not arise. [Interruption.] Hon. Gentlemen opposite ask how we are going to find evidence about it. This may be so. If that be so, the matter will not arise very often.

11.30 p.m.

All we are saying is that in situations where it can be shown that, without any kind of cause—I shall come back to that later—unofficial people, without any authority from their union, actually produce breaches of contracts of employment other than on proper notice, they should be open to some remedy in respect of it.

This is a narrow, modest proposal, and perhaps we may look at it a little more in the kind of situation which might arise. Several hon. Gentlemen opposite have said that this will enable employers to take quite outrageous, wholly unjustifiable, actions and to leave their workpeople with no remedy by way of strike action in face of such outrageous actions. I ask the Committee to look again at the way that an employer would have to proceed to get a remedy under Clause 85. The employer would have to commence proceedings in the industrial court and establish the matters which I have just set out as matters of fact.

Mr. Orme

How can he do that?

The Solicitor-General

He would have to get evidence to do it.

Mr. Orme

This is the particular point made by Mr. Jack Jones, the General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union. He was referring to this Clause, because he said that it would create factory spies. The hon. and learned Gentleman has just underlined that point.

The Solicitor-General

The point was dealt with by my hon. Friend the Member for Paddington, South. No employer will be concerned to create a great sleuth-like organisation of this kind—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] We are concerned with cases, well known in the Committee and in the country, where it is plain that people are inducing unofficial strike action without justification and continue to do so without any fear of liability or responsibility. In such cases the employer would have to establish, having proved the facts, that it was just and equitable for the court to give him a remedy. The court would then have to consider, in the light of Clause 102(3), whether it could be said that the employer had contributed to the strike action of which he was complaining. I have referred the Committee to that before.

If an employer who takes outrageous action in a provocative way—sudden changing of the working conditions of his workpeople—believes that he can go to the industrial court and say, "I want an order restraining this strike", he will get the most astonishing surprise. Such an employer will be told, roughly and plainly, in the terms of the Bill, "You have no business coming here when it is your conduct which has provoked and caused this strike action."

One of the lessons which will come through very clearly, not least because these matters will be heard by an industrial court, not by an ordinary court, is that such courts are no friend to the bad employer.

Many examples which have been given by the hon. Gentlemen opposite of strikes and industrial action which they claim to be justified my hon. Friends would entirely agree are justified. Many of the examples were of strikes provoked by plain bad management, and bad management will get no support in this or in any other Clause.

Mrs. Castle

How does the hon. and learned Gentleman know?

The Solicitor-General

Because of the provisions which I have just recited. The court would have to be satisfied that the facts were proved, that it is just and equitable, that it is likely to make any kind of sense, to make the order, and that the strike complained of was not provoked or caused or contributed to by the action of the plaintiff employer. The employers who will get through those hoops with the prospect of getting a remedy under this or any other Clause will not be the bad employers. The hon. Member for Gloucestershire, West (Mr. Loughlin) underlined a point which I made earlier when he asked what was the point of the Clause. Here we find the Opposition shifting their ground.

Mr. Loughlin rose——

The Solicitor-General

On the one hand it is being represented——

Mr. Loughlin

Will the hon. and learned Gentleman give way?

The Chairman

The hon. Member for Gloucestershire, West (Mr. Loughlin) can see that the Solicitor-General is not giving way.

The Solicitor-General

In the last speech from the Opposition, the hon. Member for Stockport, South (Mr. Orbach) told a story with which the Committee is familiar. He listed 13 strikes in respect of that employer whose principal fault was a reluctance to recognise a trade union and trade unionism. That is as good an example as I can give of the extent to which the Bill is conferring rights on a union in that situation to claim recognition and to be recognised. That kind of problem would not be permitted to fester for months and years in the way which he described. That is one illustration of the kind of change which the Bill, and this Clause in particular, seeks to bring about. It seeks to change the general atmosphere within which both sides of industry conduct themselves.

The hon. Member for Southall made a revealing remark when he said that we all know of occasions today on which a union official gives a nod and a wink to unofficial strikes because things have grown up that way. There will be no need for a union official to give as little as a nod or a wink to an unofficial strike which is provoked by absurd or outrageous conduct by the employer. We want to change the setting which has grown up so that the unofficial strike is normally regarded as something to be discouraged by management and by union officials. If a union official thinks that conditions are such as to justify strike action, he may call such strike action protected by the cloak conferred by Clause 85 in respect of union officials acting within the scope of their responsibility.

But we should not continue to have a situation in which it is regarded as too easy, too routine, too normal for anyone, anywhere, at any time, to call a strike in breach of a contract of employment. If it is to be said that that results in a reduction of freedom for some people in a limited number of circumstances, I commend it to the Committee because it will in other ways be extending freedom to many more people in a wider sense, extending the freedom of society as a whole, and in many cases extending the freedom of the people who are being called out on strike in that situation. This is a balance which we commend to the Committee as a reasonable balance, making only a very modest change in the light of the needs of our modern society.

Mr. Harold Walker (Doncaster)

I am sensitive to the feeling of hon. Members that they want to proceed to a vote on this very important Clause, but it is important to pick up one or two of the points made by hon. Members opposite, particularly the two-faced remarks by the Solicitor-General. It does not lie in his mouth to accuse this side of the Committee of shifting ground. We have been treated once again by the hon. and learned Gentleman and his hon. Friends to this ambivalent approach which says: "You are taking these things to extremes. This is only to deal with extreme cases; it will not hurt anyone." But outside the House they parade up and down the country persuading their own supporters that they are going to murder the unions. It is time that they made up their minds——

Hon. Members


Mr. Walker

All I am getting in reply is a lot of parrot cries, but we have heard them this afternoon saying that their interest is to support the unions. It seems to me that they are prepared to support the unions rather as a rope supports a hanging man.

Whenever it suits his book, the Solicitor-General trots out selective quotations from the Royal Commission Report, and he did so today. Donovan also said: We deprecate any attempt to deal with unofficial and unconstitutional strikes in isolation and that is precisely what the hon. and learned Gentleman is trying to do here.

The individual worker is to be safe. But when the Royal Commission was drawing a comparison between those who would be exposed by the withdrawal of the protection of Section 3 of the 1906 Act and unregistered unions, it was talking of organised bodies of unofficial strikers, whereas the Clause deals with individuals.

The Solicitor-General said that the nub of the matter was the question of who was to have the right to call a strike. Earlier in our debates, as an example of what he thought was wrong with the present situation, he once again referred to the people to whom Lord Robens had taken exception in my own constituency. We have heard once or twice about South Yorkshire coal miners. He referred to flying squads of pickets going around trying to persuade their fellow workers to remain on strike.

If there was violence—we all deprecate that and anything which goes beyond what is considered reasonable and normal—there is already redress in the law for such behaviour, but there is nothing wrong with trying to persuade one's fellow workers of the justness of one's cause and trying to persuade them to join in. But the hon. and learned Gentleman appears to think the opposite, and that is what the Clause provides the means of suppressing. In that way, as in so many other ways in the Bill, he is diminishing our freedom.

The Government have deliberately distorted Donovan to suit their case. The Solicitor-General quoted paragraphs 800 and 801 of the Report but he would profit from reading paragraph 799 also. The Government have also ignored the fact that the Royal Commission was deeply divided about its own view and the Solicitor-General completely ignored the powerful arguments of the minority. They have plucked this one out of Donovan in isolation and clearly out of the context of its general proposals. As the Solicitor-General himself admitted in our first debate today, this Clause "limits the right to strike".

11.45 p.m.

This strikes a blow at our free society. It is a deliberate abrogation of rights conferred by Parliament in 1906 with equal deliberation. I have no doubt that the aim of the Clause, as my hon. Friends have eloquently pointed out, is to attack those much maligned people, the shop stewards, who will have their industrial rôle emasculated.

The hon. and learned Gentleman quoted selectively from Donovan. I remind him that it was the Royal Commission which said: One of the things no law can do is to make people co-operate if they do not Hunt to do so". That sentiment is embodied in the aphorism that one can govern only with the consent of the government. In this Clause we have blatant discrimination by the representatives of one section of the community against another. Those who will be the victims of this discrimination will reject this, and so do we.

Mr. Loughlin

I must comment—[HON. MEMBERS: "Sit down."] I will not sit down. We still have nearly 15 minutes before the guillotine falls.

I wish to bring the Solicitor-General back to the point I tried to get him to tackle earlier; namely, at least to try to define the two phrases "to induce" and "to threaten to induce". Unless these two phrases are explained, all the hon. and learned Gentleman's other arguments are immaterial. If we are told by lawyers on the benches opposite that the legal profession cannot understand what is meant by these phrases, how can the average men and women in industry be expected to comprehend this provision? Unless the Solicitor-General defines these phrases in the context of industrial relations, he cannot begin to justify the Bill.

Question put:

The Committee divided: Ayes 285, Noes 259.

Division No. 164.] AYES [11.48 p.m.
Adley, Robert Bray, Ronald Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Brewis, John Cormack, Patrick
Archer, Jeffrey (Louth) Brinton, Sir Tatton Costain, A. P.
Astor, John Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Critchley, Julian
Atkins, Humphrey Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Crouch, David
Awdry, Daniel Bruce-Gardyne, J. Crowder, F. P.
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Bryan, Paul Curran, Charles
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Buchanan-Smith, Alick(Angus,N&M) Dalkeith, Earl of
Balniel, Lord Buck, Antony Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)
Batsford, Brian Bullus, Sir Eric d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Burden, F. A. d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen. Jack
Bell, Ronald Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Dean, Paul
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Campbell, Rt.Hn.G.(Moray&Nairn) Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.
Benyon, W. Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Digby, Simon Wingfield
Bitten, John Chapman, Sydney Dixon, Piers
Biggs-Davison, John Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher Dodds-Parker, Douglas
Blaker, Peter Chichester-Clark, R. Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Clark, William (Surrey, E.) Drayson, C. B.
Body, Richard Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward
Boscawen, Robert Clegg, Walter Dykes, Hugh
Bossom, Sir Clive Cockeram, Eric Eden, Sir John
Bowden, Andrew Cooke, Robert Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Coombs, Derek Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)
Braine, Bernard Cooper, A. E. Elliott, R. W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.)
Emery, Peter Knight, Mrs. Jill Rees, Peter (Dover)
Eyre, Reginald Knox, David Rees-Davies, W. R.
Farr, John Lambton, Antony Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Fell, Anthony Lane, David Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Langford-Holt, Sir John Ridsdale, Julian
Fidler, Michael Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)
Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead) Le Marchant, Spencer Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Fookes, Miss Janet Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Rost, Peter
Fortescue, Tim Longden, Gilbert Russell, Sir Ronald
Foster, Sir John Loveridge, John St. John-Stevas, Norman
Fowler, Norman McAdden, Sir Stephen Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.
Fox, Marcus MacArthur, Ian Scott, Nicholas
Fry, Peter McCrindle, R. A. Scott-Hopkins, James
Galbraith, Hn. T. G. McLaren, Martin Sharples, Richard
Gardner, Edward Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Gibson-Watt, David McMaster, Stanley Shelton, William (Clapham)
Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Macmillan, Mauriec (Farnham) Simeons, Charles
Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) McNair-Wilson, Michael Sinclair, Sir George
Glyn, Dr. Alan McNair-Wilson, Patrick (NewForest) Skeet, T. H. H.
Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. Maddan, Martin Smith, Dudley(W'wick & L'mington)
Goodhart, Philip Madel, David Soref, Harold
Goodhew, Victor Maginnis, John E. Spence, John
Gorst, John Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest Sproat, Iain
Gower, Raymond Marten, Neil Stainton, Keith
Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.) Mather, Carol Stanbrook, Ivor
Gray, Hamish Maude, Angus Stewart-Smith, D. C. (Belper)
Green, Alan Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)
Grylls, Michael Mawby, Ray Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.
Gummer, Selwyn Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Stokes, John
Gurden, Harold Meyer, Sir Anthony Stuttaford, Dr. Tom
Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Mills, Peter (Torrington) Sutcliffe, John
Hall, John (Wycombe) Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Tapsell, Peter
Halt-Davis, A. G. F. Miscampbell, Norman Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Mitchell,Lt.-Col.C.(Aberdeenshire.W) Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow,Cathcart)
Hannam, John (Exeter) Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Moate, Roger Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)
Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Molyneaux, James Tebbit, Norman
Haselhurst, Alan Money, Ernie Temple, John M.
Hastings, Stephen Monks, Mrs. Connie Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret
Hayhoe, Barney Montgomery, Fergus Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)
Hicks, Robert More, Jasper Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)
Higgins, Terence L. Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
Hiley, Joseph Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm. Tilney, John
Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.) Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Trafford, Dr. Anthony
Hill, James (Southampton, Test) Mudd, David Trew, Peter
Holland, Philip Murton, Oscar Tugendhat, Christopher
Holt, Miss Mary Nabarro, Sir Gerald Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Hordern, Peter Neave, Airey Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Hornby, Richard Nicholls, Sir Harmar Vickers, Dame Joan
Hornsby-Smith,Rt.Hn.Dame Patricia Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael Waddington, David
Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate) Normanton, Tom Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) Nott, John Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Hunt, John Onslow, Cranley Wall, Patrick
Hutchison, Michael Clark Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally Wall, Patrick
Iremonger, T. L. Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.) Walters, Dennis
James, David Page, Graham (Crosby) Ward, Dame Irene
Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Page, John (Harrow, W.) Warren, Kenneth
Parkinson, Cecil (Enfield, W.) Weatherill, Bernard
Jessel, Toby Peel, John Wells, John (Maidstone)
Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Percival, Ian White, Roger (Gravesend)
Joining, Michael Pike, Miss Mervyn Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Pink, R. Bonner Wiggin, Jerry
Kaberry, Sir Donald Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch Wilkinson, John
Kellett, Mrs. Elaine Price, David (Eastleigh) Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Kershaw, Anthony Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L. Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher
Kilfedder, James Proudfoot, Wilfred Woodnutt, Mark
Kimball, Marcus Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis Worsley, Marcus
King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Quennell, Miss J. M. Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
King, Tom (Bridgwater) Raison, Timothy
Kinsey, J. R. Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Kirk, Peter Redmond, Robert Mr. Keith Speed and
Kitson, Timothy Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.) Mr. Paul Hawkins.
Abse, Leo Barnes, Michael Boardman, H. (Leigh)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Barnett, Joel Booth, Albert
Allen, Scholefield Beaney, Alan Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland)
Armstrong, Ernest Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Bradley, Tom
Ashton, Joe Bidwell, Sydney Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.)
Atkinson, Norman Bishop, E. S. Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Blenkinsop, Arthur Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury)
Buchan, Norman Horam, John Oswald, Thomas
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Palmer, Arthur
Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.) Huckfield, Leslie Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Carmichael, Neil Hughes, Mark (Durham) Pardoe, John
Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield) Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) Parker, John (Dagenham)
Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles) Hughes, Roy (Newport) Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Hunter, Adam Pavitt, Laurie
Clark, David (Colne Valley) Irvine,Rt.Hn.SirArthur (Edge Hill) Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Janner, Greville Pendry, Tom
Cohen, Stanley Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Pentland, Norman
Coleman, Donald Jeger,Mrs.Lena(H'b'n&St.P'cras,S.) Perry, Ernest G.
Concannon, J. D. Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.
Corbel, Mrs. Freda Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Prescott, John
Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.) John, Brynmor Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Crawshaw, Richard Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Price, William (Rugby)
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Johnson, James (K'ston.on-Hull, W.) Probert, Arthur
Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.) Rankin, John
Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.) Jones, Barry (Flint, E.) Reed, D.(Sedgefield)
Dalyell, Tam Jones, Dan (Burnley) Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)
Darling, Rt. Hn. George Jones,Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn(W.Ham,S.) Rhodes, Geoffrey
Davidson, Arthur Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Richard, Ivor
Davies, Denzil (Llanelly) Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Judd, Frank Roberts, Rt.Hn.Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Kaufman, Gerald Robertson, John (Paisley)
Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Kelley, Richard Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)
Deakins, Eric Kinnock, Neil Roper, John
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Lambie, David Rose, Paul B.
Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Lamond, James Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)
Dempsey, James Latham, Arthur Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Doig, Peter Lawson, George Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Dormand, J. D. Leadbitter, Ted Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton,N.E.)
Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.) Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Leonard, Dick Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Driberg, Tom Lestor, Miss Joan Sillars, James
Duffy, A. E. P. Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Silverman, Julius
Dunn, James A. Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Skinner, Dennis
Dunnett, Jack Lipton, Marcus Small, William
Eadie, Alex Lomas, Kenneth Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Edelman, Maurice Loughlin, Charles Spearing, Nigel
Edwards, Robert (Biltton) Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Spriggs, Leslie
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Stallard, A. W.
Ellis, Tom Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Steel, David
English, Michael McBride, Neil Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)
Evans, Fred McCartney, Hugh Stoddart, David (Swindon)
Fernyhough, E. McElhone, Frank Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John
Fisher, Mrs. Doris(B'ham,Ladywood) McGuire, Michael Strang, Gavin
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Mackenzie, Gregor Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Mackie, John Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Mackintosh, John P. Taverns, Dick
Foley, Maurice Maclennan, Robert Thomas,Rt.Hn.George (Cardiff,W.)
Foot, Michael McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)
Ford, Ben McNamara, J. Kevin Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Forrester, John MacPherson, Malcolm Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
Fraser, John (Norwood) Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Tinn, James
Freeson, Reginald Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Tomney, Frank
Galpern, Sir Myer Marquand, David Torney, Tom
Garrett, W. E. Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard Tuck, Raphael
Gilbert, Dr. John Mason, Pt. Hn. Roy Urwin, T. W
Ginsburg, Dr. Alan Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Varley, Eric G.
Golding, John Mendleson, John Wainwright, Edwin
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn, P. C. Mikardo, Ian Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)
Gourlay, Harry Millan, Bruce Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Grant, George (Morpeth) Miller, Dr. M. S. Watkins, David
Grant, John D. (Islington, E. Milne, Edward (Blyth) Weitzman, David
Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside Molloy, William Wellbeloved, James
Griffiths, Will (Exchange) Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Whitehead, Phillip
Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon) Whitlock, William
Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill) Moyle, Roland Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Hardy, Peter Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Murray, Ronald King Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith Ogden, Eric Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Hattersley, Roy O'Halloran, Michael Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis O'Malley, Brian
Heffer, Eric S. Oram, Bert TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Hilton, W. S. Orbach, Maurice Mr. Joseph Harper and
Hooson, Emlyn Orme, Stanley Mr. Kenneth Marks.

Clause 85 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

It being after Twelve o'clock, The CHAIRMAN left the Chair to report Progress and ask leave to sit again, pursuant of the Order of the House of 25th January.

Committee report Progress: to sit again this day.