HC Deb 19 January 1971 vol 809 cc859-1024

Again considered in Committee.

Question again proposed, That the Amendment be made.

Mr. Swain

I regret that interruption, one which we could well do without. I say that in all sincerity because there is far too much time-wasting with pomp and ceremony in this establishment and too little work as a consequence.

If the Government have the wisdom to accept the Amendment, we can have happy industrial relations not only in the mining industry but in all our basic industries. This will further enhance the good relations that in most cases exist between trade unionists and good employers. I emphasise "good employers", of whom there are many in this country. They recognise the benefit of conducting negotiations with trade unions.

There are, however, a lot of bad employers, too, and I suggest, from the speeches made today and yesterday by backbenchers opposite, that hon. Gentlemen opposite appear to represent a lot of bad employers. [Interruption.] I trust that if the hon. Member for Peterborough (Sir Harmar Nicholls) has something to say he will get to his feet and say it, rather than mutter to himself whenever he pops in to pay us a visit like a popcorn out of a bag.

Sir Harmar Nicholls (Peterborough)

I was muttering words of encouragement to the hon. Gentleman. I was so enthralled by his speech.

Mr. Swain

I am interested to hear that, but it is probably because the hon. Member's majority was increased at the last election.

Although the law does not permit pre-entry closed shop conditions, these exist in many establishments and, where they exist, productivity, wage levels, efficiency, safety standards and every other facet of industry is far better than where we have a haphazard type of organisation.

I remind hon. Gentlemen opposite that a few weeks ago we had a ballot in my industry for a strike, the first ballot since 1926. We had an 83 per cent. poll. On the day of the ballot there was 15.2 per cent. absenteeism throughout the industry. Thus, of the people who attended work, we had a 99.1 per cent. ballot. My members in the National Union of Mineworkers took part in a democratic vote on an industrial issue which was completely lawful and strictly according to the laws of the land and the rules which are registered by my trade union. Unfortunately for a lot of people, the ballot did not go the way we expected. Fifty-five per cent. voted against the strike and 45 per cent. voted for it.

I would remind the Committee that if the Bill had been in operation as an Act of Parliament, we would now have been in the midst of the biggest industrial struggle we have had since 1926. That in itself proves the inadvisability of bringing in a Bill of this character.

The Amendment was moved with the sole and very good intention of improving the Bill [Interruption.] The hon. Member for Peterborough is in class again. The Amendment was moved in good faith, with one intention and one alone. It was moved not with the intention, which the hon. Member so strangely applies in his mind, of wrecking the Bill; it was intended to improve the Bill. By God, if ever a Bill needed improvement it is this one. I should have objected to it from Title to the last full stop without attempting to amend it. It stinks. It is rotten. It is almost as bad in its philosophy as the people who have introduced it, and that is almost going to the impossible—that is giving credit to the Bill.

I know that nobody on the Front Bench ever listens to back-bench speeches, but it would be courteous if they would be quiet. To expect some courtesy from the Front Bench spokesmen is expecting a lot. They seem to be having a conference between themselves all the time, so whatever we say on the back benches they do not hear. People who have spent a lifetime in the trade union movement and who can argue from their own vast experience of the members of their trade union are not listened to by the Front Bench. They take more notice of the C.B.I. than they do of the back-benchers on either side of the House.

I hope that the Government will accept the Amendment. I am certain that the Bill will be better for it.

Mr. Tomney

This Bill has at last given us an idea of the complexities which industry and the trade unions will face. Without the advantage of a Preamble and without the double advantage of knowing what the code of industrial practice is to be, the difficulties that we are running into are becoming obvious.

The reasoning behind the Bill is based on a lot of United States practice which differs from that in British industry in that most American unionism is based on industrial unionism, with each union negotiating its own contract for a specified period of time and renegotiating it at the end of that time. The practice makes it comparatively easy in American law to decide issues. But, even there, one find the most involved legalistic wrangles before new contracts can be agreed.

The paragraph which we are discussing will lead to all kinds of complications. However, until we know what the code of industrial practice is to be, it is impossible to offer any reasoned judgment on some of the difficulties which may arise.

In most British factories of any size, there are a number of different unions competing for the same membership. Each union appoints stewards who are responsible to their regional offices. There is a multiplicity of wage rates. In the factories of the General Electric Company with which I was concerned, there were no fewer than 1,024 wage rates and 29 rate fixers. Those were the kinds of difficulty with which one had to tangle day by day.

Under the Bill and the proposed code, as it is carried through to the Registrar of Trade Unions and to the agency shop, it is possible to envisage a situation in which those who do the negotiation will be faced with almost implacable difficulties.

Let us consider for a moment a militant section of craft workers in a union in one factory which hitherto has forced the pace with regard to the conduct of the union in that factory. Suppose that as a result of a secret ballot, the moderates take charge of the negotiating procedure. What is to happen to the militant members of the union if they are denied the representation to which they think that they are entitled and which has special knowledge of their craft that is not possessed by anyone else? No code of practice containing general statements of law can possibly cater for this kind of objection.

In different departments in one factory where the workers are represented by the same union, various rates of pay will apply. Operatives receiving different rates of pay are making the same union contribution. We already look for equality of rates. But, when this law comes into force, there will be a greater demand for equality of rates between different departments. Industry and commerce does not work like that. Different rates are bound to apply. However, the situation will arise where workers on productive employment are registered under a contract and, if the company proposes to transfer a man from one department to another under normal company practice, he will refuse to go. Will that constitute unfair industrial practice, and will it lead to his dismissal?

That is the kind of case in which the law will become involved. Up until now there will have been discussions between the joint shop committee and the regional officers of the union. Any difficulties will have been ironed out, and a general code will have been accepted. Once it is put into a law of this kind, enormous difficulty will be encountered. I warn hon. Members that we had better watch what we are doing.

It is one thing to generalise on certain principles which are applicable to the legal profession. It is another to interpret them. We shall face a situation in which every time that a new contract of employment is to be negotiated, even at workshop level, a lawyer will have to be involved. That is but one reason why I am thankful to be no longer a leading convenor in a large works.

10.15 p.m.

Where this has spread throughout England, and differential rates apply from district to district, the matter becomes more complex. I was involved in negotiations with G.E.C. at Hammersmith, Brook Green, Brighton, Team Valley, Shaw, East Lancashire and elsewhere, and had to keep a watching brief over them all to maintain equality of rates between members of the same union, all of them knowing from the annual conference exactly what rates applied. It was impossible to have a London, Manchester or Newcastle weighting built into the wage rates.

Those are only a few of the matters that occur to me as I think about the problems of the Bill. We on the union side shall have to have a close look at how the code of practice will apply and operate.

10.15 p.m.

Mr. Roland Moyle (Lewisham, North)

I support the case made by my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer), primarily because I think that many hon. Members opposit still do not understand what they are trying to do. We should get down to cases.

It is not too much to say, summarising the two days' debate, that all day yesterday the Minister responsible for industrial relations tried to explain the Bill, and failed because he did not realise the legal implications of what he said, and today the Solicitor-General tried to explain the principles of the Bill and failed because he has no knowledge of industrial relations. This may be a fair reflection of what will happen in the country if the Bill ever becomes law, but it does not stop them from trying to push the Bill through.

One of the unfair industrial practices concerned is the secondary action, namely, that if a trade union induces someone to break his contract when that person is not directly involved in the dispute it is an unfair practice and certain legal consequences could well flow from it. This results from what we can only describe as cerebration in the antiseptic atmosphere of Whitehall by the Secretary of State for Employment. We must examine what effect this will have on the ground.

I ask hon. Members to cast their minds back briefly to the autumn, when there was an extensive official strike, the first for many years, in the local authority world. In so far as strikes can be popular either with those taking part in them or with the public generally, that was a popular strike. It was generally conceded that the men had a very fair case, and there was considerable public support.

One of the reasons why the strike was so important was that although about 750,000 people were in dispute with their employers up and down the country the trade union sought to minimise the damage it inflicted on the public by pulling out only those sections of the labour force which had a direct impact on the settlement of the dispute. At the height of the industrial action about which I am talking, of the 750,000 people concerned only about 85,000 were out on strike.

In one part of the country the dustmen were out on strike on union instructions and the road workers were still working. Into this situation the local authority inserted a very unfortunate act. They had contractors' lorries bringing tar to the road workers, and when the tar had been emptied the lorries went, on the local authority's instructions, into the centres of the town to pick up the rubbish and take it to the rubbish dump. This was undermining the whole stand that the dustmen were taking on behalf of their colleagues, so the road men blacked the contractors' lorries. That was inducing the contractors to break their contract with the local authority. The result was that the lorries were not unloaded at the work site, rubbish could not be put in them, and the strength of the strike was maintained.

We can draw several lessons from this. If the Act applied, what the road men did would be regarded as an unfair industrial practice. It would not be an unfair industrial practice that would protect the freedom and security of the workers involved. On the contrary, it would do very much the opposite; it would completely undermine their striking position and damage those workers and not protect them. That is one of the reasons why I support the Amendment.

Second, the entire strike position of the union in that part of the country would be undermined.

Third, the Government should bear very much in mind that there is a solution to the problem if the Bill becomes law. In addition to pulling the dustmen out on strike, the union could have extended the strike and brought out the road men. Is that the sort of thing the Government want to happen? Do they want to cerebrate in the higher reaches of Whitehall to produce a statement of principle independent of any particular facts, to apply it by law, put it into operation and produce a practical situation on the ground in which it is better for trade unions to extend strikes, making them as wide as possible, rather than restricting them in the interests of not inflicting the maximum damage on the public?

That is the sort of problem to which the Government should be turning their minds, but they are not. They are committed to a tremendously theoretical approach to the problem of industrial relations. If they are not careful, it will do the country more harm than good.

The Solicitor-General

This has been a wide-ranging debate. A number of Labour Members have raised detailed examples of particular unfair industrial practices which are spelt out in detail later in the Bill. The Committee will forgive me if I do not deal with them all, since they are proper for further discussion later.

I acknowledge that, as my hon. Friend the Member for Totnes (Mr. Mawby) and the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson) have said, the words now sought to be deleted are at the foundation of an important part of the Bill. They categorise in a general sense a number of the unfair industrial practices, and are the foundation for improved consultation, not for an extended application of law; they identify some of the matters which on behalf of the community Parliament rightly wishes to identify as unfair. This was the point made by the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery.

It is unarguable at this point in time that, in the course of collective bargaining and the conduct of industrial relations, both sides—if we must acknowledge the two sides to these negotiations—from time to time go beyond that which is reasonable and necessary in the presentation of their case. It is to that end that the Bill contains unfair industrial practices, which we shall later examine in detail. It is the whole concept of identifying unfairness, unacceptable activities, from the point of view of the community and of the people concerned in the industry.

I can understand some hon. Members opposite rejecting root and branch the idea that one can identify anything in this way. I find more difficulty in understanding those right hon. and hon. Members opposite who reject this concept when, in their own proposals, canvassed in general or in detail, they themselves identified activities by both sides of industry which should be categorised as inimical to the community.

I take the trade union side first. They categorised activities by unions hostile and unduly hostile to their members and prospective members in respect of which remedies were being proposed in "In Place of Strife", and activities by unions hostile to the interests of the community when using coercive action to secure recognition to the point where the interests of the community were being destroyed. These are matters which both sides of the Committee, at various times at least, have regarded as unfair and in respect of which remedies ought to be provided.

Similarly, at the other end of the scale, there were categorised discriminatory action by employers against union members such as unfair action in dismissing people without good grounds.

Surely we are on common ground that any attempt to introduce, in this Bill and in the Labour Government's Bill before the election, remedies for legitimate grievances that will enable people to consult and negotiate against the background of fair guidelines at least involves the Committee in identifying certain matters which are unfair, and that is what we are seeking to do. What we seek to do, having identified these matters which are unfair, is wherever possible to provide alternative remedies for the resolution of legitimate complaints within a sensible foundation of principle, providing a clear framework of law against which people can conduct industrial relations themselves.

Mr. Dan Jones

A lot of emphasis has been placed upon the word "intimidation" of a man or a woman to join a trade union. The hon. and learned Gentleman now repeats that charge. Has any research been done to show how much of that practice has resulted in any kind of industrial strife?

The Solicitor-General

In an interjection by the hon. Gentleman earlier, his question was, "Is it or is it not unfair for a union organizer to ask someone to join a union, whether in an agency shop or a non-union shop?" The point is relevant to the one he has just put to me. The answer is that it is not unfair. Indeed, it is visualized as being fair and proper within the Bill that there should be an agency shop agreement whereby the employer undertakes to use his best efforts to persuade workpeople coming into the work place to join the union. Not only the trade union official is free to persuade. The point at which this would become unfair is if someone, having been approached and invited to join the union, and having had the benefits of membership explained to him, declines the invitation. It would be unfair for coercive action to be used against the employer in such a case to secure that employee's dismissal because he had not responded to the invitation.

Mr. Dan Jones

That is not the answer to my question. How much research has been done in order to justify the hon. and learned Gentleman in making that claim? I think that the answer is, "None".

The Solicitor-General

The hon. Gentleman has surely read, as we have all read, correspondence coming to hon. Members and cases reported in the newspapers, not to be regarded as of general or universal application, but certainly situations in which individuals have been over-pressured and who believe themselves to have been threatened and intimidated in order to secure their membership of a trade union or else be deprived of their occupation. Hon. Members have all come across examples of cases of that kind. I am not suggesting that they are the generality but they are sufficiently frequent for this kind of protection to be introduced.

Mr. Dan Jones

They are exceptional.

The Solicitor-General

That may be so, but it does not destroy the validity of my case. I remind the Committee of the case made by the right hon. Lady the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) in "In Place of Strife", when she proposed the establishment of an industrial board to provide remedies in the case of people wrongly excluded or expelled from a union. She made the point in these terms: This does not imply that there is any reason to suspect frequent injustice, any more than the creation of the Parliamentary Commissioner implies that maladministration is common in Government Departments. But it is right and healthy in a democracy that any powerful body should be subject to outside scrutiny where abuse of its power can most harm the individual. That is the foundation of the identification of unfair industrial practices in that area. It is only one illustration of the areas in which unfair practices are being identified.

I put it to the Committee that it is not possible to challenge that central proposition once one accepts the idea of providing remedies for unfair activity on either side of industry.

10.30 p.m.

Several hon. Members returned to the suggestion that this concept of unfair industrial practices is of American origin and is, therefore, of wholly trans-Atlantic application. It is true, as the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) pointed out, that the American legislation talks in terms of unfair labour practices. It is not alone in that. Many countries have identified in a variety of ways practices in the conduct of industrial relations on both sides which—

Mr. Orme

They copied the Americans.

The Solicitor-General

Not necessarily. In many countries, the progress has been going parallel to that which has taken place in North America. Different formulations have been adopted, and the same words have not been used, but in many countries the idea of saying that this, that or the other action is unfair or is unacceptable is generally accepted. The hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) says that other countries have copied the Americans. That is right in some instances. In the Commonwealth, the Australian law has been in existence long enough to have commended itself to Sidney Webb 50 or 60 years ago. Many countries have adopted that sort of concept because they have found such an approach of value in helping to identify unfairnesses.

With respect, to say that my old friend Professor Wedderburn's denunciation of the American aspects of this proposal is to be taken as gospel foundation for not accepting it is to disregard Professor Wedderburn's skill as a committed political advocate as much as it is to pay respect to his skill as an academic student of this branch of the law. He is a committed political advocate in these matters, and one should not be too much persuaded by that. [HON. MEMBERS: "The Solicitor-General is a committed political advocate, too".] Certainly. That is what this Committee is about. But hon. Members will not expect me to fall about and lie down overwhelmed by the force of reason at the mention of the name of Professor Wedderburn, much as I respect him.

I move now from the general proposition that all analyses of this kind of problem have identified areas in respect of which industrial action on either side can be unfair to some of the more detailed points which hon. Members opposite have made. The foundation of those points as put by the hon. Member for Walton was that the whole idea of unfair industrial practices destroys things which are fundamental to legitimate trade union activities. If that were so, there might be more substance in the case which he put. In fact, there is here no threat to anything fundamental to legitimate trade union activities.

The hon. Gentleman suggested, for example, that the closed shop, in contrast to the agency shop, was fundamental to legitimate trade union activities. We cannot accept that. We accept that it is fundamental to trade union activities that trade unionists should be free to persuade as many workers as they can in any industry or section of industry of the benefits of joining, and free, indeed, to persuade within the context of the agency shop; but we cannot accept that it should go so far as to enable a union, even taking into account the freedom of the other members in that workplace, to secure the dismissal or non-employment of a man who, for good reasons, does not wish to belong to the union but who is prepared, at the wish of the majority of his colleagues, to pay the cost of being represented by the union.

Mr. Swain

Would the hon. and learned Gentleman accept that where there is 100 per cent. trade unionism in a shop, mine, factory or whatever, the efficiency is in every way better than where there is haphazard organisation? Would he also accept that if there is infiltration of non-unionism through this Bill the efficiency of the 100 per cent. union establishment will inevitably deteriorate?

The Solicitor-General

I have listened with much interest and sympathy to the speech made by the hon. Member, developing this case with reference to his long experience in the coal industry. I was slightly hurt at his suggestion that we were treating him with disdain by discussing something. I apologise if I appeared not to be listening but we were paying attention to what he was saying.

Mr. Swain

All lawyers can talk and listen at the same time.

The Solicitor-General

Maybe, but a number of other hon. Members can too. I fancy that it is part of the mythology of this place that lawyers can do so. The point he makes is that the structure of unionism in the coal industry, divided into three unions, has helped to spread stability in bargaining conditions in the industry. There is no gainsaying that. It is one of the incidental objectives of the recognition remedies recommended here, as it was in "In Place of Strife", to help produce better integrated situations.

I pay tribute to the greater unity and harmony achieved by the three-union structure in the coal industry. We do not believe that that necessarily requires that total commitment, the obligation of everyone employed in the industry to be a member of one or other of these unions. It need not go that far to secure the orderliness and prosperity that can be achieved by good bargaining.

To take the examples quoted by hon. Members, the achievement of the N.U.M. in balancing, in its bargaining with the Coal Board, the diversified interests of the many categories whom it represents, has been a substantial one. It has had to balance their interests and that was one of the problems. In the North American automobile industry the Union of Automobile Workers has had to undertake, and had undertaken, the same task, as a single union, throughout the industry, doing the balancing act more effectively for more workers and not operating upon the basis of the closed shop but in essence upon an agency shop principle, achieving good results and conditions for its members and long-term stability within the industry. We do not accept that to fulfil the legitimate objects of trade unionism in the sense the closed shop is necessary.

Hon. Members mentioned the difficulties of getting an agency shop on a building site and I acknowledge that point. That is why there is special reference to the construction industry at the end of Clause 8. It will be seen, in Clause 15, that the changing population of workers on a growing site would enable a subsequent application for an agency shop ballot to be held, even if an adverse vote had been recorded on the first occasion. [Interruption.] An application can be made within two years when the people covered by the application are of a different or larger category than was covered by the original application. I do not want to go into more detail save to say that we are aware of the point.

The subject of the secondary, or sympathy strike, was raised by several hon. Members. The examples of the Post Office strike and the local government workers' strike were given. If hon. Members look at the Clause dealing with that they will find that it is narrowly defined, as it ought to be, and that any employer against whom secondary action is taken, who has taken supporting action in respect of any other party in the dispute can be struck against. So with the example given of the local government workers. If the haulage contractors—if I understood the example correctly—were supporting the local authorities by seeking to do their work for them, they would be legitimate targets of secondary action.

Similarly in the example given by another hon. Member apropos of the Post Office situation. Any employer who gives support by seeking to do on behalf of the Post Office Corporation work which it would be doing would be supporting the primary employer, and, again, secondary action could be taken, because we recognise, perhaps to an extent which has not been appreciated, that supporting action, the use of borrowed strength, within reasonable limits, is a legitimate aspect of trade union activity. Some hon. Members may feel that we go too far in recognising that.

Where, however, we get off the bus is in saying that, in that situation, or in the situation of industrial action directed against individual workers or union members, it is possible for such action to go too far; it is possible for secondary, sympathetic, action to be directed against an employer, a customer, or another party, who is wholly innocent, and unconnected with the original dispute; and it is right to identify that secondary strike action as unreasonable, unfair, going beyond what is required by legitimate union activity.

Mr. Orme

What about the employer, then, who, to break a strike, deliberately sends his work out to a sub-contractor, when there is an official dispute in the employer's factory? That is secondary action by an employer.

The Solicitor-General

Yes. I do not want to deal with all the examples which have been given; we shall come to them when we come to Clause 87, but the same provisions apply to sympathetic lock-outs, and I hope that the Committee will recognise that they are reasonable, carefully constructed, and that exactly the same basic question arises. I come back to the point with which I began, that the foundation of this Clause and of this Bill is that there is a legitimate, well-justified place for trade union activities.

Mr. Russell Kerr (Feltham)

On licence.

The Solicitor-General

Not on licence. That is another, separate point. Equally validly it is possible to identify activities which go too far, and it is the function of the House, and of this Committee, a function which the Government have attempted to discharge, to recognise that there are innocent individuals, innocent firms, innocent members of the community, who can be unduly harmed if we do not identify certain industrial actions which are unfair. That is at the heart of this legislation, and it is for that reason that I invite the Committee to reject the Amendment.

Mrs. Barbara Castle (Blackburn)

The Solicitor-General's speech shows how impossible is the situation in which the Committee has been in dealing with this Clause, because what we have been trying to do is to examine the whole Bill in a couple of days' debate. I am not objecting to the Solicitor-General's reply because he was, with perfect courtesy to the Committee, trying to deal with a number of detailed points, but his reply showed how all that we have been able to do, in dealing with this Clause, is to scratch at the surface of the fundamental issues which, as he himself quite rightly said, we shall debate in detail later in the Bill.

Yet it is impossible for us on this side, and, indeed for hon. Members opposite, to ignore this Clause, because of the peculiar construction of the Bill. Indeed, it is almost unprecedented in having this omnibus, general purposes Clause at the beginning. It is a kind of moral statement of attitudes, very unusual in legislation, and yet not something which we can just dismiss as being irrelevant, as various hon. Members tried to suggest yesterday, because we have this quasi-judicial link between the general principles and the sanctions in the Bill. This is why we have had to challenge every one of these general principles and to probe and examine them to see exactly what are their implications. It is really an extraordinary situation to have far-reaching general principles set out and to be told that, by law, under the Bill, they must be guiding principles to determine the performance of the Secretary of State, the Commission on Industrial Relations, the courts and the tribunals. We were told in "Fair Deal at Work" that this would be the rôle of the code of industrial practice that was to be based on these general principles. We were told in "Fair Deal at Work" that a code of practice would lay down basic standards and guidelines by which the methods and behaviour of management, employees and trade unions could be assessed by administrators and courts of law given powers under the Bill.

10.45 p.m.

This is about the most important Clause in the Bill because it is so comprehensive. In view of the nature of the Clause it is remarkable that in a day and a half of debate we should have got so far with it. It is a bad sign for the future work of the Committee that the Secretary of State for Employment should say yesterday that in moving an Amendment to examine the meaning of a vital word in one of these principles we were "nit-picking." That is an indication of the arrogance of the Government's approach which the Solicitor-General has been wise to avoid. Hon. Members opposite today have shown just as much interest in examining these principles, and have taken even more parliamentary time in doing so, than we have. So I hope that there will be no more talk of a nit-picking filibuster when we look at something which, as the Solicitor-General says, goes to the very foundations of the Bill.

For the first time we have got the Solicitor-General to answer questions in detail and we want to encourage him in these good works. Because of the comprehensiveness of Clause 1 the Solicitor-General was compelled to take one or two illustrations of what he meant by these far-reaching principles.

In dealing with Clause (1)(d) we are concerned with the principle of freedom and security for workers. We are not dealing with collective bargaining or with procedural agreements and whether they should be legally enforceable, we are dealing with workers' rights, and we have been examining just what this concept of unfair practices means. It is only because of the breadth of the debate that it has been possible for the Solicitor-General to suggest that an examination of "In Place of Strife" and the need for an independent review body to act as a court of appeal for a union member against the operation of his union rules, as advocated by Donovan, had anything in common with the "unfair industrial practices" which the Government are planning in the name of the so-called freedom and security of the worker.

The sort of unfair industrial practice which the Solicitor-General should talk about in this context is the unfair practice which would challenge the ideological concept of the Conservative Party that a man has an equal and unqualified right not to belong to a trade union as he has to belong to one. The unfair industrial practice we are talking about here is the Government's determination to make it impossible in future for a trade unionist to say "I will not work with a non-unionist". It is the sort of unfair industrial practice which will ring round with new hazards the concept of borrowed strength, which is what the sympathetic strike often means.

These are the basic traditional concepts of trade unionism that are being challenged by the Government in this Bill. It is no good hon. Members opposite denying this, because this is the great divide that is between us on this Amendment. We know the sort of unfair industrial practices hon. Gentlemen opposite want to create.

We accept, as the Solicitor General said, that people engaged in trade unions, as in any other activity, will go beyond what is reasonable from time to time. There is not a group or organisation—this applies even to a club like that composed by hon. Members in this House—in which this could not be said to be true of its members. But this is no justification for this apparatus of law and the new sanctions proposed by the Government through their concept of unfair industrial practices. In particular, it is no justification whatever to undermine, as does the Bill, the fundamental rights won by trade unionists through the development of democratic organisation and co-operation.

The great divide between us is in our attitude to trade unionism, which is entirely different from that in the Conservative Party. We believe that collective bargaining is an essential part of democratic expression and, as Donovan said, one cannot have collective bargaining without the organisation of workers on which it depends. We believe that good industrial practice means encouraging, stimulating and promoting the organisa-

Division No. 60.] AYES [10.55 p.m.
Abse, Leo Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles) Edwards, Robert (Bilston)
Albu, Austen Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Edwards, William (Merioneth)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Clark, David (Colne Valley) Ellis, Tom
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) English, Michael
Armstrong, Ernest Cohen, Stanley Evans, Fred
Ashley, Jack Concannon, J. D. Faulds, Andrew
Ashton, Joe Conlan, Bernard Fisher, Mrs. Doris (B'ham, Ladywood)
Atkinson, Norman Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.) Fitch, Alan (Wigan)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Crawshaw, Richard Fitt, Gerard (Belfast, W.)
Barnes, Michael Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)
Barnett, Joel Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)
Baxter, William Cunningham, G. (Islington, S. W.) Foley, Maurice
Beaney, Alan Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven) Foot, Michael
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Dalyell, Tam Ford, Ben
Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Davidson, Arthur Forrester, John
Bidwell, Sydney Davies, Denzil (Llanelly) Fraser, John (Norwood)
Bishop, E. S. Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Freeson, Reginald
Blenkinsop, Arthur Davies, Ifor (Gower) Galpern, Sir Myer
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Davies, S. O. (Merthyr Tydvil) Garrett, W. E.
Booth, Albert Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Gilbert, Dr. John
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Deakins, Eric Ginsburg, David
Bradley, Tom Delargy, H. J. Gourlay, Harry
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.) Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Grant, George (Morpeth)
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Doig, Peter Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)
Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury) Dormand, J. D. Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)
Buchan, Norman Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.) Hamilton, James (Bothwell)
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Douglas-Mann, Bruce Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Driberg, Tom Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Duffy, A. E. P. Hardy, Peter
Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.) Dunn, James A. Harper, Joseph
Cant, R. B. Dunnett, Jack Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)
Carmichael, Neil Eadie, Alex Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith
Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield) Edelman, Maurice Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis

of workers and that it is this on which collective bargaining depends.

We cannot accept that there is an equal right in an industrial relations context to say, "You can contract out of this democratic organisation which has been developed over the years." This is to deny the whole of the history of trade unionism and the fundamental needs of society. We believe that what we should be doing in society today is to encourage people to organise themselves for collective action, to express themselves through it, and to work for their own needs and to defend them.

Everybody knows that the individual is powerless to influence his environment in the context of modern industry. In entitling him to contract out all one is doing is merely weakening other people's freedom of expression. We say that people should positively be encouraged to join a union and that that union should encourage its members to participate democratically and fully in the control of that union. This is our way forward, it is entirely different from that of hon. Members opposite, and I ask my hon. Friends to support the Amendment.

Question put, That the Amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 247. Noes 281.

Heffer, Eric S. McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Robertson, John (Paisley)
Hilton, W. S. McNamara, J. Kevin Roderick, Caerwyn E. (Br'c'n & R'dnor)
Horam, John MacPherson, Malcolm Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)
Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Roper, John
Huckfield, Leslie Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Rose, Paul B.
Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) Marks, Kenneth Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)
Hughes, Mark (Durham) Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Meacher, Michael Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Hunter, Adam Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N. E.)
Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) Mendelson, John Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Janner, Greville Mikardo, Ian Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Millan, Bruce Sillars, James
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Milne, Edward (Blyth) Silverman, Julius
Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Small, William
John, Brynmor Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon) Spearing, Nigel
Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Moyle, Roland Spriggs, Leslie
Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.) Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick Stallard, A. W.
Jones, Barry (Flint, E.) Murray, Ronald King Stoddart, David (Swindon)
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Ogden, Eric Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John
Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) O'Halloran, Michael Strang, Gavin
Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) O'Malley, Brian Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.) Oram, Bert Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Kaufman, Gerald Orbach, Maurice Swain, Thomas
Kelley, Richard Orme, Stanley Taverne, Dick
Kerr, Russell Oswald, Thomas Thomas, Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff, W.)
Kinnock, Neil Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton) Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Lambie, David Padley, Walter Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)
Lamond, James Paget, R. T. Tinn, James
Latham, Arthur Palmer, Arthur Tomney, Frank
Lawson, George Pannell Rt. Hn. Charles Urwin, T. W.
Leadbitter, Ted Parker, John (Dagenham) Varley, Eric G.
Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange) Wainwright, Edwin
Leonard, Dick Pavitt, Laurie Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)
Lestor, Miss Joan Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred Walker Harold (Doncaster)
Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold Pendry, Tom Wallace, George
Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Pentland, Norman Watkins, David
Perry, Ernest G. Weitzman David
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg. Wellbeloved, James
Lomas, Kenneth Prescott, John White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Price, J. T. (Westhoughton) Whitehead, Phillip
Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Price, William (Rugby) Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
McBride, Neil Probert, Arthur Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
McCann, John Rankin, John Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
McCartney, Hugh Reed, D. (Sedgefield) Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
McElhone, Frank Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.) Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
McGuire, Michael Rhodes, Geoffrey
Mackenzie, Gregor Richard, Ivor TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Mackie, John Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Mr. William Hamling and
Mackintosh, John P. Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy (Caernarvon) Mr. John Golding.
Adley, Robert Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Bruce-Gardyne, J. Dykes, Hugh
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Bryan, Paul Eden, Sir John
Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N & M) Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)
Archer, Jeffrey (Louth) Buck, Antony Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)
Astor, John Bullus, Sir Eric Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.)
Atkins, Humphrey Burden, F. A. Eyre, Reginald
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Farr, John
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Campbell, Rt. Hn. G. (Moray & Nairn) Fell, Anthony
Balniel, Lord Carlisle, Mark Fenner, Mrs. Peggy
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Cary, Sir Robert Fidler, Michael
Batsford, Brian Chapman, Sydney Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead)
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher Fletcher-Cooke, Charles
Bell, Ronald Chichester-Clark, R. Fookes, Miss Janet
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Churchill, W. S. Fortescue, Tim
Benyon, W. Clarke Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Foster, Sir John
Berry, Hn. Anthony Cockeram, Eric Fowler, Norman
Biffen, John Coombs, Derek Fox, Marcus
Biggs-Davison, John Cooper, A. E. Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone)
Blaker, Peter Cordle, John Fry, Peter
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S. W.) Cormack, Patrick Galbraith, Hn. T. G.
Body, Richard Costain, A. P. Gibson-Watt, David
Boscawen, Robert Critchley, Julian
Bossom, Sir Clive Curran, Charles Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)
Bowden, Andrew Dalkeith, Earl of Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford) Glyn, Dr. Alan
Braine, Bernard d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Goodhart, Philip
Bray, Ronald d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen. Jack Goodhew, Victor
Brewis, John Dean, Paul Gorst, John
Brinton, Sir Tatton Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Gower, Raymond
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Drayson, G. B. Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)
Gray, Hamish Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Green, Alan McNair-Wilson, Michael Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) McNair-Wilson, Patrick (NewForest) Rost, Peter
Grylls, Michael Maddan, Martin Royle, Anthony
Gummer, Selwyn Madel, David Russell, Sir Ronald
Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Maginnis, John E. Scott, Nicholas
Hall, John (Wycombe) Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Marten, Neil Shelton, William (Clapham)
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Mather, Carol Simeons, Charles
Hannam, John (Exeter) Mawby, Ray Sinclair, Sir George
Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Skeet, T. H. H.
Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Meyer, Sir Anthony Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Haselhurst, Alan Mills, Peter (Torrington) Soref, Harold
Hastings, Stephen Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Speed, Keith
Havers, Michael Miscampbell, Norman Spence, John
Hawkins, Paul Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C. (Aberdoenshire, W.) Sproat, Iain
Hayhoe, Barney Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Stainton, Keith
Heseltine, Michael Moate, Roger Stanbrook, Ivor
Hicks, Robert Molyneaux, James Stewart-Smith, D. G. (Belper)
Higgins, Terence L. Money, Ernie Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)
Hiley, Joseph Monks, Mrs. Connie Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.
Hill, James (Southampton, Test) Montgomery, Fergus Stokes, John
Holland, Philip More, Jasper Stuttaford, Dr. Tom
Holt, Miss Mary Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Sutcliffe, John
Hooson, Emlyn Morgan, Giles, Rear-Adm. Tapsell, Peter
Hordern, Peter Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Hornby, Richard Mudd, David Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)
Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia Murton, Oscar Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate) Nabarro, Sir Gerald Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N. W.)
Neave, Airey Tebbit, Norman
Howell, David (Guildford) Nicholls, Sir Harmar Temple, John M.
Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret
Hunt, John Normanton, Tom Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)
Hutchison, Michael Clark Nott, John Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
Iremonger, T. L. Onslow, Cranley Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
James, David Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally Tilney, John
Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Trafford, Dr. Anthony
Jessel, Toby Osborn, John Trew, Peter
Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Owen, Idris (Strockport, N.) Tugendhar, Christopher
Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Page, Graham (Crosby) Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Jopling, Michael Page, John (Harrow, W.) Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Paisley, Mr. Ian Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Kaberry, Sir Donald Pardoe, John Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)
Kellett, Mrs. Elaine Parkinson, Cecil (Enfield, W.) Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Kershaw, Anthony Percival, Ian Wall, Patrick
Kilfedder, James Peyton, Rt. Hn. John Ward, Dame Irene
Kimball, Marcus Pike, Miss Mervyn Warren, Kenneth
King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Pink, R. Bonner Weatherill, Bernard
King, Tom (Bridgwater) Pounder, Rafton Wells, John (Maidstone)
Kinsey, J. R. Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch White, Roger (Gravesend)
Kirk, Peter Price, David (Eastleigh) Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Knight, Mrs. Jill Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L. Wiggin, Jerry
Knox, David Proudfoot, Wilfred Wilkinson, John
Lane, David Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Raison, Timothy Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Le Marchant, Spencer Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher
Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter Woodnutt, Mark
Longden, Gilbert Redmond, Robert Worsley, Marcus
Loveridge, John Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.) Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
McAdden, Sir Stephen Rees, Peter (Dover) Younger, Hn. George
MacArthur, Ian Rees-Davies, W. R.
McCrindle, R. A. Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
McLaren, Martin Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Mr. Hector Munro and
Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Ridsdale, Julian Mr. Walter Clegg.
McMaster, Stanley Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)
The Deputy Chairman (Miss Harvie Anderson)

The next Amendment selected is Amendment No. 24, in page 2, line 3, at end insert: (e) the principle of effective consultation in decisions affecting industry with those concerned at each level, and with full disclosure of relevant information so far as reasonably practicable'. I understand, however, that it might be for the convenience of the Committee if this Amendment were to be discussed with Amendment No. 351. If the mover of Amendment No. 24 is agreeable and the Committee agree, I suggest that we now call Amendment No. 351 and take with it Amendment No. 24.

Mr. Peter Archer (Rowley Regis and Tipton)

If that meets the wishes of the Committee, I shall be quite happy to deal with the matter in that way. If I may speak subsequently on Amendment No. 24, I shall then suggest a course of action.

The Deputy Chairman


Mr. John Fraser (Norwood)

I beg to move Amendment No. 351, in page 2, line 3, at end insert: 'and (e) the principle of workers' participation in management'. This is another Amendment which calls for an extension of industrial democracy and represents yet another difference in view between the two sides of the Committee. There is the view of the Government, on the one hand, that the undoubted problems of industrial strife can be dealt with by regulation, penalty and damages and by some of the provisions of the Bill which go back to before 1906. Alternatively, there is the view, expressed in the Amendment, that it is possible to harness constructively the vigour and the involvement of workers' representatives, leading beyond consultation to joint decision-making and improving the state of industrial relations.

I wish to take an illustration of how this works. Under the Government's proposals in the Bill, the shop steward, if he represents his constituents inside his factory, is at risk of being sued for damages. He is at risk for doing something voluntarily for the people he represents. That is likely to lead to a great deal of suspicion, resistance and hostility. One can take the positive view expressed in the Amendment that by an extension of industrial democracy by workers' participation, that kind of person can be involved more clearly in the environment of the workers whom he represents and in planning the surroundings in which they spend much of their waking hours.

I argue acceptance of the Amendment on two grounds. First, it is good for the health of our industrial society generally to have a greater degree of democracy in participation. Secondly, industrial democracy and participation can make a more practical contribution to better industrial relations.

Let me take the general case first. There is a danger in every industrial society that where power becomes concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, where the exercise of power becomes more remote and where, sometimes, the decisions which are made become almost incomprehensible to the people to whom they apply at the end of the line, people suffer from a lack of involvement, life becomes less meaningful and responsibility is then removed further away from the point at which somebody is working and the point at which people are involved in their daily lives. When responsibility is far removed, people feel less responsibility for their own surroundings, and eventually this leads to their behaving less responsibly.

In a society which has many concentrations of power, particularly in industry, we have to provide some countervailing force which enables people to feel that they are more involved, that life is more meaningful, and that they have greater control over their organisations.

Let us look at some examples of how this tendency has developed.

Mr. Tinn

On a point of order, Miss Harvie Anderson. May I respectfully draw your attention to the fact that there must be at least a dozen conversations going on in the Chamber, which is making it extremely difficult to hear what my hon. Friend is saying.

The Deputy Chairman

I think the whole Committee will agree that it is much easier to speak if there is less noise than there is at the moment.

Mr. Fraser

Let us consider the people who work for the Rootes Motor Car Company. At one time the control of that company rested in this country. The control of the Ford Motor Company rested partly in this country. Those workers are now involved in an industrial system in which power and control over those companies is exercised, not in the United Kingdom, but in Detroit or New York. People feel alienated and less involved because control has gone out of their hands.

One can see this situation at its most effective in the United States, which has a society where people opt out, and this leads to violence, a society, understandably, which has many more strikes than we have, and the sort of society to which the Government turn to borrow its legislation. It is significant that the Government have not learned the lesson of American society, that it does not improve industrial relations simply to formalise a conflict. We must have something more positive to fight against the alienation and the lack of involvement which people feel.

In the same way as political democracy developed as a way of diminishing the prerogatives of the mighty, as a way of providing peaceful settlements of differences of opinion and conflicts of interest, so we must try to do something about solving the conflicts in industry by having a form of democracy and participation which begins to bridge the gulf between different interests in industry and provides a more peaceful way, a harmonising way, of settling disputes. Just as democratic Governments eventually learned that they had to govern by consent, so must managements learn that it is no longer a question of exercising perogatives. That is no longer the job of management. The job of management, in the words of my right hon. Friend, has to be to win consent, just as democratic Governments have to win consent.

There is an increasing recognition outside industry of the need for greater democracy, for greater participation. Local authorities recognise that when they become large and remote there is a lack of involvement and apathy, and therefore they break down the system and try to have community councils. That is the way it is going.

One sees it, too, in even more positive fashion in the control of schools in London where, by involving parents and people associated with the education system, one not only bridges conflicts and removes misunderstanding, but one does something else which the Government, in this Bill, are not trying to do. One harnesses the forces inside people who want to improve their environment and to improve the situation in which they live.

It is not just a question of providing a repressive framework and of de-limiting the size of the conflict. It is a question of harnessing people's experience and involvement to make a positive contribution to the improvement of our industry and our society, and that is the kind of thing that the Amendment suggests. The previous Government had the foresight to to do this in many of their nationalisation Statutes by trying to provide in those Statutes a system of industrial democracy whereby there was greater involvement and greater participation by workers. It was done in the lamented Docks Bill. It was done in some of the nationalisation Statutes, and it was done in some of the mining legislation, too. The result may be seen in the industrial record of the miners.

The Solicitor-General has acknowledged the Government's debt to the United States as though the establishment of a framework of law would improve industrial relations. Looking at the figures we see that nothing is proved by them. Much more interesting is the considerable experience of those Governments with a legal framework in industrial relations that they have created by winning the co-operation and participation of the workers. The United States have about three or four times as many strikes as we have, whereas Western Germany, Norway and Sweden—countries which have introduced their legislation with the consent and co-operation of the trade union movement, and have developed systems of democracy and workers participation—have far fewer strikes than we have.

11.15 p.m.

There is the lesson. It is not merely the cliché of a framework that provides the answer; it is the provision of a positive involvement and a winning of the people's consent. That is why we want to try to move towards a more positive approach in our industrial relations.

We do not have to look to America to appreciate the results of not trying to win the consent of the workers. The Government are already learning, through the four major official stoppages that have occurred since 18th June, that failing to win consent and persuading people to participate leads to an escalation of industrial unrest. In their industrial relations policy and in this Bill the Government are going nuclear with the trade unions, and the results are being felt throughout the country.

The argument used to be put forward that official strikes were less damaging and more predictable than unofficial strikes. The Conservatives were able to say that only because, under the previous Government, we did not have official strikes of any length. The Government are now beginning to learn, by failing to obtain consent and involving people in decisions affecting our economy, that the results of official strikes can be catastrophic, and that on many occasions they are not even predictable.

The first limb of my argument is that participation is good for the general health of our society. We cannot measure morale in pounds, shillings and pence, or the way in which morale is improved so that individuals feel that they have some control over their society. We cannot measure the increase in the prosperity of the nation that arises as a result. But anybody who has been canvassing and realises how alienated people feel will recognise that it is worth trying to experiment to try to bring about participation and co-operation between management and workers, so that people feel that they have more control over their own affairs.

The second limb of the argument is that it will make practical improvements in industrial relations. I want to quote a short passage from the report of a Labour Party working party on industrial democracy. It says: Our argument is not only that workers must have the right to determine their economic environment by participating in a widening range of decisions with management (and through public agencies), but also that the current situation in industry makes the recognition of that right and measures to secure it a matter of urgency. We believe that the extension of industrial democracy is important both because of its likely beneficial effects on the well-being of individual workers and because of the contribution it can make to the overall efficiency of industry by removing many of the existing obstacles to a genuine collective effort in industry by both management and workers. Both factors urge us in the same direction, and we do not choose between them. They are of equal weight. I now turn to some of the practical contributions which greater participation in industrial democracy can make. The first obvious one is in industrial health and safety—something that my hon. Friend the Member for Renfrew, West (Mr. Buchan) is dealing with in a Private Member's Bill which is to be published tomorrow and which I hope everybody on this side of the Committee will support.

It is recognised that we lose many more days through illness and industrial accidents than through strikes. There was recently legislation in view to establish a form of industrial democracy and participation to deal with safety at work, but the Government would not give priority to it and that proposed legislation fell away. That is the sort of participation that could take place. When a chap is injured, his mates know the suffering and loss that is involved. They can make a positive contribution inside their firm or factory to reduce industrial accidents. But this can happen only if there is sharing in decision-making and if workers are allowed to help control the environment in which they work.

This is important in productivity bargaining. If we are to have long-term improvements in productivity bargaining, we need the active co-operation of workers and their representatives. We must have their initiative and imagination to ensure that these productivity bargains bring about rises in wages without increasing the cost of living. In all these things the workers' representatives inside factories and firms must have improved servicing facilities. In other words, management must co-operate more closely with them to ensure that they have all the necessary information to pass back to their members.

Decision-making in disciplinary matters could be shared. Most workers appreciate that those who are constantly breaking the rules—by often being late and so on affect not only the employers but the workers. There is no reason why, instead of the present exercise of arbitrary prerogatives, decisions on discipline should not be shared by workers. Decision-sharing across the board can help workers and management to identify areas of mutual interest, to the advantage of both sides.

Mr. Fidler

The hon. Gentleman has given a number of interpretations of the Amendment by explaining how worker participation could take place in a number of ways. How could a court interpret such an imprecise proposal? Next, in view of his earlier remarks about equality of opportunity, if it is so good for workers to participate in management, what view would he take of management participating in trade union affairs?

Mr. Fraser

The hon. Gentleman puts his finger on the weakness of the Government's case in the first part of that intervention. I do not accept that there should be a division, with the High Court in the middle, in an effort to foster the sort of co-operation and decision-sharing about which I have been speaking. As the second part of his intervention was meant to be flippant, I will not answer it.

The channel of representation must come from the workers and their representatives. There is no question of buying off the trade unions or by-passing them. This is a method of harnessing the initiative and co-operation of those who represent their fellows on the factory floor.

It is inevitable that there will be conflicts in industry. This was summed up in the opening words of our White Paper when we said that there must be conflicts in industry. The purpose of an industrial relations policy must be to try to harness the conflicting forces and use them constructively. That is the purpose of the Amendment, in stark contrast to the analysis of conflict given by the party opposite and their solution that only by regulation and penalty can one solve it.

I hope that the Committee can accept the Amendment.

Mr. David Mitchell

I hope that the Government will reject the Amendment. The hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser) made six points. His first was the great importance from management's point of view of securing worker involvement, and many of us would agree with that. But we do not need this Amendment, and the principle of worker participation and all that follows from it, to obtain it and to carry our workpeople in the company's objective.

Second, I take issue with him on some of the extraordinary statements which he made. For example, he said that under the Bill a shop steward will be at risk if he represents the men who have chosen him. But he will not be if he is mandated by the union or if he works within the agreed procedure. On the other hand, if he chooses to work outside the agreed procedure and is not mandated by his union, he may find himself in a different situation. It would be a considerable distortion to accept the statement made by the hon. Member opposite as being a fair assessment of what the Bill contains.

Thirdly, he spoke about the need for winning the consent of trade unions and trade unionists for the Bill. How right he is. [Interruption.] But although many trade union leaders may have expressed opposition to the Bill, as have many hon. Members opposite, a majority of ordinary trade unionists up and down the country are in favour of the Bill. [Interruption.]

The Deputy Chairman (Miss Harvie Anderson)

Order. Hon. Members will not further the Bill by noise.

Mr. James Sillars (South Ayrshire)


Mr. Mitchell

Hon. Members speaking from a sedentary position ask me to prove the case that the majority of trade unionists support the measures in the Bill. I have had meetings with my trades council on the subject of this Bill, as I did on the subject of the previous Bill. I am asked to prove the case that trade unionists, as opposed to trade union leaders, support the Bill. The Daily Mirror, which is not a Tory rag but a responsible newspaper, is often quoted by hon. Members opposite. It conducted an independent poll of trade unionists as to their views on the contents of the Bill. Seventy-four per cent. of them said, for example, that they favoured binding contracts. I can understand why. The people who suffer almost as much as anybody else are those who are put on short time or sent home, unable to work because somebody else is on strike, although they themselves are not involved in the strike. There is ample justification for my assurance to hon. Members opposite that trade unionists up and down the country support this legislation.

Mr. Joseph Ashton (Bassetlaw)


Mr. Mitchell

I am dealing with the questions raised by the hon. Member for Norwood. He added that in the United States they have three or four times as many strikes. That is not true. They have three or four times as many working days lost per thousand employees. What he did not tell the Committee is that 88 per cent. of the strikes occurred at the end of three-year contracts. Only 12 per cent. occurred during the contract. With legally binding contracts there are three years in which management and workers can bring bigger prosperity to themselves.

An hon. Member opposite laughs, but I know that many workers among my constituents would like to have the wage packet of some of the workers in the United States. One of the reasons for their greater prosperity is that they have ensured that their firms are prosperous and can pay them higher wages.

11.30 p.m.

The hon. Gentleman's fifth point was that the Government had failed to give priority to legislation on safety at work. But then he let out quietly that it was only last June that the Administration of which he was a supporter had got round to introducing legislation on that subject. In other words, it took them nearly six years, yet he says that it is a failure of priorities on our part that after six months we have not introduced what his Government had not introduced after 5½ years. I do not think that other hon. Members would regard that as a very fair assessment.

Finally, the hon. Gentleman called on us for worker participation. I hope that his hon. Friends, especially those who served in the last Government, will have a quiet word with him after the debate and draw his attention to the sort of participation in the steel industry resulting from the steel nationalisation Act. In every case in the nationalised industries or under the Transport Act where there must be worker representation it has been not participation of those who work in the industry but appointments by Labour Ministers of outside trade unionists from other industries.

Hon. Members


Mr. Eddie Griffiths (Sheffield, Brightside)


Mr. Mitchell

For example, in the steel industry—

Mr. David Stoddart

On a point of order. Is it in order for an hon. Member to give misleading and incorrect information to the Committee and then refuse to have it corrected?

The Temporary Chairman (Mr. Harold Gurden)

Order. That is not a point of order. It is a matter of judgment and opinion.

Mr. Eddie Griffiths

Further to that point of order. I spent 16 years in the private steel industry as an employee of John Summers and Sons. In April, 1968, I was appointed a worker director of the British Steel Corporation, and in June, 1968, I was elected as Member for Sheffield, Brightside. Therefore, the hon. Gentleman makes a completely untrue assertion when he says that the employee directors, or part-time directors, of the British Steel Corporation were not from the shop floor.

Hon. Members


The Temporary Chairman

Order. That is not a point of order.

Mr. Ashton

Further to that point of order. The hon. Member for Basingstoke (Mr. David Mitchell) has referred to sedentary interruptions. He has spoken of interruptions from this side being made in an improper manner, yet every time he refuses to give way. What right do we have on the matter of interruptions if the hon. Gentleman refuses to give way?

The Temporary Chairman

That is not a point of order for the Chair but a comment by an hon. Member in debate.

Mr. Mitchell

I am grateful to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Mr. Eddie Griffiths) for giving an instance in which there was promotion within the industry. But in the case, for example, of the transport industry—

Mr. David Stodart


Mr. Mitchell

The hon. Gentleman can make his own speech in his own time. Perhaps he will allow me to make mine. I am dealing with the inaccuracies of the hon. Member for Norwood, who in his speech, which was not interrupted from this side of the Committee, gave a whole series of inaccuracies which should not be on the record without correction. I hope I have succeeded in making my point.

Mr. John Mendelson (Penistone)

We have had a typical example of someone who speaks without knowing the facts about the steel industry, who does not represent an area where people earn their livelihood in the steel industry, either in management or as employees, and who lacks the courage and decency to withdraw his remarks after he has been put right. It is not untypical of some of the ignorant contributions we are having to these debates from hon. Members opposite.

I speak as the representative of a steel constituency in South Yorkshire and also as one who served on the Standing Committee which considered the Iron and Steel Act when it was passing through the House. There must be other hon. Members present who served with me. Indeed, the hon. Gentleman who is now Chairman of the 1922 Committee was Chairman of that Standing Committee. I refer the hon. Member for Basingstoke (Mr. David Mitchell) to him. I am sure that he will respect the veracity and adherence to truth of the Chairman of the 1922 Committee in ascertaining whether we are correct in putting him to rights.

Mr. David Mitchell

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving way. Amid the uproar amongst hon. Members opposite, he obviously did not hear me thank the hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Mr. Eddie Griffiths) for showing me one example where the general principle did not apply, but in the case of the Transport Act, when the Minister came to appoint a trade union representative he did not appoint one from within the part of the plant concerned. Therefore, my case is perfectly sound, despite the one exception which has been pointed out. I cannot accept the case the hon. Gentleman is making.

Mr. Mendelson

The hon. Gentleman has the brazenness to continue what he was saying before. I am not surprised. It is within the recollection of the Committee that he began by talking of the steel industry and that he only mentioned transport later. The steel industry was his prime example and he has not even the courage to say now, "I honourably withdraw". He stands convicted by his own admission.

However, there are matters which are much more important than the dishonesty of the hon. Member for Basingstoke, because the steel industry is a major industry and when we passed the Act nationalising it we had long and important debates on this subject of participation in the running of the industry. I do not see the hon. Member for Sheffield, Hallam (Mr. J. H. Osborn) here at the moment—I am not saying that critically but inquiringly. He attends whenever he can and will be with us again on other occasions. All the worker-directors are drawn from the floor of the industry. The examples given are not exceptions, they are merely part of normal practice.

People who talk so glibly of the major productive industries are so ill-informed that they do not know what they are talking about. The problem of participation is not an easy one. The Committee which dealt with the nationalisation of the steel industry took great care to hear every point of view. What the hon. Member for Basingstoke does not know, because he has not read the Committee reports, is that there was keen interest among his own colleagues in the participation of employees. This was not a one-sided matter. The hon. Member for Hallam and several of his colleagues showed interest. They have a much better appreciation of the importance of this subject than the hon. Member will ever have.

There is a debate going on about what should be the next step. We ought to be seeing whether we can go beyond the appointment of worker-directors, and whether the methods so far applied are best. The Government are deliberately putting the clock back in introducing this Bill. In spite of all the talk about wanting to strengthen trade unions and establish the principle so British trade unionism in what I called yesterday the "fig leaf" of the introductory Clauses, no one can hide the fact that the major parts of the Bill are deliberately designed to reduce the power and influence of the British trade union movement. It is all the more necessary that we should examine these Amendments carefully and try to create interest in worker participation in industry.

In spite of the warnings that the Under-Secretary has received from his hon. Friends I can see no reason why he should shy away from this Amendment. He will have to make a good case to persuade anyone in industry that he is right to do so. I have worked with the hon. Gentleman before and I have always thought that he had a realistic approach. I start without any prejudice. He can begin now with a clean sheet and establish himself as a man prepared to examine an Amendment on its merits. I have no idea what he will say, although I can normally predict what his right hon. Friend will say in answer to certain Amendments.

The Under-Secretary of State for Employment (Mr. Dudley Smith)

My record is quite good. So far I have spoken once only in this Committee and I accepted the Amendment.

Mr. Mendelson

All the better. I thought that the hon. Gentleman had not spoken very often, and he is none the worse for that. Other hon. Members could be thought of as philosophers if they had spoken less often in the debate. I invite him to keep in mind two cardinal points. First, if the Government's protestations, which I do not accept, that they are interested in making a contribution towards creating more confidence in industry are to be believed, even by their own supporters—we know that there are many employers who are gravely concerned about the implications of some of the Bill's provisions and who are convinced already that they will lead to industrial strife rather than industrial peace—let the Under-Secretary of State explain how the Government feel about the Amendment, and let him accept the positive intention and purpose behind it.

The second cardinal principle which he should grasp concerns the standing of industry in the country as a whole. There is a dangerous feeling developing—I say this in all seriousness—that we are moving into a period in which every sector, be it agriculture, banking, manufacturing industry or whatever it may be, is concerned only with its own selfish purposes and ends. This contributes a great deal to the cynicism which hon. Members meet throughout the country, particularly among young people.

My hon. Friend the Member for Norwood put in convincing terms a contrary view, a view offering something positive, particularly to younger employees in industry. The least the Under-Secretary could do to make us forget the impression given by the "abominable young snowman" behind him would be to give a positive response to the Amendment.

11.45 p.m.

Mr. T. L. Iremonger (Ilford, North)

Mr. Gurden, do I understand aright that we are considering Amendment No. 351, moved by the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser), and we may discuss at the same time Amendment No. 24, in the name of the hon. Member for Rowley Regis and Tipton (Mr. Peter Archer)?

The Temporary Chairman (Mr. Harold Gurden)

That is so.

Mr. Iremonger

Thank you very much, Mr. Gurden. Although I should go a long way with a great deal of what was said by the hon. Member for Norwood—no doubt, we might identify differences here and there—I am not altogether happy about the terms of the Amendment itself. But I consider that these two Amendments taken together should commend themselves to the Committee in their intention.

We are considering the proposition that we should add one more to the general principles in accordance with which the Bill should take effect to promote good industrial relations. By Amendment No. 351, the hon. Member for Norwood would add: the principle of workers' participation in management". Amendment No. 24, in the name of the hon. Member for Rowley Regis and Tipton, is rather longer, but I think that every word of it counts: the principle of effective consultation in decisions affecting industry with those concerned at each level, and with full disclosure of relevant information so far as reasonably practicable". There is something to be said for both, and I cannot see anything wrong with the second Amendment. It would, in my view, greatly enhance the possibility of acceptance of the sincerity of the professions of my right hon. and hon. Friends if it were adopted. I hope that my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary will accept it.

Mr. Hooson

I agree with the hon. Member for Ilford, North (Mr. Iremonger). I prefer Amendment No. 24. But we are in a difficulty here on account of the drafting of this Bill. Clause 1 contains the general principles, instead of their being in a Preamble. If we pass an Amendment of this kind, which I very much support, it will have no effect unless specific proposals are made in later Clauses, because the general principles are only an introduction to the Bill. If there is any doubt about the interpretation of later Clauses, then regard can be had to the general principles.

What we are discussing now is the principle of the matter and I am very much in favour of it. I am very much in favour of a Bill to deal with industrial relations in this country and, in general, I have supported the Government on this matter so far. I am very much in favour of the principle enshrined in both of these Amendments, though I much prefer Amendment No. 24.

I suggested on Second Reading that it was a great mistake by the Government to go to the United States almost exclusively for their precedents, because, in many respects, the United States' background is very different from that of Europe and they have failed to pay sufficient attention to the developments in countries comparable to our own, particularly West Germany, Norway and Sweden.

In their own way those three countries have a much better industrial background, at least in modern times, than we have. Their industrial production per capita has gone up at a higher rate than in our country, and it is of great significance that those three countries have encouraged worker participation in managerial and other decisions. A great deal of time has been spent in West Germany trying to ensure that a worker can be represented on the board of directors, by virtue of his status as a worker. If shareholders have a right of representation on a board, why cannot a worker have the same right by reason of his status as a worker? It is argued that a shareholder's capital is at risk, but a person's job is involved if he is a worker.

If we are going to have greatly improved industrial relations in this country and break this tradition of strife, with the constant division of our country into capital on one side and labour on the other, we must try to bridge this gap. As I see it, these Amendments are directed towards trying to bridge this gap, and I hope that the Government can make a gesture and accept the second Amendment, in particular, because they are wrong in their basic approach to this whole problem. I prefer their Bill to doing nothing at all about industrial relations in this country, but I should have preferred to see the approach taken in Germany, where they began with a workers' constitutional law in 1952. That enabled plant in Germany to have very good industrial relations, by providing a statutory framework whereby, if any works employed more than, I think, 50 people, it was necessary for that works to have a works council on which workers had representation.

That is one of the secrets of the success of West Germany's industrial relations, and they tackled the problem not at the highest level as the Government have done, by laying down various rules for the unions and so on, but at the lowest level the plant level, where most of the trouble starts; where the friction between workers and management is likely to occur more often than anywhere else, and where, if there are no proper procedures available for dealing with a problem, it can get out of hand and spread from one plant to another and then throughout a whole industry.

I hope, therefore, that the Government will very carefully consider the two Amendments proposed, and that they will come to the conclusion that it would be right to accept one or other of them, and that in the code of practice which is to be published eventually, under Clause 2, some kind of practical expression can be given to the spirit of the Amendments.

Sir Harmar Nicholls

The reason I want to make a brief intervention at this stage is that hon. Gentlemen opposite have been blatantly unfair to my hon. Friend the Member for Basingstoke (Mr. David Mitchell). I shall come to that later.

First I want to say a word on these two Amendments. I do not find them objectionable. I found some of the comments made on them objectionable, and quite unparliamentary—and I look at the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. John Mendelson) when I say that. I rather commend the words of the Amendments. Anybody who understands anything about industry knows the strength which can be given to good relations in industry by having worker participation at director level, particularly if the workers at director level come from the floor of the industry in which they become directors. I agree with that.

However, as my hon. Friend was saying, workers who have become directors have not generally been appointed directors in the industries in which they gained their experience. There have been exceptions, and we have had testimony to show that, and we want to see that practice grow properly, but we shall be blinding ourselves if we ignore the fact that up to now there have been very many, perhaps too many, directors who have not been appointed as such in industries which they have really understood.

However, if these words mean what I think they mean I hope that my right hon. Friend will look at them with sympathy and, perhaps by Report, find words which will bring us all closer together than have some extreme speeches we have been hearing in this debate.

Now I come to the point which really brought me to my feet. The hon. Member for Penistone, as always, is able and articulate, and exaggerates, and he can be unpleasant.

Mr. John Mendelson


Sir Harmar Nicholls

To accuse my hon. Friend, who made a very proper contribution, of dishonesty is not only unpleasant but is unparliamentary, and he was allowed to get away with it.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

On a point of order. On two occasions the hon. Member has accused my hon. Friend of using unparliamentary language. With respect, Mr. Gurden, that cannot be true, because if it was true you would have stopped my hon. Friend. So would you please explain to the hon. Member that it is a reflection on the Chair to suggest, as he has, that you allowed my hon. Friend to use any unparliamentary language?

The Temporary Chairman (Mr. Harold Gurden)

Some accusations made in debate are matters of opinion. I am not sure exactly what the original remark was. I was not quite sure that I heard it correctly, but if it was a remark accusing an hon. Member of dishonesty I am sure that the hon. Member will withdraw, for such a remark would have been unparliamentary.

Mr. John Mendelson

I have no intention of withdrawing. Mr. Gurden. The hon. Member, as will be seen in HANSARD tomorrow, started off by talking about the steel industry. He said nothing about industry in general, as the hon. Member for Peterborough (Sir Harmar Nicholls) is now arguing. He talked about the steel industry, and then he mentioned the steel industry again, and, being caught out, he tried to make a general argument. It was to that that I directed myself.

Sir Harmar Nicholls

The hon. Member for Penistone made a charge against my hon. Friend. Whatever mistake my hon. Friend may have made—[HON. MEMBERS: "Ah."]—whatever he may have said or done, the use of an unparliamentary term, calling him dishonest, within the hearing of the Committee, as the record will show, is wrong. That is not the first time the hon. Member has done it, and it will not be the last, and he never withdraws.

12 midnight.

Mr. Heffer

I understood that we were discussing an important Amendment and that the general view expressed by both Opposition and Government was that we should deal with it in a serious and intelligent manner without any filibustering or unnecessary speeches which have no relevance to the Bill. I ask, Mr. Gurden, that this should be drawn to the attention of the Committee.

The Temporary Chairman (Mr. Gurden)

Decisions in these matters are for the Chair.

Sir Harmar Nicholls

The hon. Gentleman has neither the quality nor the qualifications to tell me how to conduct myself in a parliamentary debate. I am to some extent expressing sympathy with the Amendment put down by his hon. Friend, and I hope my hon. Friend will take that point into account.

I am concerned with the conduct of the Committee, and that is why I am dealing with the hon. Member for Penistone and some of his hon. Friends who misconducted themselves a few minutes ago. The hon. Gentleman chided my hon. Friend that he was not talking with authority because he did not represent a steel constituency. The hon. Gentleman said that he represented a steel constituency. I represent a railway constituency, but I would not presume to be an expert on railways any more than he has any claim to be an expert on steel.

My hon. Friend was maltreated. Four or five hon. Gentlemen rose in the middle of his speech to question him. Under the guise of a point of order it was said that because he said something which they thought was wrong he should automatically give way to them. We are in Committee, and that means that hon. Members can make any points they wish to make. The Mace is not on the Table—

Mr. Russell Kerr

On a point of order. Is it in order for the hon. Member for Peterborough (Sir Harmar Nicholls) to be filibustering in this way?

The Temporary Chairman

I detected nothing of the kind.

Sir Harmar Nicholls

I was trying to teach the hon. Gentleman some manners. If an hon. Member wishes to be called in Committee he is entitled to be called. On Second Reading an hon. Member is entitled to ask another hon. Member to give way. If hon. Members will remember that they are entitled to make a speech in Committee, this may restrain them from interrupting and so save time.

I hope that the Amendment will be looked at seriously. It would be a good thing to encourage participation even up to director level, but we must do it by giving strength to organised trade unions and by taking away the power to interfere from the unorganised trade unionists who are usually led by the hon. Member for Penistone.

Mr. Peter Archer

At this time of night I have no wish to delay the Committee by inviting a duplication of discussion. I agreed with most of what was said by my hon. Friend the Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser), and I am grateful to two hon. Gentlemen opposite who said that they preferred my Amendment No. 24. I hope they will not think me perverse if I venture to disagree with them, and I will say why.

There are three differences between Amendments No. 24 and 351. Amendment No. 24 speaks of consultation "at each level". What I envisaged was not merely an attempt to solve the problem of appointing workers to the board. It has already been said by the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson) that many of the most important decisions are taken within the framework of the workshop. Where those decisions are taken, it is equally important that there should be participation. I hope it will not be thought that there is a legal alliance when I venture to agree with the hon. and learned Gentleman. Last night he called me a "blackleg", but certainly I wholly agree with him in regard to participation.

Secondly, my Amendment No. 24 invited a full disclosure of information. I do not resile from that for a moment. Where there is not a full disclosure, one party is negotiating with hands tied behind his back. We shall have an opportunity to discuss both those points subsequently. We are now on what has been called an extended Preamble to the Bill. I doubt whether this part of the discussion is necessarily appropriate at this stage.

The third difference is that Amendment No. 24 uses the word "consultation", whereas Amendment No. 351 uses the word "participation." I prefer the word "participation" and it was only due to an oversight that I used the word "consultation". It would not be honest to invite the Committee to discuss Amendment No. 24 on the basis that I intended to make a distinction between "consultation" and "participation when such was not my intention. In these circumstances I do not propose to move Amendment No. 24, but invite the Committee to take the same point on Amendment No. 351.

I make no apology for the imprecision in either the word "consultation" or the word "participation". The point was raised that these words would be difficult to construe as a point of law, but that point hardly lies in the mouths of hon. Gentlemen opposite when, in the Clause itself, they are inviting the courts to construe the principle of collective bargaining freely and responsibly conducted". It will certainly be no more difficult for the courts to construe words like "participation".

What was in my mind in proposing the Amendment was the essential principle that it is the right of employees to feel part of the undertaking in which they spend the majority of their lives. One of my objections to the introduction of traditional legal concepts into industrial relations is that those concepts themselves are in need of a certain degree of modernisation. The whole of the existing law on industrial relations is based on a concept of the law of contract which was developed to meet the needs of merchants in the City of London. It met them extremely well and continues to do so. However, I doubt whether it meets the needs of most of the situations that arise from day to day, and indeed from hour to hour, on the shop floor.

We are still beset with the feeling that, unlike the management and shareholders who are part of the enterprise, the employees are not part of the enterprise. They are people with whom the enterprise makes contracts for the supply of components in a workshop that may be a hundred miles away or with the customer a hundred miles away for the disposal of products. The employees are no more closely associated with the enterprise than any other suppliers in other enterprises.

That is fundamentally open to challenge. To say that the employee may spend the greater part of his working life day by day and year by year in the service of an undertaking but is not part of it, but merely a party to a contract, whereas somebody who last week acquired a bundle of shares and does not even know what the company makes, is a member of the company is fundamentally wrong and until that is reformed, it does not do to try to bring the tradition—

Mr. McBride

Is my hon. Friend making the proposition that where management is entitled to a fair return on capital investment, my fellow worker is entitled to a fair return because he has invested his life?

Mr. Archer

I could not put it better than that.

Sir E. Brown

If we are to follow that to its logical conclusion and we have a year where shareholders sustain a loss, is the hon. Gentleman suggesting that workers in that industry take a cut?

Mr. Archer

Unhappily, there are employees or ex-employees in my constituency who found themselves in that position and their loss was much greater than that of the shareholders.

I challenge the idea that it is a matter for the decision of management who shall be engaged as employees whereas those who find themselves working shoulder to shoulder with them day after day have, at best, a right to be consulted where appropriate overall.

Surely their interest in the people over whom they work is at least as profound as that of management? The concept is that it is a function of the company whether they shall transfer production from a factory in my constituency to Japan, but those in my constituency are at least as concerned in that decision as the people who take the decision a hundred miles away.

In considering the Bill I was drawn again into reading a book which sent cold shivers down my spine when I first read it, the book by Ellen Wilkinson called "The Town that was Murdered", which partly impelled me to join the Labour movement. The theme was the remoteness of decisions from those employees concerned with the decisions.

The book concerned the formation of a company called National Shipbuilders Security Ltd., formed to rationalise the shipyards. Its whole purpose was to buy a shipyard and close it down and deliberately destroy the equipment so that those employed there saw, not only the loss of their jobs, but the loss of their whole prospect of being employed for generations. This would be a harmless excursion into history were it not that the remoteness of decision-making is still with us.

Mr. Derek Coombs (Birmingham, Yardley)

No one who has practical experience of decision-making would disagree that worker participation should be encouraged. I think it should be encouraged as much as possible, but I do not see how this can be given practical expression in the Bill. Participation is important and trade unions could play a much more active part but have not so far, in my experience, tried to relate increased profitability to wage increases and annual bonuses. If the party opposite encouraged the trade union movement in that direction, they would be doing a great service to the British economy.

12.15 a.m.

Mr. Archer

At this stage we are discussing Clause 1, the extended Preamble. There may be opportunities later to discuss how we could write into the Bill some practical suggestions for furthering these ideas.

If right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite want to demonstrate their commitment to this principle, they might do worse, as my hon. Friend said, than accept the principle of the Employed Persons (Safety) Bill which is to be moved in due course by my hon. Friend the Member for Renfrew, West (Mr. Buchan). That sets out the whole idea of participation by those most immediately concerned, the employees, in an important sector of industrial relations.

In fairness, I say at once that the hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Dudley Smith) said something similar when we discussed the Employed Persons (Health & Safety) Bill on 2nd March last year. The hon. Gentleman said: The improvement of safety standards must, in the last analysis, depend upon willing co-operation between management and worker." [OFFICIAL REPORT, 2nd March. 1970; Vol. 797, c. 70.] The only point where I suspect that we differ—the hon. Gentleman may be able to reassure me even on this—is that I do not see the distinction between applying this in the important sphere of industrial safety and in other aspects of industrial relations.

I venture to suggest that there are obvious limitations to this kind of principle. Clearly I do not suggest that people should be invited to take technical decisions for which they are not qualified, any more than I suggest that the chairman of the board should take decisions which are properly taken by the electrical consultant as to which way round the power supply should be connected. I venture to suggest that the assumption is basically wrong that those who have contributed money are more intimately concerned than those who have contributed their life's work.

Mr. J. Enoch Powell (Wolverhampton, South-West)

It would, I think, be on balance an actual loss if the proposed new paragraph were added to this subsection. I want to tell the Committee briefly why I think so.

I found myself entirely in agreement with the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser), who moved the Amendment, when he laid stress upon the function of management—indeed, the necessity for management—to win consent. That was the important idea which the hon. Gentleman emphasised a number of times in his speech. In fact, that truth goes far beyond industrial management. In all spheres of Government or leadership, the winning of consent is of the essence. No enterprise of any kind can succeed as it should—indeed, it can hardly survive—without the winning of the necessary consent.

Sometimes I feel that in the language in which industrial relations and industrial disputes are discussed in this country there is a tendency to overlook the fact that the responsibility for the obtaining of consent is a prime responsibility of management. It is not something, as it were, shared fifty-fifty between employer and employee, between management and workers. It is at the heart of management. If there is a breakdown in relations between a company and its employees, between management and workers, then the first place to look for the cause and the responsibility for that breakdown must be with management, since, without the winning and maintaining of consent, management itself cannot function. To that extent I am entirely in agreement with the hon. Member for Norwood. Indeed, I stress the point perhaps even more than he did.

But just because this is specially the responsibility of management, I do not believe there are any general rules which we can lay down about the methods by which that responsibility is to be discharged. There was a good deal of talk in the earlier stages of the debate about representative directors and forms of representation of workers on the board. This may be, and no doubt is, one of the methods which may be used for the purpose of the winning of consent; but the ideal approach to the winning of consent is as various as the forms of enterprise themselves. Indeed, I would go further and say that it varies with the personality of the actual management of the undertaking. This, therefore, is a responsibility which we cannot seek to capture and frame within general rules or laws.

The hon. Member for Norwood referred several times to conflict as the necessary environment of the relationship between management and workers, between employers and employees. There is here, I think, an important and a rather dangerous confusion. It is a confusion between conflict, on the one hand, and difference of function, on the other hand.

There is a distinction of function between management and workers, as there is between supplier and customer, buyer and seller. The difference of function, however, which for efficiency may well need to be as sharp and clear as possible, is not conflict. Indeed, that difference of function is itself an essential of co-operation. We falsify the picture when we introduce the notion of conflict into these economic relationships. That is another reason why, in the search for the particular form through which a management will win consent, we would be ill advised to go in search of general principles and general regulations.

Having said that, I come to the question whether we should add the proposed paragraph to the subsection.

Mr. Eddie Griffiths

The right hon. Gentleman has made the point that there is a clear demarcation between employer and employee. Will he indicate where this difference between manager and worker lies in a nationalised industry?

Mr. Powell

If, in the nationalised industries, that distinction is blurred or is of a different character from what it is in private enterprise, that it may well be a reason why, as was brought out earlier in the debate, certain specific provisions on that head had been made in some of the nationalisation Acts. The hon. Member may well have a point there.

I return, however, to the question whether we ought to add this paragraph to the subsection. I have indicated that I am no admirer of the idea of writing into the law of the realm the sort of generality which we find in the subsection; but at least we can say of the generalities at present in the subsection that they refer to matters which can be assisted, and certainly can be affected, by the legislation which follows in subsequent Clauses. "The principle of collective bargaining", for instance, is general enough in all conscience, but at least the Bill is about the framework of collective bargaining.

If we introduce into the subsection the principle to which the Amendment refers, we are likely, first, to give the false impression that the responsibility for winning consent, which rests with management, can somehow be affected by legislation, can somehow be altered one way or the other by provisions in a Measure of this sort, whereas that responsibility will be the same after the Bill is on the Statute Book as it was before. So we obscure what ought to be clear by the suggestion that the winning of consent can be facilitated by such legislation as this Bill. We also imply, which I believe is equally false, that deductions could be drawn from the necessity of winning consent as to what ought and ought not to feature in the remaining Clauses of the Bill.

I submit, therefore, that in this context the paragraph would not merely be irrelevant but would be harmful, in that it would tend to imply that that can be made a matter of law and of regulation which is implicit and inherent in the responsibility of management itself.

Mr. Maurice Edelman (Coventry, North)

I could not help feeling that the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) shifted from one foot to the other during his argument. At one time he seemed to be in favour of workers' participation, but when it came to the crunch he retreated as rapidly as he could from the conclusion of his own argument.

We are dealing with a general preamble. The central purpose of the Amendment is the principle of workers' participation, and the right hon. Gentleman knows as well as anybody does that in Germany where the principle of Gleichmerechtigung has been introduced, where the principle of participation has been made a reality, it has worked successfully. In West Germany the strike record is one which can be the envy of the Western world.

As regards the practical illustration of this theme, I think the proof lies to hand in the fact that here there is direct worker participation in the direction of firms. So far from there being a conflict of tensions which the right hon. Gentleman spoke about, somehow synthesised in a working together of workers and management on two different sides of the table, here is proof that participation can work.

There is one argument for participation which perhaps may not have been advanced this evening, and that is the fact that one of the most compelling reasons for strikes is the monotony of labour. In industrial cities such as Coventry we find time and again that men who are interested in their jobs, who are concerned for their families, are ultimately driven to strike simply because they feel that their function is one of a helot, that they are turning a screw or moving a spanner, and they are doing things which are merely repetitious, which are soulless, and which divorce and alienate them from the function of the company as a whole.

One of the essential things to do to create an effective system of industrial relations—and that should be the purpose of the Bill if it has any purpose at all—is to try to make the worker feel that he has some part to play in the operation of the company of which he is a member. For this reason the principle should be enshrined in the Bill that there should be worker participation, either in a constitutional form which would give workers access to the board, or give them the opportunity ultimately of becoming members of the board. Unless there is in the Bill some principle which enshrines the policy that a worker is not condemned permanently to sit on one side of the table, but that there can be an interaction between management and labour in such a way that the worker can aspire to and achieve the direction of his company in some measure, we shall perpetuate a system which dates from the first Industrial Revolution, in which there are two sides of industry, with one side completely alienated from the control and direction of the company of which it is a member.

In their reaction to the progressive ideas which are represented on this side of the Committee hon. Gentlemen opposite have introduced a kind of Victorian workhouse politics. They would like to effect a return to the attitudes and principles which governed the first Industrial Revolution, but that simply will not do. What is really necessary if there is to be a constructive creative tension and not the conflict which hon. Gentlemen opposite claim they are interested in ending—if there is to be constructive co-operation between management on one side and labour on the other—is that there must be some hope for the men doing the soulless operations which mass industry requires today that they will have a direct participation in the control of the company.

12.30 a.m.

I will not use the word "management", because that evokes certain technical considerations. I confine my- self to the idea of participation as an aspect of control. In the 20th century it must be clear that men who feel that they are merely objects in a consumer-producer society, and feel they have no opportunity of determining their own destiny, will ultimately react by engaging in precisely the kind of wildcat strike that the Bill is endeavouring to bring to an end.

If the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West had the courage of his convictions he would not only have spoken in favour of the Amendment, as he did at the beginning of his speech; he would have come to the clear conclusion that he should support it by his vote. I hope that the Amendment will be pressed to a vote, because the theme of participation is clearly the theme of industrial democracy, without which there cannot be any kind of social democracy. Unless the worker in his place of work feels that he is participating not only in creating an end product but in the social action in which he is involved, we shall continue to have the conflicts and divisions that the Bill professes to seek to end.

I hope that the Amendment will be carried, because unless we think in terms of industrial democracy—unless we give the worker the opportunity of feeling that the old regime of management and labour sitting in permanent confrontation on two different sides of a table is coming to an end—even if the Bill is passed I am sure that the resistance of the worker to being treated as a helot in his own place of work will continue, and will lead to the strikes that the Bill is seeking to end.

Mr. Gower

I echo the sentiments of those of my hon. Friends who say that they approve of the motives which inspire the Amendments, but I share the misgivings of my right hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) at the incorporation of this kind of wording in the Bill. The hon. Member for Coventry, North (Mr. Edelman) was right to describe the tedium of modern repetitive processes in industry, but I cannot believe that a person engaged in some process in the motor car industry will find that tedium any the less because one of his former colleagues is now on the board. Those processes are tedious; that is the nature of much of industry today, but I cannot believe that the mere addition of a worker-director will in any way remove this unpleasant attribute of much of modern industry. To do that we must look elsewhere.

Like my hon. Friends, I approve of any measure that will tend to lessen the harshness of those processes that have tended to separate employers and employees; but to do this we should look not to this kind of Amendment. We should consider some extension of industrial co-partnership and the introduction of fiscal measures to encourge the spread of that kind of thing in industry.

There is another misleading factor about the Amendments. If we adopted the principle of workers' participation we should be giving blanket approval to the idea that it is the right solution in all cases. Our industry is so varied in size and character that it would be most inappropriate in some cases and very appropriate in others. It may best be achieved by the strengthening of workers' councils or by improved joint conciliation machinery. It need not necessarily always be satisfactorily achieved by putting a worker into management.

Management can be a particularly imaginative function. Sometimes a certain genius is required. Often a firm will owe everything to the imagination of one man. For example, for Tesco's and other firms in the distributive trade the departure of one man from the board could be a severe blow.

I agree that we want to narrow the harsh division that at present exist in industry. I do not believe that this will be done by this sort of blanket proposal which, if applied to some industries, could have disastrous results.

Mr. Norman Buchan (Renfrew, West)

Hon. Gentlemen opposite not only lack understanding of this subject but also lack imagination. When they can suggest, as the hon. Member for Barry (Mr. Gower) did, that worker participation boils down to putting one worker on a company's board, we begin to realise how little they know about this problem and why it is becoming such an issue in the nation.

I have refrained from taking part in this discussion because I have not regarded myself to be an expert in Indus- trial relations. But having heard some of the contributions of hon. Gentlemen opposite, I see no reason to remain silent.

I will give an example of a strike which caused me considerable concern. It occurred just before the last election. I went to a factory gate meeting at Rootes, now Chrysler, in Linwood where the boys said, "We're sorry, Norman. We appreciate that a strike at this time will be exploited, but it cannot be helped." And it was exploited, but that is not the point of my example.

At that motor car factory many men work on the track. If there is a hold-up in the trim shop, there is a hold-up in the track. The same applies to every other department. With regular monotony, the vehicles roll on and off the track and the men who work on it are anxious to be put on to other individual work.

The management were recruiting men and they were finding it easier to recruit people for the individual work rather than for the track, first because it is more attractive work and second because they need train the men only for the individual jobs they would be doing. Meanwhile, the track men were anxious that new staff should come in through the track and progress to the individual jobs, as they had to do. The strike arose simply because the management could not appreciate the desire of the men to get off the track onto more individual work. This is the kind of problem which can be solved if we have the right concept of worker participation at an earlier stage, not when they are coming to conflict and demanding meetings. Management should understand the feelings growing up among workers. My hon. Friend the hon. Member for Coventry, North (Mr. Edelman) will understand the track neurosis concept.

A representative on the board is valuable, because workers can feel that they have a voice there of someone who understands. We have made a little progress. It has required intervention by Government to do it. We have had the example of the steel industry. Another example was the unfinished experiment at Fairfields. Fairfields was, unfortunately, absorbed in Upper Clyde Shipyard. But the failure of the experiment brought in participation in two ways. First, there was a common purpose between Government and workers' participation—I remember hon. Members opposite sneering at the time—in the form of investment of trade union money. There was a lot of criticism about the way it worked out. Nevertheless, there was this participation of trade union money plus worker representation on the board. It was only a tentative experiment. Hon. Members should read Professor Alexander's book "Fairfields—An Unfinished Experiment". The experiment did not stop conflict. There is sometimes merit in conflict. There is plenty of conflict in the trade unions, but that does not stop them doing their job. There is plenty of conflict in management. At Fairfields there were conflicts, but they were resolved very often at mass meetings in the cinema when the entire work force was there sometimes, knocking hell out of the management, and vice versa. This goes well beyond merely the appointment of one member to the board. There is a point in what the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) says. He distrusts the enunciation of general principles in a Bill. That is a matter for his Front Bench to decide. He distrusts further the writing in in legislative form of these general principles. Many of us on this side of the House distrust most of the legislative writing in of some of those principles too. Participation requires, above all, a lack of legislation in its handling. We do not use law to relate problems within a family. We do not need to use law to get the right kind of relationship in industry. The right hon. Gentleman went on to say that there is some excuse because the Bill deals with industrial relationships, and sets out the method of solving disputes and so on.

Hon. Members opposite must recognise the amount of open hostility and tension which they are creating and the lack of trust in the Government which exists. We see it in the statement of Mr. Chapple, who is not normally a very extravagant speaker, when he referred to the membership of the power inquiry yesterday. With the kind of distrust and hostility which the Government are creating, I have never known a nation to be divided in two so quickly by a Government.

The acceptance of the Amendment would at least give us something to build on for the future. If it cannot be spelled out in detail in the Bill, it can be spelled out in detail by practical methods. My hon. Friend suggested that it could be done in my Bill to be published tomorrow which would introduce workers' committees on the question of industrial safety. All hon. Members should support this, because something like three times as many days are lost through industrial sicknesses and disease as are lost through strikes. This would be a practical manifestation of the Government's serious and genuine concern about the problem of working days lost. I place great hopes in the Minister, both for my Bill and the Amendment. I appeal to hon. Members opposite to accept it.

Above all, I ask Conservative hon. Members one other thing. There are certain trigger words which, when used in the House, set off a kind of reaction in hon. Members opposite that shows their failure to understand the nature of the people with whom they are dealing. I have heard the words "shop steward" produce giggles and sometimes jeers on the benches opposite. I think that below the surface of some of the Conservative back-benchers is a kind of contempt for workers, a kind of feeling that they cannot run their own affairs, and above all a profound determination to try to ensure that they are never given the opportunity.

The Amendment will be a test of their sincerity, and I hope that they accept it. I hope that the first manifestation of their acceptance will come when my Bill is discussed in a couple of weeks' time.

I appeal to hon. Members opposite, "Please have some imagination. Do not just restrict yourselves to the thought of one man on the board. If you are genuine in trying to create one nation, this is one way to try to set about doing it".

12.45 a.m.

Sir Brandon Rhys Williams (Kensington, South)

These Amendments are interesting, but what has been most interesting in our discussion is the degree of harmony expressed on both sides about the spirit of the Amendments. There has not however been quite so much harmony about the wording.

I thought that I would welcome Amendment No. 24, and I rather regret that the hon. Member for Rowley Regis and Tipton (Mr. Peter Archer) confused the issue somewhat by saying that he no longer wished to press it because he had intended to incorporate "participation" in it instead of "consultation". If his Amendment were taken simply as it stands I should be more than willing to support it, because I think that it is constructive and helpful, and that its wording is most reasonable.

I should like particularly to congratulate the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser) on the fine, and in many ways luminous, way in which he spoke about the importance of participation when speaking to Amendment No. 351.

Everyone who has experience of personnel management or has spent many years in industry will know that he is right. But, again, the precise definition of what the hon. Gentleman wanted to express seems to me to have escaped him. He referred to the situation in Germany. What he should have noted is that in Germany the board is divided into two halves—the supervisory board and the executive board. It is on the supervisory board that the Germans have established the principle of worker participation, not on the executive board.

If the hon. Gentleman's Amendment had read," … the principle of workers' participation in supervision of management …", it would have been a really constructive and sensible suggestion. But as it stands it could only be confusing, and I would not be prepared to recommend my hon. Friend to accept it. It is very important to separate the supervision of the executive from the executive function itself. It is unfortunate that British company law has not yet followed the German example in making this clear distinction. Until it does, such an Amendment is bound to be premature.

Mr. Sillars

I support the Amendment. Like every hon. Member on this side, I am anxious for the creation of harmony in industry. But we must look at industry dispassionately and objectively, analyse the situation on that basis, and after that analysis build a reasonable structure for industrial relations. Its foundation, to use one of the favourite words of the Solicitor-General, must be realism.

One of the first questions we must ask ourselves when considering industrial relations concerns the issue of conflict. Is conflict inevitable and necessary?

I take issue with the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) who tried to relate the differences between capital and labour to the differences between a man selling a shirt for Marks and Spencer and a man buying it. There is a vast difference. It arises on the point that capital and labour involves political power in this country and the allocation of political power between the group holding capital and the group which sells its labour. There is bound to be conflict. There is necessarily a conflict of interest and we would do well to recognise that that fact will exist irrespective of the type of society one lives in. Poland is a Communist society but the recent events there clearly illustrate that there is a conflict of interest involved between capital, be it State capital or not, and labour.

Industrial relations is no place for the do-gooder in industry. I used to work with the Scottish T.U.C. in charge of its Organisation Department. About 18 months ago, I had a letter from a religious organisation suggesting that the way out of our industrial problems was to give a Bible to every worker in the country and recommend to them the acceptance of the principles contained therein—two million Bibles in Scotland would resolve all our industrial problems.

Mr. Eddie Griffiths

But would not my hon. Friend agree that, if the principles involved in the Bible, Christian principles, were lived up to by everybody in industry, we would not be sitting here at five minutes to one o'clock on a Wednesday morning wasting our time?

Mr. Sillars

The only prize I won at a school was a Bible and I regard myself as a reasonable expert on the Bible. I bring the matter of the Bible up only because I want to bring home to the lawyers opposite the great difficulty of legislating in human relations. The Word of God, handed down thousands of years ago, has caused untold trouble through the different interpretations put upon it. If that has happened to the Word of God, God help us when we come to the word of the Tory Party contained in this Bill.

We are involved in a basic situation of life. One of my fundamental objections to the Bill is to the assumption that runs throughout it, and has been spelt out by hon. Members opposite—that the workers are like commodities, that somehow or other they can be treated by trade union officials and signed away to them quite happily like a bill of account. They are nothing of the kind. Workers do not divest themselves of their humanity the moment they clock in. They are the same people inside the factory as they are outside. They have a point of view. They have hearts and minds. They are flesh and blood. They can be quick to anger. They can have an off-day like anyone else. Any man who thinks he can legislate, through a framework or straitjacket of law, to take account of every human situation that arises in industry is a fool, because human beings are involved.

But part of the trouble with the Conservative Party is that they do not want harmony in industry at all. They want to shift the balance of power in our society towards the employer whom, by and large, they represent. Hon. Gentlemen opposite cannot complain if we say that we do not trust them in this matter, because when one examines the employer's side of industry they do not even trust themselves. One of the biggest growth industries in Britain is industrial espionage, and one of the other big growth industries is anti-industrial espionage. They have the espionage men going where we sensible people in the Labour movement have Bridlington to resolve our problems. We do not really trust the Conservative Party at all, and I should be most surprised if they accepted this Amendment, which is concerned with the principle of participation.

Perhaps I should spell out what I regard as being essential in participation. I do not want workers to be patronised by being handed a stencilled copy of what the managing director thinks they should have as information. When I speak of participation, I mean the right to an effective say in marketing policies, in pricing policies, in sales policies and, most important of all, in investment policies, because the worker is entitled to a say in investment since that determines his job opportunity and the job opportunity of his children. Last, but by no means least, when I talk of participation, I mean the right to have the employers' books opened up to see whether we are dealing with honest men. Most trade unionists regard that as an essential ingredient of participation and I suggest that if the Conservative Party want to move towards a harmonious situation in industry, in order to remove as much of the conflict as possible, they will have to come to an effective worker participation scheme much quicker than they realise.

It was Aneurin Bevan, one of the great leaders of the Socialist movement, who coined the phrase: The need to take control of the commanding heights of the economy … Since he coined that phrase, the commanding heights have become more commanding, and his commanding heights are now the foothills of some economies, both in this country and in European and world contexts. The position of the individual worker vis-à-vis his employer is relatively worse than it was 10 or 20 years ago, and he is much more isolated in his work situation than he has ever been before. Working people are now reaching out—vaguely perhaps—for a degree of industrial democracy. My grandfather, who took part in the General Strike and the rise of the trade union movement, put a great deal of faith in the political franchise, but, as events have proved, that faith was wholly unjustified. The political franchise is not enough. The worker needs an industrial franchise to have a greater degree of control of the power in industry, if he is to control his life and his standard of living.

Captain Walter Elliot (Carshalton)

The hon. Member has been talking about the very responsible jobs in which he thinks the worker ought to participate, such as marketing, investment, finance and so on. Jobs of that sort would be done at boardroom level, so I presume that he is talking about worker participation at that level. I wonder whether the hon. Member could answer a question. If there is worker participation at the boardroom level, then, presumably, in the hon. Gentleman's view, the worker will remain a worker. But will he remain a worker in the view of the other workers whom he has left?

Mr. Sillars

Yes. Provided that the scheme for the introduction of worker participation is a sensible and voluntarily agreed scheme, I believe that he will. But I should confess that there are difficulties in constructing a worker participation scheme. It is a fair criticism of the trade union movement, that we have waited far too long and have been far too dilatory in moving towards the situation where the T.U.C. has recently set up a high-powered committee to examine the private sector. The last Government had a committee working which now, through the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations on the Railway Industry, has a contribution to study in the public sector.

I regard it as essential to introduce and develop workers' participation. It is a thoroughly sound principle. The prerequisite for industrial peace in this country is industrial justice, and the prerequesite for industrial justice is a fair and effective say for the British worker in the place at which he earns his livelihood.

1.0 a.m.

Mr. Dudley Smith

I assure the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Sillars) that I am not here to represent the employers. I am a member of the Government, and, for good or ill, I am here to represent my constituents as well. The sort of comment which the hon. Gentleman made does not help a debate such as this, which has been extremely serious and, if I may say so, one of the most interesting and one of the best discussions which we have had so far on the Bill. Apart from two spirited interludes concerning my hon. Friends the Members for Basingstoke (Mr. David Mitchell) and for Peterborough (Sir Harmar Nicholls), all the contributions have been thoughtful, and, while there has been a diversity of opinion expressed, a great deal of interest has been aroused, as has been evident from the number of hon. Members who have taken part.

I shall approach the subject with the same seriousness. Although I shall probably say things which hon. Members will not accept, I shall none the less mean them sincerely, for this is a subject in which I have a keen personal interest, as has the hon. Member for Rowley Regis and Tipton (Mr. Peter Archer). The hon. Gentleman once did me the honour of supporting a speech which I made on a theme closely related to tonight's debate, that is, the soullessness of some kinds of work and the need for extra help for those who have uninteresting jobs. It is a great human theme, tied up very much with the principle of human dignity, and we should do ourselves a disservice, whatever our political party, if we did not recognise that it may present one of the big problems in the years ahead, probably during the rest of our lifetime at least. Those of us who have interesting jobs—even though we are still at it at one o'clock in the morning—sometimes tend to overlook that aspect of the matter.

I shall not succumb to the blandishments of the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. John Mendelson), but I assure the hon. Member for Rowley Regis and Tipton that we shall consider sympathetically the possibility of adding a principle similar to the one which he expresses in Amendment No. 24: the principle of effective consultation in decisions affecting industry with those concerned at each level, and with full disclosure of relevant information so far as reasonably practicable".

Mr. Peter Archer

I am most grateful to the hon. Gentleman. It is encouraging when he makes that kind of approach. But, in that case, what is the distinction in his mind between participation and consultation which makes it so difficult for him to accept Amendment No. 351, moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser)?

Mr. Smith

I shall come to that. At this point, I am glad to tell the hon. Member for Rowley Regis and Tipton that we shall look at his point sympathetically. It is just coincidence that I happened to be concerned last night and accepted his other Amendment. It will not necessarily become a habit. But we are pleased to have his contributions.

I entirely agree that we should encourage the idea that individuals who work in industry or anywhere else should feel part of the undertaking in which they spend so much of their lives. Employees must be encouraged more and more to be part of the enterprise in which they work. I am sure that enlightened managements agree with that, because it produces better results, it produces greater profits, and it creates a better standard of living for the community as a whole.

There is a point in the Bill which goes a little way towards encouraging better communication and that is the information which will be provided, in the larger companies, to employees. This will in many ways be akin to information provided to shareholders. The hon. Gentleman chided us a little, talking about a hand-out from the managing director. As we envisage it it will be useful and valuable information which will go a little way towards encouraging those working in industry to feel that they are part of the complex and know what is going on. It is important, it is a start, because there have been some managements who have failed to get even basic communications across to their workers. The Bill can be improved by a form of words such as that enumerated by the hon. Gentleman and that is why we will give due consideration to them.

The hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser) spoke with forcefulness and a good deal of passion. He took a line different from what I anticipated. I must be honest and say that I am far less happy about his Amendment. He referred to the lack of involvement and the feeling of the individual, in isolation, in some of the complexes in which he works. I agree with him about that, but his Amendment goes far too wide. It is far too general to be accepted as a main principle in the Bill. I agree with many of his points. The individual must be protected from the big battalions. He must be protected from both sides of industry, from the excesses of employer and trade union. In many ways this is what the Bill is about, because it asks for equal responsibilities from both sides of industry. It is fair in its application and basically promotes good industrial relations.

If we adopted this rather generalised principle we could well have a type of involvement advocated by the hon. Member for South Ayrshire. He is entitled to his point of view, saying that he thinks that there should be worker participation in marketing and finance. I am sure that without the requisite skills this could be a recipe for disaster. We have to approach this carefully.

Mr. Sillars

A moment ago the hon. Gentleman said that my hon. Friend's Amendment was far too wide. Can he explain how much wider it is than that word "responsible" in Clause 1(1)(c)? With the best will in the world, at ten past one in the morning I cannot see the difference.

Mr. Smith

If the hon. Member will listen I will try to develop some of the matters that this would raise. He said that this would involve workers in marketing and financial decisions which I think would be unacceptable to large sections of industry. I do not want to get into a debate about the question of "responsible". It has very definite meanings to me, if it has not for the hon. Gentleman. In the circumstances the Amendment cannot be acceptable even though we accept that it is put forward with a great deal of goodwill and sincerity.

The hon. Member for Norwood also spoke about health and safety and said that we should be doing something about this in industry. He brought up the old chestnut of many more days being lost in industry through illness and accident than through strikes. I wonder how many factories have been closed up and down the country as a result of industrial accidents or illness. Perhaps very occasionally because of some very unexpected 'flu epidemic, or because of some terrible explosion which wrecked a factory, a whole factory has had to be closed, but we all know that, overall, the incidence of illness, as in the House of Commons or in offices or anywhere else, is spasmodic, whereas it seems to me that we have seen in industry, particularly in the British car industry in recent years, strikes occurring with regularity, in every other week in some cases, it seems, with various production lines closed. So I do not think we can equate health and safety with strikes in counting numbers of days lost.

We do not ignore this question of sickness and accidents. It is very important. It is a human problem, and we are all concerned—both Governments have been concerned—with it. Indeed, we are actively encouraging the Robens committee of inquiry into health and safety which the right hon. Lady set up during her period of office. We gave approval and a general welcome to Part I of the Employed Persons (Health and Safety) Bill which was brought before the House. I myself did from the Opposition Front Bench at that time. I know that the hon. Member for Renfrew, West (Mr. Buchan) has introduced a Private Member's Bill which is virtually Part II of that former Bill. He will know that, on behalf of the then Opposition, I expressed reservations about that Bill, though I admitted that there were good parts in it which could be of service; but I had a number of serious doubts, as did my hon. and right hon. Friends. What I would say to the hon. Member in all fairness is that we shall be debating this in extenso in due course when we can consider it on its merits, when the Bill comes up.

Mr. Buchan

I do not intervene to speak of my Bill, but of what the hon. Gentleman called an old chestnut of a comparison between 23 million days lost in 1969 through industrial injury and disease and 6.8 million days lost through strikes in the same period. I think the hon. Gentleman said it was a chestnut and that it was not a proper comparison. There are two points to be made about that. In the first place it is a reasonable statistical comparison. There is an overall statistic of work days lost through sickness or injury, and through strikes. It is a reasonable comparison. Secondly, quite apart from the fact that some factories are closed altogether as a result of accidents, there is, surely, the point that very often after a strike the lost production is caught up with again, but that when people are off work because of industrial accidents or disease they are off a long time, six weeks or two months, say, and that loss of production is often not caught up with—and they may not be able to return to work at all. This is not chatter: it is a serious point.

Mr. Smith

I accept that that is a problem, and it is an important problem and one which must not be overlooked in the context of the number of days which are lost, but my argument was that usually a whole industry or factory is not completely closed down because of illness, because its incidence is spasmodic, whereas debilitating strikes severely injure the economic performance and export performance of the country, when industry does go out of action almost entirely. That surely cannot be a good thing, and it is the unofficial strike which is so serious, and which is tackled by the Bill.

Mrs. Castle

I just take up the earlier point about safety, health and welfare legislation which we introduced and which this Government have given no guarantee of reintroducing in its entirety. Hence my hon. Friend's Bill. Would not the hon. Gentleman accept, when we are talking about workers' participation, that rights and responsibilities for safety are among the most practical expressions we would have of workers' participation? If the Government are going to pay any lip service to this theme, they must accept my hon. Friend's Bill.

Mr. Smith

As I said, we think the first part is sensible. On the second part, we feel that the voluntary concept probably can do as much as if not more than compulsion. The right hon. Lady anticipated her legislation by announcing the committee of inquiry which is far-reaching and may produce ideas which ultimately require further legislation.

Many of the points made by the hon. Member for Norwood were generally agreeable, although I do not think they can be tackled by the principle which he proposed. I agree with his plea for enlightened productivity bargaining and that there must be much more consultation with the individual worker to make him feel part of the organisation. Again it is important that the wording of the Bill should be precise.

The hon. Member for Bury and Radcliffe (Mr. Fidler) asked how the courts would interpret the principle put forward in the official Opposition Amendment No. 351. I agree that they would have great difficulty, and they would certainly have great difficulty in interpreting the phrase suggested by the hon. Gentleman—

Mr. John Fraser

Is not the point that the courts might have difficulty in interpretation but that a Commission on Industrial Relations would not? It is the introduction of the courts that leads to difficulties by having a uniform procedure imposed upon the parties instead of encouraging voluntary bargaining and imaginative and constructive attempts such as the one put forward in the Amendment.

Mr. Smith

There are several authorities which have to take account of these principles, including the C.I.R. and the courts, and the phraseology must be accurate to ensure fairness. The first principle in the Bill is the best approach to industrial democracy: (a) the principle of collective bargaining freely and responsibly conducted; That is the best guarantee of worker participation. I know that "In Place of Strife" is anathema to the hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme), but if he can bear with me for once more quoting from it, paragraph 49 says: There are various ways in which workers can participate in management. The most effective is through membership of a trade union which negotiates with management on all questions affecting conditions of employment including, for example, the introduction of new machinery, manpower planning and deployment, and disciplinary and dismissal procedures. That is perfectly fair and leads one to the conclusion that participation is better achieved in that way than in the way suggested by the hon. Member for Norwood.

Mr. John Mendelson

The hon. Gentleman must admit that the Labour Government of which my right hon. Friend was a leading member passed legislation on the public ownership of the steel industry which introduced for the first time the formula of access to company papers and books being available to representatives of the work people. He is not prepared to go any part of the way towards such a definition in the Bill.

Mr. Smith

I was coming to that point. The Donovan Commission also had doubts about worker participation outside the theme that it should be done by collective bargaining, which was put forward in "In Place of Strife".

On the whole, it is far better to proceed on the lines of the proposals of the Amendment No. 351, bearing in mind that a carefully defined principle could perhaps be included, such as that put forward by the hon. Member for Rowley Regis and Tipton. The hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson) said that if Amendment No. 24 was not to be proposed by the hon. Member for Rowley Regis and Tipton, where else would it be supported in the Bill? I believe the code of conduct will probably be able to bolster up that particular concept.

Mr. Eddie Griffiths


Mr. Smith

No, I am sorry. I keep on giving way. I shall be accused of stringing out this matter. There may be something to be said for carefully worked out experiments of the kind currently going on in the steel industry, but it would be foolish and incautious to accept this form of participation as being so well validated as to justify the embodiment of these principles in the Bill. If we are to consider worker participation at that level, I have grave misgivings about it, but I do not throw it out entirely.

Mr. Eddie Griffiths


Mr. Smith

No, I will not give way. The matter should be considered separately since it has implications for company law. This Bill is not the vehicle in which to put forward worker participation where it might involve those who would go on to boards. Management decisions usually have to be taken at a high level and the art is a pretty skilful one. I know that there are bad managements and bad directors who do not deserve to be in office, but in modern industry the large majority of people involved are professionals and are in the job because of their abilities. I think that in some respects a worker-director might find himself a fish out of water, perhaps with divided loyalties.

Hon. Members


Mr. Smith

This is true. In big industry today most of the directors have come up the hard way. I can think of some who have come up from the shop floor, but they may be experts in marketing or in finance. Unless one has these particular individual skills, it could be very difficult.

The Industrial Relations Bill published by the Labour Government contained no provision for experiments involving worker participation. Indeed, in all the publications in connection with the Consultative Document put forward by the right hon. Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) there was no specific commitment to going ahead with worker participation. I believe that this is not the time to do it in the type of phraseology which has been put forward by the hon. Member for Norwood. Therefore, I must recommend to the Committee that, in spite of the good will behind Amendment No. 351 on many factors, we should reject it, but we are prepared to look at the proposals advanced by the hon. Member for Rowley Regis and Tipton.

Mr. Heffer

The Under-Secretary of State revealed his position and that of the Conservative Party by saying that a worker-director appointed to a board of management would feel like a fish out of water. This shows the basic thinking in the Tory Party about workers. They must always be kept in their appropriate station and must never emerge from it. Their appropriate station is never to become part of a board of management because they would not understand it, would be out of their depth, and so on.

It is a rather disgraceful remark, because at one time in this debate I almost got the impression, particularly from some speeches by hon. Members on the back benches, that the Government would accept the Amendments. At one time the olive branch was being held out and the hon. Member for Barry (Mr. Gower), and other hon. Members were saying that there was a great deal in this Amendment. But when it comes down to it and the Government make their decision clear, the Amendment is too wide and could be a recipe for disaster and anybody who got there would be a fish out of water.

Mr. Eddie Griffiths

Would my hon. Friend give way? Would he not agree that one hon. Gentleman opposite has condemned the experiment of the British Steel Corporation with worker directors which has been going for nearly three years and talked about people being out of their depth. Ignorance shown by the hon. Member in dismissing this experiment in a few words shows how little he knows about the experiment which is the only one going on in this country in participation. In rejecting the Amendment in the name of my right hon. Friend and my hon. Friend the Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser) the Under-Secretary has shown an ignorance of the position which has never been outdone in this Committee.

Mr. Heffer

I will not disagree with my hon. Friend, but the Minister at least had some knowledge that there were worker-directors in the steel industry, while it was clear from the speeches of some hon. Members opposite that they had no knowledge of it at all. They revealed complete ignorance of the matter.

This is a serious business and I would like to dwell on the situation not only in our industrial society but in every industrial society in the world, whether in America, Russia or anywhere else. Increasingly, decisions are made by management which is remote from the shop floor and workers have become cogs in the mechanism of great industrial combines, publicly or privately owned.

We have to recognise that there is a deep difference between the workers in the great mass production industries and the old-time craftsman who had a real stake in his craft and had something to get his teeth into, with a job that he carried through while the worker in the mass production factories merely carries out a number of operations without having anything to say about the decisions taken in that factory.

To epitomise that, if we cast our minds back to that wonderful Charlie Chaplin film, "Modern Times", we see the type of problem to which my hon. Friend the Member for Renfrew, West (Mr. Buchan) referred, of track psychology as the problem of modern industry. Workers feel alienated from their work because of this problem of having no function in the decision-making of their industries and factories. That is a problem we must face in industrial society.

1.30 a.m.

That is why we have put down this Amendment. We do not see it as something remote, something which is not real in industrial relations. It is at the very heart of industrial relations in a modern industrial society. That is why I hope that the House will accept the Amendment.

I should like to comment on one or two of the points which have been made during the dispute—[Laughter]—dispute. It was a dispute, and it obviously is a dispute. If there was no dispute hon. Gentlemen opposite would accept the Amendment.

During the debate one of my hon. Friends pointed out that the Government were bringing in a Bill which would ultimately lead to bigger and better strikes. That is what the Bill means. It is supposed to deal with the problem of unofficial disputes. If the Bill was successful in dealing with unofficial disputes, and if we followed the pattern of the United States' legislation, we would certainly get less strikes, but they would be bigger, longer and, in the long run, more damaging than strikes we get now. This apparently is what hon. Gentlemen opposite want. This is what lies behind their philosophy and thinking.

If we have an extension of genuine industrial democracy with the workers participating in managerial decisions, obviously we shall be laying the real basis for the elimination of the conflict in industry which arises from the simple fact that managements, on behalf of owners of and shareholders in industry, wish to make the maximum profit and the workers wish to get the best possible wages and conditions in terms of modern industry.

An important point was raised by one hon. Gentleman opposite during the debate. He asked: if the workers were involved in management, would they be prepared to take a cut in wages if the firm was doing badly?

This is a fundamental question which must be looked at in the light of the experience of workers' participation in management in countries where they do participate. The answer is that the workers, as a result of their activity in management, would meet and discuss investment, marketing, how much profit should be used, how much should be ploughed back, the level of wages during a certain period, and so on. That is what it would mean.

I am going to be a little heretical here. I believe that, even in a full socialised economy, we would need some form of competition to get the best type of product. My argument is not that there should not be competition; it is that the profits which are made as a result are

Division No. 61.] AYES [1.37 a.m.
Abse, Leo Bishop, E. S. Carmichael, Neil
Albu, Austen Blenkinsop, Arthur Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Boardman, H. (Leigh) Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles)
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Booth, Albert Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara
Armstrong, Ernest Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Clark, David (Colne Valley)
Ashton, Joe Bradley, Tom Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)
Atkinson, Norman Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.) Cohen, Stanley
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Concannon, J. D.
Barnes, Michael Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury) Conlan, Bernard
Barnett, Joel Buchan, Norman Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.)
Baxter, William Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Crawshaw, Richard
Beaney, Alan Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgewood Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Cunningham, G. (Islington, S. W.)
Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.) Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven)
Bidwell, Sydney Cant, R. B. Dalyell, Tam

wrongly used under capitalism but could be properly used in a socialised economy.

It is noticeable that, when we begin to deal with the problem of workers' participation in management, hon. Gentlemen opposite immediately lose interests. Apparently it is a matter which can be talked about in an airy-fairy way, but which they have no intention of putting into operation.

We in the Labour Party began with our worker-director experiment in the steel industry. It was only a first, faltering step. We would obviously like to go much further. There are much more diverse methods of worker participation, and I think that we should try them all and not be bound to one concept.

I accept the point, which has been made by some hon. Members, that if one merely takes a worker from the shop floor and puts him in as a director, it is possible that after a time he begins to accept the view of the management and does not represent the workers at shop floor level. Experience can teach us to overcome problems of that sort, however, and I believe that we could overcome them if we were determined to put them into operation in a sensible and intelligent fashion.

Hon. Members may say that this is not the sort of debate that we should have on the Bill, but I believe that worker participation in management is fundamental and at the heart of industrial relations in modern industrial society. Because of that, I ask my hon. Friends to support the Amendment, particularly as the Government have decided to reject it.

Question put, That the Amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 222, Noes 255.

Davidson, Arthur Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.) Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Davies, Denzil (Llanelly) Johnes, Barry (Flint, E.) Pendry, Tom
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Jones, Dan (Burnley) Pentland, Norman
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Perry, Ernest G.
Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.
Deakins, Eric Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.) Prescott, John
Delargy, H. J. Kaufman, Gerald Price, William (Rugby)
Dell, Rt Hn. Edmund Kelley, Richard Probert, Arthur
Doig, Peter Kinnock, Neil Reed, D. (Sedgefield)
Dormand, J. D. Lambie, David Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)
Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.) Lamond, James Rhodes, Geoffrey
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Latham, Arthur Richard, Ivor
Duffy, A. E. P. Lawson, George Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Dunn, James A. Leadbitter, Ted Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Dunnett, Jack Leonard, Dick Robertson, John (Paisley)
Eadle, Alex Lestor, Miss Joan Roderick, Caerwyn E. (Br'c'n & R'dnor)
Edelman, Maurice Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham N.) Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Roper, John
Ellis, Tom Lomas, Kenneth Rose, Paul B.
English, Michael Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)
Evans, Fred Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Faulds, Andrew McBride, Neil Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Fisher, Mrs. Doris (B'ham, Ladywood) McCann, John Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) McCartney, Hugh Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N. E.)
Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) McElhone, Frank Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) McGuire, Michael Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Foley, Maurice Mackenzie, Gregor Sillars, James
Ford, Ben Mackie, John Silverman, Julius
Forrester, John Mackintosh, John P. Small, William
Fraser, John (Norwood) McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Freeson, Reginald McNamara, J. Kevin Spearing, Nigel
Galpern, Sir Myer Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Springgs, Leslie
Garrett, W. E. Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Stallard, A. W.
Gilbert, Dr. John Marks, Kenneth Stoddart, David (Swindon)
Ginsberg, David Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John
Grant, George (Morpeth) Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Strang, Gavin
Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Swain, Thomas
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Mendelson, John Taverne, Dick
Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Mikardo, Ian Thomas, Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff, W.)
Hannan, Willaim (G'gow, Maryhill) Millan, Bruce Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Hardy, Peter Milne, Edward (Blyth) Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)
Harper, Joseph Morgan, Elystan (Cardinganshire) Tinn, James
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Urwin, T. W.
Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon) Varley, Eric G.
Heffer, Eric S. Moyle, Roland Wainwright, Edwin
Hilton, W. S. Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)
Horam, John Murray, Robald King Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Huckfield, Leslie Ogden, Eric Wallace, George
Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) O'Halloran, Michael Watkins, David
Hughes, Mark (Durham) O'Malley, Brian Wellbeloved, James
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) Oram, Bert White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Orbach, Maurice Whitehead, Phillip
Hunter, Adam Orme, Stanley Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Janner, Greville Oswald, Thomas Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton) Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Palmer, Arthur Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
John, Brynmor Pardoe, John TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange) Mr. William Hamling and
Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Pavitt, Laurie Mr. John Golding.
Adley, Robert Bossom, Sir Clive Cockeram, Eric
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Bowden, Andrew Coombs, Derek
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Cooper, A. E.
Archer, Jeffrey (Louth) Braine, Bernard Cormack, Patrick
Astor, John Bray, Ronald Costain, A. P.
Atkins, Humphrey Brewis, John Critchley, Julian
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Brinton, Sir Tatton Curran, Charles
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Dalkeith, Earl of
Balniel, Lord Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)
Batsford, Brian Bruce-Gardyne, J. d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen. Jack
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Bryan, Paul Dean, Paul
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Burden, F. A. Deeds, Rt. Hn. W. F.
Benyon, W. R. Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Drayson, G. B.
Berry, Hn. Anthony Carlisle, Mark Dykes, Hugh
Biffen, John Chapman, Sydney Eden, Sir John
Biggs-Davison, John Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)
Blaker, Peter Chichester-Clark, R. Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S. W.) Churchill, W. S. Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.)
Body, Richard Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Eyre, Reginald
Boscawen, Hon. Robert Clegg, Walter Farr, John
Fell, Anthony Knox, David Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Lane, David Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Fidler, Michael Legge-Boucke, Sir Harry Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead) Le Marchant, Spencer Ridsdale, Julian
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)
Fookes, Miss Janet Longden, Gilbert Foberts, Wyn (Conway)
Fortescue, Tim Loveridge, John Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Fowler, Norman McAdden, Sir Stephen Rost, Peter
Fox, Marcus MacArthur, Ian Royle, Anthony
Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone) McCrindle, R. A. Russell, Sir Ronald
Fry, Peter McLaren, Martin Scott, Nicholas
Galbraith, Hn. T. G. Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Gibson-Watt, David Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Shelton, William (Clapham)
Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) McNair-Wilson, Michael Simeons, Charles
Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest) Sinclair, Sir George
Glyn, Dr. Alan Maddan, Martin Skeet, T. H. H.
Goodhart, Philip Madel, David Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Gorst, John Maginnis, John E. Soref, Harold
Gower, Raymond Marten, Neil Speed, Keith
Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.) Mather, Carol Spence, John
Gray, Hamish Mawby, Ray Sproat, Iain
Green, Alan Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Stainton, Keith
Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Meyer, Sir Anthony Stanbrook, Ivor
Grylls, Michael Mills, Peter (Torrington) Stewart-Smith, D. G. (Belper)
Gummer, Selwyn Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)
Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Miscampbell, Norman Stoddart-scott, Col. Sir M.
Hall, John (Wycombe) Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C. (Aberdeenshire, W) Stokes, John
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Stuttaford, Dr. Tom
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Moate, Roger Sutcliffe, John
Hannam, John (Exeter) Molyneaux, James Tapsell, Peter
Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Money, Ernie D. Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Haselhurst, Alan Monks, Mrs. Connie Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)
Hastings, Stephen Monro, Hector Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Havers, Michael Montgomery, Fergus Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N. W.)
Hawkins, Paul Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Tebbit, Norman
Hayhoe, Barney Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm. Temple, John M.
Heseltine, Michael Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)
Hicks, Robert Mudd, David Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
Higgins, Terence L. Murton, Oscar Tilney, John
Hill, James (Southampton, Test) Nabarro, Sir Gerald Trafford, Dr. Anthony
Holland, Philip Neave, Airey Trew, Peter
Holt, Miss Mary Nicholls, Sir Harmar Tugendhat, Christopher
Hordern, Peter Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Hornby, Richard Normanton, Tom Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia Nott, John Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate) Onslow, Cranley Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Howell, David (Guildford) Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally Wall, Patrick
Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.) Ward, Dame Irene
Hunt, John Page, Graham (crosby) Warren, Kenneth
Hutchison, Michael Clark Page, John (Harrow, W.) Weatherill, Bernard
Iremonger, T. L. Parkinson, Cecil (Enfield W.) Wells, John (Maidstone)
James, David Percival, Ian Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Pike, Miss Mervyn Wiggin, Jerry
Jessel, Toby Pink, R. Bonner Wilkinson, John
Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Pounder, Refton Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Jopling, Michael Price, David (Eastleigh) Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher
Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L. Woodnutt, Mark
Kaberry, Sir Donald Proudfoot, Wilfred Worsley, Marcus
Kellett, Mrs. Elaine Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Kershaw, Anthony Raison, Timothy Younger, Hn. George
Kilfedder, James Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
King, Tom (Bridgwater) Redmond, Robert TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Kinsey, J. R. Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.) Mr. Jasper More and
Kirk, Peter Rees, Peter (Dover) Mr. Victor Goodhew.
Knight, Mrs. Jill Rees-Davies, W. R.

1.45 a.m.

Mr. Paul B. Rose (Manchester, Blackley)

I beg to move Amendment No. 352, in page 2, line 4, leave out subsection (2).

The Temporary Chairman (Sir Alfred Broughton)

It will be convenient to the Committee if the following Amendments are discussed at the same time:

Amendment No. 353, in page 2, line 6, after 'State', insert 'and'.

Amendment No. 354, in line 7, leave out from 'Relations' to 'and' in line 10.

Amendment No. 346, in line 10, leave out from 'Act' to end of line 14.

Amendment No. 347, in Schedule 2, page 109, line 26, leave out Part II.

Mr. Rose

Yes, Sir Alfred. It is in subsection (2) that we go to the heartland of the case against the Bill. The existing agencies are to be placed within the context of the National Industrial Relations Court. It will thereby take on a new form and a new significance. It is the injection of this legalism into the hitherto voluntary framework of industrial relations, and the agencies concerned with industrial relations, that is perhaps the most objectionable feature of this irrelevant and irresponsible assembly of trans-Atlantic abstractions.

Recently, in relation to the Family Incomes Supplement, we were told with some conviction by the Secretary of State for Social Services—and we listened with some incredulity—that what the country needs is F.I.S. If we are to continue with this "Alice in Wonderland" and "Alice Through the Looking Glass" terminology, what this country does not need is E.N.I.R.C. It is ironical that this proposal should be made at a time when the French Government, on the other side of the Channel, have announced that intervention in such relations is damaging, and that there should be a movement towards a voluntary system of the type that exists in this country. Despite the Government's provocative actions, which have already doubled the number of days lost through strikes, we are, nevertheless, still only in the foothills of strike figures compared with the Himalayan peaks which prevail in those countries which have the kind of legal enforcement procedures and institutions which are now proposed.

More sinister is the fact that at a time when the C.I.R. was beginning to get off the ground on its basis of voluntary co-operation with the trade union movement and employers, the Government are now sabotaging the voluntary action begun by the C.I.R. and they seem hell bent, in direct contradiction to all that was implicit in the Donovan Report, on recasting legislation and erecting enforcing agencies which are already in the process of destroying hard-won voluntary co-operation.

Not only have the Government sabotaged the effectiveness of the C.I.R., but the bitterness in industrial relations injected by these proposals is already self-evident in the rash of industrial disputes deliberately fermented by the Government.

That well-known Left-wing militant Lord Robens summed up the fundamental fallacy of this proposal, and the proposal to create the N.I.R.C., in his Sir George Earle memorial lecture on 30th November last when he said: On a more practical level, it must be agreed that the icy, iron precision of the law makes a strange bedfellow for the intimate, delicate fabric of industrial relations. Not many trade unionists or employers are versed in the disciplines or modes of thought employed in our courts. They are essentially practical men well versed in the arts of negotiation and compromise. By definition, these have flexibility and a pragmatism which cannot be reflected in a court, however informally constituted. What we are contemplating here is the creation of what is, in effect, a new branch of the High Court, even if it is without the Jacobean costumes, as they were termed by the Solicitor-General at the Industrial Law Society.

That in itself is an action which ignores history. It conveniently shuffles off the traditional attitudes among the judiciary that led from the case of Regina v. Bunn via Taff-Vale, to Osborne and Rookes v. Barnard and Stratford v. Lindley. Throughout the history of industrial law, there has been sought the intervention of the legislature to prevent the disruption of trade unions.

In 1872 we were told by The Times, just as Bunn and his colleagues were going off for their term of imprisonment, in terms that echo in this Bill 99 years later: It is the office of law in such matters to maintain the rules of fair fighting. That was "fair fighting" in a situation in which the wealth, capital and the means of propaganda are concentrated in the hands of one of the combatants only. Lord Robens can see the damage that will be inflicted by the inflexible putative father of this Clause, conceived in the darkness of the pre-Donovan era in the shady confines of the Inns of Court—and more probably in the Inns of Court of the Conservative and Unionist Association. Like so many others in management, Lord Robens is aghast at the disastrous consequences of introducing the rigidity of law enforcement into industrial relations. In his lecture he pointed out that the imposition of the inflexible fabric of legally enforced rules into industrial relations could easily cause the downfall of the most moderate elements in the trade union movement, and he said: It is certain that neither employers, nor trade unions, nor Government, nor the people of this country can possibly benefit from such a situation. As far as good relationships and good manners are concerned, legislation and the law are not a suitable arrangement. Indeed, the N.I.R.C. is hardly likely to attract any trade unionist into collaboration with its panel.

But it has laymen sitting on it. What we shall have in effect is a judge and an employer, and perhaps an academic with particularly reactionary leanings because nobody else will join it. This is the kind of body we shall be faced with. If the memory of Taff-Vale is remote today—some members of the Liberal Party might have been here, because some of their predecessors would be turning in their graves if they knew the turn their party was taking—the remoteness of the judiciary from any practical knowledge of industrial relations has not diminished over the last 65 years since Taff-Vale. In the United States and elsewhere it has become increasingly recognised that industrial arbitrators, rather than judges, are far better equipped to enter the field, as in 95 per cent. of cases they do. Judges are usually fair men. They are trained in the particular discipline—

Mr. Arthur Lewis

We all know how generous and methodical is my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Blackley (Mr. Rose). Did he give notice to the Liberal Party that he would mention this? He will notice that not one member of that party has taken the trouble to be here. To have it on record, I should like to know whether he thought that one might be here.

Mr. Rose

Trying to give notice to the Liberal Party is like trying to give notice to a pin in a haystack.

Judges are usually fair men, trained in a particular discipline—the same discipline as the Solicitor-General and I were trained in—and rewarded since I have been in the House by increases in salary at the High Court of £4,500 per annum. But it is a discipline ill-suited to deal with the complexities of industrial relations. There are the Lord Wrights, with decisions as in the Crofter's case, and the Lord Donovans occasionally correcting the bias.

The problem inherent in using the machinery of courts in industrial relations was expressed in that classic and frank admission by certainly a radical judge, the late Lord Scrutton, when he said: The habits you are trained in, the people with whom you mix, lead to your having a certain class of ideas of such a nature that, when you have to deal with other ideas you do not give as sound and accurate judgments as you would wish … it is very difficult sometimes to be sure that you have put yourself into a thoroughly impartial position between two disputants, one of your class and one not of your class. The whole ethos of the Bar, with its pre-entry closed shop based primarily on ability to pay, heavily biased against the working class entrant, and the whole ethos and history of the higher echelons of the judiciary, is such that no trade unionist is likely to have confidence in the N.I.R.C. I do not know how many judges are members of working men's clubs, but I am sure that some share the same clubs as hon. and right hon. Members opposite.

The creation of the N.I.R.C., with its proposed functions and framework laid down in this Clause challenges the soveignty of Parliament. Responsibility is taken away from the Secretary of State, a responsibility which is subject to the supervision of Parliament. Judges will assume responsibility for the interpretation of some very imprecise definitions—we have had some already—of an unpublished code, of a metaphysical concept of fair practices, and the correction of badly drafted definitions which leave the obvious impression of a completely arrogant ignorance of shop floor practice. Hon. Members only have to glance across the pages of the Bill to see some of the definitions we have already discussed and the problems of interpretation.

Yesterday the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson), speaking for the Liberal Party, was talking about the word "responsibly", and this part was debated. As yet we have not had a definition from the Secretary of State, because the definition will have to be made by a court of law, which will protect the right of any person to be a member of such trade union as he may choose". Therefore, a miner may join the engineers' union, or U.S.D.A.W., according to the imprecise definitions in the Bill.

If we turn over the page of the Bill we find the words "deter", "penalize" and "discriminate against". "Discriminate against" was defined in the Race Relations Act, but it is not defined here in this context. No attempt has been made to define all these terms. This will be left to the N.I.R.C., which will have the remarkable task of interpreting 140 pages of what I can only describe as legalistic mumbo-jumbo. It will be for the N.I.R.C. to decide whether a trade union is doing all that is reasonably practicable with regard to the position that arises where an unconstitutional strike occurs.

Mr. Fidler

The hon. Gentleman mentioned the Race Relations Act, which is based on voluntary action but in the last recourse must go to the courts. Where does he draw the distinction between that and the Bill?

2.0 a.m.

Mr. Rose

The hon. Gentleman may know something about the Race Relations Act, but his past performance in the debate indicates a scant knowledge of industrial relations. What he has failed to understand is that "discriminate against" is defined in the Race Relations Act in relation to that Act. It is not defined here; there is no definition Clause. The definition of "discriminate" in terms of industrial relations will have to be left to the N.I.R.C. I think that the hon Gentleman has missed the point.

It will also be for the N.I.R.C. to decide what is reasonably practical for a trade union to do when there is a so-called unconstitutional strike. What does that mean? According to the Solicitor-General's evidence to the Royal Commission at paragraph 5776, he expects trade unions to sue their members, to suspend them—indeed, to expel them. His evidence was so pitiful that it was no wonder he admitted that it was not a question of cutting down the number of strikes—I refer hon. Members to paragraph 5795—but merely altering the frontier at which they took place. He admitted: We can all be demolished by such questions as, how effective is the remedy going to be?". The secret is in shifting the frontier. What we really have is a euphemism for weighting the scales.

They are to be held in the long arm of the N.I.R.C. The ultimate regulation of industrial relations is henceforth to be entrusted to courts and lawyers. A veritable lawyers' paradise is to be erected on the dismembered remains of the body that was once voluntary industrial relations procedure.

What is more, so much of the legislation to be enforced by the N.I.R.C. is unenforceable that it will severly damage the prestige and reputation for impartiality that our courts of law have, because policy-making functions cannot be performed on the basis of evidence that would be admissible only in a court of law.

Part II of Schedule 2 sets out the rules concerning the N.I.R.C. Judging by the debate on the Courts Bill and the problems with regard to the administration of justice, I think that we shall provide another millstone around the neck of those trying to expedite the administration of justice.

I found it hypocritical yesterday when the Government accepted an Amendment by my hon. Friend the Member for Rowley Regis and Tipton (Mr. Peter Archer), who asked for an Amendment to deal with expedition, because the N.I.R.C. will do exactly the opposite. Yet another charge on the public purse has been created by a Government pledged to cut down public expenditure. Moreover, the court—and let it not be forgotten that it has the sanction of imprisonment for contempt provided for in Schedule 2, Part II, which makes it clear that the statutes of the court is to be equivalent to the High Court and the Scottish Court of Session—is to be left with these ultimate powers.

There are matters here which will be debated in great detail at a later stage. I want only to deal with some specific matters in this context. One specific objection to the creation of the N.I.R.C. in this subsection is the basic one to reliance upon the enforcement machinery of a court of law rather than on the good will and co-operation that is so valid and vital to good industrial relations. The N.I.R.C. is so ill-equipped to perform functions which should properly be around a negotiating table, or performed by the Minister in conjunction with the C.I.R. and the parties concerned. It is to be a policy-making body clothed in judicial robes charged with a rôle no less than that of re-shaping the whole of industrial relations in Britain.

So a court and not the Minister is to become the arbiter of deciding the development and the maintenance of what are termed "orderly industrial relations". It is to decide what is and what is not an unfair practice in the light of subsection (1); it is to decide whether an employer has complied with the provisions on disclosure. And the functions of the court in relation to Clauses 32 to 39—deciphering, interpreting and now, in this case, creating collective bargaining procedures, creating "agreement" where no agreement has ever been arrived at—make the mind boggle. This is not the rôle for a judicial body. The rôle of the N.I.R.C. in imposing unagreed procedures on parties which are not in agreement is perhaps the most astonishing function ever imposed on a British court of law. The absence of Jacobean costumes will not alter that fact one iota.

It was said yesterday by the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery that we have these things in the Sale of Goods Act. But, in that Act, the implied terms were laid down by Parliament and not by a court of law. They can be omitted by agreement and they are implied in a contract voluntarily and freely entered into by the parties concerned. So the analogy of the hon. and learned Gentleman, who appears to represent the Liberal Party from time to time in this Committee, certainly does not stand up to scrutiny.

There is also to be an appellate function in regard to registration procedures. The Solicitor-General was misleading in his speech on the Consultative Document, when he understandably refused to give way to me on four separate occasions. The appellate jurisdiction is in Clause 92. That function, in Donovan, was to be vested in a review body, with a chairman and two persons selected from a panel of trade unionists. That is to be found in paragraph 2658 of the Donovan Report. For the Solicitor-General to suggest that the N.I.R.C. in any way compares with the review body proposed by Donovan is a travesty, and it is understandable that he refused to give way to me on that occasion.

Paragraph 1110 of the Donovan Report is worth looking at because of what it says with regard to enforcement. It said: … propose only one completely new permanent institution—the Industrial Relations Commission. … The existing industrial tribunals will be transformed into labour tribunals whose jurisdiction will be extended to include disputes between individual employer and employee arising out of the contract of employment and also complaints by employees of unfair dismissal. That is what Donovan favoured.

The powers set out in Clause 90 are so immense and so unjustifiable that the proposal can derive no legitimacy from the Donovan Report. It is a spurious monster, deriving from the arid legalistic mind of rigid and obstinate lawyers who are industrially illiterate, cloistered in the Temple, and without any experience of work on the shop floor. Clearly, they are far more familiar with—[Interruption.] If hon. Members wish to intervene, let them do so in the normal way, not mutter from a sitting position.

Mr. Kenneth Lewis (Rutland and Stamford)

The hon. Gentleman was not being very complimentary to his professional colleagues. Having listened to him for a little while, I have come to the conclusion that he must have written his speech in the Temple.

Mr. Rose

I have not been uncomplimentary to my colleagues. I have been uncomplimentary about a certain section of them, those who are cloistered in the Temple and who have had no experience of the shop floor. Such people are ill equipped to deal with the problems of industrial relations. There are many lawyers who have a great deal of experience on the shop floor, of arbitration and of industrial procedures. But anyone reading the evidence of the Inns of Court Conservative and Unionist Society given to the Donovan Commission can only come to the conclusion that this was the creation of a particular group of lawyers cloistered in the Temple, in the serenity of the Temple, shall I say, instead of persons who have been in contact with the hurly-burly of the factory floor. A few months in a factory would be a better education for them than the period of tutelage which we all have to undergo.

By the way they are dealing with this problem and by the superstructure of the N.I.R.C. which they have created, they are undermining the whole voluntary effort which is being made in industrial relations. The N.I.R.C. is vested with powers in relation to the so-called cooling-off period—which many of us might call a hotting-up period. It is strange that it has a function in relation to that, just as it is strange that it has a function in relation to strike ballots. What good can a court of law do in the administration of these matters? It has to make policy decisions, on the one hand, in the guise of judicial decisions, and this is rivalled only by its assumption of a role in relation to enforcement of agency shops, a proposal so ludicrous that responsible employers are throwing up their hands in horror at the prospect of the disruption which will be caused on the shop floor, particularly, say, in the engineering industry, by the N.I.R.C. deciding on matters such as the agency shop. It is like trying to treat a stomach ulcer with a large dose of arsenic, and it is about as relevant to industrial relations.

The Clause represents a constitutional change of such magnitude and significance that it is likely to cause turmoil in industry and do irreparable harm to our largely successful, though by no means unblemished, system of free collective bargaining and procedures. Already, the effects are being felt. Moderate trade union leaders, men like Alfred Allen of U.S.D.A.W., feel bound, because of this provision and hedging of it about by subsection (1), to resign from the Commission. Alfred Allen is a man who, with me, the other night, fought tooth and nail against suggestions coming from the audience that there should be industrial action against this Bill. A man like that has no trust in this Government, and, if such men can have no trust in the Government, what hope is there of their ever securing the voluntary co-operation of trade unionists?

Coercion will take the place of voluntary co-operation. That will be the inevitable result of imposing the N.I.R.C. upon the voluntary structure of the C.I.R. The N.I.R.C. is a body clothed with power to subpoena, to order the production of documents to demand evidence on oath. It is hardly an informal helpful body.

It is a court which will create as elaborate a body of case law as ever filled the volumes of the All England Law Reports. With this kind of tediousness and legalism, conducted by the N.I.R.C.—and it is characteristic of a court of law rather than of a tribunal for industrial relations—we are to imitate in the field of industrial relations the sort of situation in the Chancery courts at the time of Charles Dickens.

2.15 a.m.

The position—and this was made clear in Answers from the Attorney-General to Parliamentary Questions which I tabled very recently—is that any Supreme Court judge may be nominated as a judge of the N.I.R.C., but he will not on such nomination cease to be a judge of the High Court or of the Court of Appeal, as the case may be. It was said that it is not possible at this stage to say precisely how many judges will be required. It is not possible to say at this stage what sort of salary will be paid to the judge and to the other members of the court. All we are told about this body is that it is capable of enforcing a code of law which has not yet been drafted, by judges who have not yet been appointed, at salaries not yet specified, and with complete uncertainty whether any legal aid will be available for those involved in procedures before it. It is astonishing that the Solicitor-General or the Secretary of State can come to this House and propose this Clause when these matters have not yet been decided upon. We are being asked to give a blank cheque to a body charged with deciphering almost undecipherable terms of the type in subsection (1) that we have been debating, which the Minister himself refused to undertake to define.

It is interesting to compare the N.I.R.C. with its equivalent in, say, Australia, with its equivalent State and Commonwealth Arbitration Commissions. Perhaps they are more relevant because of their trade union structure, which is more similar to our system than the system in the United States. They have created a rise in legalism and delay, with lawyers soaking up considerable fees. We are all aware of the astronomical figures of days lost in strikes in Australia, compared with our own.

Reference has been frequently made to Mr. Lowry and his study. He said that the legalistic nature of the procedure in the United States, for determining which labour practices are unfair and how elections should be conducted, has led to massive case law to keep abreast of which, let alone to comprehend, must make life very difficult for those engaged in industrial relations in the United States. The same sentiment has been expressed to me by employers and managers at every meeting that I have addressed in the last few weeks, since I was pitch-forked onto this Front Bench, on the subject of industrial relations. So that the N.I.R.C., with its framework which is set out in subsection (1), will inject this new mass of legal technicalities into the already highly charged atmosphere of industrial relations, and the Bill with its attendant provocations, more particularly in the public sector, is already coming home to roost.

If we turn now to the industrial tribunals, they are now saddled with the job of interpreting subsection (1), and this alters the whole concept of what I have found to be largely expeditious and very fair tribunals. I have no complaint against the industrial tribunals in the exercise of their present functions—I could not have, because I have never lost a case before one. The new framework, with new quasi-criminal functions for the industrial tribunals, will render them unacceptable and will destroy the good work that they have done. So, again, we see the sabotage of what have been relatively successful and informal tribunals which have expeditiously dealt with problems arising from redundancy and contracts. The concept of the industrial tribunal is of a speedy, non-legally oriented and informal body. It already has to deal with a fair amount of case law, but the function of the industrial tribunal is now to be changed in such a way that trade unionists will no longer have the confidence in it which they had before. Certainly, so far as expedition is concerned, it will not be able to get through the three cases a day which it manages to get through now.

In a study undertaken by Mr. Charles McCormick from California on industrial tribunals, he says: It may be questioned at the outset whether lawyers are really as neutral as might be hoped. By and large, their class origins, education, and professional practice will have brought them more in contact with employers than with ordinary employees. I do not believe that this matters when all that they are dealing with are problems arising from a contract of employment or redundancy. But when they are saddled with the tasks which will arise in this Bill, when they are dealing with what is virtually criminal enforcement, however it is dressed up, against trade unionists, then it is time to take stock once again of industrial tribunals.

Even if this Committee is foolish enough to allow this monster to be created, there is hope. As the magazine the Engineer acknowledged on 29th October last year, and as I have found in speaking to many employers, practically the whole of this legislation depends on employers taking cases to court and the chances are that any intelligent employer will be reluctant to take people to court because of the bitterness this will cause subsequently in his factory. Recognising this, it is interesting that the C.B.I. came forward with a suggestion that prosecutions should rest with the Registrar of Trade Unions. The C.B.I. sees the dangers inherent in this. It is not the good employer who will use this procedure, but the bad employer. It is revealing that the C.B.I. should make this suggestion, but in the long term only one thing is certain to arise and that is a growing market for industrial lawyers.

We know that industrial relations are far better handled by those versed in such relations professionally rather than by labour lawyers, a fact acknowledged by Jack Lee, who otherwise is a supporter of legislation. We are now entering a time when we shall compare unfavourably even with the United States, where the National Labor Relations Board, while subject to the review of the Federal Court of Appeal, has powers vested in it similar to those of N.I.R.C., which are evidence of the origin of this proposal. At least that Board has specialised knowledge of industrial relations. This is not available to the new body here. The Commission is to have the powers vested in the National Labor Relations Board and also in the President of the United States as well as the powers of the Emergency Powers Act in this country.

All these powers are to be covered by the umbrella of the Clause. The serious consequence of this Clause, particularly this subjection, is to devalue the one body recommended by Donovan and set up under the aegis of my right hon. Friend—the Commission for Industrial Relations. I do not want to bore the Committee by reading from the Employment and Productivity Gazette of February, 1969 [Interruption]. If I am boring the Committee it is only a small taste of what will bore those who will be saddled with the task of interpreting the sort of case that members of the Bar will have to put forward in defence of their clients.

When questioned in the Employment and Productivity Gazette George Woodcock said, of the C.I.R., that he regarded it as unquestionably the most important development in industrial relations in his lifetime. I think he knows a little more than does the hon. Member for Bury and Radcliffe (Mr. Fidler) about industrial relations. He said: I find it difficult to imagine a case in which they will be desirable —that is, the enforcement agencies in industrial relations— or necessary. I shall be stimulated to prove that if it cannot he done by the C.I.R. through voluntary persuasive means then it certainly will not be done by legislation. The emphasis in that interview with George Woodcock was on the word "voluntary", because he knows the experience in other countries, like Australia, like Ireland, like the United States, of this kind of legislation—soaring strikes and days lost through strikes, acknowledged in answers by the Secretary of State to Parliamentary Questions. [Interruption.] If the hon. Member says "Rubbish" will he please turn to HANSARD to see the replies given by the Secretary of State, and he will find that not only in every single year in the last five years have strikes in those three countries far exceeded days lost in strikes in this country but they have been 10 times as high as in this country, and the worst years were 1957, under the Government opposite, and this year, again under the Government opposite.

Mr. Coombs

The hon. Member makes many points by international comparisons which are not always relevant. There has been no international comparison in 1970. I do not believe there has been any for 1969. The number of stoppages in the United States for the year 1967–68 per 100,000 head of population is actually lower than in this country.

Mr. Rose

If the hon. Gentleman will look at the figure he will see that the number of days lost in stoppages in the United States alone last year exceeded all those—and figures have been given for last year, if only he would bother to look at HANSARD and the Employment and Productivity Gazette, where it is possible to read them before coming into the Committee to debate these matters—

Mr. Fidler


Mr. Rose

I do not want to give way because the hon. Member will have his chance to speak.

Mr. Fidler

Since the hon. Gentleman was kind enough to pay me the compliment of saying I know a little less about industrial relations than the eminent authority whom he quoted and since he referred to some of us on this side as having no knowledge of the factory floor, may I speak as one who has had experience over many years? I appreciate his reluctance to engage himself in learning the new law which this Bill will involve, but may I ask him a question? We have already here by a majority voted in the last two days for a great part of this Clause. We have accepted these guiding principles. Why do you not propose some substitution to balance them—

The Temporary Chairman (Sir Alfred Broughton)

Order. I have not proposed anything.

Mr. Rose

The hon. Gentleman does not understand my argument. The argument inherent in this is that the imposition of the N.I.R.C. upon the C.I.R. will destroy all the value of that body and the imposition of a new task upon the industrial tribunal will destroy its acceptability. This is what the hon. Gentleman does not understand.

I want to come to a conclusion and I want to ask the Solicitor-General a very pertinent question. That is the question of the overlapping jurisdiction. What will happen, for example, if the decision to impose an agency shop by the N.I.R.C., following a dispute, leads to action in the court? A curious situation may arise, where both may be involved, but the N.I.R.C. cannot deal with it. Shall we now have a third court to decide the jurisdiction of the various sections of the High Court in the middle of this jungle which has been created since the Registrar was introduced? The Registrar has the final and ultimate weapon of deregistration, a weapon that was used against the Australian building workers and resulted in a new break-away. It will cause fragmentation and produce a system of State licensing of trade unions contrary to the I.L.O. Convention and the European Social Charter.

The whole atmosphere of industrial relations will be poisoned by litigation, deregistration and conflict in which the scales are carefully weighted in favour of one party. The departure into the murky wilderness of N.I.R.C. and legalism happily will not be for 40 years but for four years This proposal will be consigned to oblivion and replaced by procedures of machinery consistent with the needs of the 1970s. Legal combat is no substitute for peace in industrial relations.

2.30 a.m.

The Solicitor-General

I do not intend to detain the Committee for as long as did the hon. Member for Manchester, Blackley (Mr. Rose). In substance his speech covered most of the ground covered by many speeches on Second Reading and a good deal of ground beyond that. His general denunciation of Clause 1(2) of the Bill, founded on the proposition that it represents an injection of legalism from some cloistered source tainted by Americanism, is wholly without foundation.

The analysis underlying the thinking of my right hon. and hon. Friends which is embodied in this legislation has gone on over many years. It has ranged outside the Temple and far outside this country and the United States. It spans the years of work of the Donovan Commission and has taken account of the proposals of the hon. Gentleman and the right hon. Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) during their period in office. In seeking to set that on one side he overlooks all the thinking underlying the proposals contained in "In Place of Strife".

When the hon. Gentleman says that our strike record is of such a quality as to entitle us to reject experience from countries overseas and learning where we can around the world, he overlooks the central proposition contained in "In Place of Strife", that Britain's strike records are of a different quality and that compared with other countries we have a large number of strikes in relation to our work force. It simply is not effective to set aside lessons which can be learned from other parts of the world—

Mr. Orme

The hon. Gentleman is not being fair in dealing with strikes. In paragraph 368 the Donovan Commission said that we have a large number of unofficial strikes over a short period but that official strikes are about 12 times longer and greater than unofficial strikes.

The Solicitor-General

Donovan said that unofficial unconstitutional strikes were a serious problem peculiar to this country which urgently required solution. This contrasts with the situation in some other countries where strikes occur infrequently, predictably and in a situation in which people can plan for their occurrence. Because of that diagnosis, the hon. Gentleman and his right hon. Friends brought forward their own proposals. It smacks of astonishing hypocrisy and naivety for the hon. Gentleman to get up and quote Lord Robens and neglect to mention the background of himself and his right hon. and hon. Friends.

He said that Lord Robens seeks to reject the kind of solutions which we advance in this legislation because he rejects the icy iron precision of the law. If one analyses the memorial address to which the hon. Gentleman referred, one sees that Lord Robens no more rejects the icy, iron precision of the law than did the right hon. Lady in her own proposals introduced less than two years ago.

Mrs. Castle

indicated dissent.

The Solicitor-General

The right hon. Lady may shake her head as much as she likes, but she cannot escape from the central fact that the proposals which she advanced in "In Place of Strife" involved substantial intervention by the law with precision on many points.

Mrs. Castle

The hon. and learned Gentleman cannot escape from the fact that in "In Place of Strife" we deliberately rejected the framework of law which hon. and learned Gentlemen are introducing in this Bill. As we go through the Bill, he will find it increasingly impossible to trot out his fig leaf behind which he is trying to hide.

The Solicitor-General

I trot out no fig leaf. I would not begin to swap fig leaves with the right hon. Lady this morning. It simply will not wash for her to asssert here that there was no approach to legalism in her own proposals. We are now looking at whether the principles which the Committee has been debating for some time should be regarded as guiding principles for the Secretary of State, the Commission, the Registrar, and the National Industrial Relations Court and the Industrial Tribunals.

What we find in "In Place of Strife" is not merely the independent review body that was proposed by Donovan. We find there the industrial board. What was that industrial board supposed to do? That board, alongside the Registrar proposed in "In Place of Strife", is there to enforce legalism.

Mrs. Castle


The Solicitor-General

May I finish the sentence and I will give way? The industrial board was the right hon. Lady's equivalent to the National Industrial Relations Court. It was to determine whether people had been rightly or fairly treated by trade unions in expulsion or non-admission; it was to determine the penalties to be imposed on unions using coercive action in recognition strikes; and it was to determine penalties imposed on workers in the cooling-off period. The right hon. Lady may regret she ever uttered this, but she cannot ignore the implications of what she did.

Mrs. Castle

I regret that the Solicitor-General, who is a man of considerable intelligence, should so debase the level of political dishonesty and debate as to distort the facts, as he has attempted to do and will continue to do so as long as he can get away with it. He knows perfectly well that the independent review body, which Donovan recommended and which was included in "In Place of Strife", had nothing to do with the national industrial relations court that my hon. Friend has described to the house. Its functions had nothing to do with the legal framework of this Bill.

I will make a deal with the Solicitor-General. Since he claims that his framework of law is identical with what was proposed in "In Place of Strife", I suggest that if as we go through the Bill, we find any proposal that was not in "In Place of Strife", he should withdraw his proposal. If he will agree to that, there will be none of this Bill left.

Mr. Fidler

On a point of order. I rather thought that the Solicitor-General was being accused of political dishonesty. Is that in order?

The Deputy Chairman (Miss Harvie Anderson)

That was not the hearing of the Chair.

The Solicitor-General

I do not want to go over the ground again. I merely want, as briefly as I can, to remind the Committee of the summary contained in "In Place of Strife" of the right hon. Lady's proposals: A new Industrial Board will be responsible for dealing with cases under the provisions proposed in paragraph 60. … —which deals with coercive action and recognition situations— as well as with those referred to in paragraphs 93–98 ('conciliation pause' and ballots), 109 (registration) and 115–116 (complaints against trade unions by individuals). … There may he room for discussion about scale and detail in later parts of the Bill, but there is no room for argument about the principle of extensive intervention by agencies which was at the heart of her proposals, just as it is at the heartland of this legislation, and just as, even with Lord Roben's disdain for the icy iron precision of the law, his own pet proposals for removal of protection of the 1906 Act from unofficial strikers and for the withdrawal of picketing rights for unofficial strikes cannot be called in aid because they both involve the extension of the rule of law, icy iron or not. So it is wrong to take the view that there is a great distinction of principle about which any great heat can legitimately be generated. It is equally wrong that the National Industrial Relations Court or any of the agencies foreshadowed here are to be policy-making bodies in any judical form.

The proposals discussed in the last debate identifying industrial practices are not at large. They are defined. The proposals for disclosure of information are defined almost along the same lines as those contained in the right hon. Lady's Bill.

The hon. Member for Manchester, Blackley, referred to the rôle of the National Industrial Relations Court in creating agreements, but there is no rôle for the Court in creating agreements. In so far as the parties cannot arrive at an agreement, the Commission could do that. As the hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson) pointed out, many statutes contain model clauses which apply in many situations, and the 1959 Act applies to employers the terms of agreements to which they have not been parties at all, to the advantage of trade unions, so there is nothing novel about that. Donovan argued that that which is effective for substantive agreements can equally be effective for procedural agreements along the lines which we have suggested.

I do not propose to detain the Committee much longer in discussing this frontal attack on the heartland of the Bill. We are trying to lay the foundations of order, fairness and reasonableness to be administered by the new agencies. It is a reasonable objective. It is a fulfilment of an aspiration of Sidney Webb a long time ago when he said—it is not an unworthy proposition—that he thought the time would one day come when the nation should no longer leave the resolution of conflicts of this kind in industry to the arbitrament of private warfare. He was looking at the Australian example. We do not seek to follow that, but we do not think that it is an unworthy objective. We ask the Committee to

Division No. 62.] AYES [2.47 a.m.
Abse, Leo Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Ellis, Tom
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Clark, David (Colne Valley) English, Michael
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Evans, Fred
Ashton, Joe Cohen, Stanley Faulds, Andrew
Atkinson, Norman Concannon, J. D. Fisher, Mrs. Doris (B'ham, Ladywood)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Conlan, Bernard Fitch, Alan (Wigan)
Barnes, Michael Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)
Barnett, Joel Crawshaw, Richard Foley, Maurice
Beaney, Alan Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Ford, Ben
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Cunningham, G. (Islington, S. W.) Forrester, John
Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven) Fraser, John (Norwood)
Bidwell, Sydney Dalyell, Tam Freeson, Reginald
Bishop, E. S. Davidson, Arthur Galpern, Sir Myer
Blenkinsop, Arthur Davies, Denzil (Llanelli) Garrett, W. E.
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Gilbert, Dr. John
Booth, Albert Davies, Ifor (Gower) Ginsburg, David
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Golding, John
Bradley, Tom Deakins, Eric Grant, George (Morpeth)
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.) Delargy, H. J. Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)
Brwon, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury) Doig, Peter Hamilton, James (Bothwell)
Buchan, Norman Dormand, J. D. Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Hamling, William
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.) Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Douglas-Mann, Bruce Hardy, Peter
Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.) Duffy, A. E. P.
Cant, R. B. Dunn, James A. Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)
Carmichael, Neil Dunnett, Jack Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith
Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield) Eadie, Alex Heffer, Eric S.
Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles) Edwards, William (Merioneth) Hilton, W. S.

reject the Amendment which the hon. Gentleman moved—and moved with a curious sense of shame about the value of the law in our society. I do not stand here to defend every aspect of our legal system. I count myself a reformer of our legal institutions, but I count myself also as someone who has respected the rôle that the law, and the rule of law, can play in many spheres, including—not all my hon. Friends would agree about this—race relations. Just as I am prepared to argue the case for the reform of legal institutions, so, from this side of the House and from many parts of the country, people are arguing increasingly the case for the reform of the institutions through which our industrial relations are conducted.

2.45 a.m.

As part of that reform there is a legitimate rôle for the law to play. I have no shame in saying that. It is not wrong to say that institutions of this kind, handled in accordance with the principles which we are discussing by courts and agencies which are industrially sophisticated, have a major rôle to play in reforming our institutions to restore the dynamic which is essential to the restoration of prosperity to this country.

Question put, That the Amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 214. Noes 250.

Horain, John Marks, Kenneth Roper, John
Huckfield, Leslie Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard Rose, Paul B.
Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)
Hughes, Mark (Durham) Meacher, Michael Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Mendelson, John Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Hunter, Adam Mikardo, Ian Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Janner, Greville Millan, Bruce Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Milne, Edward (Blyth) Sillars, James
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Morgan, Elystan (cardiganshire) Silverman, Julius
John, Brynmor Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Small, William
Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon) Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Moyle, Roland Spearing, Nigel
Johnson, walter (Derby, S.) Mulley, Rt, Hn. Frederick Spriggs, Leslie
Jones, Barry (Flint, E.) Murray, Ronald King Stallard, A. W.
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Ogden, Eric Stoddart, David (Swindon)
Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) O'Halloran, Michael Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John
Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) O'Malley, Brian Strang, Gavin
Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.) Oram, Bert Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Kaufman, Gerald Orbach, Maurice Swain, Thomas
Kelley, Richard Orme, Stanley Taverne, Dick
Kinnock, Neil Oswald, Thomas Thomas, Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff, W.)
Lambie, David Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton) Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Lamond, James Palmer, Arthur Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)
Latham, Arthur Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange) Tinn, James
Lawson, George Pavitt, Laurie Urwin, T. W.
Leadbitter, Ted Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred Varley, Eric G.
Leonard, Dick Pendry, Tom Wainwright, Edwin
Lestor, Miss Joan Pentland, Norman Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)
Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Perry, Ernest G.
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg. Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Prescott, John Wallace, George
Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Watkings, David
McBride, Neil Price, William (Rugby) Wellbeloved, James
McCann, John Probert, Arthur White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
McCartney, Hugh Reed, D. (Sedgefield) Whitehead, Phillip
McElhone, Frank Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.) Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
McGuire, Michael Rhodes, Geoffrey Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Mackenzie, Gregor Richard, Ivor Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Mackie, John Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Wilson, William (Conventry, S.)
Mackintosh, John P. Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy (Caernarvon)
McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Robertson, John (Paisley) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
McNamara, J. Kevin Roderick, Caerwyn E. (Br'c'n & R'dnor) Mr. Joseph Harper and
Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees) Mr. Ernest Armstrong.
Adley, Robert Clegg, Walter Gorst, John
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Cockeram, Eric Gower, Raymond
Archer, Jeffrey (Louth) Coombs, Derek Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)
Astor, John Cooper, A. E. Gray, Hamish
Atkins, Humphrey Cormack, Patrick Green, Alan
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Critchley, Julian Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Curran, Charles Grylls, Michael
Balniel, Lord Dalkeith, Earl of Gummer, Selwyn
Batsford, Brian Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford) Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen. Jack Hall, John (Wycombe)
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Dean, Paul Hall-Davis, A. G. F.
Benyon, W. Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)
Berry, Hn. Anthony Drayson, G. B. Hannam, John (Exeter)
Biffen, John Dykes, Hugh Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)
Biggs-Davison, John Eden, Sir John Haselhurst, Alan
Blaker, Peter Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Hastings, Stephen
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S. W.) Elliot, Capt, Walter (Carshalton) Havers, Michael
Body, Richard Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.) Hawkins, Paul
Boscawen, Robert Eyre, Reginald Hayhoe, Barney
Bossom, Sir Clive Farr, John Heseltine, Michael
Bowden, Andrew Fell, Anthony Hicks, Robert
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Higgins, Terence L.
Braine, Bernard Fidler, Michael Hill, James (Southampton, Test)
Bray, Ronald Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead) Holland, Philip
Brewis, John Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Holt, Miss Mary
Brinton, Sir Tatton Fookes, Miss Janet Hordern, Peter
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Fortescue, Tim Hornby, Richard
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Fowler, Norman Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)
Bryan, Paul Fox, Marcus Howell, David (Guildford)
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'ffrd & Stone) Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)
Carlisle, Mark Fry, peter Hunt, John
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Galbraith, Hn. T. G. Hutchison, Michael Clark
Chapman, Sydney Gibson-Watt, David Iremonger, T. L.
Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) James, David
Chichester-Clark, R. Glyn, Dr. Alan Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)
Churchill, W. S. Goodhart, Philip Jessel, Toby
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Goodhew, Victor Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)
Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Jopling, Michael Mudd, David Soref, Harold
Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Murton, Oscar Speed, Keith
Kaberry, Sir Donald Nabarro, Sir Gerald Spence, John
Kellett, Mrs. Elaine Neave, Airey Sproat, Iain
Kershaw, Anthony Nicholls, Sir Harmar Stainton, Keith
King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael Stanbrook, Ivor
King, Tom (Bridgwater) Normanton, Tom Stewart-Smith, D. G. (Belper)
Kinsey, J. R. Nott, John Stodard, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)
Kirk, Peter Onslow, Cranley Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.
Knight, Mrs. Jill Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally Stokes, John
Knox, David Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.) Stuttaford, Dr. Tom
Lane, David Page, John (Harrow, W.) Sutcliffe, John
Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Paisley, Mr. Ian Tapsell, Peter
Le Marchant, Spencer Pardoe, John Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Parkinson, Cecil (Enfield, W.) Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)
Longden, Gilbert Percival, Ian Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Loveridge, John Pike, Miss Mervyn Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N. W.)
McAdden, Sir Stephen Pink, R. Bonner Tebbit, Norman
MacArthur, Ian Pounder, Rafton Temple, John M.
McCrindle, R. A. Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)
McLaren, Martin Price, David (Eastleigh) Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Prior Rt. Hn. J. M. L. Tilney, John
Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Proudfoot, Wilfred Trafford, Dr. Anthony
McNair-wilson, Michael Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis Trew, Peter
McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest) Raison, Timothy Tugendhat, Christopher
Maddan, Martin Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Madel, David Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Maginnis, John E. Redmond, Robert Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Marten, Neil Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.) Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Marther, Carol Rees, Peter (Dover) Wall, Patrick
Mawby, Ray Rees-Davies, W. R. Ward, Dame Irene
Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David Warren, Kenneth
Meyer, Sir Anthony Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Wells, John (Maidstone)
Mills, Peter (Torrington) Ridley, Hn. Nicholas Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Ridsdale, Julian Wiggin, Jerry
Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C. (Aberdeenshire, W) Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.) Wilkinson, John
Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Roberts, Wyn (Conway) Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Moate, Roger Rost, Peter Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Molyneaux, James Royle, Anthony Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher
Money, Ernie Russell, Sir Ronald Woodnutt, Mark
Monks, Mrs. Connie Scott, Nicholas Worsley, Marcus
Monro, Hector Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby) Younger, Hn. George
Montgomery, Fergus Shelton, William (Clapham)
More, Jasper Simeons, Charles TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Sinclair, Sir George Mr. Hugh Rossi and
Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm. Skeet, T. H. H. Mr. Bernard Weatherill.

Amendment No. 353 proposed: In page 2, line 6, after 'State', insert 'and'.—[Mrs. Castle.]

Amendment negatived.

Amendment No. 346 proposed: In page 2, line 10, leave out from 'Act' to end of line 14.—[Mrs. Castle.]

Amendment negatived.

Division No. 63.] AYES [2.59 a.m.
Adley, Robert Boscawen, Robert Churchill, W. S.
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Bossom, Sir Clive Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Archer, Jeffrey (Louth) Bowden, Andrew Clegg, Walter
Astor, John Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Cockeram, Eric
Atkins, Humphrey Braine, Bernard Coombs, Derek
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Bray, Ronald Cooper, A. E.
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Brewis, John Cormack, Patrick
Balniel, Lord Brinton, Sir Tatton Critchley, Julian
Batsford, Brian Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Curran, Charles
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Dalkeith, Earl of
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Bruce-Gardyne, J. Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)
Benyon, W. Bryan, Paul d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen. Jack
Berry, Hn. Anthony Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Dean, Paul
Biffen, John Carlisle, Mark Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.
Biggs-Davison, John Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Drayson, G. B.
Blaker, Peter Chapman, Sydney Dykes, Hugh
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S. W.) Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher Eden, Sir John
Body, Richard Chichester-Clark, R. Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)

Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill":—

The Committee divided: Ayes 250, Noes 214.

Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Kinsey, J. R. Rawllnson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.) Kirk, Peter Redmond, Robert
Eyre, Reginald Knight, Mrs. Jill Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)
Farr, John Knox, David Rees, Peter (Dover)
Fell, Anthony Lane, David Rees-Davies, W. R.
Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Fidler, Michael Le Marchant, Spencer Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead) Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Longden, Gilbert Ridsdale, Julian
Fookes, Miss Janet Loveridge, John Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)
Fowler, Norman McAdden, Sir Stephen Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Fox, Marcus MacArthur, Ian Rost, Peter
Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone) McCrindle, R. A. Royle, Anthony
Fry, Peter McLaren, Martin Russell, Sir Ronald
Galbraith Hn. T. G. Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Scott, Nicholas
Gibson-Watt, David Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) McNair-Wilson, Michael Shelton, William (Clapham)
Glyn, Dr. Alan McNair-Wilson, Patrick (NewForest) Simeons, Charles
Goodhart, Philip Maddan, Martin Sinclair, Sir George
Goodhew, Victor Madel, David Skeet, T. H. H.
Gorst, John Maginnis, John E. Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Gower, Raymond Marten, Neil Soref, Harold
Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.) Mather, Carol Speed, Keith
Gray, Hamish Mawby, Ray Spence, John
Green, Alan Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Sproat, Iain
Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Meyer, Sir Anthony Stainton, Keith
Grylls, Michael Mills, Peter (Torrington) Stanbrook, Ivor
Gummer, Selwyn Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Stewart-Smith, D. G. (Belper)
Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C. (Aberdeenshire, W) Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)
Hall, John (Wycombe) Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Stokes, John
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Moate, Roger Stuttaford, Dr. Tom
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Molyneaux, James Sutcliffe, John
Hannam, John (Exeter) Money, Ernie Tapsell, Peter
Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Monks, Mrs. Connie Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Haselhurst, Alan Monro, Hector Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)
Hastings, Stephen Montgomery, Fergus Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Havers, Michael More, Jasper Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N. W.)
Hawkins, Paul Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Tebbit, Norman
Hayhoe, Barney Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm. Temple, John M.
Heseltine, Michael Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)
Hicks, Robert Mudd, David Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
Higgins, Terence L. Murton, Oscar Tilney, John
Nabarro, Sir Gerald Trafford, Dr. Anthony
Hill, James (Southampton, Test) Neave, Airey Trew, Peter
Holland, Philip Nicholls, Sir Harmar Tugendhat, Christopher
Holt, Miss Mary Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Hordern, Peter Normanton, Tom Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Hornby, Richard Nott, John Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia Onslow, Cranley Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate) Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally Wall, Patrick
Howell, David (Guildford) Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.) Ward, Dame Irene
Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) Page, Graham (Crosby) Warren, Kenneth
Hunt, John Page, John (Harrow, W.) Weatherill, Bernard
Hutchison, Michael Clark Paisley, Mr. Ian Wells, John (Maidstone)
Iremonger, T. L. Pardoe, John Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
James, David Parkinson, Cecil (Enfield, W.) Wiggin, Jerry
Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Percival, Ian Wilkinson, John
Jessel, Toby Pike, Miss Mervyn Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Pink, R. Bonner Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Pounder, Rafton Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher
Jopling, Michael Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch Woodnutt, Mark
Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Price, David (Eastleigh) Worsley, Marcus
Kaberry, Sir Donald Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L. Younger, Hn. George
Kellett, Mrs. Elaine Proudfoot, Wilfred
Kershaw, Anthony Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Raison, Timothy Mr. Hugh Rossi and
King, Tom (Bridgwater) Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James Mr. Tim Fortescue.
Abse, Leo Blenkinsop, Arthur Carmichael, Neil
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Boardman, H. (Leigh) Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Booth, Albert Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles)
Armstrong, Ernest Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara
Ashton, Joe Bradley, Tom Clark, David (Colne Valley)
Atkinson, Norman Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.) Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Cohen, Stanley
Barnes, Michael Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury) Concannon, J. D.
Barnett, Joel Buchan, Norman Conlan, Bernard
Beaney, Alan Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.)
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Crawshaw, Richard
Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony
Bidwell, Sydney Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.) Cunningham, G. (Islington, S. W.)
Bishop, E. S. Cant, R. B. Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven)
Dalyell, Tam Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Pendry, Tom
Davidson, Arthur Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.) Pentland, Norman
Davies, Denzil (Llanelly) Jones, Barry (Flint, E.) Perry, Ernest G.
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Jones, Dan (Burnley) Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Prescott, John
Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Price, William (Rugby)
Deakins, Eric Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.) Probert, Arthur
Delargy, H. J. Kaufman, Gerald Reed, D. (Sedgefield)
Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Kelley, Richard Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)
Doig, Peter Kinnock, Neil Rhodes, Geoffrey
Dormand, J. D. Lambie, David Richard, Ivor
Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.) Lamond, James Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Latham, Arthur Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Duffy, A. E. P. Lawson, George Robertson, John (Paisley)
Dunn, James A. Leadbitter, Ted Roderick, Caerwyn E. (Br's'n & R'dnor)
Dunnett, Jack Leonard, Dick Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)
Eadie, Alex Lestor, Miss Joan Roper, John
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Rose, Paul B.
Ellis, Tom Lewis Ron (Carlisle) Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)
English, Michael Lomas, Kenneth Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Evans, Fred Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Faulds, Andrew Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Fisher, Mrs. Doris (B'ham, Ladywood) McBride, Neil Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) McCann, John Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) McCartney, Hugh Sillars, James
Foley, Maurice McElhone, Frank Silverman, Julius
Ford, Ben McGuire, Michael Small, William
Forrester, John Mackenzie, Gregor Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Fraser, John (Norwood) Mackie, John Spearing, Nigel
Freeson, Reginald Mackintosh, John P. Spriggs, Leslie
Galpern, Sir Myer McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Stallard, A. W.
Garratt, W. E. McNamara, J. Kevin Stoddart, David (Swindon)
Gilbert, Dr. John Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John
Ginsburg, David Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard Strang, Gavin
Grant, George (Morpeth) Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Grant, John D. (Islington, E.) Meacher, Michael Swain, Thomas
Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Thomas, Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff, W.)
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Mendelson, John Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Mikardo, Ian Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)
Hamling, William Millan, Bruce Tinn, James
Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill) Milne, Edward (Blyth) Urwin, T. W.
Hardy, Peter Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Varley, Eric G.
Harper, Joseph Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Wainwright, Edwin
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon) Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, Ail Saints)
Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith Moyle, Roland Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Heffer, Eric S. Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick Wallace, George
Hilton, W. S. Murray, Ronald King Watkins, David
Horam, John Ogden, Eric Wellbeloved, James
Huckfield, Leslie O'Halloran, Michael White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) O'Malley, Brian Whitehead, Phillip
Hughes, Mark (Durham) Oram, Bert Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) Orbach, Maurice Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Orme, Stanley Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Hunter, Adam Oswald, Thomas Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Janner, Greville Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)
Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Palmer, Arthur TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange) Mr. John Golding and
John, Brynmor Pavitt, Laurie Mr. Kenneth Marks.
Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred

Clause 1, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

  1. Clause 2
    1. cc959-1024
    2. CODE OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS PRACTICE 24,070 words, 4 divisions
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