HC Deb 29 July 1971 vol 822 cc866-931

Lords Amendment: No. 25, in page 10, line 13, leave out from "that" to "have" in line 14 and insert: either a majority of the workers eligible to vote in the ballot or not less than two-thirds of those who voted in it".

Read a Second time.

Mr. Heffer

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the Lords Amendment, leave out 'either'.

At this point I want to make it obsolutely clear that if we reach Amendment No. 284 we shall wish to register our opposition to it.

We heard earlier from the right hon. Gentleman that the Bill would develop new and complicated procedures. Nobody in the House or outside it would disagree with that statement. Earlier, my hon. Friend the Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser), in a speech which was brilliant and funny at the same time, showed clearly the hurdles that trade unionists will have to overcome before the stage is reached at which the agency shop can be put into operation. The provisions in the Clause concerning balloting represent a further hurdle for the trade unions.

In the other place this issue was debated at some length. The Government have some justification for arguing that the Lords Amendment represents a concession to the various arguments and debates on Amendments in respect of which promises of consideration were made. We believe that a very important principle is involved. We are debating a method of voting that Lord Beaumont of Whitley said, in the other place, was unprecedented in British public life. The proposed voting system is unique. It goes against what we have always understood to be the British democratic system.

The provision concerning those eligible to vote and the provision concerning the proportion of two-thirds do not apply in any other important constitutional situation. The right hon. Member may fall back on the argument that the miners' union now has a proposal for a two-thirds majority—which, incidentally, it has recently changed. We could seek around and look for examples of that kind, but we could not say that our whole system is based upon any such principle.

If we consider our own parliamentary system we must, from the word "go", admit that it does not apply to our getting into the House of Commons. No one has to obtain a majority of those eligible to vote for him, or even two-thirds of those who do vote. I suggest that the number of hon. Members who would be here if they had been elected by the majority of those eligible to vote could be counted on one hand.

Mr. Ashton

There are 17.

Mr. Heffer

All right then—three hands, or four hands. Certainly it would be a very small number. I am glad that my hon. Friend has worked out the figure. Out of the 600 or so Members, only 17 would be in this House on the basis of the proposals put before us by the Government.

Mr. Ashton

And they are all Labour Members.

Mr. Heffer

Let us consider the position in local government. This proposition does not apply there, either. If it did, with some of the low polls that we have in local government we would not have city councils or local authorities. The proposal does not apply to the election of the Leader of the Conservative Party. It does not apply to the election of the Leader of the Labour Party. In most organisations it does not apply. Only when it comes to the question of the formation of an agency shop, of a sort of semi-closed shop organisation which would give the workers some protection —we believe, in the wrong way and in a very limited way—do we have this proposal.

7.30 p.m.

Of course, it is quite clear why it is proposed—to make it more difficult for the trade unions.

Mr. Ashton

Is my hon. Friend aware that in this Chamber itself, during the whole course of the Bill and the dozens —hundreds—of votes we have had on the Bill, the Government have never had 51 per cent. of eligible voters here? Their highest vote was 309. To have the sort of eligible vote they are insisting upon in this Lords Amendment they would need to have something like 420.

Mr. Heffer

My hon. Friend is to be congratulated on that observation.

Mr. R. Carr

Would not the hon. Member agree that at least we do not have a closed shop? We do at least have two or three parties.

Mr. Ashton

It is a closed shop.

Mr. Heffer

The right hon. Gentleman knows that it is the greatest closed shop in this country.

Mr. Tom King (Bridgwater)

The hon. Member must be speaking for himself.

Mr. Heffer

If hon. Members did not take the oath they would not be in the House; and hon. Members opposite should not try to kid the general public that we have not got a closed shop, for we have a type of closed shop.

The point I am making is that this proposed method of voting does not apply in any of our organisations—in our parliamentary system, in our local government system. Apparently, however, it must apply to the agency shop, and so the apathetic, the 35 per cent. or 45 per cent., who would be a minority, could have the effect of the majority and the agency shop would not come into existence.

I put this to the right hon. Gentleman. We are in this House about to take a very important decision about entering into the European Economic Community. I have not heard the Government say that before we enter the European Economic Community there must be a two-thirds majority in favour of that, or a majority, even, of those eligible to vote. I have not heard that suggestion made. I have not heard the Government say outside this House that we should get the opinion of the people of the country or of a two-thirds majority of the people of the country. Of course not. The two-thirds majority proposal does not apply —only to the trade union movement when it comes to a question of the establishment of an agency shop.

The truth is that the simple majority is the democratic, traditional method which has always been used in this country. The Government are departing from this principle in order to make it more difficult for the trade unions to get an agency shop.

In effect, our Amendments to the Lords Amendment propose the basic, democratic concept of our country in relation to voting, that there should be a simple majority of those who vote.

In this country we have never had the idea of a compulsory voting system. It has often been suggested. Many people have asked, "Why do not we have what they have in Australia so that everyone must be forced to vote? We have never accepted that principle, and I personally would be very much opposed to it, because if some people have no wish to vote on any issue they also have the democratic right not to participate.

If the majority of workers in a factory wish to vote and decide to have an agency shop and there is an apathetic section of the workers not concerned with it one way or the other, then the majority of those who vote, on the basis of the system which is to be brought into operation, should have the majority right, as there is the majority right in elections for Parliament and local government, and in all our other organisations.

Mr. Frederick Lee

I know something of this kind of thing. Would not my hon. Friend agree that there could be shops which are now closed shops in which a very large number of very keen trade unionists would refuse to vote on an agency shop issue as a protest against losing the closed shop?

Mr. Heffer

Yes. What my right hon. Friend is saying is absolutely true. There would be so much opposition to the whole concept of an agency shop that a situation could well arise in which workers would say, "We will not participate in the ballot" and have nothing to do with it, and we could find that they could lose even the opportunity of having an agency shop.

The proposals of the Government are designed to help the interests of the employers and that is why these proposals have been brought in. On the basis of the Government's proposals an employer could exercise a considerable influence in one way or another on certain sections of the workers not to participate in such an election. We were not born yesterday; we have all been involved in industrial life and we have seen the subtle and the not so subtle means used by employers in industry to influence certain sections of the workers. An hon. Member opposite says that it works both ways. My experience has always been that the workers in industry who fight an organisattion, a trade union, do it by standing up for their rights, sometimes in extremely difficult circumstances and under immense pressure from hostile employers. Therefore, the situation is not equal as between workers on the one side and employers on the other.

We believe that the concept in the Government's proposal is totally wrong and we believe our Amendments to be right and necessary.

It could be construed from our proposing our Amendments to the Lords Amendment that we are accepting the idea of the agency sthop. I wish to make it absolutely clear that the reason we propose our Amendments at this stage is that, although we do not like the agency shop, although we are totally opposed to the whole idea of it, at least we want to try, since it is the only thing we can do at this stage, and since this Government proposal is being forced on us, to see that there is some element of democracy in it. That is why we make our proposal at this time, but I wish to stress that we are against the whole concept of the agency shop and that we think it is an alien concept which has no place in British industrial relations.

The point was made earlier by one of my hon. Friends: why not leave it to the unions and the employers? Why not leave it to the unions and the employers? It reminds me of the situation which has developed now in the United States of America. In the United States the agency shop system, or something similar to it, exists, and there they have found that, despite the years of operation of the Taft-Hartley Act, it still does not stop disputes, it still does not stop industrial action, it still does not stop all forms of activity on the part of the workers. We now find that various people, including Landrum-Griffin, are proposing further changes in the law which are very much against encouraging workers to organise themselves.

Mr. Charles Loughlin (Gloucestershire, West)

Is my hon. Friend aware that it has been announced on the radio today that the United States of America is facing its biggest industrial eruption for 20 years?

Mr. Heffer

I am glad that my hon. Friend has reminded me of this. In the last few days since I have been on the Bill I have not had time to hear the radio.

We believe that the proposals we have put forward in the Amendments are sound, serious, good proposals in the sense that they make the best of a bad job. We ask that the normal democratic voting procedure which has been well tried and accepted by the overwhelming mass of people in our local government system and in our parliamentary system should be applied to the ballot procedure for the agency shop.

Mr. Orme

My hon. Friend's case is a good one. Where does this proposal for a two-thirds' majority come from? It does not come from the British Constitution. If this procedure were operative in our parliamentary and local government systems we should have neither a Parliament nor local authorities. An abstention in a sense is a positive vote, but an abstention in the terms of the Bill is a vote against the coming into operation of an agency shop.

We discussed this subject briefly, not on the agency shop proposals but on other Amendments, and it has been more fully discussed in the other place, where Labour Peers put down an Amendment that the majority should be 55 per cent. This is in line with the decision taken by the National Union of Mineworkers when it altered its ballot procedure from a two-thirds' to a 55 per cent. majority. That decision was democratically taken by the union.

In the other place the Government would not accept 55 per cent. When we discussed this obliquely in the House the proposal then was that there should be a majority of those eligible to vote, but this was ruled out because included in those eligible to vote were all the employees of a firm, including management. This point was met in the other place by substituting a two-thirds majority. I do not know where the two-thirds majority came from, there is no constitutional basis for it. I remember the famous remark of Winston Churchill that "one is enough". and many results have been decided on that basis. Had the procedures in the Bill applied, the hon. Member for Peterborough (Sir Harmar Nicholls) and many other hon. Members would not have been in the House of Commons. The Minister should tell us why a simple majority is not sufficient, as it is elsewhere.

7.45 p.m.

Mr. Tom King

The hon. Gentleman said that the National Union of Mine-workers democratically arrived at a decision that the majority should be 55 per cent., yet I assume, contrary to what he considers to be a democratic decision, that it would require a majority of two-thirds of those voting to approve the change to 55 per cent. Will the hon. Gentleman say why the union decided on 55 per cent., which is entirely contrary to the argument of the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer)?

Mr. Orme

No, it is not contrary. The rule was made by the rules revision committee, which is the annual conference of the union. The decision was taken following a national ballot which resulted in a clear majority but not a two-thirds' majority. After seeing how its wage claim had been dealt with by the Government, the union decided to revert to a more democratic form of balloting. The N.U.M. is a very democratic organisation and it was thought that this rule would never be operated. My hon. Friend the Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) could perhaps tell me what was the majority achieved in the national ballot on that occasion. I think that it was about 57 per cent. of all miners voting.

Mr. Adam Butler

Representing as I do a mining constituency, I can tell the hon. Gentleman that the figure was 57 per cent.

Mr. Orme

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for confirming the figure.

Mr. Dennis Skinner (Bolsover)

I do not like to disappoint my hon. Friend, but I am prepared to disappoint the hon. Member for Bosworth (Mr. Adam Butler), with his knowledge of the mining industry. In fact, the figure was 55.5 per cent.

Mr. Orme

My hon. Friend has experience and knowledge of this matter, so that, although I am sorry for the hon. Member for Bosworth (Mr. Adam Butler), I shall have to take my hon. Friend's word for it.

The bias of the Government against trade unions comes out in these agency shop proposals. The Government are making it as difficult as possible for a union to achieve the necessary majority to set up an agency shop. A trade union shop does not become a 100 per cent. shop overnight. It takes many years to build up the organisation and to gain the confidence of workers within the factory.

Mr. R. Carr

The hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) has great experience. Will he say roughly what percentage membership one would normally expect before being strong enough to claim not recognition but a closed shop situation in practice now?

Mr. Orme

That is a very difficult question to answer. It is a problem of human relations, and one employer might be more easily persuaded by a certain percentage than another employer. I have known an employer to recognise a strong trade union group within the factory and to co-operate with it. I served 15 years on the Manchester district committee, and I have known instances where the employer would not co-operate although the firm was 80 or 90 per cent. organised. There is the case of the Roberts Arundel strike, and the American-owned firm in Stockport, where for nine months the firm was 100 per cent. organised but the employers would not recognise the union.

Mr. Carr

Under this Bill the union would have been able to get recognition.

Mr. Orme

The right hon. Gentleman keeps telling us that, but I am not sure that would operate.

Mr. Ashton

Is not the Secretary of State confusing the situation in thinking that a closed shop means one union to that shop? It does not. It means one union to the job. It is possible to have five unions in a factory and still have a closed shop, and not one union will have 55 per cent. of the vote. A closed union will operate for that shop. That is the distinction in regard to the Roberts Arundel case.

Mr. Kenneth Lewis (Rutland and Stamford)

The hon. Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Ashton) is making the issue more complicated.

Mr. Orme

My hon. Friend is complicating an already complicated matter. The more we go into these agency shop proposals, the more trouble we shall have. Many hon. Members on this side of the House have spent a great part of their lives trying to iron out industrial problems and seeking to organise workers and get employers to negotiate. They have not looked for strikes, but have been forced into them. The agency shop situation will set one union against another which is a different situation from having a sole bargaining agent. This proposal will involve recognition and the taking of ballots when an employer is being difficult about setting up an agency shop.

The right hon. Gentleman is anticipating resistance on this matter. He was not prepared on the previous set of Amendments to say whether these proposals would come into operation. These are the difficulties with which we shall be faced. In a large well-organised firm such as that in which my right hon. Friend the Member for Newton (Mr. Frederick Lee) was convenor for a number of years, Metropolitan Vickers— which is now General Electric and English Electric—there were some 39 confederated unions. All that work had to be co-ordinated by my right hon. Friend. It involved matters of organisation, membership, poaching of members, and problems involving different skills and trades.

All that was done in negotiation between employer and employees. The management of Metropolitan Vickers set a very high standard. It set up a works committee comprised solely of trade unionists, and that committee became extremely powerful. The works convenor in that factory was probably on a parallel with the general works manager. He was an important man. My right hon. Friend the Member for Newton was at one time the works convenor, as was the previous secretary of my own union, and Hugh Scanlon was the convenor for a number of years.

The aim of those convenors was not to start strikes. It was to stop them and to start proper negotiations. If the Government try to put on top of that system all the paraphernalia of the agency shop, and if we have to consider the nonsense of the voting figures which may involve 55 or 66 per cent., there are bound to be difficulties. I am opposed to the proposals which were accepted in the other place. I regard the figure of 66 per cent. as too high. I am opposed to the conception in any case, and it does not improve the situation to move to a figure of two-thirds.

We are seeking to test whether the Minister is working on an anti-union or pro-union basis. If he is on the side of the unions, let him show his good faith by accepting our Amendment. I doubt whether he will. I hope that at least he will endeavour to give us an answer on this matter.

Mr. Tom King

The hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) is on a serious point, but did not answer the question. We got bogged down on the majority which took the decision to change the voting rule. The hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) made a strong plea, but it was a repeat of what was said in Committee when the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Sillars) made the same point. The hon. Member for Salford, West thought only four hon. Members would be returned to the House under this procedure. He made the strong plea that the basic democratic right should never be infringed and that one vote was enough—quoting the words of Disraeli.

Mr. Orme

Winston Churchill.

Mr. King

Disraeli started it and Churchill followed it up. The hon. Member for Salford, West is following a fine tradition.

The hon. Member made the interesting observation in his speech, that for some reason the National Union of Mine-workers had decided that in some industrial situations 55 per cent. was more appropriate. The House is entitled to know why since this is a relevant matter. One hon. Member opposite said that in no circumstances should one depart from a figure of 51 per cent. in the voting. Now we have an instance where a union has decided that that figure is not appropriate to its situation and has adopted a figure of 55 per cent.

Mr. Orme

As somebody who is not directly concerned with the National Union of Mineworkers, which took this decision democratically, I must say that I disagree with it. I think the simple majority should apply to all union rules. The union has taken that decision, but I am openly criticising it. I understand that in a choice between 51 and 55 per cent., 55 per cent. was decided upon after a vote. I believe that the simple majority should operate in that union as in every other.

Mr. King

I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's difficulties because the N.U.M. is not his union, and it is unfair to expect him to justify that decision. Presumably when the vote was taken the two arguments were put forward as to which alternative should be followed, and presumably the members voted on those alternatives. Is it not possible for some hon. Member to inform the House what arguments were put forward on the proposition that it should be 55 per cent. which persuaded the majority of members of the N.U.M. that that was the right course to adopt?

Mr. Loughlin

Before the hon. Gentleman sits down, may I reverse the argument—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I am not clear what is happening. Has the hon. Member for Bridgwater (Mr. King) given way or has he finished?

Mr. King

I had finished, but I am willing to give way.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The hon. Gentleman cannot do both. Mr. Ashton.

Mr. Ashton


Mr. Loughlin

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. It has been the custom for the last 11 years in which I have been in the House that if when one hon. Member is speaking another hon. Member says to him "Before the hon. Gentleman sits down … ", provided there is no objection by the Member concerned that is a legitimate intervention. Since I prefaced my remarks with the words, "Before the hon. Gentleman sits down", I cannot see why you should rule me out of order.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I can understand the hon. Gentleman's dilemma. I was trying to clear it up. I was asking the hon. Member for Bridgwater which course he was taking. If he had said that he was giving way, then the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, West (Mr. Loughlin) would have had a right to speak. But as the hon. Member told me that he had sat down, I decided to call the next speaker.

Mr. King

Further to that point of order. I am in a slightly difficult position. I had already virtually sat down, but I am willing to give way to the hon. Member.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

It cannot be done like that now. The hon. Member for Gloucestershire, West (Mr. Loughlin) must accept the situation. The hon. Member for Bridgwater (Mr. Tom King) said that he had sat down. However, the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, West need not worry. I shall call him.

8.0 p.m.

Mr. Ashton

Before the points of order arose, I thought that the hon. Member for Bridgwater (Mr. Tom King) had become a little confused about the two-thirds majority and the decision reached by the N.U.M. All trade unions have the tradition that a two-thirds majority is necessary to change the existing rules. That is a legitimate safeguard. The same happens at the Labour Party conference, and, for all I know, at the Conservative Party conference as well. The simple reason for it is that chaos would result if rules were changed every six months on a simple majority verdict.

I am not a member of the N.U.M., but I represent a mining constituency. I understand the difficulties of the N.U.M. when it comes to conducting ballots at pit heads, for example, and it may be that the union's delegates decided on 55 per cent. because of those difficulties.

However, that is by the way. I was anxious to make two points. The first is that the drafting of the Amendment has not been done very well, like the drafting of the Bill itself from the very beginning. The Secretary of State talks about those eligible to vote. I should have preferred him to have talked about those eligible to join the union. The two are vastly different. I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that the words should be amended to read … those eligible to join the union". unless we are to take it that "eligible vote" means that.

Let us consider the case of two competing unions. One, the Transport and General Workers Union, takes literally anyone into membership. Its rules provide for it. There are hon. Members of this House who are journalists and who, as a result, are members of that union. If the Transport and General Workers Union were trying to establish itself in any place of work, quite legitimately, it could take in 100 per cent. of the workers. It could say that 100 per cent. of the workers were eligible to join the union and, therefore, eligible to vote.

Mr. R. Carr

"Eligible to vote" means those in the bargaining unit as agreed voluntarily or, if not voluntarily, by the C.I.R.

Mr. Ashton

I am obliged to the right hon. Gentleman, though I am not sure that that answers the point. The Transport and General Workers Union would be eligible to take everyone into its bargaining unit from the manager down to the office cleaner. Its rules accept entrants at all levels.

Then let us consider another union, perhaps an engineering union. By virtue of these rules, it does not admit office cleaners. Clause 5 refers to the right … to be a member of such trade union as he may choose". An office cleaner might say that he wished to be a member of the engineering union. It may be that there is no section in the rule book of the union which caters for that kind of membership. I do not know whether such a case would have to go to the C.I.R.

If it means that the rule book has to be changed before registration can be made in order to accept any member, again there is a dispute. But certainly "eligible to vote" and "eligible to belong" to that union can be interpreted in the courts as being two different things. "Eligible to vote" is an extremely loose, vague phrase which ought to be defined more accurately. In my view, anyone who is eligible to take part in a vote should have the necessary qualifications to do the job involved.

Earlier, the Solicitor-General spoke about how big the umbrella was to be which would cover the people for whom a union wanted to negotiate as sole bargaining agent. The hon. and learned Gentleman said that, if the union only wanted to act as sole bargaining agent for a few workers, that would be the size of the umbrella. However, the management might say that it should cover everyone and, therefore, that everyone should come in.

There is also some confusion on the benches opposite as to the meaning of a closed shop. A closed shop is not a system where everyone in a factory belongs to the same union or must have a union card before he can get a job. Before I came to this House, I worked in a factory which was big enough to hold two "Queen Marys". There were dozens of trade unions and many thousands of workers. All the unions operated a closed shop in that factory.

Occasionally, there are power struggles. Last week, for example, A.S.T.M.S. said that it intended to train and recruit bank employees. The National Union of Bank Employers said that it would not allow it. In such a case, there will be ballots to decide whether that is to be the position at an individual bank, at all branches of National Westminster throughout the country, for example, and so on. This is the sort of area into which we are moving.

Mr. Moyle

Although we are debating a fairly narrow point, we are touching some of the fundamental issues which divide the two sides of the House. I thought that it was very significant when the Secretary of State interrupted my hon. Friend the Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) to ask what percentage of the work force should be in the union before my hon. Friend would advocate a closed shop. It was clear that the right hon. Gentleman was seeking a mechanical, rigid rule of law, and it was quite easy to see that my hon. Friend realised that a decision about a closed shop had a lot of subjective and psychological factors which varied from plant to plant, union to union, and place to place.

There could be a very substantial union membership in a plant or factory, yet the conclusion might be reached that an agency shop or closed shop was quite inappropriate. On the other hand, in the mining industry, once there is a union going, the pressures for an agency shop or closed shop must be tremendous, because of the necessity to introduce discipline for safety reasons.

One great divide between the two sides of the House concerns the concept of simplicity. All great ideas are simple. When one is dealing with large bodies of people, as, inevitably, one is in industrial relations, the simpler the idea is, the greater it is. That is why this Bill will never become a great Act. Nothing in it is simple.

We must sympathise with right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite. They are trying to apply an instrument in the form of a rule of law to industrial relations. It is completely inadequate for the job that they give it. What they are doing is illustrated by the history of the provision that we are discussing. Right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite have the idea that an agency shop should be introduced on the basis of a majority of those eligible to vote voting in favour of it.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) explained, we have run our national life on a totally different principle. It is that anyone who is interested enough to vote in a situation should vote, and that the majority should carry the day. It is a simple idea. It has carried forward the country, just as it has carried forward the national life of the great American republic and most of the British dominions. I have in mind Australia, Canada, New Zealand and so on. When this is pointed out to right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite, instead of trying to simplify the situation, they realise that they have made an error in trying to apply a law which will cover all the contingencies which may occur, so what they do in another place is to introduce a more complex provision than the original one. This is typical of the reactions of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen under pressure from hon. Members on this side of the House pointing out the errors of their ways and the difficulties of applying law to an industrial situation. They do not say, "Let us simplify the law if we must have it"; they say, "Let us introduce a more complex law than the one before."

They have now come up with either a majority of those eligible to vote or not less than two-thirds of those who voted, if they are in favour of an agency shop, will get it. This increases the complexity of the situation. By increasing the complexity and obscuring the aim of the legislation, they will tempt people to disregard it and make the Act more difficult to apply.

I think that my hon. Friends have hit on the solution. If right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite were true to their beliefs, they would hit on the same solution. No doubt they are familiar with Mr. Basil and Mr. Sebastian de Ferranti. One of them used to sit on the benches opposite. In the old days, when Ferranti was still Ferranti, it was headed by the father of those two gentlemen. He was invited to an industrial seminar to give his views on how an industrial firm should be run. After he had given his address, one young sycophantic student got up and asked: "Tells me, Sir, from your great experience, what is the key to industrial leadership and success?" Mr. Ferranti replied:"I expect you want me to tell you that it is due to industrial skill and to personality. But if, as I am, you are short, ugly, foreign and diffident, you must have 51 per cent. of the equity." If that is so, I recommend that piece of capitalist philosophy to right hon. and hon Gentlemen opposite and hope that they will accept the Amendment.

Mr. Loughlin

I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) for making it absolutely clear that, whatever arguments we advance about these Amendments, we are positively opposed to the agency shop. It is essential not only that we get that on the record but that we get it across to the community at large in the loundest, clearest possible voice.

Mr. Ashton

The newspapers will not print it.

Mr. Loughlin

If the newspapers will not print it, we can at least tell our constituents in our speeches.

During the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) the Secretary of State intervened and raised the question of the percentage that is normally required in a factory to get a closed shop. I will tell him. It depends entirely on the circumstances obtaining in the factory.

8.15 p.m.

I will illustrate this from my own experience. I worked in a factory employing about 1,250 people of whom about 600, less than 50 per cent., were in the union and wanted a closed shop. I will tell the right hon. Gentleman why It was because, over a period, we had secured substantial improvements in the general conditions of labour, safety standards and wage rates of the people in that factory. Many of the workers were eager to join the union, but they resented those who were prepared to take all the advantages but would not pay a halfpenny towards the maintenance of the union organisation. We paid the shop stewards out of the branch funds for doing a great deal of the work in getting improved labour conditions in that factory.

We considered the situation. We decided that we would get them all in because, if they were getting the benefits, they were entitled to face their responsibilities. This applies in the social area. People living in my community get the advantage of lighting, sewerage, roads, and all the things which arise out of the rate fund. We do not say to people, "You have a right to all the benefits, but you do not need to pay rates". We say, "If you do not pay your rates we shall take you to court and distrain on your property, if need be".

Right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite must realise that when we talk about industry we are talking about a microcosm of society. It is like being outside the factory. I agree that there is a totalitarian aspect in many factories, but it is precisely the same. It is a society under a different umbrella.

Reverting to my illustration, we decided that those who got the benefit should face their responsibilities. What did we do? The answer to that question is the short answer to the right hon. Gentleman. We considered which two departments were of so much significance to the factory that if we stopped them the whole factory would stop. By coincidence, the two departments concerned were almost 100 per cent. trade union shops. [Interruption.] I am not being facetious. I want my hon. Friends to be absolutely serious about this. The two departments concerned were just about 100 per cent. trade union shops. So we said to the lads in those departments that we wanted a closed shop and we told the employer that if we did not get a closed shop the two departments would come out. If the two departments had come out the factory could not have gone on.

I use this as an illustration. I believe that at that time we were quite justified. On the basis of the three years' work which we had done we could have justified it anywhere. The people we were asking to face their responsibilities had had the maximum benefits that they could possibly expect from trade union organisation.

Mr. R. Carr

I was interested in the hon. Gentleman's reference to living in a community and paying the rates. That is what we are recognising in the Bill. At the moment there are free riders who pay nothing. When the Bill is on the Statute Book the free rider will not be allowed. He may not be compelled to submit to the discipline of the union, but he can be compelled to pay his rates so that he will not get the benefits for nothing.

Mr. Loughlin

But only in certain circumstances. If that is to apply throughout the whole of industry, I concede that point.

Mr. John Page (Harrow, West)

The hon. Gentleman has told us a very interesting story. Does he consider that his action was democratic? If so, I wonder whether his hon. Friends who have been saying that 51 per cent. is democratic agree with the use of blackmail to bring this democracy into play.

Mr. Loughlin

I take the point, but we are debating a Bill which will apply to industry. Despite all the high-falutin' terms that we use, we are very much realists at heart. I think that most of us could argue a case for the ideal, but what we are faced with is arguing a case for the human being, and as far as I know there are no ideal human beings, except my wife.

I had not intended to intervene in the debate, but the hon. Member for Bridgwater (Mr. Tom King) attempted to engage my hon. Friends in an argument about the miners' decision being based on 55 per cent. I agree that the hon. Gentleman's remarks were very much to the point, but may I ask him to reverse the argument for a moment? Let us assume that Mr. Speaker would accept from me a manuscript Amendment to alter 51 per cent. to 55 per cent. Would that satisfy the hon. Gentleman? In view of his criticism of the miners, would he accept that 55 per cent. was the right figure, and would he come into the Division Lobby with us?

Mr. Tom King

The hon. Gentleman will recognise that in no sense did I endorse 55 per cent. I was trying to probe it because it seemed to contradict what the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) said. Since he spoke every speech from the other side of the House has seemed to confuse the issue so clearly set out by the hon. Member for Walton, even though one did not agree with what he said.

Mr. Loughlin

I appreciate that and I, too, am confused. I become confused when I look at the Bill and when I try to consider the Amendments which have been suggested by the other place. I can understand the hon. Gentleman's being confused. The hon. Gentleman's case is that we cannot argue in favour of 51 per cent.—which is the subject of the Amendment—as against two-thirds because one of our organisations used the figure of 55 per cent.

Mr. Tom King

Answer the question.

Mr. Loughlin

I know that the hon. Gentleman asked a question, but he was using the old technique which we always use in the House. If he uses the old technique I am entitled to reverse the position and ask him to establish quite clearly what is at the back of his mind. I ask him to tell us whether, if we were able to change the figure to 55 per cent., he would support us. Quite frankly, I know that he would not.

I now propose to deal with a matter about which the Secretary of State is possibly sick and tired of hearing, but it is a matter which must cause him some concern. I am not being funny when I say that. Anyone who considers the phrase "eligible to vote" must, if he has a reasonable attitude to things, become concerned. If we talk about those eligible to vote, we make no provision at all for those who do not vote. Let us consider that situation in a parliamentary democracy. The right hon. Gentleman may look at me in a hang-dog fashion, but is it not true that he was voted to this House by a percentage which was considerably lower than the percentage of those eligible to vote?

Mr. R. Carr

I am sorry if I have a hang-dog look, but I assure the hon. Gentleman that it is only because we have been told by hon. Gentlemen opposite that they want to press on and debate urgent things, and yet if we have heard the argument now being advanced by the hon. Gentleman once, and answered it once, we have heard it and answered it at least one hundred times since last January.

Mr. Heffer

I hope that my hon. Friend will take it from me that we regard this as a matter of great principle, importance and urgency, and that if hon. Members on this side of the House wish to emphasise the point there will be no objection from us.

Mr. Loughlin

I am grateful to the Secretary of State for his intervention, and I am more than grateful to my hon. Friend the Member for Walton for his. I think it is accepted in the House that I could not care two hoots whether we want to get on or do not want to get on. Does the right hon. Gentleman want to intervene again?

Mr. R. Carr

The hon. Gentleman has now stated what has been obvious since yesterday, namely, that the Opposition want to delay and not to get on with the business. All this talk about wanting more time for debate is bogus.

Mr. Loughlin

I do not know whether it is in order for an hon. Member to indulge in gratuitous insults. If ever there was a gratuitous insult it was that made by the Secretary of State a moment ago. I shall await your Ruling on it, Mr. Deputy Speaker.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Robert Grant-Ferris)

Hon. Members may insult each other as much as they like, so long as they do it in a parliamentary manner. Nothing that I have heard so far has been un-parliamentary.

Mr. Loughlin

I am grateful to you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, because I can now indulge in insulting the Secretary of State. I think that my contributions to the debate yesterday demonstrate quite clearly that I have not attempted to make Second Reading speeches. I have dealt with the Amendments. The right hon. Gentleman can read HANSARD to confirm that if he wants to. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to consider whether he can intellectually justify the inclusion of "eligible to vote" as distinct from "those voting". This is the substance of the argument. It is not a question of which department they belong to or whether they are in one craft as against another.

Mr. Anthony Fell (Yarmouth) indicated assent.

Mr. Loughlin

I am glad that after 11 years I have found one hon. Member opposite who agrees with me. The phrase "eligible to vote" is completely undemocratic and unfair.

8.30 p.m.

Mr. Prescott

In reply to the Secretary of State's reiterated assertion that we on this side are wasting time instead of debating the issues which we regard as important, I must point out to him that the principle involved here is one of the most important in this legislation. We are sometimes encouraged to reiterate our points because, no matter how many times we make a point, the right hon. Gentleman fails to give us a proper answer. If we are lucky to get an answer. Last night I could not even get an answer.

In view of an earlier exchange, I want to put it on record that the conversation which I was reputed to have had with the Solicitor-General about an Amendment occurred only after the Division was called. I was trying to get into HANSARD a record of the Government's position affecting my trade union.

We are debating the essential principle —that of the majority will—involved in democracy, whether it be expressed as a majority of one—or 51 per cent.—or, as is the Government's interpretation of democracy, 50 per cent. of those eligible to vote, which latter interpretation we fiercely attack. In the discussion on a later Amendment we shall deal with the Government's proposal that it should be 66⅔ per cent. of those voting or a majority of those eligible to vote.

I am one of the 17 Members referred to by my hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Ashton) who are here with a majority of 50 per cent. of those eligible to vote. I plead both for a principle which I believe to be right and also for my colleagues to be represented in the House on the principle of the majority of those voting in an election.

The real issue is whether the two-thirds majority proposed in a later Amendment, though we believe the 51 per cent. to the essential point, is a concession. We are told that the Bill is designed to strengthen the trade union movement. The burning question is whether the proposal will make it more difficult for trade unionism to develop. I believe, contrary to the Government's contention, that the Bill is designed solely to cripple the trade union movement.

The principle embodied in the Bill is that of 50 per cent. of those eligible to vote. The proposed change is just a liberal figleaf. The test is whether it will be more difficult for trade unionism to function. A good analogy is that, if it is necessary to swim across a river which is two miles wide, it is immaterial whether the person so challenged has the ability to swim two-thirds of the way across or 75 per cent. of the way across. The real challenge is to get from A to B, namely, from one side of the river to the other. In this case, the test is whether it will be possible for growth to occur in trade unionism.

Basing myself upon that criterion, I shall spend the next few minutes considering the matter against the background of my experience. I do not apologise for again referring to my experience in shipping. Most hon. Members have referred to their experience. My industry has a number of peculiar aspects about it that make it very different from other industries.

We are concerned with a ballot for an agency shop. How many of those taking part in the election will determine whether the agency shop will be adopted at their place of work? We are debating the issue here within the context of the Bill as it is at present, and we on this side of the House totally reject the concept of the Bill. However, taking the Bill as it is, I should like to pose some problems which will make it extremely difficult to conduct ballots. There are many problems in the shipping industry which will make it extremely difficult for the employees to vote because of the difficulty of getting ballot papers to them. It will be appreciated that mobility of labour in my industry is very great. Men are employed in ships which are situated all over the world and it is difficult for those men to receive mail. I am assuming that if a ballot is conducted, the ballot papers may be sent by mail. One cannot assume that the postmen will be paid extra money for nipping round the world delivering ballot papers. Many of our ships have to go to inaccessible places where there are no facilities for the delivery of mail. Some ships are away for anything from 12 months to over two years.

Then there are problems of different companies. Seamen are not mobile like non-seagoing people, just from factory to factory; a seaman can be mobile from one ship to another ship in the same company, or from one company to another company, and from one part of the world to another part of the world. His place of residence can change constantly from week to week, month to month and year to year. That makes it extremely difficult to conduct a ballot among those men.

In considering the application of the agency shop, men may have left the company or the ship during the time when the ballot takes place and may be in another ship. New men will have come in and decided whether there shall be an agency shop in that company, while the people who should have taken part in the ballot will have moved on to another company. The turnover of labour in that industry is extremely high. The Tavistock Institute has done a survey and has found that over 25 per cent. of those who enter the shipping industry leave within a period of five years. This leads to ever-increasing problems in conducting a ballot.

There is the question of addresses. We have ballots within our own union and the addresses change constantly so that it is difficult to keep regular contact with the men. Men spend varying periods of time ashore. It has been found that 20 per cent. of seamen spend 50 per cent. of their time on shore, on leave, away from their ships so that they would be out of touch with the ballot to determine the essential principle of the application of an agency shop. This applies to different types of ships, those engaged in the home trade and foreign-going ships. I am seeking to show to the House how difficult it is in these circumstances to conduct ballots.

My union holds executive council elections every two years. Because of the difficulties to which I have referred, we hold the ballot open for over three months. On the last occasion it was open for four months. During that time the ballot and elections are run by the Electoral Reform Society, an independent body. There are more than 9,000 claims for votes from 54,000 seamen, representing about 18 per cent. of the membership claiming the right to vote. Indeed, only 5.7 per cent. of forms were returned in 16 weeks while the ballot was open in 1967, and that percentage has been as low as 4.8.

In other words, there is, first, the difficulty of holding ballots. This is where it is relevant to consider the need to reach a certain percentage in the level of voting, be it 51 or 66. Then there is the difficulty of those who do not vote and the fact that a vote not cast is a vote against. The Government must have been aware of this. Actually, this very fact fits in with the philosophy of the Bill. However, they obviously found it difficult to overcome it in the Measure, and have come forward with this so-called liberalising step. Now we are told, "We had better make it two-thirds", but in reality this is no concession.

While the principle of abstention in voting may not now mean a vote against, as it did under the previous eligibility arrangement, one must bear in mind the way in which people vote. For example, why do fewer people vote at local than at general elections? The answer is simply that they take a different attitude to the former. Considering the record of the Conservatives in the last year or so, I have no doubt that the majority of people wish that they had exercised their vote differently at the last General Election.

Attitudes vary and people vote according to what they consider to be the importance of the occasion. Some people feel extremely strongly about the need for trade union representation, and they can always be relied on to vote in union matters. Others feel just as strongly in their hearts, but are not bothered to vote or take part in union affairs. This applies to most human institutions and is typical of our political history.

In other words, because the majority do not vote that does not mean that they are not in favour of what they might have voted for. It is just that they prefer to leave it to the minority to take the decision. The apathetic majority in trade unionism are always glad to accept the concessions and improvements secured by the minority. We in the trade union movement have always been aware of those against trade unionism, and that is why we have conscience clauses.

One frequently finds that the people who want better conditions are either not prepared to fight for them or leave it to the minority to do the fighting. Alternatively, many people who are interested in union affairs channel their energies into other activities, like the boy scouts and hobbies.

Mr. Skinner

But not yachting.

Mr. Prescott

Certainly not. They cannot afford that. Only a Tory Prime Minister can indulge in such expensive hobbies.

When it is necessary to obtain a high vote, one is up against all sorts of difficulties. If a total vote of 66 per cent. must be obtained, as in this case, there will be equal difficulties because of the great number of people who will say, "I cannot be bothered".

I have often heard it said that because so few people attend union branch meetings, the power of the trade union movement is being moved to the factory floor. That is true to an extent, but it is wrong to assume that because people do not attend union meetings they are not interested in union affairs. As soon as there is an important issue, such as a strike, an overtime cut, a threat of redundancy or what seems to be an unnecessary sacking, they turn up in strength. Then the apathetic majority, who are not usually concerned to participate in and vote on trade union matters, appreciate the protection they get from the trade union movement.

This is the serious point of disagreement between the two sides of the House on this issue. We are discussing a fundamental principle which it seems hon. Gentlemen opposite cannot grasp. I shall, therefore, have much pleasure in opposing the Government on this matter.

8.45 p.m.

Mr. J. D. Concannon (Mansfield)

I shall not keep the House long, but it is worth reiterating one or two points. After the powerful speech by my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull, East (Mr. Prescott), it does not need to be said that all of us on this side are against the agency shop and we shall always be against it. Somewhere along the line, however, we must accept that we have to get the best possible deal that we can out of the agency shop.

The same thing happened in the other place. In Committee in the House of Lords, the whole of the Labour Opposition were against the agency shop principle. On Report, they decided to see what kind of deal they could get out of it in the way of voting. The official Labour Amendment in the other place was for a simple majority. The official line of the Labour Party throughout the Bill has been that a simple majority should suffice. In the other place, a manuscript Amendment was moved at the same time by one of my noble friends from the mining industry, Lord Blyton. He anticipated the miners' conference by one day by putting down a manuscript Amendment to provide for 55 per cent. We all recognised the difficulty of the Front Bench. Its occupants wanted to get off the hook from the situation into which they had got themselves on the Bill.

In the other place, to get the best deal that we could, we were opening windows and doors and hoping that the Government would jump through one of them to give us a better deal than they have done. Unfortunately, they failed to do so. They failed to take the options. I do not think that the Government Front Bench will take them tonight. What we on this side must do, and keep on doing, is to try to hammer home that this is a principle with us and a principle which each and every one of us will continue to reiterate. We can only be happy that when the day comes, we shall strike it from the record altogether.

Mr. Tom King

The hon. Member has said that this is a principle. As we know that he speaks with great authority for the mining industry, will he tell us what is the principle? Is it 51 per cent. or is it 55 per cent.?

Mr. Concannon

The official Labour Party principle, both here and in the House of Lords, is a simple majority. I shall make my peace with my hon. Friend the Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) because it was his area which submitted the amendment to the miners' conference for a simple majority instead of 66⅔ per cent. My area decided to go for 55 per cent.

Mr. Skinner

My hon. Friend's area is more conservative.

Mr. Concannon

No, it is not. I am in favour of a simple majority, but for some reason the miners' conference went for 55 per cent. It must have thought that it was a big enough jump from 66⅔ per cent. to 55 per cent. I have no doubt that this matter will come up again and that in the near future it will become a simple majority.

I ask the Minister seriously to consider the precedent he is setting and whether he cannot meet our proposal. If he will not accept 55 per cent.—and I cannot see him accepting even a simple majority tonight—that does not mean that we shall not keep pressing this. The only thing we can say to the trade union movement from these benches is let us wait until the next election, when we promise that we shall wipe off the Bill and everything that goes with it.

Mr. Ronald King Murray (Edinburgh, Leith)

My hon. Friend the Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser), in a speech which was as trenchant as it was witty and literary, suggested that the Bill would not be a lawyer's paradise. With some feeling, I agree with him, but if it is a paradise, then it is a paradise lost. He persuasively showed us that it gets into the realms of fantasy in one or another. It would be more accurate to describe the Bill as a lawyer's nightmare. I believe that I can prove this by one illustration.

I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Ashton). I do not know whether he has had legal training, but he has a good eye for a legal flaw. He put his finger on a definite ambiguity and the difficulty which underlies the whole of this part of the Bill— the part dealing with eligibility to vote. It is not a simple matter, as he rightly appreciated. There is some law on the matter. Lord Chelmsford, in Baker v. Lee in 1860—House of Lords cases— dealt with the question of the meaning of the word "eligible". He pointed out that it is ambiguous. He said that it can mean "legally qualified"—he was thinking of the context of that case—and that it can be qualified in law—that is, qualified according to the requirements of the law—or it can mean "fit to be chosen". These are two different meanings and we do not know which of them is intended in the Bill.

In the case of Morris v. Winter in 1930, before the King's Bench, the question of eligibility was distinguished from the question of entitlement to remission. Eligibility to remission is one thing; entitlement to remission is quite another. I hope that the Solicitor-General will return to the Chamber shortly, because I want to say something about him and I prefer not to say it in his absence.

I have only chosen these two cases as an illustration, but many more could be quoted. However, I do not want to take up much time because we want to focus our points as shortly as we can. I end the point by stressing that, even in terms of the Representation of the People Acts, which are matters that we here are much concerned with, the question of eligibility to vote in a general election is an entirely different matter from entitlement to vote. A person is eligible to vote at the age of 18 but he is entitled to vote only if he takes the steps to get himself on the register. The meaning of the phrase is so vague and meaningless that one can only wonder how it got into the Bill.

Unfortunately, the Solicitor-General is still not here, but I want to quote what he said in an address to the American Bar Association on 15th July. The report in The Guardlan said that he had told the meeting that the Bill would need … detailed change and improvement … in future years. That is the understatement of the year. We are being asked to push this final stage of the Bill through in only five days of debate. Yet that is what has been said by one of its principal creators. Perhaps I am unfair to use that quotation, particularly in the hon. and learned Gentleman's absence, but he will be as aware as I am that it is a principle of law that a confession can be used against the accused person whereas a statement in his favour cannot be used in his favour. I quote that against the hon. and learned Gentleman and on that happy note I conclude.

Mr. R. Carr

The hon. and learned Member for Edinburgh, Leith (Mr. Ronald King Murray) has one advantage or disadvantage over me—he is a lawyer and I am not. He and the hon. Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Ashton) are making heavy weather about the question of the eligibility to vote. First, this is something which the parties, if they can agree about it, are free to agree about it for the area of the pLant or works or establishment in which they wish to consider the question of the bargaining agent and who shall be entitled to vote. If they cannot agree, they then go to the C.I.R. which will make recommendations.

We are constantly accused of having imported United States law. We have probably gone nearest to that, although still very far from it, in having to some extent taken hold of the concept of the bargaining unit and the bargaining agent and the possibility, although not so freely or in the same circumstances in this country as in North America, of determining such questions by means of an election. Anybody who has fairly looked at the practice in the United States would have to say, whatever he might say about the rights and wrongs of the system across the Atlantic, that on the whole there had been no great trouble via the National Labour Relations Board, which in this respect is the nearest equivalent, although not a very exact equivalent, of the C.I.R. in this respect. There has been no difficulty about holding elections of this kind, about deciding constituency boundaries, as we would call them in Parliamentary terms, or those entitled to vote.

I do not believe that in practice there will be any more difficulty in this country than there has been there. First, it would be up to the parties to agree voluntarily, and if they could not, the C.I.R. would be the body which would say what it considered to be right.

I intended to deal with a number of issues raised by the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, East (Mr. Prescott). Unfortunately, he is not here. I do not complain and I am not criticising him for that, for he has been one of the most regular attenders of our debates. We are rather playing Cox and Box with each other. I know that my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General hoped to put right an omission of last night by replying to the hon. Gentleman on an Amendment earlier this afternoon, but the hon. Gentleman was not here then and now the same thing has happened again.

There has been much emotion and some substance. I do not wish to denigrate the performance of the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer), but the emotion which expressed most clearly the strength of feeling came in the speech of the hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme). He said that the Amendment clearly showed the antitrade union bias implicit in the Bill.

That is the greatest nonsense. In this context, the hon. Gentleman convicted himself out of his own mouth. He mentioned two companies, one good and one bad. The good was Metropolitan-Vickers. He said that all this system had grown up there voluntarily. Good! Excellent! There is nothing in the Bill which will stop that from happening in future, or going on as it already exists. The Bill will not make it more difficult. It will not detract in any way from a voluntary development with good will, or from a vountarily established position.

The bad company was Roberts Arundel, where all voluntary efforts had failed. In spite of the strength of the union membership, the union could not get recognition, let alone a closed shop. That bad example will be corrected once the Bill is on the Statute Book. That is a fact and the hon. Gentleman cannot deny it. The voluntary system worked in the example of the good company and will continue to work when the Bill is passed, but the voluntary system, unaided by and without the proper framework of industrial relations law, proved itself unable to cope with the bad case of Roberts Arundel. If ever there was a clear example of the need for a law of the sort that we are talking about it is that one.

9.0 p.m.

Mr. Orme

It is difficult. There is a philosophical gap between us which is wide and deep and which has been there throughout our debates. My contention is that these matters cannot be resolved by law. In the bad case industrial action had to be taken. It was a long and protracted business but it was successful. Recognition was obtained. It was a difficult case. This Bill would not have put it right. Metropolitan-Vickers was the good example with its agency shop provisions but legislation such as this may introduce problems into a factory.

Mr. Carr

As the hon. Member says, there is a deep philosophical difference between us but what I cannot understand is why he positively prefers to have the Roberts Arundel type case settled after enormous, wasteful, damaging and destructive loss of time by industrial war fare rather than through machinery which could have settled it without industrial warfare, by peaceful process under the law, much sooner and with much less damage to the workers, the company, the customers and suppliers. I cannot under stand why industrial warfare is preferable to a peaceful mechanism for obtaining the rights which we all agree about—

Mr. Ashton

This is why I say the United Nations can settle Vietnam.

Mr. Carr

We do not pretend that this Bill will remove all warfare from industry. I do not believe that this is possible allowing for human nature, although we may hope to improve. Surely it is sensible and good to introduce machinery which will enable more cases to be settled without warfare than is the case at present. In the majority of cases the machinery will not be used, but there will be an important minority of cases which at the moment have to remain unresolved or which must be resolved by industrial warfare. We believe that in a civilised society it is more sensible to have this machinery and freedom and order under the law. If that breaks down warfare may still be the final result but let us try the other way first.

Mr. Robert Hughes (Aberdeen, North)

Can the right hon. Gentleman explain why the agency shop system was chosen for this beneficent Bill, as he puts it, rather than the closed shop procedure? There might have been force in the argument if he was suggesting that the framework of law was to be used to help the closed shop. He is removing the right which trade unions have fought for for generations.

Mr. Carr

This is another deep problem, and here there is a more genuine philosophical division between the two sides than the one I have just dealt with. I do not feel that I could embark on that because it would be a debate about the agency shop and would be a repeat of debates initiated at an earlier stage in an outstandingly good speech by the hon. Member for Birmingham, All Saints (Mr. Brian Walden). There, the philosophy of the agency shop versus the closed shop was touched upon. If I were to embark on that again I should be going well beyond the terms of the Amendment.

Hon. Members opposite are missing one vital link in their argument. They are speaking as though the Bill does not provide for a simple majority. They quote in support of their argument the fact that we are elected to the House on straight majorities, and make decisions on straight majorities; that Winston Churchill said, "One is enough". When we are dealing—as we are in the Bill— with the basic question of recognition we say that a simple majority is enough. That is the equivalent to electing one's Government, or one's elected representative. It is the choice of the union which shall have the sole bargaining rights.

Mr. Harold Walker

But at the moment the workers in an establishment can challenge that agency.

Mr. Carr

Yes, but the decision is a simple majority decision whether to support single-agency recognition.

When we go beyond recognition, to the approval of an agency shop, it is something more than straight recognition, and we believe that it requires more than a simple majority. That has been a fundamental principle of ours from the beginning. I believe that that is not only right but is in tune with experience under the present system. That is why I interrupted the hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) to ask what his judgment was— based on his great experience—of the sort of membership that there had to be in an establishment before it was possible to get a closed shop.

Under the present system basic union recognition is often obtained with relatively small percentage memberships, but I believe—and I think that I am supported by many experienced trade union leaders; I believe that this view was expressed in the debate in another place—that in normal circumstances before a union can go forward from its initial stage of recognition to the further stage of a closed shop it has to have 70 per cent. or 80 per cent. membership. In practice, before a closed shop situation can be achieved, the union concerned must have obtained considerably more than a bare majority of union members in the establishment. That does not apply in all cases, but it applies in the great majority of cases. Any experienced union leader would have difficulty in denying that in the majority of cases what I have been saying is correct.

From the beginning, our principle has been that there should be a simple majority for recognition but something more for something more, namely, the agency shop, which is the nearest to the closed shop that our philosophical reasons enable us to go.

In the original Bill we said that the something more would have to be a majority of those eligible to vote and not a majority of those voting, but strong exception was taken to this by hon. Members opposite. We understood the depth of their feelings on the matter. For the benefit of the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, East (Mr. Prescott), I should point out that we understood the difficulties of the shipping industry. The hon. Member has expounded on many occasions the difficulties of taking a ballot in that industry. Those difficulties were among the most powerful practical arguments that finally led us to believe that we must support an Amendment providing an alternative to the "eligible-to-vote" qualification. It was because of practical arguments like those and because of the obvious emotional feelings of hon. Members opposite about eligibility to vote as the test that we supported an Amendment in another place that, as an alternative, we should have 66 per cent. of those voting.

Why 66 per cent.? I was asked. It is a matter of judgment, of course. There is no obvious yardstick. The only principle which I had in my mind was that a bare majority was needed for recognition, something more than a bare majority was needed for something further—an agency shop, which imposes extra rights and extra obligations on both sides, and it seemed to me that 66 per cent. was a reasonable figures. In going forward to that we were genuinely going forward to meet first the practical difficulties which the hon. Member put forward about industries such as the shipping industry, and secondly the deep emotional feelings on the other side about the objectionableness of eligibility to vote as the basic test.

Mr. Prescott

I should like to offer my apologies to the right hon. Gentleman for having missed the beginning of his speech. In normal circumstances I would not have missed it, but there were unavoidable circumstances so that I did miss it, and I would apologise to him.

Mr. Carr

We have been playing box and cox with each other, but I would say to the hon. Member that the Solicitor-General was sorry not to have replied to his point last night because he was right in saying that of all the speeches the hon. Member's was the one really directed narrowly to an Amendment. I am sure my hon. and learned Friend would not mind my admitting on his behalf that the hon. Member had raised a very specialised and difficult point about seamen presenting a special problem, and my hon. and learned Friend was hoping to have been able today to reply when speaking to another Amendment, on which it would have been in order for him to reply to the hon. Member's point, but, unfortunately, it was not possible to give the hon. Member notice and he was not here. I know that my hon. and learned Friend will be writing to the hon. Member to try to answer his point in detail. I hope the House will forgive that diversion.

In conclusion, in supporting this Amendment in another place we were genuinely trying to meet and help and satisfy what we realise to be the deep feelings on the other side and also the practical problems which we recognise exist in certain industries such as shipping, and yet at the same time maintaining what we believe to be right, that for the agency shop provision there ought to be more than the simple majority which is required to obtain recognition. For these reasons I must ask my right hon. and hon. Friends to resist this Amendment to the Lords Amendment.

Mr. Fell


Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Robert Grant-Ferris)

Mr. Heffer.

Mr. Heffer

The hon. Member for Yarmouth (Mr. Fell) may want to make a brief comment afterwards, but, with the leave the House, I just want to say that it seems to me that while the right hon. Gentleman made a fairly long and detailed reply it was a most unconvincing one. I do not want to speak long but I must point out that he did not deal with the points which had been made in relation to the simple majority.

The right hon. Gentleman pointed out that under Clause 48 the simple majority applies in relation to recognition but he went on to say that, whilst it can apply in that case, it cannot then apply in relation to the agency shop provision. He made the point that a closed shop usually means about 90 per cent. of the workers in a union before the closed shop is applied. I am not going to deny that, but the point is that it is on the basis of a voluntary agreement between the employer and the trade union. We are getting away from the voluntary agreement to the point where the legal paraphernalia is becoming involved, and if this is to be the future pattern, then the simple majority should apply on recognition and on the agency shop.

9.15 p.m.

I should like to comment briefly on the remarks of the right hon. Gentleman about the time my hon. Friends are taking on these debates. He cannot make remarks like that without there being a reply. I believe that the right hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends are angry because hon. Members on this side of the House have not lost interest in the Bill but are deeply concerned with its principles and details and, as long as the Bill is before the House, will participate in the debates at all levels.

The right hon. Gentleman has made this constant complaint because, in the last analysis, he does not want any discussion on the Bill; he wants to push it through automatically without proper democratic discussion. The right hon. Gentleman has been here long enough to understand that the democratic principle is very valuable to us and dear to our hearts. My hon. Friends are not prepared to let that demoratic process go in relation to the Bill. The trade union movement has never had an opportunity to discuss the basic principles because it was said from the word "go" that the basic pillars were not under discussion. But we shall try to discuss them whenever we get the opportunity to do so. The right hon. Genleman's remarks were quite unwarranted, and I hope we shall hear no more of them.

The question of the miners' 55 per cent. majority has been brought into the argument. I said in my opening remarks that hon. Gentlemen opposite would look for one or two examples to try to prove their case. This is the one they picked on. The miners' union is one of the few unions that does not have a simple majority.

I think that we have made out a very good case, and I hope that we shall have the support of the House. I will say no more. I know the hon. Member for Yarmouth wishes to make a point.

Mr. Fell

I am most grateful to the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) for awarding me the opportunity of making a point. I was tremendously impressed by his first intervention and agreed with almost every word he said, but I find it more difficult to do so since his second intervention, which was most immoderate.

My right hon. Friend will know that I have supported him throughout the passage of the Bill and have sat through almost all our discussions, but I am not happy about the simple majority and the suggestion made in the Lords Amendment for the reasons given by the hon. Member for Walton. I was a little confused when the hon. Member for Walton said that we in Parliament govern our affairs by simple majorities, and, indeed, come here by a simple majority, because he went on to say that in the case of the agency shop agreement the situation was quite different and special. I cannot follow that argument. The hon. Gentleman has always been strictly honest with the House and admits that there are no precedents. Had he been able to quote precedents, his case would have greater weight. I must not get out of order by bringing in other matters, but the hon. Gentleman well knows that the extremely important matter of the Common Market will be decided in this House by a simple majority.

Mr. Tom King

No doubt it was not thought necessary to quote precedent because there was enough information before the House on this matter. The hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme) said that the National Union of Mine-workers regarded 55 per cent. as the correct figure. The hon. Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Ashton) assured the House that a two-thirds' majority was a hallowed procedure for many trade unions. The hon. Member for Gloucestershire, West (Mr. Loughlin) informed the House that one could get the results one wanted with a minority.

Mr. Fell

I am delighted I gave way to my hon. Friend. I am sure he feels better. I was saying that the use of the two-thirds majority by unions was in regard to change of rules. But in this House we adopt the principle of a simple majority for any matter, however great it may be. We all know that the greatest

matter which has come before this House for 100 years will be decided by a simple majority. If I am wrong and the Government decide to do something different, then that will be a precedent. But I am not happy that we should set a precedent in this case.

I was impressed by the earlier part of the case put forward by the hon. Member for Walton—though I shall not vote for the Amendment—and perhaps my right hon. Friend may rethink this matter before this debate is over. If he does not rethink it now, he will not have another opportunity to do so.

Mr. Speaker

Shall we take a simple majority vote on this Amendment?

Question put, That the Amendment be made to the Lords Amendment: —

The House divided: Ayes 247, Noes 271.

Division No. 445.] AYES [9.24 p.m.
Albu, Austen Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove) Heffer, Eric S.
Allen, Scholefield Deakins, Eric Hilton, W. S.
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Horam, John
Armstrong, Ernest Delargy, H. J. Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas
Ashley, Jack Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Howell, Denis (Small Heath)
Ashton, Joe Dempsey, James Huckfield, Leslie
Atkinson, Norman Doig, Peter Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)
Barnes, Michael Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.) Hughes, Mark (Durham)
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Douglas-Mann, Bruce Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)
Barnett, Joel Driberg, Tom Hughes, Roy (Newport)
Beaney, Alan Duffy, A. E. P. Hunter, Adam
Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Dunnett, Jack Irvine, Rt.Hn.Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)
Bidwell, Sydney Eadie, Alex Janner, Greville
Bishop, E. S. Edelman, Maurice Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas
Blenkinsop, Arthur Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Jeger, Mrs.Lena (H'b'n&St.P'cras, S.)
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Edwards, William (Merioneth) Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)
Booth, Albert Ellis, Tom Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur English, Michael John, Brynmor
Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland) Evans, Fred Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)
Bradley, Tom Faulds, Andrew Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.) Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E. Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Jones, Dan (Burnley)
Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Jones, Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn (W.Ham, S.)
Buchan, Norman Foot, Michael Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Forrester, John Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Fraser, John (Norwood) Judd, Frank
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Freeson, Reginald Kaufmann, Gerald
Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.) Galpern, Sir Myer Kelley, Richard
Carmichael, Neil Garrett, W. E. Kerr, Russell
Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield) Gilbert, Dr. John Kinnock, Neil
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Ginsburg, David Lambie, David
Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Golding, John Lamond, James
Cohen, Stanley Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C. Latham, Arthur
Concannon, J. D. Gourlay, Harry Lawson, George
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Grant, George (Morpeth) Leadbitter, Ted
Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.) Grant, John D. (Islington, E.) Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Crawshaw, Richard Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Leonard, Dick
Cronin, John Griffiths, Will (Exchange) Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Lipton, Marcus
Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.) Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)
Hamling, William Lomas, Kenneth
Dalyell, Tam Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill) Loughlin, Charles
Davidson, Arthur Hardy, Peter Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)
Davies, Denzil (Llanelly) Harper, Joseph Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) McBride, Neil
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith McCann, John
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr Tydvil) Hattersley, Roy McCartney, Hugh
McElhone, Frank Paget, R. T. Stallard, A. W.
McGuire, Michael Palmer, Arthur Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michal (Fulham)
Mackenzie, Gregor Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles Stoddart, David (Swindon)
Mackie, John Parker, John (Dagenham) Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John
Mackintosh, John P. Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange) Strang, Gavin
Maclennan, Robert Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Pendry, Tom Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
McNamara, J. Kevin Pentland, Norman Taverne, Dick
Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Perry, Ernest G. Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield.E.) Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg. Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)
Marks, Kenneth Pre6cott, John Tinn, James
Marquand, David Price, J. T. (Westhoughton) Tomney, Frank
Marsden, F. Probert, Arthur Torney, Tom
Marshall, Or. Edmund Reed, D. (Sedgefield) Tuck, Raphael
Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.) Urwin, T. W.
Meacher, Michael Rhodes, Geoffrey Varley, Eric G.
Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Wainwright, Edwin
Mendelson, John Roberts, Rt. Hn.Goronwy (Caernarvon) Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)
Millan, Bruce Robertson, John (Paisley) Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Miller, Dr. M. S. Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Br'c'n&R'dnor) Wallace, George
Milne, Edward (Blyth) Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees) Watkins, David
Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen) Roper, John Weitzman, David
Molloy, William Rose, Paul B. Wellbeloved, James
Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock) Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Sandelson, Neville Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne) Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon) Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney) Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Moyle, Roland Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N.E.) Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford) Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Murray, Ronald King Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich) Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Ogden, Eric Silverman, Julius Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
O'Halloran, Michael Skinner, Dennis Woof, Robert
O'Malley, Brian Small, William
Oram, Bert Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Orme, Stanley Spearing, Nigel Mr. Donald Coleman and
Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton) Spriggs, Leslie Mr. James A. Dunn.
Padley, Walter
Adley, Robert Clegg, Walter Glyn, Dr. Alan
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Cockeram, Eric Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B.
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Cooke, Robert Goodhart, Philip
Atkins, Humphrey Coombs, Derek Goodhew, Victor
Awdry, Daniel Cooper, A. E. Gorst, John
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Corfield. Rt. Hn. Frederick Gower, Raymond
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Cormack, Patrick Gray, Hamish
Balniel, Lord Costain, A. P. Green, Alan
Batsford, Brian Critchley, Julian Grieve, Percy
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Crouch, David Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Crowder, F. P. Grylls, Michael
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Curran, Charles Gummer, Selwyn
Benyon, W. Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford) Gurden, Harold
Berry, Hn. Anthony d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley)
Biffen, John d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen.James Hall, John (Wycombe)
Biggs-Davison, John Dean, Paul Hall-Davie, A. G. F.
Blaker, Peter Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Digby, Simon Wingfleld Hannam, John (Exeter)
Body, Richard Dixon, Piers Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)
Boscawen, Robert Dodds-Parker, Douglas Haselhurst, Alan
Bossom, Sir Clive du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Hastings, Stephen
Bowden, Andrew Dykes, Hugh Havers, Michael
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Eden, Sir John Hay, John
Braine, Bernard Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Hayhoe, Barney
Bray, Ronald Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Heseltine, Michael
Brewis, John Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.) Hicks, Robert
Brinton, Sir Tatton Emery, Peter Higgins, Terence L.
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Eyre, Reginald Hiley, Joseph
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Farr, John Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Hill, James (Southampton, Test)
Bryan, Paul Fidler, Michael Holt, Miss Mary
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M) Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead) Hordern, Peter
Buck, Antony Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) Hornby, Richard
Bullus, Sir Eric Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Hornsby-Smith, Rt.Hn.Dame Patricia
Burden, F. A. Fookes, Miss Janet Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)
Butler, Adam (Bosworrh) Fortescue, Tim Howell, David (Guildford)
Carlisle, Mark Fowler, Norman Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Fox, Marcus Hunt, John
Channon, Paul Fraser, Rt.Hn.Hugh (St'fford & Stone) Hutchison, Michael Clark
Chapman, Sydney Fry, Peter Iremonger, T. L.
Chichester-Clark, R. Galbraith, Hn. T. G. James, David
Clark, William (Surrey, E.) Gardner, Edward Jessel, Toby
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Gibson-Watt, David Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)
Jopling, Michael Nabarro, Sir Gerald Soref, Harold
Kaberry, Sir Donald Neave, Airey Spence, John
Kershaw, Anthony Nicholls, Sir Harmar Sproat, lain
Kilfedder, James Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael Stanbrook, Ivor
King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Normanton, Tom Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)
Kinsey, J. R. Nott, John Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)
Kirk, Peter Onslow, Cranley Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.
Knox, David Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally Stokes, John
Lane, David Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Stuttaford, Dr. Tom
Langford-Holt, Sir John Osborn, John Sutcliffe, John
Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.) Tapsell, Peter
Le Marchant, Spencer Page, Graham (Crosby) Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Page, John (Harrow, w.) Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow, Cathcart)
Lloyd, Lan (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Parkinson, Cecil (Enfield, W.) Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Longden, Gilbert Peel, John Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)
Loveridge, John Percival, Ian Tebbit, Norman
Luce, R. N. Peyton, Rt. Hn. John Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret
McAdden, Sir Stephen Pike, Miss Mervyn Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)
MacArthur, Ian Pink, R. Bonner Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)
McCrindle, R. A. Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
McLaren, Martin Price, David (Eastleigh) Tilney, John
Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L. Trafford, Dr. Anthony
McMaster, Stanley Proudfoot, Wilfred Trew, Peter
Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Pym, Rt, Hn. Francis Tugendhat, Christopher
McNair-Wilson, Michael Quennell, Miss J. M. Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin
McNair-Wilson, Patrick (NewForest) Raison, Timothy van Straubenzee, W. R.
Maddan, Martin Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Maginnis, John E. Redmond, Robert Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Marples, Rt Hn. Ernest Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.) Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)
Mather, Carol Rees, Peter (Dover) Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Maude, Angus Rees-Davies, W. R. Wall, Patrick
Mawby, Ray Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David Ward, Dame Irene
Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Warren, Kenneth
Mills, Peter (Torrington) Ridley, Hn. Nicholas Weatherill, Bernard
Miscampbell, Norman Ridsdale, Julian Wells, John (Maidstone)
Mitchell, Lt.-Col.C.(Aberdeenshire, W) Roberts, Wyn (Conway) White, Roger (Gravesend)
Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks) Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Moate, Roger Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey) Wiggin, Jerry
Molyneaux, James Rost, Peter Wilkinson, John
Money, Ernle Russell, Sir Ronald Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Monks, Mrs. Connie Scott, Nicholas Wodhouse, Hn. Christopher
Monro, Hector Scott-Hopkins, James Worsley, Marcus
Montgomery, Fergus Sharples, Richard Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
More, Jasper Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby) Younger, Hn. George
Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Shelton, William (Clapham)
Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm. Simeons, Charles TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Sinclair, Sir George Mr. Paul Hawkins and
Mudd, David Skeet, T. H. H. Mr. Keith Speed.
Murton, Oscar Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)

Amendment to the Lords Amendment proposed: Leave out 'two-thirds' and insert '51 per cent.'.—[Mrs. Castle.]

Question put, That the Amendment be made to the Lords Amendment: —

The House divided: Ayes 245, Noes 269.

Division No. 446.] AYES [9.35 p.m.
Albu, Austen Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury) Davies, S. O, (Merthyr Tydvil)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Buchan, Norman Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.)
Allen, scholefield Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove)
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Deakins, Eric
Armstrong, Ernest Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey
Ashley, Jack Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.) Delargy, H. J.
Ashton, Joe Carmichael, Neil Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund
Atkinson, Norman Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield) Dempsey, James
Barnes, Michael Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Doig, Peter
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.)
Barnett, Joel Cohen, Stanley Douglas-Mann, Bruce
Beaney, Alan Concannon, J. D. Driberg, Tom
Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Corbet, Mrs. Freda Duffy, A. E. P.
Bidwell, Sydney Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.) Dunnett, Jack
Bishop, E. S. Crawshaw, Richard Eadie, Alex
Blenkinsop, Arthur Cronin, John Edelman, Maurice
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Edwards, Robert (Bilston)
Booth, Albert Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.) Edwards, William (Merioneth)
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Dalyell, Tam Ellis, Tom
Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland) Davidson, Arthur English, Michael
Bradley, Tom Davits, Denzil (Llanelly) Evans, Fred
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.) Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Faulds, Andrew
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Davies, Ifor (Gower) Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E.
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Lawson, George Probert, Arthur
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Leadbitter, Ted Reed, D. (Sedgefield)
Foot, Michael Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick Hers, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)
Forrester, John Leonard, Dick Rhodes, Geoffrey
Fraser, John (Norwood) Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Freeson, Reginald Lipton, Marcus Roberts, Rt.Hn.Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Galpern, Sir Myer Lomas, Kenneth Robertson, John (Paisley)
Garrett, W. E. Loughlin, Charles Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Br'c'n&R'dnor)
Gilbert, Dr. John Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)
Ginsburg, David Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Roper, John
Golding, John McBride, Neil Rose, Paul B.
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C. McCann, John Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)
Gourlay, Harry McCartney, Hugh Sandelson, Neville
Grant, George (Morpeth) McElhone, Frank Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Grant, John D. (Islington, E.) McGuire, Michael Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Mackenzie, Gregor Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N.E.)
Griffiths, Will (Exchange) Mackie, John Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Maclennan, Robert Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Silverman, Julius
Hamling, William McNamara, J. Kevin Skinner, Dennis
Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill) Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Small, William
Hardy, Peter Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Harper, Joseph Marks, Kenneth Spearing, Nigel
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Marquand, David Spriggs, Leslie
Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith Marsden, F. Stallard, A. W.
Hattersley, Roy Marshall, Dr. Edmund Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)
Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Stoddart, David (Swindon)
Heffer, Eric s. Meacher, Michael Storehouse, Rt. Hn. John
Hilton, W. S. Mellish, Rt. Hit. Robert Strang, Gavin
Horam, John Mendelson, John Strauss, Rt Hn. G. R.
Houghton, Rt Hon. Douglas Millan, Bruce Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Howell, Denis, (Small Heath) Miller, Dr. M. S. Taverne, Dick
Huckfield, Leslie Milne, Edward (Blyth) Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen) Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)
Hughes, Mark (Durham) Molloy, William Tinn, James
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) Morgan, Elystan (Cardinganshire) Tomney, Frank
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Torney, Tom
Hunter, Adam Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Tuck, Raphael
Irvine, Rt.Hn.Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon) Urwin, T. W.
Janner, Greville Moyle, Roland Varley, Eric G.
Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick Wainwright, Edwin
Jeger, Mrs.Lena (H'b'n&St.P'cras, S.) Murray, Ronald King Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints)
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) O'Halloran, Michael Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) O'Malley, Brian Wallace, George
John, Brynmor Oram, Bert Watkins, David
Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Orme, Stanley Weitzman, David
Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.) Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton) Wellbeloved, James
Jones, Barry (Flint, E.) Padley, Walter Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Paget, R. T. Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Jones, Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn (W.Ham, S.) Palmer, Arthur Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.) Parker, John (Dagenham) Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Judd, Frank Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange) Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Kaufman, Gerald Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Kelley, Richard Pendry, Tom Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Kerr, Russell Pentland, Norman Woof, Robert
Kinnock, Neil Perry, Ernest G.
Lambie, David Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg. TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Lamond, James Prescott, John Mr. Donald Coleman and
Latham, Arthur Price, J. T. (Westnoughton) Mr. James A. Dunn.
Adley, Robert Bossom, Sir Clive Chichester-Clark, R.
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Bowden, Andrew Clark, William (Surrey, E.)
Atkins, Humphrey Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)
Awdry, Daniel Braine, Bernard Cockeram, Eric
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Bray, Ronald Cooke, Robert
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Brewis, John Coombs, Derek
Balniel, Lord Brinton, Sir Tatton Cooper, A. E.
Batsford, Brian Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Bruce-Gardyne, J. Cormack, Patrick
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Bryan, Paul Costain, A. P.
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M) Critchley, Julian
Benyon, W. Buck, Antony Crouch, David
Berry, Hn. Anthony Bullus, Sir Eric Crowder, F. P.
Biffen, John Burden, F. A. Curran, Charles
Biggs-Davison, John Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford)
Blaker, Peter Carlisle, Mark d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry
Boardman, Tom (Leiceter, S.W.) Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen.James
Body, Richard Channon, Paul Dean, Paul
Boscawen, Robert Chapman, Sydney Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F.
Digby, Simon Wingfield Kaberry, Sir Donald Raison, Timothy
Dixon, Piers Kershaw, Anthony Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Dodds-Parker, Douglas Kilfedder, James Redmond, Robert
du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)
Dykes, Hugh Kinsey, J. R. Rees, Peter (Dover)
Eden, Sir John Kirk, Peter Rees-Davies, W. R.
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Knox, David Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Elliot, Capt, Walter (Carshalton) Lane, David Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.) Langford-Holt, Sir John Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Emery, Peter Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Ridsdale, Julian
Eyre, Reginald Le Marchant, Spencer Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Farr, John Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Fenner, Mrs, Peggy Lloyd, Lan (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Rost, Peter
Fidler, Michael Longden, Gilbert Russell, Sir Ronald
Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead) Loveridge, John Scott, Nicholas
Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) Luce, R. N. Scott-Hopkins, James
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles McAdden, Sir Stephen Sharples, Richard
Fookes, Miss Janet MacArthur, Ian Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Fortescue, Tim McCrindle, R. A. Shelton, William (Clapham)
Fowler, Norman McLaren, Martin Simeons, Charles
Fox, Marcus Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Sinclair, Sir George
Fraser, Rt.Hn.Hugh (St'fford & Stone) McMaster, Stanley Skeet, T. H. H.
Fry, Peter Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Galbraith, Hn. T. G. McNair-Wilson, Michael Soref, Harold
Gardner, Edward McNair-Wilson, Patrick (NewForest) Speed, Keith
Gibson-Watt, David Maddan, Martin Spence, John
Glyn, Dr. Alan Maginnis, John E. Sproat, lain
Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest Stanbrook, Ivor
Goodhart, Philip Mather, Carol Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)
Goodhew, Victor Maude, Angus Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)
Gorst, John Mawby, Ray Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.
Gower, Raymond Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Stokes, John
Gray, Hamish Mills, Peter (Torrington) Stuttaford, Dr. Tom
Green, Alan Miscampbell, Norman Sutcliffe, John
Grieve, Percy Mitchell, Lt.-Col.C.(Aberdeenshire, W) Tapsell, Peter
Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Grylls, Michael Moate, Roger Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow, Cathcart)
Gummer, Selwyn Molyneaux, James Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Gurden, Harold Money, Ernle Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)
Hall. Miss Joan (Keighley) Monks, Mrs. Connie Tebbit, Norman
Hall, John (Wycombe) Monro, Hector Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Montgomery, Fergus Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) More, Jasper Thomas, Rt Hon. Peter (Hendon, S.)
Hannam, John (Exeter) Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm. Tilney, John
Haselhurst, Alan Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Trafford, Dr. Anthony
Hastings, Stephen Mudd, David Trew, Peter
Havers, Michael Murton, Oscar Tugendhat, Christopher
Hawkins, Paul Nabarro, Sir Gerald Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin
Hay, John Neave, Airey van Straubenzee, W. R.
Hayhoe, Barney Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Heseltine, Michael Normanton, Tom Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Hicks, Robert Nott, John Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)
Higgins, Terence L. Onslow, Cranley Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Hiley, Joseph Openheim, Mrs. Sally Wall, Patrick
Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.) Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Ward, Dame Irene
Hill, James (Southampton, Test) Osborn, John Warren, Kenneth
Holt, Miss Mary Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.) Weatherill, Bernard
Hordern, Peter Page, Graham (Crosby) Wells, John (Maidstone)
Hornby, Richard Page, John (Harrow, W.) White, Roger (Gravesend)
Hornsby-Smith, Rt.Hn.Dame Patricia Parkinson, Cecil (Enfield, W.) Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate) Peel, John Wiggin, Jerry
Howell, David (Guildford) Percival, Ian Wilkinson, John
Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) Peyton, Rt. Hn. John Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Pike, Miss Mervyn Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher
Hunt, John Pink, R, Bonner Worsley, Marcus
Hutchison, Michael Clark Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Iremonger, T. L, Price, David (Eastleigh) Younger, Hn. George
James, David Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.
Jessel, Toby Proudfoot, Wilfred TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Pym, Rt. Hon. Francis Mr. Walter Clegg and
Jopling, Michael Quennell, Miss J. M. Mr. Hugh Rossi.

Lords Amendment agreed to.

Lords Amendment: No. 26, in page 10, line 31, at beginning insert "knowingly".

9.45 p.m.

The Solicitor-General

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

I understand that it will be for the convenience of the House if this Amendment is taken together with the comparable Amendments: Nos. 30, 31 and 32 in Clause 15; Nos. 58, 59, 60 and 62 in Clause 31; Nos. 109, 111, 113 and 114 in Clause 53; No. 178 in Clause 92 and No. 186 in Clause 94.

The House will have seen that the Amendments in question all seek to insert the word "knowingly". They are all Amendments which were moved in another place by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Gardiner, and accepted by the Government. They are all designed to appear in the various Clauses in question before the words: induce or attempt to induce". They are designed to make plain that proceedings on the grounds of an unfair industrial practice which is said to consist of inducing can only lie where the inducement was done with knowledge of the effect that it would produce. It is a point, as I say, which was pressed upon the Government in another place.

The House will recollect that the concept of inducing or attempting to induce occurs in the agency shop provisions, in the infringement of workers rights provisions in Clause 31, in the recognition provisions in Clause 53, in the breaking of contracts of employment provisions in Clause 92 and in the unfair industrial practice in support of another unfair practice in Clause 94. Those are all the places in the Bill where the concept of inducing occurs, excepting in Clause 128 where the concept of inducement is used to exclude the jurisdiction of the ordinary courts. It has been felt right by all those who considered it in another place and by the Government not to add the word "knowingly" but to follow the existing words of the legislation. To include it there might restrict the effect of that Clause in excluding the jurisdiction of the ordinary courts.

The word which is sought to be inserted does not in any way conflict with the ordinary rule of law, but inducement in itself involves knowledge and intention. It merely makes plain, as the Government were pressed to do, that throughout this Bill knowledge is a necessary element of inducement. It sets it beyond doubt, although the House may feel that there was very little doubt about that anyway.

Mr. W. R. Rees-Davies (Isle of Thanet)

Will my hon. and learned Friend make one point plain—that to any normal lawyer this is totally unnecessary because "knowingly" is imported into the law at common law? I think this was done by Lord Gardiner, in his wisdom, to ensure that there could be no doubt in the matter.

The Solicitor-General

I did not want to develop the argument. My hon. Friend is right in repealing what I said—that knowledge is implicit in the concept of inducement. The idea is familiar, but the point was pressed on the Government by the noble and learned Lord, and to set the matter beyond doubt it has been thought right to include the word "knowingly" at the points I have indicated.

Mr. Concannon

I mention for the record that of the 1,102 Amendments tabled in another place, 42 Opposition Amendments were accepted. We are now discussing 14 of the 42.

Mr. John Fraser

I will not go through the list of unfair industrial practices which the Amendment is designed to mitigate. It was tabled in the House of Lords by Lord Gardiner and at first the Lord Chancellor said that, having looked through the textbooks, it seemed unnecessary.

It is encouraging to an up and coming lawyer to know that the distinguished Lord Chancellor could be wrong the first time. In the event, he said that Lord Gardiner was right and that he had been wrong. Thus, he finally accepted the Amendment, though mentioning that some dangers might arise. Did he mean that some people might get away who would otherwise be caught?

The Solicitor-General

If the hon. Gentleman is casting himself in the rôle of an up and coming lawyer, I am sure that the House would be glad to pay tribute to his modesty. Certainly I would not wish to stand in the way of his self-description. I hope that he will concede that the Lord Chancellor was not acknowledging error but was wishing to make an understandable and sensible concession to Lord Gardiner, and so set the matter beyond doubt. No error was acknowledged and I hope that the hon. Gentleman will be as generous to the Lord Chancellor as I am being to him.

Mr. Fraser

I thought that I was being generous.

The inclusion of the word "knowingly" in this context is often related to strikes as being unfair industrial practices. In the House of Lords the Government amended the definition of "strike", and I have a question which is of considerable importance in this context which I hope the hon. and learned Gentleman can answer.

Hon. Members will recall that not long ago British Medical Association doctors gave notice of their intention to terminate their employment with the National Health Service. If they were to do that again—if, for example, an organisation introduced auxiliaries who had not qualified as doctors and were working in the N.H.S. and the doctors decided to take such a step—would they, as members of the B.M.A., being part of a closed shop and having knowingly given notice to terminate their contracts, be liable to damages for indulging in an unfair industrial practice under the terms of this Measure?

Mr. Alex Eadie (Midlothian)

I do not want to become too involved in what is obviously a legal argument. However, I do not apologise for entering the debate, particularly as my brother is a lawyer and I have discussed the legal aspects of the matter with him.

We are now talking about strikes and my hon. Friend the Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser) referred to this word having been defined. A strike occurs when people decide that they do not want to work. Indeed, the first challenge to this Measure will probably arise as a result of the Government's announcement today.

I do not know the circumstances that will surround that challenge, but perhaps the people on the Clyde, those who work for U.C.S., will decide to come out on strike, not because they want to strike but because they want to work.

We have been talking about inducement and unfair industrial practices. People who strike are sometimes accused of being associated with some sort of predatory organisation or are motivated by irresponsibility, though it can be irresponsibility on the part of the Government. Here are people who might decide to strike because they want work.

I wonder whether the Solicitor-General can answer this, because it may well be the first challenge to the Bill. I wonder whether the Government will take up this first challenge to it, because we will be dealing not with two or three people, but with hundreds of thousands.

Mr. Speaker

Order. We are dealing with a very narrow point, "knowingly to induce". We are dealing with a word which has been inserted, so we have heard, at the representation of Lord Gardiner in the House of Lords, to clarify a very narrow point.

Mr. Eadie

With all due respect, Mr. Speaker, I know that you have legal experience and will guide me, and I am grateful to you, but I am also getting advice from other legal persons sitting next to me. I know that one lawyer's opinion is as good as another's—

Mr. Speaker

In the matter of order, no other lawyer's opinion is as good as mine.

Mr. Eadie

I accept that, Mr. Speaker, but speaking as a non-lawyer and since this is an emotive matter and of great moment, I would say that by his own words the Solicitor-General has raised precisely the point which I have raised. Therefore, because this matter is of some moment to ScotLand—and indeed, to the whole Bill—I seek to suggest that the hon. and learned Gentleman is entitled to answer my proposition concerning workers who decide to take industrial action because they want work. I wonder whether he would try to clarify what I regard as this very important position.

The Solicitor-General

I move with caution, Mr. Speaker, in view of the limitations you have placed on the scope of the debate.

Mrs. Castle

The hon. and learned Gentleman has moved with caution in any event.

The Solicitor-General

The right hon. Lady says that I have moved with caution on this in any event. Anyone who talked about the important human issues on Clydeside which the hon. Member for Midlothian (Mr. Eadie) has raised would move not simply with caution but with understanding, sympathy and compassion. Because I cannot respond to the wider issues, I hope that the hon. Member will not think that I am neglecting them. It would not be right for me to embark on discussion of them.

My reply to the point raised by the hon. Member, which is in line with that raised by his hon. Friend the Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser), is that the worker who strikes in the circumstances posed by either hon. Member is not himself committing an unfair industrial practice in any event. The doctor who strikes—in fact, he would not be striking by giving his notice—is not rendering himself liable to any action at law. The only situation in which an unfair practice could be committed is where somebody induces people to strike in pursuit of one of the objectives identified in the Bill.

If an organisation, a trade union or its representatives induced workers to strike because, as the hon. Member put it, they wanted work—in other words, if they were striking about an issue of interest and they were being called out on that strike by a registered union or its representatives—equally there would be nothing unfair about that. The essence of the Bill is that an interest strike, a strike about something as important as availability or non-availability of work, or as important, as it could be, as the dilution of the medical profession by the admission of non-qualified people—a strike of that kind called without notice but by a registered organisation or its officials equally is not unfair. The only circumstances in which either of the examples posed could be unfair would be, first, if the strike was called without notice not by or on behalf of a registered trade union. Then, those calling the strike would be inducing under Clause 92 as it used to be.

The hon. Member for Norwood asked about the position of doctors. It could not constitute an unfair practice if the doctors gave their due notice. They would not in any event be taking collective action in respect of anything categorised as unfair in the Bill. If they were protesting against the employment of unqualified people, that would not be something in which it would be regarded as unfair to strike. The point would not, therefore, arise.

I dare say that I have gone further already, Mr. Speaker, than the question of the meaning of the word "knowingly". On that narrow basis, I commend the Amendment.

Question put and agreed to.

Lords Amendment: No. 27, in page 10, line 34, leave out from "that" to "voted" in line 35 and insert: neither a majority of the workers eligible to vote in the ballot nor two-thirds of those who voted in it have".

Read a Second time.

Mr. Harold Walker

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the Lords Amendment, leave out 'two-thirds' and insert '51 per cent.'.

10.0 p.m.

I understand that it would be for the convenience of the House, Mr. Speaker, if we also discussed the Opposition Amendments to Lords Amendments Nos. 28, 29, 291, 292 and 293. They are in exactly the same terms.

We have discussed thoroughly the principles involved in this batch of Amendments but it is to the Amendments to Lords Amendments Nos. 291, 292 and 293 to which I want to address some brief remarks because they relate to a quite different situation from that which we discussed in earlier debates—that is, the question of the ballot which arises from Schedule 8, the closed shop situation. It is different because it was the particular and peculiar characteristics of certain industries that brought into being the approved closed shop provision—the celebrated breach of what the Government held forth as an absolute principle originally.

I am provoked into saying, again, following the right hon. Gentleman's reply to our earlier debate, that he must grasp that recognition precedes recruitment. Trade union recruitment follows upon recognition and not the other way round. People do not join a union as a sort of abstract principle. Some may do so, but not the average person. People join for concrete and specific reasons, principally because of a particular situation or set of events whereby they are able to recognise the value and merit of membership. A person will not join a union in these circumstances unless it offers some means of obtaining redress for what may be a grievance or of achieving a particular end.

We deployed these arguments when we debated fully and effectively the Government's proposal to prohibit, in defiance of the Royal Commission's recommendation, the closed shop. The Government subsequently, in the light of our powerful arguments, which received support from hon. Members opposite, introduced the approved closed shop. Here again, the approved closed shop can be upset if one-fifth of the workers in the industry challenge its establishment and if there is subsequently a ballot.

I have two questions. First, in an approved industrial situation, where the whole House envisaged the approved closed shop finding its relevance, how is it possible in many circumstances to identify the bona fides and industrial good standing of the individuals who may challenge the ballot? In practice, how would it be possible to determine at any given time the proportion of those in the industry as a whole who might be protesting? For instance, I do not know how at any one time one would determine how many members there were of Equity, the actors' union, and therefore how many would constitute one-fifth. It is important that legislation should be practicable, we have repeatedly cast our doubts about the Bill in that respect. But it is important that it should be practicable in industries such as acting and among unions such as Equity, the Musicians' Union and the Writers' Guild and similar professional and quasi-professional bodies. In such circumstances, how could a ballot be carried out in practice?

For instance, I understand that, because of the fluctuating character of employment among musicians, often of a seasonal character, musicians may move from being whole-time professionals to part-time professionals, sometimes doing what they call gigs, one-night stands, while between engagements they work as, for instance, clerks on a building site to make up their incomes. The difficulty is not confined to professional or quasi-professional groups. There would be a limit to which this procedure could be applied to seafaring. I regret that my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull, East (Mr. Prescott) is not in his place. We had a limited debate on Report when he commented on the impracticality of conducting a ballot among seafarers, who might be scattered all over the world at any given moment. There is also the building industry, with a transient labour force moving from site to site and difficult to quantify or identify. We have discussed the principles and these are the practical difficulties which arise even more sharply in the situations which I have mentioned.

The Solicitor-General

The hon. Gentleman has said that he does not wish to extend the debate over ground already covered. The issues on which he lays most emphasis are how to identify the group of people among whom the one-fifth are to be found and how to conduct a ballot in order to ascertain whether two-thirds within the group when once identified do or do not approve.

When one is concerned with a ballot to get a closed shop agreement, or to cancel one—the two possibilities—one has to find one-fifth from those actually covered by the agreement being sought or then in existence. It is acknowledged that it cannot extend to those potentially in the industry although not then employed within it.

That is the position as it was when the first Schedule left the House. That position has not been altered by anything done in another place. Neither is it dealt with by this Amendment. The second point, put in the broader sense of how it will be practical to conduct a ballot among people who may be in scattered places and who will find it difficult to vote, is the reason why the Amendment made in another place is before this House for approval. The point put to us by the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, East (Mr. Prescott) and others is that we cannot hope to get a 50 per cent. of those eligible to vote and it is better to acknowledge that we should look at the voting of those who do vote.

This is designed to take into account the point made by the hon. Member for Doncaster (Mr. Harold Walker) about how we can count the votes of people who cannot vote. That is why we have included this alternative threshold whereby we look not at those who could have voted but at those who have voted and on that basis we have to get two-thirds, 66 per cent., of those who are voting. That may well be less than 50 per cent. of those eligible to vote.

It is upon that basis that we have accepted and commend to the House the Amendment made in another place. We cannot go beyond this any more than on the agency shop. I recommend the House to accept the idea of a closed shop being acceptable on a balloted majority of less than one of those alternatives in the Bill; in other words, 50 per cent. of those eligible or two-thirds of those voting.

As my right hon. Friend said earlier, trade union leaders of great experience in another place made the point that we do not normally seek or expect to get a closed shop agreement with less than 85 per cent. to 90 per cent. of the employees in question already in union membership. It is as a parallel to that that we put forward the same concept in the context of the closed shop as in the context of the agency shop.

Mrs. Castle

The Solicitor-General has not answered the pertinent points raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Don-caster (Mr. Harold Walker). What we are saying here is that, however much we may object to the concept of the ballot for the agency shop, we have argued that and are moving on to a separate point of whether we have to import that ballot procedure into the approved closed shop situation. It does not follow automatically that because we have a ballot provision for the agency shop there has to be this right to challenge the approved closed shop with the consequent ballot. It was only as a result of the illustrations given by my hon. Friends in the earlier debates of the position in certain industries that we ever got the Government to accept the concept of the closed shop principle.

It was pointed out that there were industries in which it is difficult to control entry. There could be the swamping of standards through a lack of pre-entry control. The work force might fluctuate and be peripatetic. The approved closed shop agreement will apply only where it is found by the C.I.R. that these special situations exist. It is just those special situations that make a nonsense of the ballot provisions which we are challenging.

How can we say that two-thirds of the relevant workers shall be allowed to challenge this approved closed shop agreement and then go on to say that the relevant workers are workers to whom the proposed agreement would apply? If we return to the Equity agreement, and I am not as competent to deal with that argument as my hon. Friend, the relevant workers would be literally anyone who was trying to come into the industry in an uncontrolled way. How can we, by definition, find two-fifths of them?

We know that we are engaged in a useless exercise. The Government will not listen. They did not listen in Committee, and they will not listen now. But we tell the Solicitor-General that when the massive overhaul of this absurd legislation takes place, as it will have to, we hope that he will not be too proud to admit to the House that he was wrong about this closed shop ballot provision, and that one day we may look forward to seeing it eliminated.

Mr. Rees-Davies

I rise because I have a close interest in these matters. They affect Equity, the Screenwriters' Guild and the Musicians' Union. The right hon. Lady and I would both be out of order in discussing whether or not there should be a ballot; that time is past. We are now considering whether the terms laid down for the ballot in the Lords Amendment are an improvement. In my view the Government have gone a long way towards meeting the special cases of the National Union of Seamen, Equity, the Screenwriters' Guild, the Musicians' Union and perhaps others— I know not, because I have no experience of others—so as to enable them to conclude a closed shop agreement.

It is clear to me that the Solicitor-General was correct in saying that this provision does not apply at large to any musician or any member of Equity just because he happens to be a casual actor or someone who just walks on to the set, or a muscian who plays part-time. It clearly applies only to those who are engaged in the agreement required.

The case of the Screenwriters' Guild is the easiest to deal with. Its whole purpose is to enable all those who write scripts for television and films to associate together to secure a closed shop, so that they can uphold their standards. Once a person has become a scriptwriter he wants to join others who wish to enter into an agreement, not necessarily with a single employer; the Government have changed the terms of the Bill so as to enable the agreement to be made with an organisation or an association of employers. That is a great change in the terms of the Bill.

Plainly, therefore—if we put ourselves in the position of one of the workers to whom I have referred—if we want to enter into the agreement we must have an eligiblity to vote. Having got it, we may not have the opportunity to use it. If, as in the case of those eligible to vote, an ordinary majority is sufficient, it is right that in the alternative a proportion of two-thirds of those who are able actually to vote should decide, in order that we may be sure that we obtain the real feeling of the workers who are associated together.

The ballot is maintained so that we can ensure that the provisions of the Bill are truly limited to the cases where a substantial group of workers wish to be associated in an agreement either with a single employer or with an organisation of employers, so that criteria can be fixed which will enable them to fulfil the requirements of the special exception relating to a closed shop agreement.

In my judgment, that does not infringe the general principle for which we speak, because we still believe that workers should have the right to decide whether they wish to subscribe to a union.

This is the fundamental difference between the two sides of the House, but, having come down in favour of the right of the worker to select, I have always maintained that the stand which I have taken up on this matter was a proper exception and did not infringe the principles of the Bill, and I think it is right that the Lords should have produced an Amendment of this kind which takes account both of the eligibility to vote and also of those voting, but provides an alternative.

One final point. I think it is true to say that the Minister in charge of this Bill and the Solicitor-General and those advising him really ought to be congratulated from all parts of the House, whether or not one agrees with the background principle, upon their efforts to try to achieve what they have achieved, which is an exception which will be of value to many people and many hon. Members on the other side of the House and their colleagues in this field.

They have done it, as they have done it, without any support from the Musicians' Union. I bitterly regret that. I raised this entirely because the whole of the members of the Musicians' Union in the Isle of Thanet, without support from their union, wanted this matter to be brought forward. The Screen Writers' Guild, again, or certain members of the Guild, wanted this matter dealt with. That is why it came about. The same also goes for Equity. It did not arise from officials of the union entirely. It arose from the rank and file, and it was for that reason, and surprising, perhaps, that these matters were taken up by my hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Sir Harmar Nicholls) and others of us on this side of the House, and from beginning to end we have had the utmost sympathy and compassion from the Ministers, who have had to give long heart-searching to try to arrive at an accommodation which introduces the new principle into the Bill, a principle which, I believe, will be of value to everyone.

Mr. Harold Walker

Surely the hon. Gentleman is not claiming a monopoly of virtue in this matter and implying that hon. Members on this side of the House were not equally, or, indeed, much more, concerned on behalf of these workers?

Mr. Rees-Davies

Oh, no, I am not for a moment suggesting that hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House did not take a keen interest, but other hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House wanted to wreck the Bill because they objected to its principles altogether, and they took no interest but virtually sabotaged what one was seeking to do. There were honourable exceptions. The hon. Member for Putney (Mr. Hugh Jenkins) was one notable exception.

However, it is true to say that from the officials of the Musicians Union, or people in this House, no assistance whatever was given, or the slightest endeavour to help in any way at all, to try to create an exception which will be of tremendous value to the union's members, and that was for political reasons, because they wanted to sabotage the Bill. It is very unfortunate, because in the long term this provision may be of the greatest material assistance to those men who, as hon. Gentlemen will recognise, serve a particular profession which may well require a particular agreement and to form a closed shop agreement of this nature. I am not going to argue whether they can get an agency shop agreement, but if they cannot they may be able to get in under the criteria of this Clause. I do not suggest that the intervention by the hon. Member for Doncaster (Mr. Harold Walker) was other than a perfectly proper intervention and I do not suggest that we on this side have a monopoly of virtue —I think that was his phrase—in having raised this matter. Not at all. I do say, however, that the Government are entitled to say that they have a virtual monopoly in coming up with a successful answer.

Mr. Lamond

I dissociate myself entirely from the congratulations extended by the hon. Member for Isle of Thanet (Mr. Rees-Davis) to the authors of the Bill, and do not accept the strictures he expressed. What has interested me tonight has been the retreat of the Solicitor-General and the Minister as they tried to meet the opposition's arguments about the proportion of votes which should be cast in favour before a ballot is considered to be successful. Several hon. Members have said that we are elected here on a simple majority, but that is not entirely correct. Hon. Members can be elected to the House by fewer votes than a simple majority of the total votes cast.

Mr. Kenneth Lewis

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. We have had all this debate before. If hon. Members opposite later tell those of us who have been quiet in order to allow them to speak that they have not had time to discuss the Clauses when they are doubly discussing what we have already discussed and have been doing so in the last two days, it is not clear to me—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. What is quite clear to me is that this is not in any way a point of order.

Mr. Lamond

I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's point but this is an important matter which we wish to hammer out and I will speak as briefly as I can. An hon. Member can be elected to the House with a majority of a little over one-third of the votes cast in the election. In the famous election of 1945 Mr. E. L. Gandar Dower was elected as Conservative Member for Caithness and Sutherland in a three-cornered contest on barely one-third of the total votes cast. He had 5,564 votes out of an electorate of almost 26,000, that is less than 25 per cent. of those eligible to vote. If we accept these standards and apply them to ourselves we cannot expect the trade unions to believe that we are strengthening their hand if we apply different standards to them.

The Minister said that on a ballot for recognition a simple majority was sufficient, but that is not sufficient to satisfy me, because there are important parts in the Bill where we are insisting that two-thirds of the votes cast must be in favour. It has been suggested that this is being done because important matters are being decided.

An hon. Gentleman opposite took up this point and asked what the position was in regard to the Common Market. He said that if an assurance were given that a simple majority would not be enough in that case he would be happy to accept what is proposed here. This very point was put to the Prime Minister at Question Time recently, and the Prime Minister replied: If I understand the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question correctly … He is saying that we should work on the basis not of a simple majority of votes cast in this House but of a majority of all those who are Members of the House. In other words, a majority of the 630, even if only 500 voted. A much more modest request was being put forward than what is proposed by the Government tonight, but the Prime Minister categorically said that that was not acceptable to the Government: This is not the constitutional practice of the House, and I do not see any grounds for changing it on this occasion."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd July, 1971; Vol. 821, c. 1673.] Although such an important matter as that is to be decided on a simple majority, the Government are asking on a matter like the closed shop for a two-thirds majority. I suggest that this reveals that they are concerned not to strengthen the trade union movement but to make it as difficult as possible for that movement to achieve its ends in protecting the workers.

Question put, That the Amendment be made to the Lords Amendment: —

The House divided: Ayes 233. Noes 265.

Division No. 447.] AYES [10.30 p.m.
Albu, Austen Gourlay, Harry Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Grant, George (Morpeth) Marshall, Dr. Edmund
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Grant, John D. (Islington, E.) Meacher, Michael
Armstrong, Ernest Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert
Ashton, Joe Griffiths, Will (Exchange) Mendelson, John
Atkinson, Norman Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Miller, Dr. M. S.
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Hamilton, William (Fife. W.) Milne, Edward (Blyth)
Barnes, Michael Hamling, William Mitchll, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Hardy, Peter Molloy, William
Barnett, Joel Harper, Joseph Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)
Beaney, Alan Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgton) Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Bidwell, Sydney Hattersley, Roy Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)
Bishop, E. S. Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis Moyle, Roland
Blenkinsop, Arthur Heffer, Eric S. Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Horam, John Murray, Ronald King
Booth, Albert Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas O'Halloran, Michael
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Howell, Denis (Small Heath) O'Malley, Brian
Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland) Huckfield, Leslie Oram, Bert
Bradley, Tom Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) Orme, Stanley
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne.W.) Hughes, Mark (Durham) Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)
Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury) Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) Padley, Walter
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Hughes, Roy (Newport) Paget, R. T.
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Hunter, Adam Palmer, Arthur
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Irvine, Rt.Hn.Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) Parker, John (Dagenham)
Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, w.) Janner, Greville Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)
Carmichael, Neil Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield) Jeger, Mrs.Lena (H'b'n&St.P'cras, S.) Pendry, Tom
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Pentland, Norman
Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Perry, Ernest G.
Cohen, Stanley John, Brynmor Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.
Concannon, J. D. Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Prescott, John
Conlan, Bernard Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.) Probert, Arthur
Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.) Jones, Barry (Flint, E.) Reed, D. (Sedgefield)
Crawshaw, Richard Jones, Dan (Burnley) Rees, Merlyn (Leeds. S.)
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Jones, Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn (W.Ham, S.) Rhodes, Geoffrey
Cunningham, G. (Islington S.W.) Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Dalyell, Tam Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.) Roberts, Rt. Hn.Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Davidson, Arthur Judd, Frank Robertson, John (Paisley)
Davies, Denzil (Llanelly) Kaufman, Gerald Roderick, Caewryn E.(Br'c'n&R'dnor)
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Kelley, Richard Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Kerr, Russell Roper, John
Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Kinnock, Neil Rose, Paul B.
Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove) Lambie, David Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)
Deakins, Eric Lamond, James Sandelson, Neville
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Latham, Arthur Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Delargy, H. J. Leadbitter, Ted Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N.E.)
Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.) Leonard, Dick Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Driberg, Tom Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Silverman, Julius
Duffy, A. E. P Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Skinner, Dennis
Dunnett, Jack Lipton, Marcus Small, William
Eadie, Alex Lomas, Kenneth Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Loughlin, Charles Spearing, Nigel
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Spriggs, Leslie
Ellis, Tom Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Stallard, A. W.
English, Michael Stewart, R. Hn. Michael (Fulham)
Evans, Fred Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Stoddart, David (Swindon)
Faulds, Andrew McBride, Neil Stonehouse, Rt Hn. John
Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E. McElhone, Frank Strang, Gavin
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) McGuire, Michael Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Mackenzie, Gregor Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Foot, Michael Mackie, John Taverne, Dick
Forrester, John Mackintosh, John P. Thomas, Rt.Hn.George (Cardiff, W.)
Fraser, John (Norwood) Maclennan, Robert Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Freeson, Reginald McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)
Garrett, W. E. McNamara, J. Kevin Tinn, James
Gilbert, Dr. John Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Torney, Tom
Ginsburg, David Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Tuck, Raphael
Golding, John Marks, Kenneth Urwin, T. W.
Cordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. G. Marquand, David Varley, Eric G.
Marsden, F. Wainwright, Edwin
Walker, Harold (Doncaster) Whitehead, Phillip Woof, Robert
Wallace, George Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Watkins, David Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Weitzman, David Williams, W. T. (Warrington) Mr. James A. Dunn and
Wellbeloved, James Wilson, Rt. Rn. Harold (Huyton) Mr. Donald Coleman.
Wells, William (Walsall, N.) Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Adley, Robert Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead) MacArthur, Ian
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) McCrindle, R. A.
Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian Fletcher-Cooke, Charles McLaren, Martin
Astor, John Fookes, Miss Janet Maclean, Sir Fitzroy
Atkins, Humphrey Fortescue, Tim McMaster, Stanley
Awdrey, Daniel Foster, Sir John Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Fowler, Norman McNair-Wilson, Michael
Balniel, Lord Fox, Marcus McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)
Batsford, Brian Fraser, Rt.Hugh (St'fford & Stone) Maddan, Martin
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Fry, Peter Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest
Bennet, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Gardner, Edward Marten, Neil
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Gibson-Watt, David Mather, Carol
Benyon, W. Glyn, Dr. Alan Maude, Angus
Berry, Hn. Anthony Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. Mawby, Ray
Biffen, John Goodhart, Philip Maxwell-Hyslon, R. J.
Biggs-Davison, John Goodhew, Victor Meyer, Sir Anthony
Blaker, Peter Gorst, John Mitchell, Lt. -Col. C.(Aberdeenshire, W)
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Gower, Raymond Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Body, Richard Gray, Hamish Moate, Roger
Boscawen, Robert Green, Alan Molyneaux, James
Bossom, Sir Clive Grieve, Percy Money, Ernle
Bowden, Andrew Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Monks, Mrs. Connie
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Grylls, Michael Montgomery, Fergus
Braine, Bernard Glimmer, Selwyn More, Jasper
Bray, Ronald Gurden, Harold Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)
Brewis, John Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Brinton, Sir Tatton Hall, John (Wycombe) Mudd, David
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Hall-Davies, A. G. F. Murton, Oscar
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Nabarro, Sir Gerald
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Hannam, John (Exeter) Neave, Airey
Bryan, Paul Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Normanton, Tom
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M) Haselhurst, Alan Nott, John
Buck, Antony Hastings, Stephen Onslow, Cranley
Bullus, Sir Eric Havers, Michael Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally
Burden, F. A. Hawkins, Paul Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Hay, John Osborn, John
Carlisle, Mark Hayhoe, Barney Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Heseltine, Michael Page, Graham (Crosby)
Channon, Paul Hicks, Robert Page, John (Harrow, w.)
Chapman, Sydney Higgins, Terence L. Parkinson, Cecil (Enfield, W.)
Chichester-Clark, R. Hiley, Joseph Peel, John
Clark, William (Surrey, E.) Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.) Percival, Ian
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Hill, James (Southampton, Test) Peyton, Rt. Hn. John
Clegg, Walter Holt, Miss Mary Pike, Miss Mervyn
Cockeram, Eric Hordern, Peter Pink, R. Bonner
Cooke, Robert Hornby, Richard Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Coombs, Derek Hornsby-Smith, Rt.Hn.DamePatricia Price, David (Eastleigh)
Cooper, A. E. Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate) Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.
Cordle, John Howell, David (Guildford) Proudfoot, Wilfred
Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis
Cormack, Patrick Hunt, John Quennell, Miss J. M.
Costain, A. P. Hutchison, Michael Clark Raison, Timothy
Critchley, Julian Iremonger, T. L. Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Crouch, David James, David Redmond, Robert
Crowder, F. P. Jessel, Toby Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)
Curran, Charles Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Rees, Peter (Dover)
Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford) Rees-Davies, W. R.
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Jopling, Michael Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Dean, Paul Kaberry, Sir Donald Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Kershaw, Anthony Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Digby, Simon Wingfleld Kilfedder, James Ridsdale, Julian
Dodds-Parker, Douglas King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)
Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec Kinsey, J. R. Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Kirk, Peter Rost, Peter
Dykes, Hugh Knox, David Russell, Sir Ronald
Eden, Sir John Lane, David Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Langford-Holt, Sir John Scott, Nicholas
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Scott-Hopkins, James
Elliott, R. W, (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.) Le Marchant, Spencer Sharples, Richard
Emery, Peter Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Eyre, Reginald Lloyd, Lan (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Shelton, William (Clapham)
Farr, John Longden, Gilbert Simeons, Charles
Fall, Anthony Loveridge, John Sinclair, Sir George
Fidler, Michael Luce, R. N. Sheet, T. H. H.
McAdden, Sir Stephen Smith, Dudley (W'wick&L'mington)
Soref, Harold Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.) Weatherill, Bernard
Spence, John Tilney, John Wells, John (Maidstone)
Sproat, lain Trafford, Dr. Anthony White, Roger (Gravesend)
Stanbrook, Ivor Trew, Peter Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper) Tugendhat, Christopher Wiggin, Jerry
Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.) Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin Wilkinson, John
Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. van Straubenzee, W. R. Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Stokes, John Vaughan, Dr. Gerard Woodnutt, Mark
Stuttaford, Dr. Tom Vickers, Dame Joan Worsley, Marcus
Sutcliffe, John Walder, David (Clitheroe) Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Tapsell, Peter Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester) Younger, Hn. George
Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne) Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Taylor, Frank (Moss Side) Wall, Patrick TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.) Ward, Dame Irene Mr. Keith Speed and
Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth) Warren, Kenneth Mr. Hugh Rossi.
Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)

Lords Amendment agreed to.

Subsequent Lords Amendments agreed to.

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