HC Deb 17 March 1971 vol 813 cc1441-541

(1) In this section "composite unit" means a unit extending to two or more associated undertakings and consisting of the aggregate, or part of the aggregate, of those undertakings, "associated undertakings" means undertakings of two or more associated employers and "the employers", in relation to a composite unit, means the employers to whose undertakings the unit extends.

(2) The provisions of sections 35 to 40 of this Act shall have effect in relation to a composite unit as they have effect in relation to a unit of employment within the meaning of those sections, as if—

  1. (a) any reference in those sections, except in section 36(1)(b), to a unit of employment were a reference to a composite unit;
  2. (b) in section 35(2) the references to the employer were references to the employers; and
  3. (c) in section 36(1)(b), for the words "larger unit of employment of which that unit forms part" there were substituted the words "larger composite unit extending to the same group of associated undertakings (or to a larger group of associated undertakings which includes those undertakings) and consisting of the whole or a larger part of the aggregate of that group or larger group".—[Mr. R. Carr.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

4.30 p.m.

The Secretary of State for Employment (Mr. Robert Carr)

I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time.

Mr. Speaker

With this new Clause I will allow discussion of the following:

Amendment No. 21, in page 25, line 39 at end insert: (3) Before the Secretary of State makes an application under this section with respect to a unit of employment, he shall consult the parties appearing to him, in relation to that unit, to be the parties to whom this section applies. Amendment No. 22, in page 28, line 1 leave out from "be" to "parties" in line 3 and insert: (a) those appearing to the Commission to be. Amendment No. 23, in page 28, line 6 leave out "any other persons" and insert: such other persons (if any)". Amendment No. 24, in page 28, line 7 leave out "who" and insert: as in the Commission's opinion". Amendment No. 25, in page 28, line 45 leave out "of" and insert: employer or trade union included among". Amendment No. 160, in page 25, line 30 leave out "or intentions".

Mr. Carr

It will help to explain what new Clause 5 does if I draw attention to the form in which Clause 35 of the Bill is now drawn.

Clause 35(2) makes it clear that the parties to whom these Clauses apply are the employer and any trade union which the employer recognises or with which the employer has a procedure agreement. It will be noticed that I use the word "employer" in the singular. In other words, the Clauses extend only to the undertaking of a single employer. The effect of new Clause 5 and its associated Amendments is to make it possible for an application to be made in respect of the undertaking of a group of two or more associated employers.

We have always maintained that the procedure provided for in Clauses 35 to 40 should be limited in its application to a single company. Today, we are talking about what we mean by "a single company". As the House will know, we have resisted and we still resist proposals that an application under Clause 35 could cover a whole industry or section of industry. As I say, we still resist that, and we make no change in the position of this procedure on that point. What we are doing is to recognise that the undertaking of a single employer in the technical sense may not always be the sensible unit of employment where there is a closely integrated group of two or more financially associated employers operating the same procedure agreement, negotiating with the same union, suffering from the same industrial relations problems and controlled by the same holding company. What the new Clause does, therefore, is to enable an application to extend to more than one subsidiary of the same holding company where that is the only sensible basis on which to tackle the kind of problems with which the Clauses are intended to deal.

Mr. John Fraser (Norwood)

If the right hon. Gentleman attaches such importance to the integrated nature of a subsidiary company and a holding company in reaching a procedure agreement, why does he maintain that the holding company or the subsidiary company can still remain an extraneous party under the terms of Clause 87?

Mr. Carr

With respect, that is another argument which my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General has dealt with on a number of occasions.

Mr. Stanley Orme (Salford, West)

Not very satisfactorily.

Mr. Carr

I emphasise again that the new Clause represents no change of substance in the Government's intentions. We are not making it possible for an application under Clause 35 to cover a whole industry or a whole section of industry. I believe that the House will realise, even though hon. Gentlemen opposite do not agree with the basic procedure here, that, if we are to have such a procedure, the change that we propose is both desirable and necessary if the procedure is to be effective. I say that because, in these days, when one often finds in large companies a high degree of centralisation in decision-making on industrial relations as well as other matters, it will often be essential to look at the undertakings of several associated employers as a single exercise because, in terms of industrial relations, it is not possible and certainly not desirable to treat their problems separately.

Mr. Orme

It appears from what the right hon. Gentleman has said so far that it will not be possible, for example, to make the engineering industry's York Agreement legally enforceable. However, that agreement is applicable to major firms. Could it be made legally binding in those firms under this Clause? In other words, could that agreement, which cannot be made legally binding on a national basis, in part be made legally binding?

Mr. Carr

In terms of a group of associated companies, yes, but not over the whole industry.

Mr. Orme

What is the difference?

Mr. Carr

There is an enormous difference. There are 4,500 members in the Engineering Employers Federation. That is what we say cannot be done. But we are saying that it does not have to he done, but that it would be possible under this Clause to look in one application at the procedure agreement for a composite group.

Mr. Orme

British Leyland?

Mr. Carr

Possibly, yes. But whether it would ever be sensible to look at an undertaking as large as British Leyland in one inquiry is another matter. To take another case, for example the Birmid Group—and I will quote from the Report of the C.I.R. about that in a moment—obviously it is sensible to be able to look at that. We are not saying that we should always look at a group of composite companies as one. We are saying that it should be possible and may be sensible to do so.

Mrs. Barbara Castle (Blackburn)

The right hon. Gentleman will realise, of course, that we on this side of the House are against his whole principle. But, on the basis of his principle, what is the difference between applying it to a whole industry and saying that we cannot do that but that we will apply the new procedure agreement which takes the place of the York Agreement unit by unit, group by group, by instalments?

Mr. Carr

The right hon. Lady misunderstands the working of the Clause 35 machinery. It is not machinery to impose some preconceived, prenegotiated agreement. It is machinery to use for a company which we are now saying should also be possible for a composite company as well as a single one in the technical sense. It is machinery for a company like that, where there is evidence either of the absence of a procedure agreement or of a procedure agreement which is working imperfectly so that there is loss of production through failure to keep to it, to ask the C.I.R. to look at the circumstances and try to get a voluntary agreement between the parties, and, if it fails, for the C.I.R. to make its own recommendations on the sort of agreement that that company or composite company should have. In other words, the procedure does not enforce a ready-made agreement on a company. It is a procedure for looking at a company in trouble and saying as a result of expert investigation by the C.I.R., the sort of procedure agreement most likely to get that company out of trouble. So there is no question of taking the York Agreement or any other agreement and imposing it by force on a company, either single or composite.

To continue the case for the need to be able to look at a composite company, it is often the case that, largely for financial reasons, separate companies can be established on the same site carrying out substantially similar operations and operating the same procedure agreements with the same unions. It would be wrong simply, because the companies were technically separate employers, for them to be forced to operate on the problems of one of them while being forced to leave the problems of the others on one side.

In our view, there are important reasons for grouping the undertakings of associated employers in some cases. Thus, it will often be found, perhaps more frequently in the future than in the past, that domestic procedure agreements established in agreement with trade unions are settled at group or division level in the big composite companies rather than at the level of the individual company within a group or division.

Mr. Eric S. Heffer (Liverpool, Walton)

I quite see the logic of the right hon. Gentleman's argument. Now will he return to the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Salford, West (Mr. Orme)? If there is a procedure agreement which can be either voluntarily agreed or imposed under certain conditions, will the right hon. Gentleman now say whether associated companies would be considered extraneous parties in relation to a dispute?

Mr. Carr

The hon. Gentleman cannot draw me into a debate—[Interruption.] Hon. Members opposite may laugh but at the moment we are discussing new Clause 5 which relates to Clauses 35 to 40 of the original Bill. The right hon. Lady wants me to be drawn into a discussion about Clause 87 and the Amendments that we have already dealt with relating to procedure. My hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General expounded to the House the reasons for the Amendments to the original Clause 87 which have narrowed the original application of that, in a sense more favourable towards the trade union case than was the original Clause. This was because on consideration we thought it right. But these are separate issues and it does not mean that what is correct in one case is necessarily correct in the other. We have now accepted those Amendments.

Mrs. Castle

This is not just a debating point on our part. It is a very serious point from the point of view of the cohesion of the Bill as a whole. The right hon. Gentleman has just given an illustration of when an associated company should be so considered for the purposes of this part of the Bill and he has given us a practical example. He has said: "Here are two companies, they may be separate but they are on the same site and need the same negotiating agreement. We believe in the terms of the Bill that they should be associated companies." We have a right to ask whether that kind of illustration and parallel will carry over into the definition of an associated company. We cannot have one definition in one part of the Bill and one in another.

Mr. Carr

I am talking about what it is possible to look at under one particular procedure. In Clause 87 we are talking about an extraneous party and whether it is directly involved in and giving direct support to one or the other side in an industrial dispute. I suggest that we are looking at two entirely different problems. We take the other points seriously. We have debated them seriously and, for better or for worse, we believe for better, the House has decided upon them. We now have the opportunity to do likewise with this new Clause and the associated Amendments.

We are not saying that a composite company must be looked at as a whole, we only say that to get good procedural agreements it ought to be possible to do this. I was giving some of the important reasons why we believe that. It is important, often essential, for management at group or division level to be involved in any consideration of the reform of industrial relations which the C.I.R. considers necessary. A few moments ago I said I would like to take an example from the C.I.R.'s past work. I would like now to quote from paragraph 61 of the C.I.R. Report on the three associated companies of the Birmid Qualcast group. The C.I.R. recommended as follows: There is a need for the development of policy at Division level in order that the separate companies shall have clear guidance on objectives. In particular, the proposals which we make in this Report require the formulation of Division policies, although company management needs to be closely associated with this process of policy formation … Policies are not only required for the development of the institutions and procedures of collective bargaining. Payment estimates are a major topic requiring attention at division level … This illustrates my point clearly. It would be an important omission if, under Clause 35, it was not possible, where necessary, for the C.I.R. to be able to examine group problems and bring pressure to bear on group management when this was the only satisfactory way of resolving the underlying management and industrial relations problems which gave rise to a reference under Clause 35.

I should emphasise that the new Clause will make no difference to the tests which have to be passed by a company or companies in respect of which an application is made under Clause 35. The extended or composite unit covered by the application must be one in which the existing procedure agreement is defective, or where no procedure agreement exists, and where as a result the development of orderly industrial relations has been impeded and substantial and repeated losses of working time have occurred.

4.45 p.m.

There is no suggestion in the Amendment that as a matter of course applications should extend to all subsidiaries of a holding company. Where such subsidiaries were not in any case parties to the same procedure agreement they could not be brought within the scope of the application, even if anyone wished to do so. On the other hand, where, as was so obviously the case in the Birmid Qualcast situation, the C.I.R. concluded that the problems of several associated companies could best be treated together, then this new Clause and the Amendments will make that possible.

There is only one other change of substance in the group of Government Amendments to which I ought to draw attention. That is Amendment No. 21 which requires that before the Secretary of State make an application under Clause 35 he must consult the parties involved. The House will no doubt remember that in Committee the Government moved an Amendment which made it obligatory that the parties, either the employer or the union who wish to activate the procedure, must first come to the Secretary of State so that he can make conciliation available and this procedure was not to be used unless it was absolutely essential.

Clause 35 also gives the Secretary of State the right to initiate this procedure. Clearly the Secretary of State cannot apply to himself for conciliation and so we thought it right, and this was a helpful suggestion made in Committee by the Front Bench opposite, which seemed sensible to us, that if it is a question of the Secretary of State's initiative in operating the procedure he should be required to go to the parties before making his application to the court. That is the purpose of the Amendment.

It is important and I would like to express gratitude to hon. Members on the Front Bench opposite. It is nice to be able to do that in our otherwise controversial debates. I am grateful to them for putting forward that suggestion and thus giving me the opportunity to include it here—all the more so since it was a suggestion to improve a procedure to which they are basically opposed.

Mr. Kevin McNamara (Kingston upon Hull, North)

Would the right hon. Gentleman agree that, whether or not he conciliates, the final decision to go will rest with him?

Mr. Carr

That is perfectly true and that is how it should be. The right is there for the Secretary of State or the parties. It does not lie in the mouth of anyone opposite to object to the concept that the Secretary of State should be able to take the initiative in matters concerned with industrial relations because it was at the heart of many of the proposals, not only in "In Place of Strife" but in the Bill brought forward by the right hon. Lady. We do not like this and we have kept it to its absolute minimum.

Under the Clause 35 procedure it will be noted that whereas the Secretary of State has a right of initiative in addition to the parties to start the procedure he has no rights at the end of the procedure to go to the court and get an agreement made binding. Only the parties, or one of them, can do that. The Secretary of State cannot do it, provisionally by Order, or by going to court and asking for the agreement to be made enforceable.

As we have made clear, we only expect the procedure made available by Clauses 35 to 40 to be used rarely. We believe that the existence of the machinery will be of great value in industrial relations and that this new Clause and its associated Amendments will increase the value of the original proposals.

Mr. Harold Walker (Doncaster)

I acknowledge the very small but rather important concession which the Secretary of State has made in his Amendment. It is important not only because of what it does but because of the principle which it enshrines and to which we closely adhere; namely, the principle of consultation. However, the right hon. Gentleman rightly acknowledged that it will not diminish our fundamental opposition to the principles which are enshrined in Clauses 35 to 40 and which are extended by the new Clause.

I was very happy to hear the Secretary of State quoting a report of the C.I.R., because the creation of that body was near and dear to my approach to the problems of industrial relations. I only wish that the right hon. Gentleman had chosen the quotation which I made at least twice in Committee because it relates to my constituency. It was from the C.I.R.'s Report on International Harvesters. But more important than that Report was what the Commission went on to do to achieve the implementation of its own recommendations without having at its back the coercive sanctions which the right hon. Gentleman is bringing to its work.

I quoted a letter from the managing director of a composite unit in which he agreed with the unions that had they found it necessary to write into the agreement provision for legal enforceability it would have been a denial and mockery of the spirit which went towards bringing the agreement into existence. It is a matter of great regret that the C.I.R., which seemed to be so full of potential for good in industrial relations, should be crippled primarily as a consequence of these Clauses which put on the C.I.R. the apparatus of the National Industrial Relations Court which has already led to the resignation of two of its members and which may well lead to further departures. The Secretary of State knows better than I how difficult it is to replace those very important individuals who contributed so much to the work of that body.

Mr. R. Carr

I appreciate what the hon. Gentleman has said. May I take this opportunity of underlining what I have said before. I hope and believe that the majority of references to the C.I.R. in future will still be made under the old procedure. All that we are doing here is saying that if there is a bad case in which the parties are not willing to go to the C.I.R. under the normal procedure we must have a reserve power to be able to get that sort of inquiry to work. I express not only my appreciation of the C.I.R.'s work but the wish, intention and hope that the majority of the Commission's work will still consist of references under the old procedure.

Mr. Walker

The right hon. Gentleman made exactly the same point on a previous occasion. He said in Committee that Clauses 35 to 40 were reserved for dealing with exceptional cases, but the resignations from the C.I.R., leaving vacancies which are unfilled and which there is very little prospect of filling, arose from the Bill's provisions generally and particularly because of the way in which these Clauses link the work of the C.I.R. to the rôle of the National Industrial Relations Bill and, in that sense, deprives it of the freedom and independence which we gave it.

The new Clause is a concession to the employers, and particularly to the Engineering Employers Federation, who have made no secret of their dissatisfaction with Clause 35. It was widely known that they wanted the N.I.R.C. to have power to impose industry-wide legally enforceable procedures. The new Clause represents a dramatic widening of the area which can be covered by a reference, first, because it changes, in subsection (2)(b), the reference to "employer" to "employers" thus enabling employers to join together in seeking a reference, and, secondly, because a composite unit appears to be capable in itself of covering enormous areas of industry.

Just before the debate I looked through an interesting publication in the Library called "Who Owns Whom". In it are listed holding companies with enormouns subsidiaries. Because of the inter-relationship of company directorships and shareholdings, the workers in them probably have no knowledge that they have such links. The odds are that some of the directors do not know. I pick out one at random. The Hawker Siddeley Group has literally scores of subsidiaries covering wide areas of industry—aerospace, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and such great companies as Crompton Parkinson. If that company could be considered to be a composite unit, the area and numbers covered by a reference could be enormous.

There is an ambiguity in lines 1 and 2 of the new Clause. If the Secretary of State says that I interpret it wrongly, I will readily accept it, but I hope he will make the matter clear for the benefit of those who will have to implement the legislation. The new Clause refers to "two or more associated undertakings". It does not refer to those which are associated one with the other or others. The provision could be interpreted as meaning separate associate companies—that is, concerns which may not necessarily have links with each other. On that interpretation, there is scope for a further dramatic widening of the area covered by a reference.

When in Committee we took objection to the power to impose a legally binding procedure on employers and unions we were told that such power already existed in legislation and that the principle was not new but had been conceded by the Terms and Conditions of Employment Act. Once a composite unit has established a legally enforceable procedure, Section 8 of that Act can be used by an employer to extend the procedure to fresh areas of industry in which it was not originally applicable. Perhaps the Government will say whether the new Clause could be similarly applied in future.

The Secretary of State said that he wanted the application of Clauses 35 to 40 to be extended but only to closely integrated groups. However, the definition of "associated employer" in Clause 149(5) seems to be so loose as to invite endless new-style demarcation disputes about whether a company is associated. I commend to the House the contrast provided by Section 154 of the Companies Act, 1948, in which it was deemed necessary or expedient not to deal with such a complex matter in one paragraph or subsection but to devote about 1+ pages to it. I should like the Secretary of State to contrast the two and say whether he is satisfied that the definition of "associated employer" which he has chosen is sufficiently tight to avoid the possibility of endless controversy about the scope of an imposed legally enforceable procedure.

5.0 p.m.

The Secretary of State may say that the unit to which the reference shall apply shall ultimately be determined by the C.I.R. But the C.I.R. is vested only with powers to extend and not to reduce the area. In other words, if the National Industrial Relations Court passes on the reference at the appropriate stage to the C.I.R. which, being the practical body involved—and I take it that this is the Secretary of State's reason for doing it this way and the N.I.R.C. is essentially a judicial body whereas the C.I.R. is made up of people with practical experience of industry—brings its practical experience and knowledge to bear, he has given it power, if it thinks it appropriate, to extend the area covered by the reference. But if it deems that the N.I.R.C. has got it wrong and that the area is too large, it has no power to reduce it.

All these things make the extension of Clauses 35 to 40 very much more dramatic than would appear from the modest way in which the right hon. Gentleman put the matter to the House.

Mr. Raymond Gower (Barry)

A few moments ago the hon. Gentleman referred to large companies which had a number of subsidiaries. Clause 35(5) defines a "unit of employment" as an undertaking or part of an undertaking. Undoubtedly that would include a lot of smaller parts of a single large firm. The more sophisticated division proposed in the new Clause merely carries on what was provided there.

Mr. Walker

That is not so. The new Clause offers scope for a very dramatic extension of the power to impose a legally enforceable procedure. Either I have not put my argument with sufficient clarity or the hon. Gentleman has not been following me closely.

Mr. R. Carr

I shall ensure that the hon. Gentleman's detailed questions are answered in, I hope, an authoritative way by whoever replies to the debate, but I should like to make one point. The hon. Gentleman is under a misapprehension when he talks about his fears of the power being widened. A single application must be in connection with composite employers all operating the same procedure agreement. The hon. Gentleman said that he had referred to "Who Owns Whom". There may be a very composite group with lots of individual companies. It is very unlikely that they will all be operating the same procedure agreement, so there is at least some substantial limitation in that. I assure the hon. Gentleman that the intention is not to make this wide, but I will see that his points are answered authoritatively at the end of the debate.

Mr. Walker

I accept what the right hon. Gentleman has just said. But the example I selected from "Who Owns Whom" was deliberately chosen, because by and large the subsidiaries of Hawker Siddeley Ltd. are companies covered by the existing procedure for the avoidance of disputes in the engineering industry, the notorious York Memorandum. I was about to refer to this and express regret that the Solicitor-General is not, for once, on the Government Front Bench. I make no complaint about that, because he has done yeoman work for the Government throughout the Bill. If for once he is having an afternoon off, good luck to him.—[An HON. MEMBER: "He is coming later."]—Jolly good. I am sure that my point will be put to the hon. and learned Gentleman. We pressed him very hard in Committee on some assumptions that I and some of my hon. Friends had made which were cast into doubt by a leader in The Times. It concerned the proposals for a new procedure agreement in the engineering industry. The Times had said that the simple truth is that in no circumstances could such an agreement as is at present at issue be made legally enforceable. The Solicitor-General rightly reminded us that the Bill provides that the requirement for a non-legally enforceable Clause becomes active only after the commencement of the Act. Those agreements entered into before the Act are covered by Section 4 of the 1871 Act.

But another question then arose, and it still requires an answer. I wrote to the Solicitor-General. He courteously gave me a very helpful reply, but it did not adequately deal with the point. The problem is this. Because the Bill repeals in its entirety the 1871 Act, it seems to me that the procedure agreements which now exist, and which will continue after the commencement of the Act, will be stripped of the protection they now have and will therefore be exposed to test in the courts, notwithstanding anything in the Bill. Let us assume that the new proposals within the engineering industry are not concluded and the existing York Memorandum is still operative after the commencement of the Act. It seems to me that, notwithstanding the renewal of some of the protections of the 1906 Act in relation to tort, there will be nothing to prevent an employer subsequently saying, "There has been a breach of contract, a breach of the York Memorandum. I am no longer precluded from testing it in the courts because the 1871 Act has disappeared. I will chance my arm in the court under the general law relating to tort."

The Solicitor-General said in his letter to me that it was not the Government's intention that any agreement not now directly enforceable should be directly enforceable after the commencement of the Act. He said that if the Bill did not make that clear he would take such steps as were necessary for it to do so. We still have not been told how it makes the position clear. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman or his hon. and learned Friend will tell us clearly this afternoon where the Bill provides a necessary safeguard, or what action they intend to take to make it do so.

Mr. McNamara

When my hon. Friend and I were discussing this matter together two other points arose from it. First, if an agreement which was not enforceable by virtue of present legislation, and which the right hon. Gentleman does not intend to be enforceable, is merely renewed, does it become enforceable? Second, if it runs out but the parties continue to act as though it were in operation, is there a supposition that it is thereby binding?

Mr. Walker

No doubt the right hon. Gentleman has noted those points and they will be answered at the end of the debate. There is an additional point on the enforceability of procedures, that when it becomes an Act the Bill will have created an entirely new context which will also alter the validity of agreements previously entered into. Parties may have entered into an agreement being unaware that they will subsequently have obligations imposed upon them by Clause 34 to police the agreements. This would compel some reconsideration.

We have an Amendment to delete from Clause 35(1)(b) the phrase or intentions The right hon. Gentleman acknowledges our opposition to the Clause in its entirety, but we take particular exception to the intentions of the agreement being exposed to interpretation in this way. It is true that parties to agreements in industry talk of the spirit and intention underlying them, but the important difference is that they are the parties to the agreement. They are the people who say, "What did we mean when we entered into it? Let us look back.", not a third party, not the Secretary of State, not people who are not involved in the situation or in the industrial situation at all. It is for that reason that we say that the people on whom the responsibility for interpretation of intentions rests are the parties, and no one else.

I do not want to reiterate the arguments advanced in Committee on the Clauses, but there was one point which the guillotine prevented me from drawing to hon. Members' attention in Committee. I wanted to point out the Government's inconsistency with the philosophy of the Royal Commission. We used to hear quite a lot immediately before the Bill was introduced, and in the early stages of our considerations of it, about the consistency of the Government's proposals with the Donovan recommendations. But as time has gone on that claim has become so threadbare and tattered that it has been dropped entirely by the Government. One more inconsistency is enshrined here. In paragraph 507 of its Report the Donovan Commission, anticipating exactly what we are debating now, said: It has been suggested that in certain circumstances the Secretary of State should have the power to promulgate a Statutory Instrument imposing a disputes procedure on which the two sides have failed to agree. The provision here is different in detail, but embodies exactly the same principle. This would be tantamount to using a kind of compulsory arbitration in order to compel the parties to co-operate in the settlement of grievances, and to do so through the force of law. But this is one of the things no law can do: it cannot make people co-operate if they do not want to do so. Such imposed procedures are almost certain not to be used. I could not think of more apt words with which to conclude. I wholeheartedly agree with the Royal Commission, and regret that the Government did not take those words to heart before embarking on what is embodied in the new Clause and the Clauses to which it refers.

5.15 p.m.

Mr. John Page (Harrow, West)

I hope that the Minister will clear up one small doubt in my mind. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State said just now that it is a procedure agreement that is mentioned, and there therefore one would expect even in a conglomerate company that it would apply only to associated companies with the same kind of manufacturing interests. In that instance, the matter is perfectly clear. But we can visualise a group or association of companies which—a rather unlikely event—could lack a procedure agreement in general. If there was an absence of a satisfactory procedure agreement in one of the conglomerate companies, I suppose that it would be possible for an imposed procedure agreement to relate to a large number of different types of company within the associated group.

When my hon. Friend the Member for Cheadle (Mr. Normanton) raised this subject in Committee, my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General did not feel inclined to have agreements on an industry-wide basis. I accept that, but in a way it seems a pity if an umbrella is being put up that it does not cover a larger number of companies with a similar manufacturing end product or a similar type of use. For example, it would be more appropriate for all the companies working at an airport to have the same kind of procedure agreement than for all the associated members of a conglomerate company to have such an agreement.

Mr. James Sillars (South Ayrshire)

We have heard the Secretary of State so often say that he does not intend this, that or the next thing. But what is important is not what the right hon. Gentleman says but the wording of the Bill and the interpretation the courts will place upon it. I do not think that I was mistaken when I thought I heard him say that the provisions in Clauses 35 to 40 are to deal with the exceptional case. I think that he argued that we should not he too upset about them, that they were to deal with the very odd situation that could arise in an industrial conflict. But nowhere in Clauses 35–40 and the new Clause is there any reference to their dealing with the exceptional case. There can be a general application to industry. I believe that it is because of the dangers of a general application to the whole of industry, or large sections of industry, the Conservative Party rejected the propositions in Clauses 35–40 in "Fair Deal At Work". I do not accept that the Secretary of State is genuine in saying that he is legislating simply for the exceptional case. We must judge him on the Bill, and judging him on that we see that he is not legislating for the exceptional case. It is possible that we have found the Secretary of State out here.

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

We have said repeatedly that we are legislating for the special case, and the Bill is so drawn that there are a number of gateways to be gone through when an application is made. It is not a question of just an easy reference. One must first go to the Secretary of State and then to the N.I.R.C., so it is not something that is easily established.

Mr. Sillars

I am extremely grateful for that intervention because it illustrates the point which I am making, that there is a difference between what the Government say from that Dispatch Box and what the Bill contains.

If the Government are genuine—which I doubt—why have we in Clause 35(3)(b) the following words: nothing in the preceding paragraph shall prevent the party giving the notice from making an application under this section at any time after the notice has been given"? I think those words were introduced by a Government Amendment in Committee. If the Government are genuine, surely it cannot be consistent to argue that the party making the application can only continue with the application provided the Secretary of State gives his approval. Then the Government could argue that that was certainly narrowing the channels of the application to ensure that only the exceptional case went to the Industrial Relations Court.

As the Bill is worded at present, however, and taking into account the intended Amendment, when there has not been compulsion before in this country, the ability to have general application throughout industry is one of the reasons why the trade union movement is absolutely shocked at having these Clauses imposed upon it. We regard this as perhaps the most obnoxious part of an obnoxious Bill. The Under-Secretary of State will have to come clean with the House to prove more conclusively than his right hon. Friend did why this is said to deal only with the so-called exceptional cases.

Mr. Adam Butler (Bosworth)

Let me first apologise to my right hon. Friend and to the hon. Member for Doncaster (Mr. Harold Walker) for not being present during their initial remarks. I was popular, as so many of us are today, with the teaching profession.

The new Clause, as such, obviously makes eminent sense. I speak from a little bit of experience, and I declare my interest in involvement with a company about which I am going to talk, which is Courtaulds, a company with many subsidiaries, a great number of them in the hosiery field and dealing with the Union of Hosiery Workers. It is likely that this Clause would not apply to us because arrangements which we have with the union do work—the procedural and substantive agreements which we have—but here is a clear case of a group with many subsidiaries, all related, and in common ownership, and it makes, as I say, eminent sense for a composite unit to apply to such a situation.

Mr. John Page

Assume that, with the example which my hon. Friend gave, the agreements were not working satisfactorily and an application were made. Could he, from his experience of his company, tell the House whether there are a large number of different kinds of procedural agreements in this large company, or whether, as a whole, there is the same type of procedural agreement, or whether the same procedural agreement is applicable to all the different parts of Courtaulds which may be manufacturing many different types of end products?

Mr. Butler

I thank my hon. Friend for raising that point. The situation, I think, would apply to those of the subsidiaries of Courtaulds which are dealing with one particular product, and, as I mentioned, with one particular union. In that situation, the same procedural agreement could and should apply. If an application were to be made, then this might indicate that there could be no procedural arrangement in operation at all, or, secondly, that there were bad clauses in it, or some good and some had. That is how I would assess the answer to the question which my hon. Friend has posed.

As to Clauses 35 to 40, which this new Clause adds to, I would say that all are agreed that procedural arrangements are one of the most vital factors in dealing with a potential strike situation or with disputes. It is agreed that there must be rapid assessment of a problem and rapid settlement of a dispute, but it is generally agreed by those with experience—on both sides of industries—that in the absence of a procedural arrangement inevitably one will get the wildcat strike or, indeed, an official strike which is called by the union officials.

If we accept that as the starting point, then surely it makes sense—and here I am taking the common-sense approach, and not what hon. Members opposite continually take, the extreme and blackest situation—if we accept that procedural arrangements are essential to improve on industrial relations, the argument must follow logically that it is right in the extreme case for selective enforceability to be applied. This is certainly the reaction I have had from my audiences up and down the country, where this point was made.

Again, for the benefit of those who find misunderstanding or misrepresentation of this point, let me make it quite clear that this does not refer to any case of a substantive agreement on conditions of work or wages. There is no question, in these Clauses, of enforceability of such an agreement, but only of procedure for dealing with disputes. We talk about enforceability, but here, as we see running throughout the Bill, the requirement is that the Commission on Industrial Relations shall attempt wherever possible to settle the issue voluntarily. Clause 37(3) illustrates the point of my argument. The Commission has been called in, and Clause 37(3) says: The Commission shall thereupon promote and assist discussions between the parties … with a view to obtaining their agreement on new or revised provisions … about a voluntary settlement, and this is the point which runs throughout the Bill as a whole.

Finally, in case, because of a rush because of the limitation of time, I may not have another chance to say it, I should like to make a point about Amendment No. 21, which is an addition to Clause 35. Here I am glad to find that my right hon. Friend has listened to the point which was made, I think, by the right hon. Lady the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle), during one of her many interventions in Committee, that the Secretary of State should consult the parties to the dispute. This is something which is highly to be welcomed, and I am sure I can say on behalf of my hon. Friends with whom I have had discussions on this that they, too, feel the same—that this is something we can universally welcome.

Mr. Gower

I want to refer to the last phrase in the speech of the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Sillars) when he said that this part of the Bill is the most objectionable part of an objectionable Bill. I would put this to him. There is public awareness that where there are bad conditions, or where people are suffering from unfair or poor remuneration, there is naturally a development of industrial unrest. That this should be so is fairly widely accepted. I hope the hon. Member follows me—there is public awareness of the need sometimes for industrial action, where conditions are particularly bad or the remuneration can be seen to be extremely poor.

However, there is also a public feeling of exasperation where there are strikes or prolonged industrial disorders based upon procedural matters of this kind. As my hon. Friend the Member for Bosworth (Mr. Adam Butler) pointed out, if these agreements are imperfect it is highly desirable that they should be improved.

Mr. Sillars

Everyone will agree that we should reduce tension wherever possible, but the main charge against Clauses 35 to 40 is that they might increase tension and introduce new tensions. "Fair Deal at Work", on which the hon. Gentleman fought the election, says, in relation to imposed agreements on page 32: Such a situation would create new tensions and suspicions and put the conduct of industrial relations into a straitjacket. That was the policy of his Government on 18th June.

5.30 p.m.

Mr. Gower

Be that as it may, in recent years there have been defective procedures. It may be that industrial trouble will be avoided by not doing anything about them at the time, but in the long run there is likely to be much more trouble if defective procedures continue to exist. That is why this part of the Bill is highly important. This kind of trouble is more difficult to interpret to the public at large than industrial trouble arising from bad pay and bad conditions.

My right hon. Friend's opening speech clearly demonstrated the desirability of extending Clauses 35 to 40 to composite units. On the other hand, I am not entirely happy about the drafting. Clause 35(5) is an attempt to define the term "unit of employment". The Bill introduces too many definitions, and this causes confusion. Although I appreciate what a difficult job the parliamentary draftsman has, I am sorry that it was not possible for the basic definition of "unit of employment" to include the composite units and associated undertakings described in the new Clause.

The hon. Member for Doncaster (Mr. Harold Walker) wished to take out the words "or intentions" from Clause 35(1)(b) but this would not be desirable in all circumstances. Although the terms will be defined and known to the parties, there will be cases where it will be obvious to the Secretary of State that the intention was that industrial action should be postponed until certain requirements had been fulfilled. That is why the words "or intention" were included. They were not included to cause confusion, but because it happens that it is in the contemplation of the parties that such industrial action should be postponed until other things have been done. If, in default of that, industrial action has been taken, there is a prima facie case for the Secretary of State to consider his original reference, and it will then be for the Industrial Court to consider.

Mr. R. Carr

With the leave of the House, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I will reply to some of the points which have been raised. I will first reply to the general point raised by the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Sillars). I have made clear to the House on several occasions that the procedure involved in Clauses 35 to 40 was not included in our pre-election detailed policy statements. Seldom has any party in opposition published in such great detail rather than in broad generalities what it intended to do, and I feel no shame in having departed from the great detail which we put forward in this one minor respect. I use the word "minor" not in the sense of potential importance but in relation to the scale and number of the proposals.

I believe this to be right. If a party when in opposition takes the trouble to do its homework as thoroughly as the Conservative Party did when in Opposition, and puts forward proposals in such details as we did for general discussion in advance of an election, it would be a bad thing for the Government of this country if it could not, on assuming office and considering the matter, with all the resources which one has only when in office, decide to make one addition to a whole range of proposals. I do not apologise in any way.

Mr. Sillars

I want to make sure that the right hon. Gentleman and I are not at cross-purposes. I was not so much concerned about an addition to as about a deletion from the policy. This was very well thought-out indeed, and that the trade unions certainly agreed with the point that was made in relation to this in "Fair Deal at Work".

Mr. Carr

I accept that point, and I maintain that as a general principle. I emphasise once again that the procedure in Clauses 35 to 40 is emergency procedure, to be used when, alas, the general sound principle on which we wish to conduct our industrial relations unfortunately breaks down or fails to come to life. My hon. Friend the Member for Bosworth (Mr. Adam Butler) in a short but valuable intervention stressed the importance of having exceptional procedure available for exceptional cases.

I hold completely by the basic proposition as a general principle but, on reflection and on consideration after taking office, the Government came to the conclusion that there were, unfortunately, signs that the general principle might not come to life and might not work in certain cases. There must therefore be exceptional procedure available to meet such emergencies. I use the word "emergency" in small letters and not in capitals, in the technical sense.

I will move from the general point to deal with particular points, those made, for example, by the hon. Member for Doncaster (Mr. Harold Walker) in moving the Amendment. He expressed fears about the wording of the first two lines of the new Clause because he felt they might enable applications to be made of a wide nature, much wider than I had indicated was our intention in my opening remarks.

In any application the Secretary of State or either of the parties would first have to satisfy the National Industrial Relations Court that the conditions described in Clause 35(1)(a) or (b) do in fact apply. It would not be possible for the Secretary of State or the composite employer to go to the court and to say, "Please may I make an application to have this procedure applied over the whole of these associated companies?", because he would have to satisfy the court that the area for which the application was being made suffered from the defects described in Clause 35(1)(a) or (b).

The hon. Gentleman mentioned Hawker Siddeley and said that he was taking this deliberately as a composite group. The hon. Gentleman was making the point that virtually all in the engineering industry would be subject to the York procedure and anything which might come from it. But that would not be sufficient to enable either the Secretary of State or Hawker Siddeley to go to the Court and say, "Please may we make an application for the whole of our group?". I do not know how many companies there are in that group, but Hawker Siddeley would have to satisfy the Court, if it was asking for, say, six companies within the group to have this procedure applied to them, that all those six were suffering from the defects in Clause 35(1)(a) or (b). It would not be possible, willy-nilly, for the Court to say, "Right. We pass on the whole of the Hawker Siddeley group to the C.I.R.". The Court would have to be satisfied that the group was suffering from the defects in Clause 35(1)(a) or (b).

As there was an Amendment down which allowed the C.I.R. to come and ask for an expansion of its remit, the hon. Member for Doncaster asked whether it should also be given power to ask for a narrowing of its remit. I see the obvious attraction of that argument, but I do not believe that it stands up on investigation. One has to realise, as I have just said, that for anything to have been referred to the C.I.R., the Court must have been satisfied that it was suffering from these defects. I believe that it would be wrong for the C.I.R. to be able to narrow the area which it was going to investigate since, by definition, that area must be suffering from these defects. On the other hand, we believe that it is right for the C.I.R. to be able to say, "Yes, we are looking at this area where these defects exist, but we believe that, in order to be able to look at and to probe into the depths of it and come up with the right kind of solution, we should be able to look more widely than the trouble area which has been referred to us."

The hon. Member for Doncaster, with some concern, read lines 1 and 2 of the new Clause and asked whether "associated" meant associated with each other or could mean an association of two unconnected undertakings, each of which is associated with others in a group. The answer is that they really must be associated with each other. That is made clear and would have been clear to the hon. Gentleman if he had read on to line 3 of the new Clause. The hon. Gentleman expressed doubt about the first two lines, but if he had read on to the third line he would have seen these words, 'associated undertakings' means undertakings of two or more associated employers.". I think that that clears up the point raised by the hon. Gentleman.

That brings me to another point raised by the hon. Gentleman about the definition of "associated undertakings" and, therefore, the meaning of "associated employers". As the House knows, I am not a lawyer and I do not pretend to be an expert in company law. However, I am advised that the definition in Clause 149(5) is similar to the definition of "associated company" in the Companies Acts. So there is no fear of a great widening because of the definition. If the hon. Gentleman wishes, I will take formal legal advice on the matter and, if necessary, write to him about it. However, my preliminary advice, and our intention, is that this should not be a means of widening the scope of application under the new Clause.

The hon. Gentleman asked whether these provisions for selectively binding procedure agreements could be widened by the application of Section 8 of the Terms and Conditions of Employment Act, 1959. I believe that there are a number of defects in the hon. Gentleman's proposition, but I shall only take up this time of the House with what I believe to be the one conclusive answer to his fear. The 1959 Act does not permit the imposition of procedure agreements; it permits only the imposition of substantive terms in collective agreements. I believe that that conclusively answers the hon. Gentleman s fear on that point.

5.45 p.m.

The hon. Gentleman then made reference to questions which he has raised with my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General, particularly some further correspondence, on the effect of the repeal of the 1871 Act on agreements which are already made before the Bill comes into being. We are still looking into this matter. We believe that the position is all right, in the sense that the hon. Gentleman would mean by those words; but we are not yet absolutely certain. However, I repeat the assurance that we shall complete these investigations, and if we are not absolutely certain of the point we shall introduce the necessary Amendments in another place. I cannot give the hon. Gentleman a final answer now, but I repeat the assurance that the matter is under investigation and that, if necessary, we shall deal with the point by introducing Amendments in another place. I understand that it is a fairly complex legal point, but we shall deal with it if our final advice is that it is necessary.

Mr. John Page

Will my right hon. Friend make the position about the associated company crystal clear? When a reference or an application is made it must be shown that Clause 35(1)(a) or (b) applies and that there is a specific difficulty in, say, one unit in an associated group. That can be examined. If a procedure agreement were imposed, am I right in saying that it could be imposed on all the other companies in that group, whether or not there is trouble in them? If it does not mean that, I do not see the point of the new Clause.

Mr. Carr

It does not mean that. It would be quite wrong, and contrary to our principle, to be able to impose an agreement on any unit of employment, composite or single, which had not been the subject of reference to and investigation by the C.I.R. For example, if one imagined a composite company making use of this machinery and going to the Court for an application, it would be up to that company to specify what units within it should have paragraphs (a) or (b) of Clause 35(1) applied to them.

Suppose that a composite company had 10 units and had only selected six to put before the Court, and that the Court agreed that there were defects in those six, and the C.I.R. came to a solution for those six. It would then not be proper for the company to wake up and say, "Can we have that imposed now on the remaining four?" If that was needed, the company should have applied for the whole 10 to begin with. We will not allow anyone to go to a Court and have imposed an agreement for an area which has not been subject to the detailed investigation and recommendation of the C.I.R. That is absolutely basic to our concept.

Mr. McNamara

Arising out of this example, in which the Secretary of State spoke of six units out of 10 being referred—if those 10 units had had the same procedural agreement, but it had broken down in only six, and if the Court then introduced an agreement to cover those six which was a vast improvement on the existing situation, would this company then have to wait until the existing agreement in the other four units broke down before it could apply?

Mr. Carr

I would hope not. Surely, what we are talking about here is a voluntary system. We are using this non-voluntary pressure only with regret and in emergency. Surely no one on the Opposition benches would wish any procedural agreement to be arrived at in this way, which by definition will have been arrived at only because of the serious failure of voluntary agreements, and then to be applied on a wider base.

If we had the situation put forward by the hon. Member, in which this imaginary company applied only for six units and if a new procedure agreement came out of that inquiry for those six which proved better than was in the other four, one would hope that normal voluntary negotiations would take over, and that both the unions and the management in the other four units would see the advantage of following the example of the six.

But I would resist the idea that what has been decided in relation to the six, because of the regrettable breakdown and failure of voluntary methods, should be imposed from outside on the remaining four.

Mr. McNamara

The right hon. Gentleman knows that I am not in favour of any imposition anyway. The point which I was trying to get from him was the point of keeping it to a single unit, and this is so. I cannot then see the reason for the introduction of this Clause on the ground mentioned by the hon. Member for Harrow, West (Mr. John Page).

Mr. Carr

There is a very important reason. Let us take the question of this composite company with these 10 units, which has trouble in six. Without the new Clause and associated Amendments, it would have to be proceeded with in six separate applications. The new Clause would allow the six to be dealt with in one application. Not only would this be more speedy, but, since they are within the same composite company, the industrial relations policies will, may or—one might almost say—should have something in common.

Therefore, as I quoted from the C.I.R. report on the Qualcast inquiry, it is of advantage for the C.I.R., and may even be necessary for the C.I.R., to be able to bring in the wider company considerations and policies than to proceed unit by unit in six separate investigations. I therefore believe that this achieves something of great value, without going over the border which we draw very firmly, that no selective enforcement procedure can be used except in a case which has been specifically inquired into and reported on by the C.I.R.

Mr. Adam Butler

To get this absolutely clear, is it right that we are saying that, where there is a procedural arrangement, although it is not perfect, providing that it is working in a satisfactory way, there is no question of the imposition of a perfect arrangement by or through this new Clause?

Mr. Carr

I am very glad to confirm exactly what my hon. Friend says. We do not like an attempt to impose. I can go right back to my opening remarks. It is contrary to good principles, and it is not something which should be embarked on lightly or unless it is absolutely necessary. It certainly should not be possible to embark on it merely because of some external person's or body's view of what is perfect. Voluntary negotiations and agreements are and should remain the rule in British industrial relations.

Here we are talking of procedure designed to be used, and which should be capable of being used, only where the normal voluntary methods have unfortunately broken down, where there is a serious problem which needs solution and which cannot be solved in any other way. I hope that that answers all or most of the points raised.

Mr. Heffer

The position outlined by the Secretary of State leads me to ask why the Clause has been presented at all, since it seems totally unnecessary. The Engineering Employers' Federation, which is anxious to have a Clause of this kind, perhaps has a different interpretation of it than the right hon. Gentleman has given us. The right hon. Gentleman must give some better explanation of why the Clause is essential.

We have never argued that all existing procedure agreements are necessarily the best possible. No one has ever argued that there are not areas of industry where existing agreements appear to have broken down and where there is a need for an improvement. No one has ever said that we should not improve the voluntary system. In fact, we have accepted throughout these debates, as has the trade union movement, that there is certainly room in certain areas, in certain factories, in certain establishments, in certain industries, to improve procedure agreements.

But the point which the right hon. Gentleman seems to slide over is not the fact that it is necessary at times to improve procedure agreements but the fact that, under this Bill and this Clause procedure agreements will be imposed against the will of the parties who should voluntarily accept them. We object to this in particular.

6.0 p.m.

The right hon. Gentleman said that this proposal clears up the points which were raised by my hon. Friends, but, having re-read the new Clause and especially line 3 of it, to which he referred, I suggest that it is as ambiguous as ever and does not clear up the points in the way he described.

I appreciate that where there is an extremely good procedure agreement operating in, say, one part of a company and a bad agreement operating in other parts of it, it is wise for the good one to be adopted by the whole. But consider the reverse situation. The York Memorandum operates throughout the country and although the trade union movement is urging improvement all the time, to ensure more speedy negotiating, in nine cases out of 10 that memorandum operates perfectly well. There is, however, the odd factory where there is constant difficulty with it.

Although we accept this to be the case, we do not accept that the answer must be with the procedure agreement. Other factors must be investigated, and this was pointed out by the Royal Commission when it said that strikes were not the root of the evil. It pointed out: …this is not the root of the evil, as we have found when seeking to identify the underlying causes of unofficial strikes. The root of the evil is in our present methods of collective bargaining and especially our methods of workshop bargaining, and it is in the absence of speedy, clear and effective disputes procedures. There are bound to be differences, and a different approach, with factors other than procedure agreements, will be required in some cases.

The new Clause is unnecessary to deal with the real problems which exist in industry—that is, unless the right hon. Gentleman is not revealing the whole truth of the matter. I am not suggesting that he is deliberately misleading the House. I would not wish to do that today, when the whole debate is taking place in a somewhat lower key. Nevertheless, it is strange that the Engineering Employers' Federation seems extremely keen to have a provision of this kind, and the federation will obviously interpret it in terms of its widest application, although the Minister said that it will be used only in exceptional cases.

Mr. R. Carr

The hon. Gentleman made a sound point when he said that because a procedure agreement works in one place it need not necessarily work in another. I agree that one needs tailor-made procedure agreements for particular circumstances. However, we believe that in an associated group of companies where there are some common policies, it is often necessary to look at more than one if there is trouble in more than one. The example I gave about the C.I.R. and the investigation into the Qualcast problems illustrated this point of looking at more than one company at a time. It is to enable that possibility to be available that we need this provision.

Mr. Heffer

The right hon. Gentleman has misunderstood my remarks. I was arguing that one can have the best procedure agreements working perfectly in nine out of 10 factories, but that there will be the odd case when one must look at other factors and at possibilities other than procedure agreements. I know from personal experience that procedure agreements must be constantly improved to ensure that the best procedural machinery exists for the speedy settlement of differences.

Mr. McNamara

While the right hon. Gentleman gave the example of Qualcast and the C.I.R. recommending an examination of the procedures in other parts of the company, the point at issue here is that if the employers or unions refuse to accept such a recommendation, the matter would then go to the Industrial Court and be binding on them. In other words, we want to know whether it will be binding on them to look at the procedures in other parts of the company.

Mr. Heffer

My hon. Friend raises a point which goes to the heart of our objection to the new Clause and this part of the Bill. While we accept that better procedure agreements may be needed, even in an associated company—that is, if that is the best course to follow in the circumstances of the case—there is, nevertheless, a difference between that principle and the one which the Government are forcing on us, which is that if a difference cannot be settled voluntarily,

it may be imposed on the parties concerned. That is our basic objection to this part of the Bill, and nothing the right hon. Gentleman said takes us away from that objection.

This could, of course, be the first step toward an acceptance of not only binding procedure agreements but binding substantive agreements. Bearing in mind our basic objection to this part of the Bill and the inadequacy of the right hon. Gentleman's remarks, I urge my hon. Friends to take this matter to a Division.

Question put, That the Clause be read a Second time:—

The House divided: Ayes 285, Noes 240.

Division No. 248.] AYES [6.8 p.m.
Adley, Robert Dean, Paul Hicks, Robert
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Higgins, Terence L.
Allason, James(Hemel Hempstead) Digby, Simon Wingfield Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.)
Archer, Jeffrey (Louth) Dixon, Piers Hill, James (Southampton, Test)
Astor, John Dodds-Parker, Douglas Holland, Philip
Atkins, Humphrey Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec Holt, Miss Mary
Awdry, Daniel Dykes, Hugh Hooson, Emlyn
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Eden, Sir John Hordern, Peter
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Hornby, Richard
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia
Batsford, Brian Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle upon-Tyne, N.) Howe, Hn, Sir Geoffrey (Reigate)
Beamish, Col. Tufton Emery, Peter Howell, David (Guildford)
Bell, Ronald Eyre, Reginald Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.)
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Farr, John Hutchison, Michael Clark
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Fell, Anthony Iremonger, T. L.
Berry, Hn. Anthony Fenner, Mrs. Peggy James, David
Biffen, John Fidler, Michael Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)
Biggs-Davison, John Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead) Jessel, Toby
Blaker, Peter Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith
Body, Richard Fookes, Miss Janet Kaberry, Sir Donald
Boscawen, Robert Fortescue, Tim Kellett, Mrs. Elaine
Bossom, Sir Clive Fowler, Norman Kershaw Anthony
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford&Stone) Kilfedder, James
Braine, Bernard Fry, Peter Kimball, Marcus
Brewis, John Gardner, Edward King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)
Brinton, Sir Tatton Gibson-Watt, David King, Tom (Bridgwater)
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Kinsey, J. R.
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) Kirk, Peter
Buck, Antony Glyn, Dr. Alan Knight, Mrs. Jill
Bullus, Sir Eric Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. Knox, David
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Goodhart, Philip Lambton, Antony
Campbell, Rt. Hn. C. (Moray&Nairn) Gorst, John Lane, David
Carlisle, Mark Gower, Raymond Langford-Holt, Sir John
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Gray, Hamish Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry
Cary, Sir Robert Green, Alan Le Marchant, Spencer
Chapman, Sydney Grieve, Percy Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Lang Stone)
Churchill, W. S. Grimond, Rt. Hon. J. Longden, Gilbert
Clark, William (Surrey, E.) Grylis, Michael Loveridge, John
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Gummer, Selwyn McAdden, Sir Stephen
Clegg, Walter Gurden, Harold MacArthur, Ian
Cockeram, Eric Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) McCrindle, R. A.
Cooke, Robert Hall, John (Wycombe) McLaren, Martin
Coombs, Derek Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Maclean, Sir Fitzroy
Cooper, A. E. Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) McMaster, Stanley
Cordle, John Hannam, John (Exeter) Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)
Cormack, Patrick Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) McNair-Wilson, Michael
Costain, A. P. Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)
Critchley, Julian Haselhurst, Alan Maddan, Martin
Crouch, David Hastings, Stephen Madel, David Maginnis, John E.
Dalkeith, Earl of Hawkins, Paul Maginnis, Rt. Hn. Ernest
Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford) Hay, John Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Hayhoe, Barney Marten, Neil
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, JamesMaj.-Gen. Heseltine, Michael Maude, Angus
Mawby, Ray Proudfoot, Wilfred Tapsell, Peter
Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Meyer, Sir Anthony Quennell, Miss J. M. Taylor,Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)
Mills, Peter (Torrington) Raison, Timothy Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)
Miscampbell, Norman Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter Tebbit, Norman
Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C. (Aberdeenshire, W) Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.) Temple, John M.
Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Rees, Peter (Dover) Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs Margaret
Moate, Roger Benton, Rt. Hn. Sir David Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)
Molyneaux, James Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
Money, Ernie Ridley, Hn. Nicholas Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
Monks, Mrs. Connie Ridsdale, Julian Tilney, John
Monro, Hector Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.) Trafford, Dr. Anthony
Montgomery, Fergus Roberts, Wyn (Conway) Trew, Peter
More, Jasper Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks) Tugendhat, Christopher
Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm. Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey) Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Rost, Peter van Straubenzee, W. R.
Mudd, David Russell, Sir Ronald Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Murton, Oscar Sandys, Rt. Hn. D. Vickers, Dame Joan
Nabarro, Sir Gerald Scott, Nicholas Waddington, David
Neave, Airey Scott-Hopkins, James Walder, Davkt (Clitheroe)
Nichotls, Sir Harmar Sharpies, Richard Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)
Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby) Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Normanton, Tom Shelton, William (Clapham) Wall, Patrick
Nott, John Simeons, Charles Walters, Dennis
Onslow, Cranley Sinclair, Sir George Ward, Dame Irene
Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally Skeet, T. H. H. Wells, John (Maidstone)
Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington) White, Roger (Gravesend)
Osborn, John Soref, Harold Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.) Speed, Keith Wilkinson, John
Page, John (Harrow, W.) Spence, John Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Pardoe, John Sproat, Iain Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Parkinson, Cecil (Enfield, W.) Stainton, Keith Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher
Peel, John Stanbrook, Ivor Woodnutt, Mark
Percival, Ian Steel, David Worsley, Marcus
Peyton, Rt. Hn. John Stewart-Smith, D. G. (Belper) Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Pink, R. Bonner Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.) Younger, Hn. George
Pounder, Rafton Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.
Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch Stokes, John TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Price, David (Eastlelgh) Stuttaford, Dr. Tom Mr. Bernard Weatherill and
Prior, Rt.Hn. J. M. L. Sutcliffe, John Mr. Victor Goodhew.
Albu, Austen Cronin, John Golding, John
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.
Allen, Scholefield Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.) Gourlay, Harry
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Dalyell, Tam Grant, George (Morpeth)
Ashley, Jack Davidson, Arthur Grant, John D. (Islington, E.)
Ashton, Joe Davies, Denzil (Llanelly) Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)
Atkinson, Norman Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Griffiths, Will (Exchange)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Davies, Ifor (Gower) Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)
Barnes, Michael Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Handing, William
Barnett, Joel Deakins, Eric Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill)
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Hardy, Peter
Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Delargy, H. J. Harper, Joseph
Bidwell, Sydney Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)
Bishop, E. S. Dempsey, James Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Doig, Peter Hattersley, Roy
Booth, Albert Dormand, J. D. Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.) Heffer, Eric S.
Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland) Douglas-Mann, Bruce Horam, John
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.) Driberg, Tom Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Duffy, A. E. P. Howell, Denis (Small Heath)
Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury) Dunn, James A. Huckfield, Leslie
Buchan, Norman Dunnett, Jack Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Eadie, Alex Hughes, Mark (Durham)
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Edelman, Maurice Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Hughes, Roy (Newport)
Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.) Edwards, William (Merioneth) Hunter, Adam
Cant, R. B. Ellis, Tom Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)
Carmichael, Nell English, Michael Janney, Greville
Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield) Evans, Fred Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas
Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles) Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E. Jeger, Mrs. Lena (H'b'n&St.P'cras, S.)
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Fisher, Mrs. Doris (B'ham, Ladywood) Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)
Clark, David (Colne Valley) Fitch, Alan (Wigan) John, Brynmor
Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Fletcher, Raymond (likeston) Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)
Cohen, Stanley Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)
Coleman, Donald Foot, Michael Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)
Concannon, J. D. Forrester, John Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)
Conlan, Bernard Fraser, John (Norwood) Jones, Dan (Burnley)
Corbel, Mrs. Freda Galpern, Sir Myer Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W.Ham, S.)
Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.) Gilbert, Dr. John Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)
Crawshaw, Richard Ginsburg, David Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)
Judd, Frank Moyle, Roland Spearing, Nigel
Kaufman, Gerald Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick Spriggs, Leslie
Kelley, Richard Murray, Ronald King Stallard, A. W.
Kerr, Russell Ogden, Eric Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)
Kinnock, Neil O'Halloran, Michael Stewart, Pt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)
Lamond, James O'Malley, Brian Stoddart, David (Swindon)
Latham, Arthur Oram, Bert Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John
Lawson, George Orbach, Maurice Strang, Gavin
Leadbitter, Ted Orme, Stanley Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick Oswald, Thomas Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Leonard, Dick Palmer, Arthur Swain, Thomas
Lestor, Miss Joan Parker, John (Dagenham) Thomas, Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff, W.)
Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange) Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Pavitt, Laurie Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred Tinn, James
Lomas, Kenneth Pendry, Tom Tomney, Frank
Loughlin, Charles Pentland, Norman Torney, Tom
Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Perry, Ernest G. Tuck, Raphael
Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Prescott, John Urwin, T. W.
Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Price, J. T. (Westhoughton) Varley, Eric G.
McBride, Neil Price, William (Rugby) Wainwright, Edwin
McCartney, Hugh Probert, Arthur Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
McElhone, Frank Rankin, John Wallace, George
Mackenzie, Gregor Reed, D. (Sedgefield) Watkins, David
Mackie, John Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.) Weitzman, David
Maclennan, Robert Rhodes, Geoffrey Wellbeloved, James
McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
McNamara, J. Kevin Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy (Caernarvon) White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
MacPherson, Malcolm Robertson, John (Paisley) Whitehead, Phillip
Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Roderick, Caerwyn E. (Br'c'n&R'dnor) Whitlock, William
Marquand, David Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees) Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard Roper, John Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Rose, Paul B. Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Meacher, Michael Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock) Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne) Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Mendelson, John Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N.E.) Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Millan, Bruce Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford) Woof, Robert
Miller, Dr. M. S. Sillars, James
Milne, Edward (Blyth) Silverman, Julius TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Skinner, Dennis Mr. Ernest Armstrong and
Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Small, William Mr. James Hamilton.
Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon) Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)

Clause accordingly read a Second time.

Mr. Robert Mellish (Bermondsey)

On a point of order. I understand that the Division Bells on the Lower Committee Floor are not in action, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and I am sure that some hon. Members therefore did not know that there was a Division. I do not wish to have another Division, although I know that you would grant it if necessary, but would you ask the authorities of the House to ensure that the bells ring at the right time?

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Sir Robert Grant-Ferris)

I am obliged to the right hon. Gentleman. I will direct the Serjeant at Arms to have inquiries made and to give whatever instructions are necessary for anything wrong to be rectified.

We come now to Amendment quadruple (p) for "Peter".

Mr. McNamara

I should have thought that today of all days, Mr. Deputy Speaker, it should have been quadruple (p) for "Patrick".

I beg to move Amendment (pppp) to the proposed Clause, in line 6, leave out '40' and insert '38'.

This is the first opportunity that we have had to look again at a couple of Clauses which had scanty debate in Committee, mainly because some of their substance was covered earlier. I have discarded many of the comments I wish to make because they were cleared up earlier in the last debate.

Clause 39 enables an industrial court, on application, subject to a time limit, from an employer or trade union, following recommendations under Clause 38 from the Commission, to make those recommendations legally binding, and Clause 40 restricts successive applications under Clause 39 and provides for the modification or revocation in special circumstances of orders made under Clause 39.

Clause 39 is the Clause with an extremely repugnant phrase—"legally enforceable contract"—and makes binding procedure agreements as if a contract consisting of these provisions had been made between the parties.

This is a phrase that we find particularly detestable, because here we have the imposition of procedural agreements on the parties under a procedure which they need not necessarily have taken part, a procedure in which they wanted no part and with terms and conditions which are imposed on them and to be enforced, if necessary, by recourse to the law and which they could well regard as being against their own interests and the interests of those they represent, whether as an organisation of workers or as an organisation of employers.

The point that I raised towards the end of my hon. Friend's speech about Birmid Qualcast has relevance, because when referring to the recommendations of the C.I.R. the Secretary of State said that it recommended the examination of procedures in areas of the company other than those where disputes were occurring. The question which therefore arises is whether, if a trade union or employer refused to accept the recommendations of the C.I.R. and one or other of the parties went to the Court for enforcement there would therefore be enforcement of that recommendation in those parts of the industry or associated firms where there was not a dispute. If that is so, it denies all that the right hon. Gentleman said in our earlier discussions.

When arguing originally in favour of the Clause 39, the Solicitor-General has now had the ground cut from under his feet by the introduction of the new Clause on composite unions. He said: We are not making a general intrusion into freedom. We are designing selected, precise, case-by-case procedures which will exert pressure upon management and union leaders to improve procedures in given situations". From the definition of "associated companies" and "composite unions" it is clear that we are going not from case to case on a few selected fronts, but on a broad front if it is in a large combine.

The Solicitor-General went on: If society wishes to see an improvement in the standard of procedures, it is not unreasonable to select a method of the kind we suggest, just as in the context of the 1959 Act it was decided that it was sensible to bring the standards of collective bargains up to those generally agreed and, in those circumstances, to impose the conclusion upon selected firms. Here, again, we are imposing it not on selected firms but on a number of firms associated together.

When it was suggested that the Terms and Conditions of Employment Act could apply, the Secretary of State said that that was not so, because under Section 8 that Act applied only to a substantive agreement; but the nature of a procedural agreement may be such that it could affect the whole of the substantive agreement, in that it would cover not only the terms of the settlement of dispute but the working arrangements, and the working arrangements might affect the wage packet and, therefore, be part and parcel of the substantive agreement. In some types of agreement, they are both so interwoven that it is impossible to separate them.

I wish first to refer to the imposition of terms on agreements. We are opposed to that anyway, but under a procedure type of agreement it is now the suggestion that with a composite unit this could go much further than the principle laid down by the Solicitor-General when first seeking to defend his Clause, and in certain cirmumstances it is impossible to define the distinction between the two types of agreement.

Clause 40 is a particularly difficult Clause. We are here dealing with appeals to the Court, and a time limit is laid down. Clause 40 (1)(a) says that there shall be no application for two years unless the Court is satisfied that there are special reasons for entertaining the application within that period. We had a brief debate earlier about what special reasons were applied. The answer on that occasion was far from satisfactory. The Solicitor-General, when asked to give an example, said: The phrase 'special reasons' is not expressly defined. The question will have to be answered by the court in the light of the tests laid down in Clause 35. There are several alternative matters. There are alternatives in Clause 35(3)(a) and (b). If those conditions, which normally allow Clause 35 applications to be considered favourably by the court, arise in a special way so that the court concludes that there are special reasons for allowing this early reapplication, then it is able to do so. I point to two alternative matters, but there are more than two in Clause 35(3)(a) and (b). In that sense I commend the Clause as it stands to the Committee."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 9th February, 1971; Vol. 811, c. 301–14.] Clause 35 deals with applications to the industrial court relating to procedural agreements. Subsection (3)(a) and (b) are concerned only with an application being made, under paragraph (a), when the Secretary of State offers his advice to the parties, and paragraph (b) says that nothing should prevent them from making an application in any case.

I conclude that the Solicitor-General was referring not to subsection (3)(a) and (b) but to subsection (1)(a) and (b) and that there has been an error of judgment. In any case, his general concluding comment seemed to include this in this way. But if he is saying that the special conditions which will apply will be the ordinary, normal conditions for making an application in any case, there would then, therefore, seem to be no reason for these special conditions, unless he meant subsection (3), not (a) and (b), but that part of the Clause which states: The Industrial Court shall not entertain an application made under this section by a party other than the Secretary of State unless that party … ". So he is suggesting that there might be special conditions under which the Secretary of State might decide within a period of two years to make a further and particular application to the Court.

6.30 p.m.

I find that rather strange. I immediately accept that we have accepted an Amendment moved earlier by the right hon. Gentleman, to the effect that he cannot make any recommendation before he has consulted the parties to it. But I equally accept that he is still a free agent in the sense that he can take what action he wishes to take anyway. The Secretary of State, therefore, under the Clause, now has power to intervene with a considerable vengeance. This is surprising, because in any case he will have on the Industrial Court two place-men who are there at his whim. But if he has to make application under that Clause, and there are special conditions, it tends to suggest that the special conditions under which the application will be made are that despite the fact that the C.I.R. has made a recommendation, that one of the parties has had to go to the Court and an order has been enforced by the Court and laid down upon the parties as being binding. Nevertheless this particular recommendation is being disregarded by the parties. That is despite the fact that there is another remedy available, to fine and, in the long run, to imprison for contempt, if the parties fail to co-operate.

It also means that, despite what the Government have been urging, in anticipating the legislation and the decisions of the Court being accepted, a decision of the court on the recommendation of the C.I.R. would be so repugnant to one of the parties that they would not be prepared to work or abide by it.

The Secretary of State is going to the court for a second time, to have a second bite at the cherry, as one of the special conditions to try to remedy the situation. That is not good enough. This is an examination of the procedures of the court which shows that they will not be completely acceptable by the parties. The Solicitor-General's talk of special reasons, other than those which I have suggested, is not any correct sort of answer, as being the special reasons or exceptional circumstances under which an application may be made to the court within that time.

Therefore, because of the provision of Clause 39 and the imposition of this agreement, and because of the power which we have yet to have defined, and the definition of "special reasons" which we have not yet had, I commend the Amendment to my hon. Friends.

Mr. Gower

I hope that I am not incorrect in the assumption that if the Amendment were made it would have a somewhat extraordinary effect. The position that would then ensue would be that if there were a single application, as originally envisaged in Clauses 35 to 40 as first drafted, affecting a single unit of employment, that single application would include the provisions of Clauses 39 and 40. I hope that the hon. Gentleman follows me there.

The single application would have the benefit or the defect, as the case may be—depending upon the opinion of one side of the House or the other—of incorporation in the machinery of Clauses 39 and 40. If, on the other hand, pursuant to new Clause 5 now incorporated in the Bill, there were then joint applications, these would stop short at Clause 38. That would be the result of the Amendment.

This would lead to a very strange situation. One could, therefore, pursue the provisions of these Clauses. One could pursue the machinery provided on a single application and one could proceed right through to an order in accordance with the provisions of Clause 39. One would then be limited by the provisions of Clause 40 as to the period within which one could make another application.

On the other hand, if one came forward with several applications pursuant to new Clause 5, one would not be able to proceed as far as the order under Clause 39, but one would not have suffered the disability under the provision of Clause 40 restricting the period within which one could make a further application. It would have a most astonishing result.

I presume that the hon. Gentleman's reply to me would be that this was the only way to ensure a debate on the latter part of Clauses 39 and 40 on Report. I hope that I am not being unkind in suggesting that, but the acceptance of the Amendment would make for marked inconsistency in the treatment under the Bill of a single application and of a composite application in relation to these Clauses.

It would be impossible for my right hon. Friend to accept the Amendment in its present form. However, the remarks of the hon. Gentleman might have had an influence upon my right hon. Friend's view of Clauses 39 and 40.

I would remind the hon. Gentleman that on Clause 39, in most cases, it would be hoped that these results would be achieved by agreement. It would be a matter of negotiation to remedy defects in procedures. We feel that there must be this longstop provision, because any final sanction would be removed from the machinery if Clause 39 was taken out. I hope that the transmission to the Industrial Court under Clause 39 would be in a minority of cases, and that the orders made under this procedure would he for a very small minority of cases and on rare occasions.

Mr. Ronald King Murray (Edinburgh, Leith)

The hon. Gentleman has made a criticism to the effect that by following through the Amendment, this would make a nonsense. I suggest that the proper reading of the Amendment is to limit the reference of the new Clause to Clauses 35 to 38, and that this would have the effect of making composite unit applications non-enforceable, but only these. That makes sense. I thought it fair to put that interpretation to the hon. Gentleman before he concluded his remarks.

Mr. Gower

Where composite applications are convenient and proper, I see no reason why those should be non-enforceable, as opposed to the single application which might be enforceable. Surely the difference is one of character and of merit. Whether it is one application or a composite application, the sole criterion should be the merit of the application. In some cases it may be convenient and proper that there should be composite applications in the terms of new Clause 5.

I conclude by hoping that my right hon. Friend will not accept the Amendment and that he will reject the arguments of the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North (Mr. McNamara) about Clauses 39 and 40.

Mr. Murray

I want to support the Amendment and, in doing so, to focus my argument on two aspects of it. The first relates to the point which I made in my intervention in the speech of the hon. Member for Barry (Mr. Gower). One aspect of our opposition to new Clause 5 is that, contrary to what the Secretary of State said, we feel that it would be appropriate to have an enabling Clause rather than a compulsory one. We are not opposed to the concept that where a number of undertakings have a common policy there should be machinery whereby a common procedure agreement might be brought into being.

What is objectionable about the new Clause is that it is unsatisfactory to make this a compulsory procedure, for the reasons that we outlined in the last debate. It may be that, notwithstanding that there are a number of companies making up a common undertaking with common policies, there is one difficult company, and that in such a case it would be appropriate to have a separate application. In view of that, I think that the Minister should think again and consider whether it would not be better to give an enabling power so that units could be dealt with as a composite company if that was thought appropriate, or separately if that was thought more appropriate.

There is a good deal in what the hon. Member for Barry said in his usual commonsense and pithy way. To some extent, the Amendment is a probing one, or a hook upon which to hang an argument. But it is important to stress that the weakness of the new Clause is the fact that it is founded upon the weakest link in the chain of Clauses with which it is associated. Without doubt, the weakest link is Clause 35, and my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull. North (Mr. McNamara) rightly stressed this point in his speech.

I take a slightly different line, because I want to focus upon a difficulty which I raised in Committee. The pivot of Clause 35 is to be found in subsection (1) (a) and (b). In the course of a number of debates, we have been given various undertakings, interpretations and glosses on the meaning of Clause 35 and of certain parts of it. I want to raise again the difficulty about the meaning of paragraph (b), because this is the key. It has been described as a longstop, as a rare case and as an extraordinary remedy. But what makes it a longstop or a special and extraordinary remedy? The pivot must be paragraphs (a) and (b).

Paragraph (a) deals with a defect: the absence of a procedure agrement, or the unsuitability of such procedure agreement as may exist". Those are excellent industrial reasons why action should be taken. But the situation is thoroughly confused by paragraph (b), and I am surprised that the Government have applied their minds to such a complicated provision as new Clause 5 without tidying up the weakest link in the chain on which it hangs; namely, Clause 35(1)(b).

6.45 p.m.

The paragraph says: where a procedure agreement is in existence, recourse to industrial action". Hon. Members will note the lack of any verb. Recourse by whom, to whom and about what, we are no told. We have to look at the remaining words to find out. It goes on to refer to "industrial action", but we do not know who is taking the industrial action. Then there are some words in parentheses: (whether consisting of lock-outs"— note the plural—"strikes"—again note the plural— or irregular industrial action short of a strike) contrary to the terms or intentions of that agreement. What does "or intentions" mean? We have been told that what will decide what the Bill means when it becomes an Act is a decision of the Court. But in order to decide the intentions of an agreement, the Court must look at the terms of the agreement. It can look at nothing else. The word "intentions" is vague and ambiguous. It suggests that the Court must do some metaphysical exercise which is not known in law. It is supposed to look at the intentions. This is such a vague term that we must be told what the Government mean. Do they mean what the ordinary lawyer means—

Mr. Gower

The hon. and learned Gentleman is quite wrong when he says that courts of law never look at intentions. If the terms of a will are uncertain, for example, the court always considers probabilities.

Mr. Murray

The hon. Gentleman is taking me up wrongly. I said that when a court of law considers an agreement, in order to determine the intentions it looks at the terms of the agreement. It cannot look anywhere else. That is my first criticism.

However, I have a second and major one. The substantial industrial argument which I press with regard to the weakest link in the chain is what paragraph (b) can mean in practical terms. In Committee the right hon. Gentleman suggested that this procedure would not be used without weighty reasons. This is the longstop argument. It is not a normal procedure.

What is it that is unusual and that raises paragraph (b) to prominence and provides the opportunity to act not merely on paragraph (a) but on paragraph (b) as well? In passing, I note that this is the case where a procedure agreement is in existence. It is not a case of trying to get agreement where matters have gone wrong. People are agreed and presumably are satisfied with the agreement. But there is an unfortunate sequel, and it is that industrial action is taking place notwithstanding an otherwise satisfactory procedure agreement. Therefore, we have to consider carefully what is the meaning of paragraph (b) in complete concrete terms, and what brings it into operation.

We get a little guidance. We see the word "lock-outs", in the plural and not the singular. I presume that it cannot be one lock-out. It must be more than one. Then we see the word "strikes", again in the plural, and presumably there one is thinking of employees and not employers. "Lock-outs" is the word for employers, and "strikes" is the word for employees. Then we see the phrase irregular industrial action short of a strike in the singular. Does that mean that industrial action short of a strike is more serious, despite the fact that it is less than a strike? Does it mean that if several strikes have taken place or several lockouts have taken place, one can have recourse to paragraph (b), but not if there has been one lock-out or one strike, even though that would seem to indicate a more unsatisfactory state of affairs because both sides are in opposition and are taking steps about it?

Mr. Gower

Would not the hon. and learned Gentleman concede that in some respects there is some continuity in the term "irregular, industrial action"? I agree with what he says about "strikes" and "lock-outs", but the phrase "irregular industrial action" has a connotation of continuity which is absent from those other words.

Mr. Murray

That is true. Clause 6(2) states that 'irregular industrial action short of a strike' means any concerted course of conduct (other than a strike) which is in contemplation or furtherance of an industrial dispute … carried on by a group". I believe that any suggestion of continuity is rather struck out somewhat by the word "irregular". Further, by that definition it could be one concerted course of conduct on one occasion, and that brings me back to my basic criticism. Therefore, while I agree that there is some point in what the hon. Gentleman says, it does not meet my argument.

Mr. Paul R. Rose (Manchester, Blackley)

Would not my hon. and learned Friend agree that a strike can also have an element of continuity about it?

Mr. Murray

Yes, most certainly. This seems to be a basic weakness, and I very much regret that the Government, in considering the application of Clauses 35 to 40, have omitted to strengthen the weakest link in the chain.

Mr. R. Carr

The major part of the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Edinburgh, Leith (Mr. Murray) was devoted to detailed—though, I accept, none the less important—points in regard to Clause 35, and this put me in some difficulty because the Amendment seeks to delete from the new Clause the reference to Clauses 39 and 40. However, in operating the whole of the procedure one must take the whole thing in context. In particular, one must relate subsection (1) with subsection (4) of Clause 35, because there are these two gateways.

First of all, in the unit of employment—which in the context of the new Clause could be a composite unit of employment—there has to be the absence of a procedure agreement or the unsuitability of a procedure agreement or, where there is a procedure agreement, there has to be a sign of recourse to industrial action, and so on. I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Barry (Mr. Gower) that the words "irregular industrial action" provide a continuity.

If the hon. and learned Gentleman looks at subsection (4) he will find that these things must have been going on to the extent that the development or maintenance of orderly industrial relations in that unit has been seriously impeded or … there have been substantial and repeated losses of working time in that unit". That wording clearly indicates that a single strike or lock-out could not lead to the application of the procedure. Therefore, the words "strikes" and "lock-outs" must be in the plural.

The hon. and learned Gentleman also referred to "intentions", which was the subject of, I think, Amendment No. 160. In this respect we are dealing with a situation where although there is a procedure agreement it is of such a vague nature as really to preclude terms in any ordinary sense being available, and one may have to fall back on something as vague as the word "intentions". Many procedure agreements in British industry are, as I believe, wrongly based, because they are put in too vague a manner.

I believe that this sort of provision is essential in order to be able to look at the sort of case that may arise. We must have paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of Clause 35, or we must have paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (4) before the machinery can go into action either for the unit of employment as defined in the Clause or for the composite unit of employment as defined in the new Clause.

I must ask the House to reject the Amendment because I think it would destroy the whole of our purpose. If the Amendment were accepted, it would mean that the C.I.R. under Clauses 35 to 38 could recommend improvements to the procedural arrangements of the composite unit and one or more of the trade unions or employers concerned could apply to the Court for an order making the recommendations legally enforceable, but the Court would not be able to apply the recommendations to a composite unit, for which the C.I.R. had designed them, but only to a single undertaking within the composite unit. It seems ridiculous to have a situation in which the C.I.R. has designed something for the composite unit but the Court is able to enforce it only for part of the unit and not for the whole.

Mr. Rose

Perhaps the Secretary of State can help me on this serious point. Where the C.I.R. has recommended, and the Industrial Court has made an order for, a composite unit, there appears to be no machinery for breaking up that composite unit at a later stage so as to make procedural orders for separate units. It seems that no provision has been made for that contingency.

Mr. Carr

It might help me if the hon. Member would just repeat what he has said. I find it a little difficult to take in, I must confess.

Mr. Rose

I think that the right hon. Gentleman was at that moment talking to his hon. and learned Friend, as is understandable. It may well be that an agreement for a composite unit is made by the court on the recommendation of the C.I.R. But it may later appear—or would, if an application were made—that it would be better to have separate agreements for separate units. There seems to be no machinery for breaking up the composite unit and making new, even voluntary, agreements for the separate units.

Mr. Carr

I think the answer is to be found in Clause 40. Subsection (2) of that Clause states: If all the parties specified in an order … make a joint application to the Industrial Court to revoke the order, or to vary it in a manner specified in the application, the Court shall revoke the order or (as the case may be) shall vary it in accordance with the application. Does not that subsection meet the point made by the hon. Gentleman?

Mr. Rose

I do not think so, because it refers to "all the parties specified". This is a drafting matter, and I merely ask the Secretary of State to consider it. I suggest that one of a number of parties in one particular unit, rather than all the parties together, may wish to alter the agreement. But I think the right hon. Gentleman has the point.

Mr. Carr

Yes, I have it more clearly now, and I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his explanation. The answer may be found in subsection (3) of Clause 40. At the moment, that subsection speaks of only one of the parties applying for the order to be revoked or discharged. It may be necessary also to deal with the power to vary. However I undertake to look at this aspect, and I shall study the hon. Gentleman's words at greater leisure when I see them in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

There would be little point in doing this with relation to the composite units if we were to accept the Opposition Amendment to ensure that Clause 40 did not apply. I understand the Opposition's reasons for wishing to remove Clause 39, because of their general dislike of an order in any case, but I find this attention to Clause 40 rather difficult to understand. It would be foolish to have Amendments which allow the use of an Order in relation to single units but deny it in relation to composite units. That would be unwise and would not even achieve the purpose which the Opposition have in mind. For that basic reason I must ask the House to reject the Amendment

7.0 p.m.

Mr. McNamara

Would the right hon. Gentleman turn his mind to the meaning of "special conditions"?

Mr. Carr

The hon. Gentleman spoke at rather a high speed and moved rapidly from point to point. I make no complaint about an hon. Member speaking at high speed except that it is very difficult for the poor hon. Member who is to reply to take in what is being said.

Mr. McNamara

I apologise. In Clause 40 there appear the words: … the court is satisfied that there are special reasons for entertaining the application within that period. I quoted at great length from the statement by the Solicitor-General in Committee when we tried to pin him down as to the meaning of "special conditions". We never really got a satisfactory answer, nor did we get a proper definition of the term. As there is no reference to special conditions in Clause 35 to which the hon. and learned Gentleman referred when replying to my hon. Friend, we still need an explanation of this. I hope that I have been slow enough and long enough.

Mr. Carr

I was under the impression, as is my hon. and learned Friend, that he had explained that. The whole point of Clause 40(1) is to say that during a period of two years the Court shall not entertain any application. The General rule is that an application will not be entertained in less than two years unless the Court is satisfied that there are special reasons. The special reasons, of which the Court would have to be the judge, could be if there were serious problems and disputes and loss of time and there really was a breakdown of industrial relations of a serious nature. Then it would be wrong to say that it was time-barred for as long as two years. Clearly, the Court would have to be satisfied that the need was great. I have to accept that it would be for the Court to decide whether the applicant, be it the Secretary of State, the employer or the union, has made out a good case.

Mr. Murray

The right hon. Gentleman has courteously replied to my argument and prayed in aid, as I suspected he would, Clause 35(4). I would ask him to look carefully at that, because it seems that we proceed under (4) and may get progress if it appears to the Industrial Court that there are reasonable grounds for believing that one of the defects in paragraphs (a) or (b) exists. First of all there is: the development or maintenance of orderly industrial relations in that unit has been seriously impeded or the provision on which the right hon. Gentleman foundered. The first does not involve the second at all. They are independent of each other, and paragraph (a) does not, involve anything of the nature of what is contained in paragraph (b). I ask him to think about this again, because if Clause 35(1)(b) is deficient in the way that I have argued the deficiency is not made up by subsection (4)(a).

Mr. Carr

I will certainly look at this, because I appreciate the constructive interventions which the hon. and learned Gentleman has repeatedly made. Without going back on that, I will just give my immediate reaction, which is that when we read subsection (4)(a) I would hardly think that anyone would conclude that something had been seriously impeded by a single strike or lock-out, or one or two events. The interpretation of "seriously impeded" would involve something much more than a few isolated incidents, certainly more than a single incident. I will not allow my immediate reaction to obstruct my undertaking.

Mr. Rose

My hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull, North (Mr. McNamara) has done a service to the House in moving this Amendment, although much of the ground had already been covered when dealing with the new Clause. Not the least part of that service was that he and my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Edinburgh, Leith (Mr. Murray) and I have been able to ask a few questions of the Minister. The right hon. Gentleman has had a great deal of difficulty in replying to them, and I can understand that, because they were of a highly complex legal nature. Yet the Minister went to the country last weekend and accused the trade unions of misleading the country over the contents of the Bill.

Mr. Orme

He does not know the Bill himself.

Mr. Rose

It seems that a Minister who, quite understandably, is unable to give an explanation to this House of the meaning of the Bill—and this is not the first time—has no right to go to the country and accuse others of deliberately misleading when he is having extreme difficulty in understanding much of what is in the Bill. I want to say, in as gentle a way as I can, that he has been less than his usual fair self in making that criticism. I believe that many people have the greatest difficulty in understanding the legal terminology, caused by the draftsmanship of his hon. and learned Friend.

Mr. Carr

I accept that there are some complex parts of this Bill, but it was not over complex details that I accused the T.U.C. of distorting the Bill. It was to do with the basic concepts. For example, to take a case from one of its advertisements, it says that if someone were to lead the workers out on strike in a factory where conditions have become intolerably hot and an employer refused to do anything about it then they would be in trouble. That is not a misunderstanding of detail, it is distorting the basic simple points. One of the basic points in the Bill is that if someone goes to court with a claim the court has to take into account the extent to which the employer may have been to blame. If the employer refused to do anything about intolerably hot working conditions he would get nothing out of the court. The hon. Gentleman knows that, and the T.U.C. could know it.

Mr. Rose

The right hon. Gentleman does not know it. The right hon. Gentleman knows that under Clause 85 a person may be guilty of an unfair industrial practice for inducing a strike in breach of contract. Although that strike may be subsequently legitimated under Clause 86, his hon. and learned Friend says, and has said, that the result of this would not be to legitimise the original action of the person inducing the strike. As it took the hon. and learned Gentleman nearly three months to answer that question and to tell the country and the House what was meant, it is not surprising if other people find it a difficult concept to understand. The person inducing the strike may well be liable, and the person inducing a strike in order to enforce a closed shop will be in breach of an industrial practice and will find himself in trouble. The phrase "in trouble" is very moderate.

I do not regard that as misleading. It is a matter of opinion, and is to be decided, not by this House, unfortunately, but by a Court in which our debates will have no effect and where judicial pronouncements will be holy writ. Neither the right hon. Gentleman nor I has the right to forecast what the decision of the Court will be.

Mr. Carr

The hon. Gentleman said that when people were led out of work somebody who had committed an unfair industrial practice would be liable. He would be liable for compensation assessed by the Court, and in assessing the compensation the Court must take into account to what, if any, extent the employer is responsible. If, in the terms of the T.U.C.'s advertisement, the employer had refused to do anything about it he would obviously be largely to blame. Therefore, by definition of the Bill, it is distortion to say that in those circumstances anybody is liable to a substantial penalty, let alone huge fines or gaol, if he does not pay. That is gross misrepresentation.

Mr. Rose

If the right hon. Gentleman wants to take up this point, he is welcome to have the other end of it. The right hon. Gentleman says that if a person leads men out on strike he may well be liable for compensation. I do not accept the word "compensation". Assume that as a result of the strike £2 million worth of production is lost. Is the right hon. Gentleman saying that the element of compensation would be £2 million? He knows very well that the Court would impose on the person what it considered to be a reasonable fine for his action. The right hon. Gentleman knows very well that to use the word "compensation" is nonsense in this context and that he is misleading the country when he uses it instead of the word "fine". Suppose a person in a closed shop led people out because somebody refused to join the union. There would be no defence under the Bill.

Mr. Carr

The hon. Gentleman constantly omits to say that the T.U.C., in its example, said, "and the employer refused to do anything about it". The employer's refusal to do anything about it must be taken into account by the Court and the employer would be held responsible and, therefore, the compensation could not be enormous, let alone huge fines and the imposition of a gaol sentence, if one did not pay.

Mr. Rose

If this is the best example—

Mr. Carr

It is the T.U.C.'s example.

Mr. Rose

Exactly. If this is the best example which the right hon. Gentleman can find in the T.U.C.'s document to show that the T.U.C. is misleading the country, it is pitiful. Even by that example the T.U.C. is not misleading the country, because the Court would have to apportion the damage and would have to say that it may well be a disproportionate action by the employee to lead members out on strike and, therefore, he is partly responsible and may well be liable to pay a large sum of damages.

We all know the law on contributory negligence. The Court could decide in a case of that type that the employers and employees were at fault. That would not stop an employee or some other person inducing the strike having to pay compensation.

Mr. Orme

It is interesting that the Minister should attack the T.U.C. on this account. In a speech which he made at lunch-time he praised one element of the T.U.C. and attacked the strike action to be taken by my union and others tomorrow. He took the phrase "mindless militants" from the New Statesman. He could not think of a phrase himself. The right hon. Gentleman continuously changes his ground. How can anyone take any notice of his word?

7.15 p.m.

Mr. Rose

I take my hon. Friend's point that the Secretary of State attacks the T.U.C. for irresponsibility one day and praises it for responsibility the next. I am at least consistent. I regard the T.U.C. as having acted responsibly throughout, and I support the T.U.C.'s stand throughout in its pamphlet and in its actions. I only wish the Secretary of State could bring a little impartiality to bear when dealing with industrial relations.

I wish to deal with the Amendment because I am worried by the attitude of the Government and of the Minister to an eminently moderate and reasonable Amendment. The Amendment does not seek to delete anything which was in the Bill. All it seeks to do is to prevent the imposition of something which was particularly unacceptable to this side of the House and the extension of it to a new concept; namely, the concept of applying it to a number of associated groups or companies on a wide scale. We are not trying to diminish what was originally in the Bill. It is the new Clause which seeks to extend the concept which we have perhaps found to be the moat unacceptable concept in the Bill, with the possible exception of Clauses 85 to 87.

The imposition of procedure agreements, which are defined in Clause 34(3) as collective bargains, on persons who do not agree and then to add a two-year embargo is fundamentally unacceptable to us. The fact that the procedure is tortuous, as the Minister admitted, does not make it any more acceptable. Apart from trade unionists, lawyers find repulsive the principle of imposing a contract on those who do not wish to enter into it. The additional obligation imposed by Clause 34 to police the agreement adds insult to injury in that it means that shop stewards and trade union officials will have to discipline their members for not abiding by an agreement into which they did not wish to enter. The Secretary of State has failed to deal with this.

There is no clarification of the Government's attitude to the question of disciplinary action. In Committee the Minister launched an attack on my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) by saying that my hon. Friend had indulged in flights of fancy when he talked about and tried to define "reasonable practicability". Yet the Minister has not been prepared to accept our Amendment No. 159, which would mitigate the concern genuinely expressed on this side of the House about Clauses 38 to 40. To add further insult to injury, they are being made applicable to what is called, for the sake of convenience, a composite unit. This is a derivation from one of the transatlantic transplants which are to be grafted on what has been hitherto the live tissue of the trade union movement in Britain and which are already producing antibodies in the form of strikes and industrial unrest caused by the Secretary of State and irresponsible statements of the type he made this weekend.

The Clause is far more than a drafting Amendment. It is an extension of an altogether unacceptable principle. I thought that on Report it would be shown that the Minister had accepted his own words; namely, that these procedures were to be applied in an emergency. Some people have called them "a back stop". Therefore, I should have expected to see on Report an Amendment to place this group of Clauses in the part of the Bill dealing with emergency procedures and to spell it out as a fact in legislation and not merely in words in the House.

The Secretary of State is capable of proposing the most illiberal and coercive legislation and yet addressing the House in the most reasonable phrases and honeyed words which conceal a principle which cannot be accepted and which has been written in handwriting which is not his but that of the Solicitor-General. Yet procedure agreements are perhaps the least susceptible types of agreement when we talk about legal enforceability; and when the subjects of enforcement are to be dispersed throughout industry in different units they will be even more difficult to enforce.

The Secretary of State could not answer when I asked what would happen when a group of companies was involved in one of these agreements and after two years it was sought in one of those companies to do away with the enforced agreement and to have a voluntary agreement. The right hon. Gentleman has undertaken to look at the point, but it illustrates the complications which will arise. We are ensuring not that the agreement will be kept but merely that it will be imposed. It is not the imposition of an agreement which is difficult—anyone can impose an agreement—but the keeping of an agreement, which is the object of good industrial relations. No one will make a trade union keep an agreement which it did not enter into voluntarily. This is a fundamental which the Minister fails to understand. He thinks that by provid ing for imposed agreements he will ensure that they are kept.

The Clause will introduce the new fictitious agreement concept into industry—wide bargaining, and yet the sort of stoppage likely to occur will occur not in the whole of industry but in a particular plant. Immediate action may be necessitated in the plant. The Minister gave a perfect example when he referred to the factory in which the heating was too great or there might be a need to safeguard employees from other health hazards. There may be a change in the method of working. Yet there is no status quo provision written into the Bill. If the Secretary of State says that the Court would have to take into account the conduct of the employer, why not write that into the Bill? That would at least mitigate the effect.

As my hon. Friend the Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Sillars) said, the Government have no mandate on this matter. They said—and I accept the words of the Secretary of State—in "Fair Deal at Work": We believe it would be wrong to accord to collective agreements the quite exceptional status of a contract which must be enforceable regardless of the wishes of the parties. I accept that the right hon. Gentleman can change his policy. But that is not the policy on which he went to the country. Nothing has happened since to give the right hon. Gentleman even the loophole of saying, "Certain things have changed".

The only thing that has changed since "Fair Deal at Work" is that the Donovan Report, which endorsed this concept, was published. Now the right hon. Gentleman has gone against his own pamphlet, his own programme and Donovan, since the election of his Government. With no mandate, the Government are extending the concept. It is another abuse of the procedure of the House. On Report we would have expected some conciliation, some attempt to meet the arguments of this side, but all we have had is a further injection of bitterness, a further divisive Clause. This is what we are coming to expect from the right hon. Gentleman all too often, in spite of his honeyed words at the Dispatch Box.

Question put, That the Amendment be made to the proposed Clause:—

The House divided: Ayes 241, Noes 284.

Division No. 249.] AYES [7.26 p.m.
Albu, Austen Foot, Michael Mendelson, John
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Forrester, John Millan Bruce
Allen, Scholefield Fraser, John (Norwood) Miller, Dr. M. S.
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Galpern, Sir Myer Milne, Edward (Blyth)
Armstrong, Ernest Garrett, W. E. Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)
Ashley, Jack Gilbert, Dr. John Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Ashton, Joe Ginsburg, David Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Atkinson, Norman Golding, John Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C. Moyle, Roland
Barnes, Michael Gourlay, Harry Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Barnett, Joel Grant, George (Morpeth) Murray, Ronald King
Beaney, Alan Grant, John D. (Islington, E.) Ogden, Eric
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) O'Halloran, Michael
Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Griffiths, Will (Exchange) O'Malley, Brian
Bidwell, Sydney Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Oram, Bert
Bishop, E. S. Hamling, William Orbach, Maurice
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill) Orme, Stanley
Booth, Albert Hardy, Peter Oswald, Thomas
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Harper, Joseph Palmer, Arthur
Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland) Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Parker, John (Dagenham)
Bradley, Tom Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.) Hattersley, Roy Pavitt, Laurie
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Healey, Rt. Hn. Dens Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch&F'bury) Heffer, Eric S. Pendry, Tom
Buchan, Norman Horam, John Pentland, Norman
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Perry, Ernest G.
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Huckfield, Leslie Prescott, John
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Hughes, Mark (Durham) Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.) Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) Price, William (Rugby)
Cant, R. B. Hughes, Roy (Newport) Probert, Arthur
Carmichael, Neil Hunter, Adam Rankin, John
Carter, Ray (Birming'h, Northfield) Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) Reed, D. (Sedgefield)
Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles) Janner, Greville Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Rhodes, Geoffrey
Clark, David (Colne Valley) Jeger, Mrs.Lena (H'b'n&St.P'cras,S.) Richard, Ivor
Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Cohen, Stanley Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Coleman, Donald John, Brynmor Robertson, John (Paisley)
Concannon, J. D. Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Roderick, CaerwynE.(Br'c'n&R'dnor)
Conlan, Bernard Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.) Roper, John
Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.) Jones, Barry (Flint, E.) Rose, Paul B,
Crawshaw, Richard Jones, Dan (Burnley) Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)
Cronin, John Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N.E.)
Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.) Sillars, James
Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.) Judd, Frank Silverman, Julius
Dalyell, Tam Kaufman, Gerald Skinner, Dennis
Davidson, Arthur Kelley, Richard Small, William
Davies, Denzil (Llanelly) Kerr, Russell Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Lamond, James Spearing, Nigel
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Latham, Arthur Spriggs, Leslie
Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Lawson, George Stallard, A. W.
Deakins, Eric Leadbitter, Ted Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick Stoddart, David (Swindon)
Delargy, H. J. Leonard, Dick Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John
Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Lestor, Miss Joan Strang, Gavin
Dempsey, James Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Devlin, Miss Bernadette Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Doig, Peter Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Swain, Thomas
Dormand, J. D. Lomas, Kenneth Thomas, Rt. Hn. Goorge (Cardiff, W.)
Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, F Loughlin, Charles Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)
Driberg, Tom Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Tinn, James
Duffy, A. E. P. Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Tomney, Frank
Dunn, James A. McBride, Nell Torney, Tom
Dunnett, Jack McCartney, Hugh Tuck, Raphael
Eadie, Alex McElhone, Frank Varley, Eric G.
Edelman, Maurice Mackenzie, Gregor Wainwright, Edwin
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Mackie, John Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Maclennan, Robert Wallace, George
Ellis, Tom McNamara, J. Kevin Watkins, David
English, Michael MacPherson, Malcolm Weltzman, David
Evans, Fred Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Wellbeloved, James
Fernybough, Rt. Hn. E. Marquand, David Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Fisher, Mrs. Doris (B'ham, Ladywood) Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Fletcher, Raymond (likeston) Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Whitehead, Phillip
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Whitlock, William
Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.) Wilson, William (Coventry, S.) Mr. Alan Fitch and
Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin) Woof, Robert Mr. James Hamilton.
Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Adley, Robert Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead) McAdden, Sir Stephen
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) MacArthur, Ian
Archer, Jeffrey (Louth) Fletcher-Cooke, Charles McCrindle, R. A.
Astor, John Fookes, Miss Janet McLaren, Martin
Atkins, Humphrey Fortescue, Tim Maclean, Sir Fitzroy
Awdry, Daniel Foster, Sir John McMaster, Stanley
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Fowler, Norman Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Fox, Marcus McNair-Wilson, Michael
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone) McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)
Batsford, Brian Fry, Peter Maddan, Martin
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Gardner, Edward Madel, David
Bell, Ronald Gibson-Watt, David Maginnis, John E.
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest
Benyon, W. Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) Marten, Neil
Berry, Hn. Anthony Glyn, Dr. Alan Maude, Angus
Biffen, John Goodhart, Philip Mawby, Ray
Biggs-Davison, John Gorst, John Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.
Blaker, Peter Gower, Raymond Meyer, Sir Anthony
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Gray, Hamish Mills, Peter (Torrington)
Body, Richard Green, Alan Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)
Boscawen, Robert Grieve, Percy Miscampbell, Norman
Bossom, Sir Clive Griffiths, Eldon (Bury S. Edmunds) Mitchell, Lt.-Cot. C. (Aberdeenshire, W)
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Braine, Bernard Grylls, Michael Moate, Roger
Bray, Ronald Gummer, Selwyn Molyneaux, James
Brewis, John Gurden, Harold Money, Ernle
Brinton, Sir Tatton Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Monks, Mrs. Connie
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Hall, John (Wycombe) Monro, Hector
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Montgomery, Fergus
Bryan, Paul Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) More, Jasper
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N &M) Hannam, John (Exeter) Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.
Buck, Antony Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Bullus, Sir Eric Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere Mudd, David
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Haselhurst, Alan Murton, Oscar
Campbell, Rt. Hn. G. (Moray & Nairn) Hastings, Stephen Nabarro, Sir Gerald
Carlisle, Mark Hawkins, Paul Neave, Airey
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Hay, John Nicholls, Sir Harmar
Chapman, Sydney Hayhoe, Barney Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael
Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher Heseltine, Michael Normanton, Tom
Chichester-Clark, R. Hicks, Robert Nott, John
Churchill, W. S. Higgins, Terence L. Onslow, Cranley
Clark, William (Surrey, E.) Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.) Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Hill, James (Southampton, Test) Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Cockeram, Eric Holland, Philip Osborn, John
Cooke, Robert Holt, Miss Mary Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)
Coombs, Derek Hooson, Emlyn Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Cooper, A. E. Hordern, Peter Pardoe, John
Cordle, John Hornshy-Smith. Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia Parkinson, Cecil (Enfield, W.)
Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick Howe, Hn, Sir Geoffrey (Reigate) Peel, John
Cormack, Patrick Howell, David (Guildford) Percival, Ian
Costain, A. P. Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) Peyton, Rt. Hn. John
Critchley, Julian Hutchison, Michael Clark Pink, R. Bonner
Crouch, David Iremonger, T. L. Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Crowder, F. P. James, David Price, David (Eastleigh)
Curran, Charles Jessel, Toby Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.
Dalkeith, Earl of Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Proudfoot, Wilfred
Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford) Jopling, Michael Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Kaberry, Sir Donald Quennell, Miss J. M.
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, JamesMaj.-Gen. Kellett, Mrs. Elaine Raison, Timothy
Dean, Paul Kilfedder, James Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Kimball, Marcus Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Digby, Simon Wingfield King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)
Dixon, Piers King, Tom (Bridgwater) Rees, Peter (Dover)
Dodds-Parker, Douglas Kinsey, J. R. Rees-Davies, W. R.
Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec Kirk, Peter Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Knight, Mrs. Jill Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Dykes, Hugh Knox, David Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Eden, Sir John Lambton, Antony Ridsdale, Julian
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Lane, David Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)
Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.) Langford-Holt, Sir John Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Emery, Peter Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Eyre, Reginald Le Marchant, Spencer Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Farr, John Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Rost, Peter
Fell, Anthony Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Russell, Sir Ronald
Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Longden, Gilbert St. John-Stevas, Norman
Fidler, Michael Loveridge, John Sandys, Rt. Hn, D,
Scott, Nicholas Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne) Wall, Patrick
Scott-Hopkins, James Taylor, Frank (Moss Side) Walters, Dennis
Sharples, Richard Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N. W.) Ward, Dame Irene
Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby) Tebbit, Norman Weatherill, Bernard
Shelton, William (Clapham) Temple, John M. Wells, John (Maidstone)
Simeons, Charles Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret White, Roger (Gravesend)
Sinclair, Sir George Thomas, John S trailing (Monmouth) Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Skeet, T. H. H. Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.) Wiggin, Jerry
Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington) Tilney, John Wilkinson, John
Soref, Harold Trafford, Dr. Anthony Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Speed, Keith Trew, Peter Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Spence, John Tugendhat, Christopher Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher
Sproat, Iain Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H. Woodnutt, Mark
Stainton, Keith van Straubenzee, W. R. Worsley, Marcus
Stewart-Smith, D. C. (Belper) Vaughan, Dr. Gerard Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.) Vickers, Dame Joan Younger, Hn. George
Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. Waddingion, David
Stokes, John Walder, David (Clitheroe) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Sutcliffe, John Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester) Mr. Walter Clegg and
Tapsell, Peter Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek Mr. Victor Goodhew.
Mr. John Fraser (Norwood)

I beg to move Amendment (qqqq) to the proposed Clause, in line 17, at end add:

(3) Where a collective agreement or a procedure agreement exists in respect of a composite unit (in this Act called a composite unit agreement') then the provisions of sections 32 to 34 of this Act shall have effect or be varied in relation to composite unit agreements as follows—

  1. (a) notwithstanding anything in section 32 the composite unit agreement if entered into before the commencement of this Act shall not be legally enforceable;
  2. (b) in sections 32 and 33 collective agreements or procedure agreements deriving from or made by reference to a composite unit agreement shall not be legally binding where the composite unit agreement is not legally binding;
  3. (c) in section 33, awards and decisions made under a procedure agreement deriving from a composite unit agreement shall conclusively be presumed not to be legally binding where the composite unit agreement contains an agreement that the awards and decisions are not intended to be legally enforceable or the composite unit agreement is not itself legally enforceable; and
  4. (d) after the commencement of the Act, in section 33 it shall conclusively be presumed that composite unit agreements do not intend awards and decisions under procedure agreements which derive from composite unit agreements to take effect as legally enforceable contracts.

Mr. Speaker

Order. With this Amendment we may discuss Amendment No. 151, in page 23, line 8 [Clause 32], after 'writing', insert: 'in a formally executed deed signed by the parties thereto within the lawful scope of their authority'.

Amendment No. 153, in line 22, after 'any', insert written'.

Amendment No. 152, in line 23, leave out '(whether written or oral)'.

Amendment No. 155, in line 41, at end insert: () No collective agreement entered into before the commencement of the Act shall be legally enforceable.

Amendment No. 231, in page 24, line 32 [Clause 33], at end insert: 'unless that body has declared that its awards and decisions shall not be legally binding until such time as it expressly declares in writing that its awards and decisions shall be legally binding'.

Mr. Fraser

It is only by luck, ingenuity, or the good sense of Mr. Speaker that we can discusss Clauses 32–34 again on Report. I remind the Solicitor-General of the series of undertakings, half-undertakings and nods and winks he gave in Committee, which can be explored only in this remote way. It is deplorable that we cannot discuss the Clauses when they fall in their place but must do it like this. In France women used to knit at the guillotine. In this House the guillotine is used to disguise the Government's dropped stitches.

Clause 32(1) makes collective agreements in writing made after the commencement of the Act legally enforceable unless a contrary intention appears in the agreement. If it does not, the agreement is presumed to be legally binding. In other words, unless an exemption clause is put in the agreement it is not open to the parties subsequently to argue that they still do not wish it to be legally binding. In the case of Ford v. the A.E.F. the agreement did not have an exclusion clause but was nevertheless held by the High Court not to be legally binding, because it was not the intention of the parties that it should be. The wording of Clause 32 means that it is no longer open to a party to argue that.

Amendment No. 151 says that to be legally binding the agreement must have the solemnity of a deed. The purpose is to make sure that people understand that agreements must be solemnly entered into if they are to have legal effect as a contract. Not every agreement in writing will be a national agreement. It might not be a very formal agreement. It might be reached on a very limited sphere of action and a very limited industrial situation. The people entering into it will not have at the back of their minds the consequences of entering into it, nor the words spoken in the House or the effect of Clause 32.

We are not against parties being able to enter into legally binding agreements if they want to, but this must be plainly spelled out, and more solemn arrangements, than merely failure to have an exclusion clause must be entered into to make them fully binding. I come to Amendments No. 152 and No. 153 to Clause 32.

Mr. Gower

Repeatedly we have heard from spokesmen opposite of their disinclination to invoke the formalities of the law. Now the hon. Member is suggesting we should have those formalities—with witnesses, and so on. I am not blaming him, but is that not a change of point of view?

Mr. Fraser

The concept of legalities and formalities was one introduced by the Government. If we are to have them they must be in a form which the parties recognise. They should have to get the red seal before making them fully and legally binding. One is trying to explain the effect of Clause 32 and of entering into agreements if we do not have exclusion clauses.

Amendments No. 152 and No. 153 affect Clause 32 (3) which says: In this Act 'collective agreement' means any agreement or arrangement (whether written or oral) which"— and I shall not quote the rest but the effect of the Amendment No. 153 is to insert "written" before the word "agreement" and the effect of Amendment No. 152 is to delete the words (whether written or oral)". These two Amendments were raised in Committee by the hon. Member for Rutland and Stamford (Mr. Kenneth Lewis) and they marched hand in hand with opposition Amendments to exactly the same effect. I do not think I can better sum up the debate on those Amendments in Committee than quote from the speech of the hon. Member who said: If there were any question of oral agreements being brought before the courts, we could finish up with a bonanza for the lawyers, but headaches all round for managements and unions."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 1st February, 1971; Vol. 810, c. 1331.] I think that is a fair summary of the debate as the hon. Member put it, and of the views expressed with equal force by hon. Members on this side. The argument was that if one were to allow enforceability of oral agreements made before the passing of this Bill it would bring chaos to industrial relations, because oral agreements made before the passing of the Bill generally did not have a great deal of consequence. After the passing of the Bill an oral agreement made even before the passing of the Bill will have consequences after the passing of the Bill and they will be very serious indeed.

The law of this country recognises that certain agreements which have serious consequences must be made in writing. That is recognised of credit sale agreements, of hire purchase agreements, of leases. Indeed, we recognise it in connection with contracts of employment—that they must be in writing. Yet the Government are prepared to let a Bill go through which has the effect of making oral agreements, made before the passing of the Bill, legally enforceable.

What is even worse is that those oral agreements, if they were enforceable, would import into them all the consequences of the Bill. For instance, a trade union has the obligation to police an agreement, and if a party breaks an agreement he is liable to damages for an unfair industrial practice. Therefore, informal oral agreements made before the passing of the Bill, if it turns out that subsequently that they are legally enforceable, could have the consequences of causing a union to pay, let us say, £100,000 in damages. That is not a far-fetched concept. After the passing of the Bill a simple oral agreement, although made before that, could mean an employer could recover for all the consequences of the breaking of the agreement by the other party to the agreement. I agree entirely with the words of the hon. Member for Rutland and Stamford, that all this will bring headaches to managements and unions.

Mr. Adam Butler

Would the hon. Member show the House where there is a reference to oral agreements made before the passing of the Bill or an oral agreement made after the passing of the Bill being legally enforceable?

Mr. Fraser

Yes. I would advise the hon. Member to take the trouble to read the Bill. Clause 34 says: It shall be an unfair industrial practice for any party to a collective agreement— (a) where the agreement is a legally enforceable contract …". Then if the hon. Member will look at Clause 32(3) he will see: In this Act 'collective agreement' means any agreement or arrangement"—

Mr. David Waddington (Nelson and Colne)

Look at subsection (1).

Mr. Fraser

—and subsection (3) goes on: (whether written or oral)". The mistake the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Waddington) is making in looking at subsection (1) is to introduce the presumption that an agreement is legally binding after the passing of the Bill if the agreement was made in writing and that that is all. There is nothing in subsection (1) to say that an oral agreement made before the passing of the Bill cannot be a legally binding agreement. Those words are not there. If hon. Members opposite suggest that there is in the subsection wording which is not there had taken the trouble to read the earlier debate they would have been able to understand this point.

Mr. Adam Butler

I thank the hon. Member for giving way again. I draw his attention—I cannot be specific offhand as to exactly when—to earlier debates when my right hon. Friend and, I am sure, my hon. and learned Friend also, dealt with those Clauses, when we debated them, and made special reference to this point in connection with legal enforceability and made it absolutely clear that legal enforceability would apply to written agreements only.

7.45 p.m.

Mr. Fraser

I am sorry, but the hon. Gentleman has missed the whole point of this debate, which is that oral agreements made before the passing of the Bill can be legally enforceable. I do not want to take up the time of the House in a private argument with hon. Members opposite, and if they will consult their hon. Friend the Member for Rutland and Stamford perhaps he may be able to convince them.

However, if it is of any help to them I would refer to the views of the Solicitor-General himself who, at the end of his speech on that occasion, said: In the light of the observations made both as to the structure and as to the text, we shall look at the matter before Report. In the circumstances, I hope that my hon. Friend will not wish to press his Amendment"— [OFFICIAL REPORT, 1st February, 1971; Vol. 810, c. 1337.] The Solicitor-General's hon. Friend obviously did not want to embarrass the Government, and did not press his Amendment, but not before saying the following: However, although I am not happy about that, and I hope that my hon. and learned Friend will look at the question again beforeReport … ".—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 1st February, 1971; Vol. 810, c. 1337.] I hope the quotations which I have made from both the Bill and HANSARD serve to convince hon. Members opposite that there is a very real problem here, a problem which was recognised, indeed, by the Solicitor-General.

The hon. Gentleman the Member for Rutland and Stamford said he was not happy. I will tell the House something: the Opposition are even less happy, having had a further look at it. We are concerned that oral agreements reached in good faith without realising that this Bill would be passed with all the consequences about "unfair industrial practices", and with damages flowing from breaches of oral agreements. It is wrong that the Bill should have some kind of retroactive effect on oral agreements. Therefore, we want to press this Amendment. We share the concern which was expressed in Committee, and we want a full explanation and an undertaking from the Solicitor-General that he will accept this Amendment in the spirit in which he looked at it in Committee.

I now come to Amendment 155, also to Clause 32. It is to add a new subsection: No collective agreement entered into before the commencement of the Act shall be legally enforceable. I think this answers the point made by the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne. These words are not in the Bill—that no collective agreement is legally enforceable. Indeed, if that was the view he was expressing in his intervention I hope that he will say that he will vote for our Amendment. These words are not in the Bill and the Opposition are seeking to put them in. I hope he will vote for them and have the courage of his own convictions.

Once again, we want these words because otherwise the Bill could have retrospective effect, if agreements were entered into before the Bill and even if they were in writing. Once again, they were made with no awareness of the consequences of the passing of this Bill. For instance, the parties to an agreement were not aware of the consequences of the Clause which requires unions to police agreements, and perhaps to expel or fine their members. They were not aware of these consequences and not aware of the consequences about damages, and they were not aware of the octopus tentacles of "unfair industrial practices" which run through this Bill. Unless the words we propose are put into the Bill it would be grossly unfair to the parties who reached those agreements without knowledge of future events. Once again even the Solicitor-General was aware of the difficulties. On a similar Amendment in Committee, he said: The intention of Clauses 32, 33 and 34 is that there should be no attempt at any retrospective legal enforceability to anything. The only intention is that agreements which the parties, either in the past or in the future, intended to be legally binding should remain so or be so regarded. There is no reason for the hon. Gentleman's fears there. But I will look at the wording to ensure that we have it in line with that intention. After he was challenged on that, he said: I see no reason in the light of what has been said in the debate to think that we have got it wrong. Of course we will look at the wording again to make sure."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 1st February, 1971; Vol. 810, c. 1342–4.] The Opposition have looked at the wording again, and we are certain that, unless these words are put, in Clause 32 could have a retrospective effect on written agreements. We therefore ask the Solicitor-General to honour his undertaking, to explain to the House the consideration which he has made, to accept the arguments of the Opposition and of some hon. Members on the Government side of the House and to accept the Amendment.

The effect of Clause 33, to which Amendment No. 231 relates is to make awards and decisions of certain bodies conclusively presumed to be legally binding unless each award or decision contains an expression to the contrary. The Solicitor-General insists upon using this stubborn adjective "conclusive". If the Clause said that, even though there was no exemption Clause, there was a rebuttable presumption that the awards and decisions were legally binding, that might not be so offensive. The Solicitor-General is saying that, unless there is a clear exclusion, it is not open to that body to say that it did not intend to make the award or decision legally binding, but the stubborn adjective will fix the body with it whether it wants it or not.

Extremely grave doubts were expressed in Committee about whether that body could give a once-for-all disclaimer that its future decisions would not have full binding legal effect. Once again the Solicitor-General was pressed to give undertakings on this. The point was put to him by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Edinburgh, Leith (Mr. Murray): 'Conclusively presumed' must mean what it says, that is, that there is no room for any kind of rebuttal. For these reasons, it seems clear that the words 'award or decision' govern the whole of paragraphs (a) and (b) and that there is no escape from this dilemma. If the Solicitor-General means what he says, may I implore him to look at these words again? In reply, the Solicitor-General said: The hon. and learned Member for Leith has advanced a legitimate argument … He suggested that it would not be sufficient to include a general disclaimer, because, as so recorded, such a disclaimer would have to be included each time. If that is the proper interpretation in the Clause, that is not the intention of the Government … Here we have a full undertaking: … and I certainly undertake to make it plain that that is not the intention. It is an important point and I recognise that there is room for doubt.


Then accept our Amendment.


No, I would not be so conciliatory as that."—[OFFICIAL, REPORT, 1st February, 1971; Vol. 810, c. 1371–72.]

As has been pointed out time and again, the courts will not look at the words of the Solicitor-General or of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen on the Front Bench. They will look at the wording in the Act. If the Solicitor-General recognises that there is grave doubt here, it is incumbent upon him to include the words we ask for in the Bill to make it plain that there could be a once-for-all disclaimer. It is not good enough to have an Industrial Relations Act which presents difficulties to lawyers on both sides of the House—and silks at that. If the Bill presents difficulties to silks, what problems will the Act present at my local refuse yard when there is a dispute about the award of a local branch of a national joint council dealing with whether or not dustmen should go out in the snow? That is a real industrial relations situation. The position must be made plain, and the undertaking given by the Solicitor-General must be honoured. That disposes of the Amendments on Clauses 32 to 34.

I pass finally to the main Amendment No. qqqq. I recognise that my argument is incomplete but it is an analogous one. If my argument is accepted for composite unit agreements, we want it accepted for all collective agreements. We are not suggesting inconsistency in the way in which different kinds of agreement are treated. The Amendment summarises our fears about the presumption of legal enforceability of collective agreements. Subsection (3,a) sums up our arguments on Clauses 32–34, that agreements made before the passing of the Bill should not be legally enforceable. Paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) provide that where an award or decision, or a subsidiary procedure agreement or subsidiary collective agreement, derives from a main and substantial collective agreement which is expressed not to be legally enforceable and not legally binding, the offspring of that agreement which is binding in honour only should also not be binding at law but binding only in honour. For instance, where there is an award or decision of a body set up under a collective agreement which is not legally binding, unless a new agreement, which does not derive from the main agreement, is reached, we say that the legally binding quality of the subsidiary agreement should be decided by reference to its parent. I am sorry that this is a complicated proposition, but this is a complicated Bill.

It is the responsibility of the Government not to create the chaos and confusion apparent in the minds of hon. Members on both sides of the House in pressing these Amendments in Committee. I hope that on reflection they will have the courage to vote for them when these matters are put to a Division.

Mr. David Mitchell (Basingstoke)

I listened to the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser) with considerable care. He announced, half way through his remarks, "That disposes of the Amendments", in a grandiloquent style, as if he had produced totally unanswerable arguments and the House should automatically accept them without further discussion. I cannot share his sense of satisfaction that he has abolished the whole case. I will probe a little further, and I may find myself a little in agreement with him, to his surprise.

The hon. Gentleman said that he wanted to see a more solemn type of binding agreement, a sort of special declaration with an embossed seal on it. One had the impression of legal documents being drawn up and of solicitors' and possibly counsels' advice being taken—

Mr. John Fraser

The hon. Gentleman should not let his imagination run away with him. This happens in hire-purchase matters, where, if a hire-purchase agreement is to be legally binding, there must be a square box of certain dimensions in certain colours and only if those conditions are satisfied and certain formalities are gone through is the hire purchase agreement legally binding. This is not a far-fetched precedent, it has adequate precedents in other legislation.

Mr. Mitchell

This does not invalidate my argument. Hon. Gentlemen opposite throughout the debates on the Bill have been saying how important it is not to have an over-legalistic approach. Here we have the hon. Gentleman getting up and inviting us to adopt a far more legalistic approach than the Solicitor-General and the Government are proposing in the Bill. I find some contradiction in the attitude adopted in the hon. Gentleman's speech. I can only say that were sundry of the hon. Gentleman's hon. Friends below the Gangway present at this stage—I do not see any in their places now—they might not have received his suggestions with great enthusiasm.

8.0 p.m.

Mr. Castle

The hon. Gentleman really is muddying the waters of a Report stage discussion. Surely the hon. Gentleman knows that the Opposition are always in a dilemma when dealing with a Bill with which they profoundly disagree. In Committee we concentrated on the points of profound principle and disagreement. Now we are on Report and this is our last chance to make the Bill less disastrous in detail than it otherwise would be. It is a normal rôle of the Opposition, whilst still retaining their disagreement in principle, at least to try to see that the Bill fulfils sensibly what it states that it is out to fulfil.

Mr. Mitchell

I am glad that I have stung the right hon. Lady into making that intervention. It seems rather like counsel for somebody who has a tendency to drink too much advising him to get totally drunk as a means of limiting him. To complain, as the right hon. Lady has been complaining, about the over-legalistic approach of the Government and to support her hon. Friend—I praise the right hon. Lady's loyalty—in wishing to have embossed seals on documents—I am not belabouring the point—seems a little out of tune with the Opposition's approach.

I accept the dilemma on which the hon. Gentleman based his argument. The hon. Gentleman said that in the Ford dispute a year ago the company thought that it had a binding agreement and that when it sued on that agreement it was surprised to discover that it was not binding. I accept that that is a perfectly good premise on which to build one's argument that one must know whether an agreement is binding or not. This is one of the very important reasons which has motivated my right hon. and hon. Friends to draw the Bill in the way that they have. It means that all new written agreements will be binding unless they specifically spell out that they are not.

That clarifies the position, without the need for any more legalistic mumbo jumbo, and any future Ford agreement will not be in doubt. Therefore, I think that the hon. Gentleman raised a legitimate point, but it has been met by the Minister drawing the Bill in its present form.

I do not know why it is suggested that there should be a middle way between a binding and a non-binding agreement—some kind of gentleman's agreement. We are not a sixth-rate banana republic. The standards of integrity, when one shakes on something, should be clear. An Englishman's word is his bond. Trade unionists have always accepted this in the past. For example, no man ever drove a more tough bargain than Ernest Bevin, when he was with the Transport and General Workers Union, but employers knew that he kept his word. That is the standard which the Bill will enforce throughout industry. If that kind of standard had been voluntarily maintained during recent years, I do not believe that there would have been the necessity for the legislation which we are now having to introduce.

Having said that I deplore the hon. Gentleman's proposal that there should be a halfway house between a binding and a non-binding agreement, reintroducing the areas of doubt and misunderstanding, I should like to agree with him in the concern which he expressed regarding the Committee stage. I think that the Solicitor-General must give hon. Members on both sides of the House a categorical assurance that the hon. Gentleman was wrong when he said that an informal oral agreement entered into before the passing of the Bill could result in a party to it being sued for damages and a union having up to £100,000 damages awarded against it. If the hon. Gentleman is correct on this point, then he has my complete agreement in saying that it is an unacceptable position. If that is the position, the Solicitor-General must give the House an assurance that it will be corrected. It would be at variance with the principles which we on this side have stood for throughout this legislation. The idea of making an oral agreement place at risk the funds of a union retrospectively to a period before the Bill got on the Statute Book would be wholly unacceptable to both sides of the House. I hope that my hon. and learned Friend can give us the assurance for which we are asking. It not, then I believe that the hon. Gentleman has raised a particularly important and vital point.

Mr. Sillars

Before coming to the point to which I wish to refer, may I, as a Scotsman, object to the constant reiteration that an Englishman's word is his bond.

Mr. Murray

Especially on St. Patrick's Day.

Mr. Sillars

As my hon. and learned Friend says, especially on St. Patrick's Day. One must strike a blow for the Irish as well. It is becoming intolerable to hear hon. Members on both sides go on as though this were the English Parliament. They will have to learn that this is a United Kingdom made up of different nationalities. It is most offensive to have to listen to that nonsense. I am not talking about the nonsense on the Bill, but the other parts.

Mr. David Mitchell

I can hardly withdraw the expression that an Englishman's word should be his bond, but I happily extend it to the Scots.

Mr. Sillars

That leads me to ask: if indeed an Englishman's, a Scotsman's, a Welshman's or an Irishman's word is his bond, why do we need legally binding agreements? I put that to an ex-colleague of mine in the Transport and General Workers' Union across the Floor of the House.

The point on which I should like clarification for my own peace of mind, because tomorrow I have to talk to some people in Glasgow about the Bill, arises on Clause 33. I am concerned about this conclusive presumption that, for example, a works joint council, which has been formed under a procedure agreement, shall be regarded as having already made up its mind, long before the Bill was even in draft form, that it should have powers to conclude legally binding agreements.

There seems to be an over-anxiety on the part of the Government to rush bodies of that kind into making agreements which immediately, after the commencement of the Act, would become legally binding. Leaving aside my basic objections to the Bill, which are reasonably well known, at least in this House, and taking into account that we are on Report, when we are supposed to be good Committee men arguing on a Bill which has already been agreed to—a point which the hon. Member for Basingstoke (Mr. David Mitchell) did not seem to understand—I am very worried that the local joint councils are not being given the opportunity to have another look at how they are established and to consider the remit given to the delegates forming the workers' side of those joint councils, bearing in mind that what they do in future shall be conclusively presumed to be legally binding upon them.

Amendment No. 155 would provide that no collective agreement entered into before the commencement of the Act shall be legally enforceable. When I go to Glasgow tomorrow, I will suggest to my audience that this is not clear, that there is a distinct possibility that such agreements could be declared by a court to be legally binding. The Solicitor-General must appreciate that it will not be sufficient for a union to brandish copies of the OFFICIAL REPORT before a judge and say that this was what the Government meant or what the Solicitor-General said. A court is bound not by what the Solicitor-General or anyone else said, but merely by the wording of the Act.

I see nothing wrong and a great deal of merit in the Government accepting Amendment No. 155. This does not mean that the Labour Party agrees with legally binding agreements at all, but, good committee men that we are, we are making this point in the full knowledge that the Government have said that they do not want retrospective legislation. If the Government do not agree with the Amendment, I hope that the hon. Members for Basingstoke (Mr. David Mitchell) and for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Waddington) will vote with us.

Mr. Kenneth Lewis (Rutland and Stamford)

Not surprisingly the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser) mentioned a speech of mine in Committee. I was surprised that he should say that many firms and trade union leaders would have no idea what was in the Bill. Perhaps I should not be surprised. Perhaps the unions are spending so much time beating the Government with a stick about the Bill that they are not telling their members what is actually in the Bill.

Mr. John Fraser

I did not slander the trade unions like that. I was saying that if some dustmen at a local depot were trying to reach an agreement, they might not have at the back of their minds the silver words of the Solicitor-General. That could have important consequences. When that kind of an agreement broke down in Lambeth, we were without refuse collection services for some time afterwards. We are talking of humble men and women who might not understand the consequences of the Bill.

Mr. Lewis

I accept that the hon. Gentleman said that towards the end of his speech, but at the beginning he went a good deal further. He can help here. When the Bill becomes an Act, it is important that he and his hon. Friends and the union leaders should educate the trade union movement about what is in the Bill. It will be in their interests to do so. They will understand the good things in the Bill. I would imagine that when they appreciate that they have to take the bad—as they see it, not as we see it—with the good, they will see that there is so much good in it that, on balance, they will take the Bill as a whole and will want to work it.

Mr. Sillars

Now that the hon. Gentleman has confessed that there are some bad parts as well as some good parts in the Bill, would he tell us which parts are bad?

8.15 p.m.

Mr. Lewis

I was out of order yesterday, and I should get more out of order today if I tried to develop that theme, I would say to the hon. Member for Mid-Ulster (Miss Devlin), who intervened a little while ago from a sedentary position, that I was kidding. She has been in America for a long time, while we have been having long nights on the Bill—

Miss Bernadette Devlin (Mid-Ulster)

Having just seen the American unions, I know what the Government are trying to do with the working class of this country. If the hon. Gentleman thinks that the Government will get away with it, or that the working class will let them get away with it, you most certainly are kidding.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Miss Harvie Anderson)


Miss Devlin

I am sorry, Mr. Deputy Speaker—the hon. Gentleman most certainly is kidding.

Mr. Lewis

There are others who have been to America who think that such aspects as are American-based will work better in this country. Many parts of the Bill have nothing to do with the American system.

Mr. David Mitchell

Would my hon. Friend agree that if the workers in this country got the same standard of living as they have in America, they might have praise for more orderly industrial relations?

Mr. Lewis

I am sure that that point is very well taken.

I am in some difficulty about oral agreements, because I have not yet heard the Solicitor-General, but I believe that he will cover the point. I do not want to make his speech for him, but I cannot very well rehearse a speech which I made in Committee when I know that that point has been covered—as has the point made by the hon. Member for Norwood.

Amendment No. 19 to Clause 34 would limit agreements to those made after the commencement of the Act. This makes it unnecessary to remove the word "oral" and also destroys much of the argument of the Labour Party, in so far as written agreements also which are made before the commencement of the Bill will not apply for the legally enforceable purposes.

Apart from that consideration, many unions have been insisting for some months that they should not sign agreements which might be legally enforceable until they see exactly what the Bill will provide. I am still not clear why the word "oral" needs to be in at all. In what circumstances is an oral agreement legally enforceable? A number of people can be involved. The only possible circumstances are those in which an oral agreement had been made and had been running for some time; because it had been running it had become accepted as a practice within the works.

An oral agreement made this week to be implemented next week has always seemed to me to be a concept which is full of loopholes in the sense that there is likely to be a dispute by one of the parties over what was meant in the agreement. After all, nothing is written down, and one of the parties might say, "We do not agree about that now "or" We suggested something different from what you think we had in mind, and we want to discuss the matter again." What is decided in a hot, smokey room one afternoon may be totally impracticable some time later when such an oral agreement is implemented.

As the word "oral" has been removed from the Bill retrospectively, I take it that nobody will, therefore, be likely to make a legally binding agreement orally. I would have thought that that was 100 per cent. certain. However, many people will make written agreements but will not opt for them to be legally enforceable. At present an agreement to be legally enforceable must be defined. At the commenecent there will be many people who will simply allow an agreement not to be legally enforceable. They will take that option. However, the fact that they must examine it cannot do any harm, and this is the advantage of the provision.

There is everything to be gained in our industrial relations from unions and employers coming together, locally and nationally, to look more closely at their agreements. Many existing agreements are slipshod, and, though some have a period of time to run, it is frequently the case that one of the parties will say "This agreement is not working. We want to examine it again." There follows much discussion, and the agreement, which is supposed to have been adopted, may give rise to a fresh dispute. If both parties ensure that they make workable agreements, only good can result.

In the meantime, there is no obligation on them to accept the legal penalties resulting from an agreement becoming legally binding and being broken before it has run out. There will be every opportunity to opt out, and there will probably be much opting out at the beginning.

Hon. Gentlemen opposite are mistaken, in believing, however, that a great amount of opting out will continue. After the initial period about which I have spoken, more agreements will be accepted as legally binding on the parties because it will be felt by all concerned that better bargaining can be done that way. Unions will say, "We want a good bargain. We are prepared to lay down a period during which this agreement will run and our copper-bottomed guarantee not to break it or allow it to be broken in return for a good bargain."

If a good bargain is not secured, an enforceable agreement will not be entered into. However, more and more trade unions will gradually accept that, by this means, they can secure from employers something worthwhile for themselves and their members. On the other hand, for a given time employers will have the advantage of knowing that agreements will have a clear run.

By this means industry will not be troubled by the sporadic strikes from which we have suffered for too long. Figures relating to strikes are frequently bandied across the Chamber. There is usually a great deal of conflict over them. Nevertheless, it will be generally agreed by hon. Members that strikes in Britain happen too frequently, particularly in certain industries. Much trouble arises because agreements do not run sufficiently long.

The sort of agreement we are discussing offers an opportunity to industry to have a long settled period of working and production, and this will result in stability to the advantage of employers, particularly in export industries, and, therefore, to the nation. There is nothing more disruptive to the economy than for our export industries to fail to meet their delivery times because of factory disruption not once a year but every few months.

The pessimisms shown by hon. Gentlemen opposite about the working of this part of the Bill is unjustfied. I am sure that in the long run unions will be ready to take advantage of these provisons and will wish to make collective agreements legally enforceable.

I trust that my hon. and learned Friend will assure me that the Amendment to which I referred meets the point I raised, but I give notice that I shall return to this subject for clarification if need be. As I read it, there is no retrospection, which is what I want, and I hope that he will assure me on that point.

8.30 p.m.

The Solicitor-General (Sir Geoffrey Howe)

I accept the exposition of the long-term intentions and effects of this part of the Bill given by my hon. Friend the Member for Rutland and Stamford (Mr. Kenneth Lewis) in his lucid analysis of the way in which it will, as he put it, change attitudes gradually and lead to increasingly widespread acceptance of the idea of effective and enforceable collective agreements. I shall come back to the particular points which he raised.

The Opposition Amendment No. 151 would require anything which was to be regarded as a collective agreement to be in a formally executed deed signed by the parties thereto within the lawful scope of their authority". Both my hon. Friends the Members for Basingstoke (Mr. David Mitchell) and Rutland and Stamford explained why that would be quite unacceptable and out of touch with any real desire to move towards a pattern of enforceable agreements in industry.

The Government believe that many written collective agreements today are intended to be effective. It is right that they should be so effective, but it is further right that it should be assumed that the parties, unless they expressly provide to the contrary, wish such agreements to be supported and upheld by the law. That is the simple change which we seek to make, that written agreements —many of them made today, and intended at the time they were made to be effective, though certainly not made formally executed deeds—should be presumed to be supported by the law unless the parties expressly exclude that. We could not visualise a requirement going as far as Amendment No. 151; that is, requiring such a degree of formality before the presumption should apply.

Opposition Amendments Nos. 152 and 153 raise a point in the context of Clause 32 to the effect that a collective agreement must by definition be in writing, and this comes close to the point raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Rutland and Stamford in Committee.

The anxiety on both sides of the House, I think, is that by omitting the words "in writing" and including the word "oral" in the general definition in Clause 32(3) we may be attaching retrospective effect to an oral agreement to which the parties never intended enforceability to be attached. The other anxiety is that the presumption contained in Clause 32(1) of legal enforceability could once again attach to an oral agreement. I shall take the last point first.

The presumption is set out in Clause 32(1), and it is only there and on that particular front that the change is made in respect of the presumed intention of the parties to sign collective agreements. Clause 32(1) applies to a collective agreement made in writing after the commencement of the Bill. In her Bill, the right hon. Lady the Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) sought to deal with that in the opposite sense. One quite understands the difference between the two sides of the House in this. Her intention was to apply to a collective agreement made in writing—made after the commencement of the Bill, I think—the proposition that it should not be legally binding unless the parties declared the opposite intention.

Our change on presumed intention is set out in Clause 32(1) and applies only to a collective agreement made in writing after the commencement of the Bill, so there is no question of imputing any retrospective intention to the parties as a result of Clause 32.

There is a point on Clause 34, to which my hon. Friend referred, and in this connection the Government Amendments are important and relevant.

Mr. Murray

I wish merely to correct the Solicitor-General on a point of fact. We have not suggested that Clause 32(1) would bring retrospective enforceability to oral agreements. That was never suggested.

The Solicitor-General

The hon. and learned Gentleman may well be right about that. Hon Members on both sides are anxious that there should be no retrospective alteration of intention. That, I think, is the point. The alteration of intention, or alteration of presumed intention, is contained in Clause 32(1) and applies to future written agreements.

I come now to the Government Amendments Nos. 19 and 20 to Clause 34. Clause 34(2), the part which is to be amended, is a provision which the Opposition do not regard as attractive but which the Government regard as important, providing that the parties to a collective agreement which is legally enforceable are to take such steps as are reasonably practicable to uphold it.

Without the Amendments which we have put down, it is right that that obligation, the new obligation to use best endeavours, could be attached to a collective agreement made before the commencement of the Bill and to a future oral agreement. It is for that reason that we include by our Amendment a collective agreement made after the commencement of the Bill, or part of such collective agreement as is a legally enforceable contract, so as to make it plain that there is no transformation retrospectively of the duties attaching to the parties by virtue of Clause 34(2).

A further point is thought to arise from Clause 34(1), because subsection (1) does not say that that applies only to collective agreements made "after the Act". The explanation is that there are now some collective agreements intended by the parties to be enforceable and legally binding. There is no doubt much discussion as to how far some of them are, in fact, legally binding and about their effectiveness, but there are agreements which the parties believe to be and intend to be effective, legally binding collective agreements.

As the law stands, those agreements, if they are to be enforced, can be enforced only through the ordinary courts, and I mean those agreements now existing, which the parties intend to be effective at law. As a result of the passage of the Bill—and particularly Clause 116—it is intended that no court other than the Industrial Court should entertain proceedings by a party to the collective agreement about enforcement of that agreement. In other words, the ordinary courts are not hereafter to have jurisdiction over the enforcement of a collective agreement, and jurisdiction of that kind is to be transferred to the Industrial Court.

The purpose of Clause 34(1) is to make it plain that although the ordinary courts can no longer entertain proceedings about existing enforceable collective agreements, the Industrial Court can, because it could be said before the Industrial Court that a breach of an enforceable collective agreement was an unfair industrial practice. Clause 34(1), linked to Clause 116, is intended only to transfer jurisdiction from the ordinary courts to the Industrial Court.

It transfers jurisdiction in respect of agreements made before the passing of the Bill if and in so far as those agreements are now intended to be binding at law in the ordinary courts. This is very close to the point raised in correspondence with me by the hon. Member for Doncaster (Mr. Harold Walker), with which, I understand, my right hon. Friend has dealt. We do not want, for example, the prospective repeal of Section 4 of the Trade Union Act, 1871, to change the nature of an agreement which before the passing of the Bill was not intended to be binding, so as to translate it or transform it by operation of the law from a non-legally binding into a legally binding agreement.

In so far as it may be necessary to make clear that the repeal of Section 4 does not have that effect—I do not think that the repeal would have that effect, because one would have to see what the parties intended at the time they made the agreement—if there is any possibility, we certainly wish that there is no transformation of a pre-Act non-legally binding agreement into a post-Act agreement to which the Court could give effect. I think that this is close to the point raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Basingstoke. He is anxious that nothing in the Bill should transform an agreement made before the passing of the Bill and not intended to be binding into an agreement which after the passing of the Bill would become legally binding. There is nothing in the Bill as drafted to have that effect, and it is not intended that it should have that effect.

Mr. David Mitchell

My hon. and learned Friend said that he was certain that it did not have that effect. Is he giving an assurance that, having reexamined the matter, he will, if necessary, ensure that Amendments are made in the Lords? How does he propose to carry out that undertaking, if it is an undertaking?

The Solicitor-General

We have reexamined it specifically for this point in order to make sure that we are not changing an animal of one kind into an animal of another kind, not making an agreement which the parties regard as unenforceable into some different kind of agreement. On that analysis the Amendments moved to Clause 34(2) appear to be the only ones necessary. Certainly Clause 34(2), as it stood, was imposing an additional duty to use best endeavours upon parties who never contracted to do that as they originally drew up the agreement. But there is nothing in Clause 34(1) which changes the nature of a pre-Act agreement into something different after the Act.

It has been suggested that the repeal of Section 4 of the 1871 Act, which deals with a particular kind of collective agreement—that made between trade unions—might in some way transform the effect of such an agreement. It is difficult to see how it can do that, but we shall certainly look at it and set beyond doubt the fact that no such transformation is intended.

Mr. Harold Walker

The Solicitor-General may have misunderstood our point. It is not so much the intention of the parties or the effect of the agreements. We are saying on pre-Act collective agreements that, except where the parties have concurred to make them legally enforceable in a situation not covered by the 1871 Act, that is, the individual employer situation, for example, existing agreements which have been assumed not to be open to test in the courts because of the effect of the 1871 Act will be exposed, it seems, to test in the court by the mere act of removal of Section 4 of the 1871 Act in the post-Act situation, notwithstanding anything in the Bill but under the ordinary law relating to contract.

The Solicitor-General

That is the point I am dealing with. There are agreements between a trade union and an employers' association, which is a trade union under the 1871 Act, which everyone has known cannot be directly enforced because of the provisions of Section 4 of the 1871 Act. The hon. Gentleman is suggesting that by removing Section 4 we might inadvertently effect a change in the nature of those agreements which could not have been directly enforced and which, therefore, the parties did not intend to be directly enforced.

If there is any risk of that happening, we shall certainly see that that possibility is excluded. I can understand hon. Members on both sides of the House saying that we do not want inadvertently to change the nature of a contract which everyone assumed was not enforceable into something which is enforceable. The change that we regard as necessary for that is the change comprised in the Amendments moved to Clause 34(2), and there can be no question of retrospection in that area.

The other points raised by the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser) were those arising on Amendment No. 231 by reference to Clause 33. It is perfectly right that my presentation of the intention of Clause 33 during the Committee stage was not a model of consistent lucidity. I try my best, but I do not always achieve the standards which I set for myself. The intention of Clause 33 has to be considered alongside Clause 32. Collective agreements, industry-wide, perhaps, or company-wide, can be made in one of two ways. They can either be made by a coming together of represntatives for the purpose of hammering out ad hoc and collective agreements—hon. Members opposite will recognise the comparison—or made by reaching collective agreements intended to be comprehensive, procedural and substantive agreements in a different way as a result of the proceedings of a joint body of the kind to which Clause 33 applies.

There is no essential difference between the object and the nature of a collective agreement of that kind whether it is made by an ad hoc assembly of people or by a joint standing body. It is our intention that the presumption of legal effect should apply, unless expressly disclaimed, to an agreement made in either of those ways, whether by a standing joint body or an ad hoc assembly of people, and that intention is carried into effect in Clauses 32 and 33. It is for that reason that Clause 33(3) requires the joint body which is making an agreement to have recorded in writing a provision relating to each decision saying that it is not to be legally enforceable, and that is why Clause 33(3)(b) is in the form that it is.

8.45 p.m.

A collective agreement evolved by a joint body has each time to have a disclaimer attached to it, as required under Clause 33, and it would not be possible to maintain the presumption to which my hon. Friend the Member for Rutland and Stamford attaches some importance, that a collective agreement, however produced, has to be legally binding unless the parties expressly disclaim it, unless Clause 33(3)(b) stands. I accept that I misstated the position, and I apologise to the House for it. But our intention is properly embodied in that Clause, though I did not state it accurately in the passage which followed the intervention of the hon. and learned Member for Edinburgh, Leith (Mr. Murray).

The position remains, therefore that many bodies of a humble or modest kind will decide that they will always be dealing with such routine matters that they do not intend to give legal force to agreements at which they arrive. But they will still have to record their intention with reference to each decision as required by Clause 33(3). It is in that way that we can require people making agreements to concentrate their minds on what they are about.

One of the shortcomings in our system of industrial relations identified by Donovan and many commentators since is the imperfect, imprecise, unclear terms in which industrial relations are resolved in agreements. More often than not, the responsibility rests on management which is trying to promote an effective procedure agreement. The intention is that the habit of the sloppy resolution of disputes and the sloppy formulation of procedure agreements should be changed and that here, as elsewhere, the parties should intend the law to support the agreements into which they enter.

It is for those reasons that Clauses 32 and 33 march together. It is for the reasons urged by my hon. Friends that we have tabled our Amendments to Clause 34(2), and that is why we will make sure that nothing in the Bill can translate or transform the nature of a pre-Act agreement into something different after the Act by virtue of the repeal of Section 4.

Mrs. Castle

Earlier, we had a typical homily from the hon. Member for Rutland and Stamford (Mr. Kenneth Lewis), who said how iniquitous it was of hon. Members on this side of the House to be going round and encouraging the trade union movement to misrepresent the purposes and effect of this legislation. He asked us to drop this wicked habit and to combine with his right hon. and hon. Friends to explain to the ordinary worker and trade unionist that the Measure was benign and that the Government were saying exactly what they meant when they gave their explanations of it.

We have had in this debate a revelation of how right are our suspicions about the Measure. What the Solicitor-General has just said is perfect corroboration of our complaint about Clause 33. The Government have said to the country and in this House, "What are you all worrying about? We merely intend that written agreements entered into after the commencement of the Bill shall be subject to the Bill's penalties and sanctions. Above all, we intend that this presumption of legal enforceability shall attach only to major agreements made at industry or company level by the major negotiating bodies dealing with major negotiating matters."

When on Second Reading we pointed out the far-reaching nature of the Clause, the Government pooh-poohed us. When in Committee we pointed out again that we were getting into a ridiculous situation, with the conclusive presumption of intention to have a legally enforceable contract going all the way down the collective bargaining line to the smallest works council or joint committee, the Solicitor-General said that we need not worry. He has now frankly admitted that he misled the House. He assured us that we were exaggerating the position when we said that in future the smallest collective bargaining body would have to put a disclaimer into any agreement it jotted down in writing. He assured us that the meaning of Clause 33 was that that would not be necessary, and that a once-for-all disclaimer could be made by such a body.

It was only under pressure from my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Edinburgh, Leith (Mr. Murray), who pointed out the words that had been recorded, that the Solicitor-General said, "If I am wrong, I will put it right. I will look at it again." But he has not put it right. He has taken no steps in the Notice Paper to attempt to put it right. The Government have not provided any opportunities for the House once again to have the hon. and learned Gentleman's explanation of the true position.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Norwood (Mr. John Fraser) has just said, it is only by our ingenuity and the cooperation and understanding of Mr. Speaker that we have had this opportunity of clarifying Clause 33 at all. If we had not made that opportunity, what had been said would have remained on record in HANSARD as the Government official word that Clause 33 meant that a general disclaimer could be put in by any works council or other joint body that was entering into negotiations of the kind covered by the Clause. So I suggest to the hon. Member for Rutland and Stamford that he be a little less lofty, and moralise a little less about our misrepresenting the Bill.

Mr. Kenneth Lewis

I accept what the right hon. Lady has said. She can have her bit of fun at my expense. I suggested that after the Bill has been amended and passed, she and her hon. Friends should educate the trade union movement in its meaning and how it works.

Mrs. Castle

That is just what we intend to do. I am trying to educate the hon. Gentleman in what the Bill means. If we had not had this discussion an essential part of the educational process would have been missed. This is our whole case against the Bill. When we go out and warn the country about the Bill it is because we believe that, thanks to its complexities, it does not fulfil the broad generalisations the Government like to put to the country. The real meaning of this Bill lies in the small print and even the Solicitor-General does not understand his own small print. This is why he got up and told us that Clause 33 means something very different from what it does mean.

We on this side of the House, with our suspicious minds, told the Solicitor-General we thought that when he went back and looked at the wording of Clause 33 he would see that it could not be held to sustain the interpretation he was putting upon it. He has now come back and told us, in rather guarded language, that we were right and he was wrong. Having proved that, what do the Government do? Do they turn round and say, "We entirely agree that it would be absurd for every negotiating body, however small, down the whole chain of collective bargaining, to have to put in a disclaimer whenever they jot an agreement down, to be on the right side of the law"? No, the Government, having found this out do not say that they will amend the Bill. They tell us that we have to stomach the new interpretation which the Solicitor-General now puts on it.

That interpretation was our interpretation, the kind of interpretation my hon. Friend the Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Sillars) will take to Glasgow tomorrow, and he will be entitled to say to the people, "Do not listen to the broad, moral version of this Government because we have looked at the small print and we do not believe that it sustains the general claims which the Government are making".

We have had another illustration of this tonight arising out of the argument as to whether agreements have to be in writing and made after the commencement of the Act before they become legally enforceable. These are all vitally important points for the trade union movement and I and several of my hon. Friends have had eminent trade unionists coming to us asking what Clauses 32, 33 and 34 mean. They ask, do they mean that the presumption of legal enforceability will only attach to a written agreement made after the commenment of this Act? We have had to say, "Sorry, at the end of Committee stage we are not very clear".

This is why we have tabled these Amendments, because the Government tell us that is what they mean and then they go to the country and ask, "What could be more reasonable? We are not trying to get retrospective legislation, we are not trying to trap people into a situation into which they did not know they were being placed at the time the agreement was reached. That would be wrong. Let us have it clear and above board."

What we say is, "Let us have it clear and above board by drafting these Clauses properly". The hon. Member for Basingstoke (Mr. David Mitchell) during one of those rare occasions when he was showing a little independent spirit made a suggestion to his hon. and learned Friend. He said, "Look at Clause 32. It is not clear." How can it be when subsection (1) says that every collective agreement made in writing shall be conclusively presumed to be intended to be a legally enforceable contract, yet subsection (3) says that "collective agreements" means any agreement or arrangement, whether in writing or oral? The Solicitor-General gives us his legal explanations. In Committee he said, "We are putting in subsection (3) the general definition of a collective agreement for the purposes of the whole Measure".

The hon. Member for Basingstoke very sensibly said, "Because of the confusion, why not take the general definition out of this legal enforceability Clause and put it in the interpretation Clause if that is what is meant?". What are these new Clauses about but a whole range of regroupings and redraftings to make the Bill clearer? If the Government wanted to make this proposition clear, why did they not, in view of the anxieties on both sides of the House about the confusion, seek the opportunity to make some rearrangement? Why must we have the general definition of a collective agreement in the Clause dealing with the presumption of legal enforceability? Is it because the position is not as clear as the Solicitor-General tries to pretend?

9.0 p.m.

It is said that a collective agreement can be any agreement or arrangement, whether written or oral. That is the definition which governs Clause 34. If the Minister wanted to make the position clear and to show that he was not trying retrospectively to catch the sort of oral and other agreements to which reference has been made today, he had a simple way out—to accept our Amendment. Instead, we have the interesting and sinister selection by the Government of the place at which they insert the words … made after the commencement of this Act". Why do they not appear in line 34 so as to govern subsection (1) of Clause 34 as well as subsection (2)? The Solicitor-General gave the reason. He said it was because there are in existence some collective agreements which were intended by the parties to be legally binding, whether written or oral. He says that because in Clause 116 the Government transfer jurisdiction in these matters from the ordinary courts to the Industrial Court subsection (1) must apply to existing agreements, whether written or oral.

It is not right for the Solicitor-General to say, as he said to my hon. Friend the Member for Doncaster (Mr. Harold Walker), "We do not intend to transform a pre-Act agreement. It is not our intention to catch people in a way which they did not intend." What he is doing is to attach the new concept of an unfair industrial practice which does not exist in law to existing agreements. If that is not retrospective legislation, I should like to know what is. By attaching an unfair industrial practice to existing agreements, whether written or oral, one is attaching the possibility of prosecution for damages.

The hon. Member for Basingstoke, the paper warrior in our debates, has gone off for a meal, or something. He asked the Solicitor-General to give him a categorical assurance that an oral agreement entered into before the passing of the Bill could not lead to heavy damages being imposed on unions. But it can unless the Government put … made after the commencement of this Act in line 34 and not in line 40. What does the hon. Member for Basingstoke propose to do about that? He said that he would have to have a categorical assurance or he would be uneasy. The hon. Member for Rutland and Stamford said the same—or perhaps he does not worry about retrospective legislation. Perhaps I am flattering him.

Mr. Kenneth Lewis

The right hon. Lady is making a reasonable point. I said that I would not accept that oral agreements already in existence should be caught by the Bill if they would not normally be subject to the law. I understood my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General to say that only written or oral agreements already subject to the law and which have been made on the understanding that they are subject to the law will be dealt with by the new Industrial Court. If that is so, there is no pre-oral agreement which can be affected other than those which may be affected now. I should like to know whether there was an oral agreement affected by the law before this. I do not know whether there are—

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Miss Harvie Anderson)

Order. Interventions must be brief.

Mrs. Castle

My reply to the hon. Gentleman is twofold. He is quite right. I do not know of any oral agreement intended to be legally binding to which the Solicitor-General referred in Committee. He told us vaguely that there are oral agreements which were intended to be legally binding and that the Government would hate to think that, in spite of careful wording in the Bill, they escaped the legal net. If we let any bird out of the net, however innocent or small, that is a catastrophe for the Government. They would rather be guilty of bringing a whole host of innocent people into the legal net retrospectively rather than run the risk of that.

What are these oral agreements which were intended to be legally binding? If they were oral, how do we know that they were intended to be legally binding? The hon. Member for Basingstoke or the hon. Member for Rutland and Stamford said that it would be a great tragedy if the courts were to get a lot of oral agreements before them. The Solicitor-General says, "But that is why we must do our complicated drafting in this way. It is because there are oral agreements that were intended to be legally binding". What nonsense! What rot!

If they were written agreements, the question becomes even more serious.

Even if they were written agreements, they were made under the old law to be enforced through the old courts, not under the new court, with its definition of an unfair industrial practice and its power to levy damages of up to £100,000 on a union. What right have the Government to transfer the legal enforceability, even of an old agreement that was intended to be legally binding, from the old method of the courts to the new? That is restrospective legislation.

My hon. Friend the Member for Doncaster has been hammering away for a long time at the question of what happens when Section 4(4) of the 1871 Act is amended, making it possible to make industry-wide agreements legally enforceable? Will documents like the York Memorandum then be caught in the net? We had from the Solicitor-General the admission that perhaps that was so, that it was very difficult, that he would look at the matter before the Bill went to another place. But he promised to look at Clause 33, and what was the result? He said, "I am very sorry. It means exactly all the awful things you thought it meant, but that is what the Bill is about".

There is a very simple way out for the hon. and learned Gentleman. If he is being honest with the House he can, first, take the general definition of "collective agreement" right out of Clause 32, and, second, put in words making it clear that only written agreements are legally enforceable. Third, he can add the words, where we suggest they be added, after the commencement of the Act". That is a simple thing to do. The Solicitor-General would not be giving anything away but clarity. It is obscurity on which the Government's case has been built throughout the Bill. That is why I ask my hon. Friends to divide the House.

Question put, That the Amendment be made to the proposed Clause:—

The House divided: Ayes 243, Noes 280.

Division No. 250.] AYES [9.10 p.m.
Abse, Leo Armstrong, Ernest Barnett, Joel
Albu,Austen Ashley, Jack Beaney, Alan
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Ashton, Joe Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood
Allen, Scholefield Atkinson, Norman Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton)
Archer, Peter (Rowely Regis) Bagier, Gorden A. T. Bidwell, Sydney
Bishop, E. S. Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Murray, Ronald King
Blenkinsop, Arthur Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Ogden, Eric
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill) O'Halloran, Michael
Booth, Albert Hardy, Peter O'Malley, Brian
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Harper, Joseph Orbach, Maurice
Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland) Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Orme, Stanley
Bradley, Tom Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith Oswald, Thomas
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.) Hattersley, Roy Parker, John (Dagenham)
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)
Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury) Heffer, Eric S. Pavitt, Laurie
Buchan, Norman Hoosen, Emlyn Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn Horam, John Pendry, Tom
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Pentland, Norman
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Huckfield, Leslie Perry, Ernest G.
Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.) Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) Prescott, John
Cant, R. B. Hughes, Mark (Durham) Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Carmichael, Neil Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) Price, William (Rugby)
Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles) Hughes, Roy (Newport) Probert, Arthur
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Hunter, Adam Rankin, John
Clark, David (Colne Valley) Irvine, Rt. Hn.SirArthur (Edge Hill) Reed, D. (Sedgefield)
Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Janner, Greville Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)
Cohen, Stanley Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Rhodes, Geoffrey
Concannon, J. D. Jeger, Mrs. Lena (H'b'n&St.P'cras,S.) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Conlan, Bernard Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.) John, Brynmor Robertson, John (Paisley)
Crawshaw, Richard Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Br'c'n&R'dnor)
Cronin, John Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Roper, John
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.) Rose, Paul B.
Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Jones, Barry (Flint, E.) Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)
Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.) Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Dalyell, Tam Jones, Dan (Burnley) Short, Rt. Hn. Edward(N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Davidson, Arthur Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn(W. Ham, S.) Short, Mrs. Reneé(W'hampton. N. E.)
Davies, Denzil (Llanelly) Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Sillars, James
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.) Silverman, Julius
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Judd, Frank Skinner, Dennis
Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Kaufman, Gerald Small, William
Deakins, Eric Kelley, Richard Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Delargy, H. J. Kerr, Russell Spearing, Nigel
Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Kinnock, Neil Spriggs, Leslie
Dempsey, James Lamond, James Stallard, A. W.
Devlin, Miss Bernadette Latham, Arthur Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham)
Doig, Peter Lawson, George Stoddart, David (Swindon)
Dormand, J. D. Leadbitter, Ted Storehouse, Rt. Hn. John
Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.) Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick Strang, Gavin
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Leonard, Dick Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Driberg, Tom Lestor, Miss Joan Summerskiil, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Duffy, A. E. P. Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Swain, Thomas
Dunn, James A. Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Taverns, Dick
Dunnett, Jack Lomas, Kenneth Thomas, Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff,W.)
Eadie, Alex Loughlin, Charles Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Edelman, Maurice Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Tinn, James
Edwards, William (Merloneth) Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Tomney, Frank
Ellis, Tom McBride, Neil Torney, Tom
English, Michael McCartney, Hugh Tuck, Raphael
McElhone, Frank Varley, Eric G.
Evans, Fred Mackenzie, Gregor Walnwright, Edwin
Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E. Mackie, John Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Fisher, Mrs. Doris(B'ham, Ladywood) Wallace, George
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Maclennan, Robert Watkins, David
Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) McNamara, J. Kevin Weltzman, David
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) MacPherson, Malcolm Wellbeloved, James
Foot, Michael Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Forrester, John Marquand, David White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Fraser, John (Norwood) Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard Whitehead, Phillip
Freeson, Reginald Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Whitlock, William
Galpern, Sir Myer Meacher, Michael Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Garrett, W. E. Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Gilbert, Dr. John Mendelson, John Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Ginsburg, David Millan, Bruce Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Golding, John Miller, Dr. M. S. Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C. Milne, Edward (Blyth) Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Gourlay, Harry Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Woof, Robert
Grant, George (Morpeth) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Grant, John D. (Islington, E.) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon) Mr. William Hamling and
Griffiths, Will (Exchange) Moyle, Roland Mr. Donald Coleman.
Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Adtey, Robert Archer, Jeffrey (Louth) Awtiry, Daniel
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Astor, John Baker Kenneth (St. Marylebone)
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Atkins, Humphrey Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)
Balniel, Lord Green, Alan Money, Ernle
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Grieve, Percy Monks, Mrs. Connie
Batsford, Brian Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Monro, Hector
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Grylls, Michael Montgomery, Fergus
Bell, Ronald Gummer, Selwyn More, Jasper
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Gurden, Harold Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm.
Benyon, W. Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Berry, Hn. Anthony Hall, John (Wycombe) Mudd, David
Biffen, John Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Murton, Oscar
Biggs-Davison, John Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Nabarro, Sir Gerald
Blaker, Peter Hannam, John (Exeter) Neave, Airey
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael
Body, Richard Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere Normanton, Tom
Boscawen, Robert Haselhurst, Alan Nott, John
Bossom, Sir Clive Hastings, Stephen Onslow, Cranley
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Hawkins, Paul Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally
Braine, Bernard Hay, John Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Bray, Ronald Hayhoe, Barney Osborn, John
Brewis, John Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Heseltine, Michael Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Hicks, Robert Parkinson, Cecil (Enfield, W.)
Bryan, Paul Higgins, Terence L. Peel, John
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N&M) Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.) Percival, Ian
Buck, Antony Hill, James (Southampton, Test) Pink, R. Bonner
Bullus, Sir Eric Holland, Philip Pounder, Rafton
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Holt, Miss Mary Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Campbell, Rt. Hn. C. (Moray&Nairn) Hordern, Peter Price, David (Eastleigh)
Carlisle, Mark Hornby, Richard Proudfoot, Wilfred
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia
Chapman, Sydney Howe, Hn, Sir Geoffrey (Reigate) Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis
Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher Howell, David (Guildford) Quennell, (Miss J. M.
Chichester-Clark, R. Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) Raison, Timothy
Churchill, W. S. Hutchison, Michael Clark Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
Clark, William (Surrey, E.) Iremonger, T. L. Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) James, David Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)
Clegg, Walter Jessel, Toby Rees, Peter (Dover)
Cockeram, Eric Johnson Smith, C. (E. Grinstead) Rees-Davies, W. R.
Cooke, Robert Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Coombs, Derek Jopling, Michael Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick Kaberry, Sir Donald Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Cormack, Patrick Kellett, Mrs. Elaine Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)
Costain, A. P. Kilfedder, James Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Critchley, Julian Kimball, Marcus Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Crouch, David Roet, Peter
Crowder, F. P. King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Russell, Sir Ronald
Curran, Charles King, Tom (Bridgwater) St. John-Stevas, Norman
Dalkeith, Earl of Kinsey, J. R. Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Kirk, Peter Scott, Nicholas
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, JamesMaj. Gen. Kitson, Timothy Scott-Hopkins, James
Dean, Paul Knight, Mrs. Jill Sharples, Richard
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Knox, David Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
Digby, Simon Wingfield Lambton, Antony Shelton, William (Clapham)
Dixon, Piers Lane, David Simeons, Charles
Dodds-Parker, Douglas Langford-Holt, Sir John Sinclair, Sir George
Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Skeet, T. H. H.
du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Le Marchant, Spencer Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Dykes, Hugh Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Soref, Harold
Eden, Sir John Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Spence, John
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Longden, Gilbert Sproat, Iain
Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne. N.) Loveridge, John Stainton, Keith
Emery, Peter McAdden, Sir Stephen Stanbrook, Ivor
Eyre, Reginald MacArthur, Ian Stewart-Smith, D. G. (Belper)
Farr, John McCrindle, R. A. Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)
Fell, Anthony McLaren, Martin Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.
Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Stokes, John
Fidler, Michael McMaster, Stanley Stuttaford, Dr. Tom
Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead) Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham) Sutcliffe, John
Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) McNair-Wilson, Michael Tapsell, Peter
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles McNair-Wilson, Patrick (NewForest) Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Fookes, Miss Janet Maddan, Martin Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Foster, Sir John Madel, David Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N. W.)
Fowler, Norman Maginnis, John E. Tebbit, Norman
Fox, Marcus Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest Temple, John M.
Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone) Marten, Neil Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret
Fry, Peter Maude, Angus Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)
Gardner, Edward Mawby, Ray Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
Gibson-Watt, David Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Trafford, Dr. Anthony
Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Meyer, Sir Anthony Trew, Peter
Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) Mills, Peter (Torrington) Tugendhat, Christopher
Glyn, Dr. Alan Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.) Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Goodhart, Philip Miscamnbell, Norman van Straubenzee, W. R.
Goodhew, Victor Mitchell, Lt.-Cot. C. (Aberdeenshire, W) Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Gorst, John Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Vickers, Dame Joan
Gower, Raymond Moate, Roger Waddington, David
Gray, Hamish Molyneaux, James Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester) Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William Worsley, Marcus
Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek Wiggin, Jerry Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Wall, Patrick Wilkinson, John Younger, Hn. George
Walters, Dennis Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Ward, Dame Irene Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Weatherill, Bernard Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher Mr. Tim Fortescue and
Wells, John (Maidstone) Woodnutt, Mark Mr. Keith Speed.
White, Roger (Gravesend)

Question put, That the Clause be added to the Bill:—

The House divided: Ayes, 283, Noes 244.

Division No. 251.] AYES [9.22 p.m.
Adley, Robert Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Kellett, Mrs. Elaine
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.) Kilfedder, James
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Emery, Peter Kimball, Marcus
Archer, Jeffrey (Louth) Eyre, Reginald King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)
Astor, John Farr, John King, Tom (Bridgwater)
Atkins, Humphrey Feil, Anthony Kinsey, J. R.
Awdry, Daniel Former, Mrs. Peggy Kirk, Peter
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Fidler, Michael Kitson, Timothy
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Fineberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead) Knight, Mrs. Jill
Balniel, Lord Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) Knox, David
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Lambton, Antony
Batsford, Brian Fookes, Miss Janet Lane, David
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Foster, Sir John Langfort-Holt, Sir John
Bell, Ronald Fowler, Norman Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Fox, Marcus Le Marchant, Spencer
Benyon, W. Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone) Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Berry, Hn. Anthony Fry, Peter Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone.)
Biffen, John Gardner, Edward Longden, Gilbert
Biggs-Davison, John Gibson-Watt, David Loveridge, John
Blaker, Peter Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) McAdden, Sir Stephen
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) Mac Arthur, Ian
Body, Richard Glyn, Dr. Alan McCrindle, R. A.
Boscawen, Robert Goodhatt, Philip McLaren, Martin
Bossom, Sir Clive Goodhew, Victor Maclean, Sir Fitzroy
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John Gorst, John McMaster, Stanley
Braine, Bernard Gower, Raymond Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)
Bray, Ronald Gray, Hamish McNair-Wilson, Michael
Brewis, John Green, Alan McNair-Wilson, Patrick (NewForest)
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Grieve, Percy Maddan, Martin
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Madel, David
Bryan, Paul Grimond, Rt, Hn. J. Maginnis, John E.
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, U&M) Grylls, Michael Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest
Buck, Antony Gummer, Selwyn Marten, Neil
Bullus, Sir Eric Gurden, Harold Maude, Angus
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Mawby, Ray
Campbell, Rt. Hn. G. (Moray & Nairm) Hall, John (Wycombe) Maxwell-Hystop, R. J.
Carlisle, Mark Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Meyer, Sir Anthony
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Mills, Peter (Torrington)
Chapman, Sydney Hannam, John (Exeter) Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)
Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Miscampbell, Norman
Chichester-Clark, R. Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C. (Aberdeenshire, W.)
Churchill, W. S. Haselhurst, Alan Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Clark, William (Surrey, E.) Hastings, Stephen Moats, Roger
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcllffe) Hay, John Molyneaux, James
Clegg, Walter Hayhoe, Barney Money, Ernie
Cockeram, Eric Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward Monks, Mrs. Connie
Cooke, Robert Heseltine, Michael Monro, Hector
Coombs, Derek Hicks, Robert Montgomery, Fergus
Cooper, A. E. Higgins, Terence L. More, Jasper
Corfield, Rt. Hn. Frederick Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, s.) Morrison, Charles (Devizes)
Cormack, Patrick Hill, James (Southampton, Test) Mudd, David
Costain, A. P. Holland, Philip Murton, Oscar
Critchley, Julian Holt, Miss Mary Nabarro, Sir Gerald
Crouch, David Hooson, Emlyn Neave, Airey
Crowder, F. P. Hordern, Peter Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael
Curran, Charles Hornby, Richard Normanton, Tom
Dalkeith, Eart of Hornsby-Smithy, Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia Nott, John
d'Avigdor-Gotdsmid, Sir Henry Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate) Onslow, Crarley
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, JamesMaj.-Gen. Howell, David (Guildford) Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally
Dean, Paul Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Hutchison, Michael Clark Osborn, John
Digby, Simon Wingfield Iremonger, T. L. Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.)
Dixon, Piers James, David Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Dodds-Parker, Douglas Jessel, Toby Parkinson, Cecil (Enfield, W.)
Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec Johnson Smith, C. (E. Grinetead) Peel, John
du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Percival, Ian
Dykes, Hugh Jopling, Michael Pink, R. Bonner
Eden, Sir John Kaberry, Sir Donald Pounder, Rafton
Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch Sinclair, Sir George van Straubenzee, W. R.
Price, David (Eastleigh) Skeet, T. H. H. Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Proudfoot, Wilfred Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington) Vickers, Dame Joan
Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis Soref, Harold Waddington, David
Quennell, Miss J. M. Speed, Keith Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Raison, Timothy Spence, John Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)
Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James Sproat, Iain Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter Stainton, Keith Wall, Patrick
Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.) Stanbrook, Ivor Walters, Dennis
Rees, Peter (Dover) Stewart-Smith, D. G. (Belper) Ward, Dame Irene
Rees-Davies, W. R. Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.) Weatherill, Bernard
Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M. Wells, John (Maidstone)
Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Stokes, John White, Roger (Gravesend)
Ridley, Hn. Nicholas Stuttaford, Dr. Tom Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Ridsdale, Julian Sutcliffe, John Wiggin, Jerry
Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.) Tapsell, Peter Wilkinson, John
Roberts, Wyn (Conway) Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne) Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey) Taylor, Frank (Moss Sidle) Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Rost, Peter Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N. W.) Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher
Russell, Sir Ronald Tebbit, Norman Woodnutt, Mark
St. John-Stevas, Norman Temple, John M. Worsley, Marcus
Sandys, Rt. Hn. D. Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Scott, Nicholas Thomas, John stradling (Monmouth) Younger, Hn. George
Scott-Hopkins, James Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
Sharples, Richard Trafford, Dr. Anthony TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby) Trew, Peter Mr. Paul Hawkins and
Shelton, William (Clapham) Tugendhat, Christopher Mr. Tim Fortescue.
Simeons, Charles Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Abse, Leo Delargy, H. J. Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)
Albu, Austen Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Hughes, Mark (Durham)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Dempsey, James Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.)
Allen, Scholefield Devlin, Miss Bernadette Hughes, Roy (Newport)
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Doig, Peter Hunter, Adam
Armstrong, Ernest Dormand, J. D. Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)
Ashley, Jack Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.) Janner, Greville
Ashton, Joe Douglas-Mann, Bruce Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas
Atkinson, Norman Driberg, Tom Jeger, Mrs. Lena (H'b'n&St. P'cras, S.)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Duffy, A. E. P. Jenkins, Hugh (putney)
Barnett, Joel Dunn, James A. Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)
Beaney, Alan Dunnett, Jack John, Brynmor
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Eadie, Alex Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)
Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Edelman, Maurice Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)
Bidwell, Sydney Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.)
Bishop, E. S. Edwards, William (Merioneth) Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Ellis, Tom Jones, Dan (Burnley)
Boardman, H. (Leigh) English, Michael Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)
Booth, Albert Evans, Fred Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fernyhough, E. Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.)
Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland) Fisher, Mrs. Doris (B'ham, Ladywood) Judd, Frank
Bradley, Tom Fitch Alan (Wigan) Kaufman, Gerald
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne. W.) Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Kelley, Richard
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Kerr, Russell
Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury) Foot Michael Kinnock, Neil
Buchan, Norman Lamond, James
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Forrester, John Latham, Arthur
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Fraser, John (Norwood) Lawson, George
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Freeson, Reginald Leadbitter, Ted
Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.) Galpern, Sir Myer Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Cant, R. B. Garrett, W. E. Leonard, Dick
Carmichael, Neil Gilbert, Dr. John Lestor, Miss Joan
Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles) Ginsburg, David Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham N.)
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Golding, John Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Clark, David (Colne Valley) Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C. Lomas, Kenneth
Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Gourlay, Harry Loughlin, Charles
Cohen, Stanley Grant, George (Morpeth) Lyon, Alexander W. (York)
Concannon, J. D. Grant, John D. (Islington, E.) Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)
Conian, Bernard Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Griffiths, Will (Exchange) McBride, Neil
Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.) Hamilton, James (Bothwell) McCartney, Hugh
Crawshaw, Richard Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) McElhone, Frank
Cronin, John Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill) Mackenzie, Gregor
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Hardy, Peter Mackie, John
Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Harper, Joseph Maclennan, Robert
Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.) Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) McNamara, J. Kevin
Dalyell, Tam Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith MacPherson, Malcolm
Davidson, Arthur Hatterstey, Roy Mallalieu, J. P. w. (Huddersfield, E.)
Davies, Denzil (Llanelly) Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis Marquand, David
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Heffer, Eric S. Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Horam, John Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy
Davis, Clinton (Hackny, C.) Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Meacher, Michael
Deakins, Eric Huckfield, Leslie Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert
Mendelson, John Rankin, John Taverne, Dick
Millan, Bruce Reed, D. (Sedgefield) Thomas, Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff, W.)
Miller, Dr. M. S. Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.) Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Milne, Edward (Blyth) Rhodes, Geoffrey Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. (Dundee, E.)
Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Richard, Ivor Tinn, James
Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Tomney, Frank
Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy (Caernarvon) Torney, Tom
Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon) Robertson, John (Paisley) Tuck, Raphael
Moyle, Roland Roderick, Caerwyn E. (Br'c'nR'dnor) Varley, Eric G.
Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick Roper, John Wainwright, Edwin
Murray, Ronald King Rose, Paul B. Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Ogden, Eric Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock) Wallace, George
O'Halloran, Michael Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne) Watkins, David
O'Malley, Brian Short, Rt. Hn. Edward(N'c'tle-u-Tyne) Weitzman, David
Oram, Bert Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton. N. E.) Wellbeloved, James
Orbach, Maurice Sillars, James Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Orme, Stanley Silverman, Julius White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Oswald, Thomas Skinner, Dennis Whitehead, Phillip
Palmer, Arthur Small, William Whitlock, William
Parker, John (Dagenham) Smith, John (Lanarkshire, North) Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange) Spearing, Nigel Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Pavitt, Laurie Spriggs, Leslie Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred Stallard, A. W. Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Pendry, Tom Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael (Fulham) Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Pentland Norman Stoddart, David (Swindon) Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Perry, Ernest G. Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John Woof, Robert
Prescott, John Strang, Gavin
Price, J. T. (Westhoughton) Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Price, William (Rugby) Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley Mr. William Hamling and
Probert, Arthur Swain, Thomas Mr. Donald Coleman.

Clause accordingly added to the Bill.

Forward to