§ 15. Mr. Adam Butler
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what proportion of strikes in 1970 was due to demarcation or similar inter-union disputes; and how this figure compares with previous years.
§ Mr. Butler
Is my hon. Friend aware that there has been a diminution of this type of dispute over the past few years, and that much of that is due to the work of the T.U.C.? But would he not agree also that a reduction in the number of unions would be helpful to a further reduction in this type of dispute? What steps can his Department take, either directly or indirectly, to bring that about?
§ Mr. Bryan
The general process of amalgamation has gone on over the years, but probably more important is that the unions should be of a sufficient size to meet the needs of their members. I would certainly agree with my hon. Friend. I think that all hon. Members would want to acknowledge the role of the T.U.C. in inter-union disputes. The Bridlington Agreement of the T.U.C. and the T.U.C. constitution provide for action on all kinds of disputes between affiliated unions. The Government certainly want that there.
§ Mrs. Castle
But is the hon. Gentleman aware that it was just because of the increasing effectiveness of the T.U.C. in dealing with inter-union disputes that the proposals in "In Place Of Strife" for other methods of dealing with them were dropped?