HC Deb 11 July 1974 vol 876 cc1640-57
Sir David Renton

I beg to move Amendment No. 79, in page 20, line 11, leave out subsection (3).

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this we may take Amendment 93, in page 20, line 12, at end insert: so long as the person or persons whose actions in Great Britain are said to be in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute relating to matters occuring outside Great Britain are likely to be affected in respect of one or more of the matters specified in subsection (1) of this section by the outcome of that dispute".

Sir D. Renton

The clause introduces a new and greatly enlarged definition of "trade dispute". In particular, for the first time in our history these words are included: There is a trade dispute for the purposes of this Act even though it relates to matters occurring outside Great Brtain. The expression "outside Great Britain" means anywhere else in the world.

Having read the Committee proceedings and having accepted, as my hon. Friend the Member for City of London and Westminister, South (Mr. Tugendhat) said, that there is a growth of multinational companies, I nevertheless suggest to the House that that factor alone cannot justify a territorial extension of the conception of trade dispute to a wide variety of events happening anywhere in the world. It is a fantastic proposition. Therefore, it would be wrong to allow subsection (3) to remain in the Bill without any limitation.

Fortunately, the Conservative Front Bench have tabled a limitation of the Bill in the form of Amendment No. 93, and I shall leave them to put their own point. We trust that the Secretary of State will accept Amendment No. 93 or give an undertaking that a suitable amendment will be moved in another place to cut down the fantastically wide territorial scope of subsection (3).

The Secretary of State must realise that the Bill is not an altogether popular measure, and the widening of the definition of "trade dispute" which bites on other clauses in the Bill, including the provision on picketing, will make the Bill unpopular. The late Sir Winston Churchill, speaking about 25 years ago, said that the trade unions had become one of the great estates of the realm. That was not a constitutional exactitude but a recognition of the growing strength, responsibilities and status of the trade unions. However, we have now reached a stage with the trade unions which we have often reached with other powerful elements in our society. The British people do not like any particular section of the community to become too powerful. Nobody should know that better than the Secretary of State. I remember his predecessor in Ebbw Vale, the late Nye Bevan, saying in this House that he thought Henry VIII was a very good monarch because he curbed the power of the monasteries. The right hon. Gentleman was brought up to believe that my successor as Member for Huntingdon. shire, Oliver Cromwell, was a good Member of Parliament because he curbed the power of the then monarch who was attempting to be an absolute monarch

Mr. Woodhouse

I am sure that my right hon. and learned Friend meant that Cromwell was his predecessor, not his successor.

Sir. D. Renton

I am sorry for that putative reincarnation, of which I was unintentionally guilty. I hope that nobody will accuse me of such a sentiment. I should of course have said "predecessor".

The point I am making is that when our people feel it is necessary to check the growth of power, strong personalities are needed to take on the job, as history has shown. The Secretary of State for Employment has a strong personality. I thought that his appointment was a shrewd move, because he was a keen democrat and libertarian, and I thought that his persuasive eloquence might help the unions to see sense. But I must confess that the Bill, with its immensely wide extension of "trade dispute", is a great disappointment. I never thought the right hon. Gentleman, with the qualities we all know he possesses, would have inflicted such a Bill on the House. It is in that spirit that I appeal to him, in all sincerity, to consider whether it is right to have this vast extension of the conception of a trade dispute.

I should like to give one example of what the Bill could mean if the clause remains as it is. If there were a trade dispute in, say, a South American country—a dispute which was internal to the trade union affairs of that country—and some trade union militants in Great Britain got hot under the collar about it, they could legitimately cause a strike in this country which could do our economy immense harm. Therefore, the clause must be changed.

Mr. Christopher Tugendhat (City of London and Westminster, South)

I shall seek to deal only with Amendment No. 93 which is more narrowly drawn than Amendment No. 79, so ably moved by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Huntingdonshire (Sir D. Renton).

This matter was fully discussed in Committee and resulted in a tied vote. It is a matter of great importance to the nation as a whole. We feel strongly about this point and therefore I shall seek to recapitulate the main heads of the argument. I hope that I may speak reasonably briefly, but the brevity of my remarks should not be taken as suggesting that we do not regard the matter as important.

To begin with, there is a good deal of common ground between the Government and the proposers of this amendment. The Government aim to bring the law up to date in terms of multinational companies and trade disputes and we applaud this move. Indeed, I would claim that a book which I wrote some years ago was somewhat in advance of the Government on this point—

Mr. Foot

Wait to see our Employment Protection Bill.

Mr. Tugendhat

It could be said that the Government were following the recommendations then made.

We recognise that the development of multinational companies with plants in many different countries means that the relationship between plants across frontiers and seas is similar in practice to the relationship between plants in different parts of a single country. Therefore, it is reasonable for employees of the same employer to have interests in common and equally reasonable for them to combine to secure those interests. One has only to think of trade union contracts with similar terminal dates, or of endeavours to extend the best working conditions achieved in one subsidiary of a company to another subsidiary, or such matters as the speed at which an assembly line moves where a major concession may be made by employers in Germany which it would be desirable to extend to this country and to other countries in which the company operates. We accept the principle of the combination of workers employed by the same company in different countries, and I think that this point is common ground between the two sides. At least the Minister in reply to the debate need not deal with that matter.

There is, however, an important area of difference between the two sides of the House. We feel that it is important to be as careful as possible about the way in which we extend the substantial liberties, privileges and immunities granted to trade unions involved in industrial disputes and to make sure that the liberties are not granted too widely or carelessly, but only where justified. This difference is epitomised in the sense that we believe there must be a direct link between events happening overseas and the interests of those who are involved overseas and the interests of workers and other employees in the United Kingdom. There must be a direct and tangible link.

8 p.m.

The Government take a contrary view. As always, the Minister of State was frank; he made it clear that the Bill is designed to go much wider and that the Government do not believe that there should be such a link at all. When one considers how the Bill and particularly this clause have been drawn one can see how wide these provisions are and how great are the dangers of political events in faraway places being brought into our workshops and damaging our economy.

The Bill sets out the type of dispute which counts as a trade dispute, and in British conditions the definitions are perfectly reasonable. Such matters as discipline under Clause 26, membership of a union, or consultation procedures, are things which we fully understand in a British context, but they can be the basis of politics in other countries. Such matters as consultation and union membership in South Africa or Chile or all too many other countries have a different connotation from the one that we understand.

Therefore, the danger is that disputes in other countries could become the subject of disputes in this country as employees of a multinational firm took industrial action in support of workers under different political régimes when those workers were engaged in matters which, although legitimate here, were not of direct interest to work people here. They might be of direct interest to them as citizens, but not in terms of an industtrial dispute.

The danger does not end there. The items listed in the Bill are relevant not only to industrial disputes between workers in another country and a multinational employer with employees here but also when there is no link whatever between the two sets of work people. The Minister of State and I in Committee took as a purely illustrative example coal miners in this country and in Germany. Our discussion shows how widely the Bill has been drawn and how dangerous it is. If the German coal miners took strike action against the German State mines and the British coal miners employed by the National Coal Board, which has no relationship with the German mines, decided to come out in sympathy, under the Bill not only would they be at liberty to do so but they would be covered by all the immunities and privileges which the Bill provides for industrial disputes. We believe that to be totally unreasonable.

The Minister of State took as perhaps a more realistic example the possibility of dockers here engaging in support of the German miners in an industrial dispute to avoid moving coal to Germany. I accept that that would be more justifiable, but I would argue that great damage could be done to our economy. If imports of coal into Germany are to be prevented, it is up to the German dockers to support their coal-mining brothers in the Ruhr and not for British dockers. If the Government can base their case only on sympathetic action of that sort, the Bill is not justified.

It is not of those hypothetical examples, however, that one is really afraid. We recognise that the vast majority of industrial unions in this country would think seriously before engaging in sympathetic action, and that they do not take and have not taken such action lightly, but we live in an age of protest and shrinking frontiers, and there is an increasing awareness among people of all countries of the injustices and wrongs perpetrated in other countries. In many ways that is a good thing. I think we would all rejoice at the success of people in the West, notably in Britain, in persuading the Russians to take a more civilised attitude towards the Jews and others who have fallen into disfavour in the Soviet Union. The efforts of people in this country which have borne such outstanding fruit are absolutely to be commended. It is right that people in this country should be concerned with what happens in other countries and, if they feel strongly, should demonstrate peacefully and protest in an appropriate fashion to persuade foreign Governments to act more reasonably.

However, there is all the difference in the world between people here acting in that way as citizens—protesting peacefully outside embassies during cultural exchanges, writing letters to ambassadors and making speeches in the House and elsewhere—and industrial disputes. The distinction that we would draw is that it is right for the citizen to take an interest in what happens overseas and do all he can to put wrongs right, but that he should act as a citizen and not as an employee. If, in pursuing the purpose of righting wrongs overseas people in this country harm our economy and employers who have no conceivable responsibility for what happens abroad, that is unjust and wrong.

Amendment No. 93 would limit the scope of the Bill to multinational companies and to events and issues which have a direct bearing on the interests of people in this country. When matters arise not directly connected with people here, they should be able to act as citizens but not as unionists and employees.

Mr. Peyton

I support what my hon. Friend has said, and I do not want to repeat what I said in an earlier debate. We live in an age when the community is increasingly vulnerable to this kind of pressure. That the people of this country should be subjected to pressures because of disputes which have nothing to do with them, which are right outside the boundaries of this realm, is quite unacceptable.

Again one is driven back to the complaint that the Government are concerned solely with smoothing the path of the trade union movement. I do not regard that movement as the weak and pathetic affair that the Government evidently have in mind. It is an enormously powerful giant in our modem life, and giants need to be curbed by Parliament for the protection of the public and of individuals who cannot protect themselves. The fantastic bald, unqualified statement that an industrial dispute shall be an industrial dispute no matter where it takes place in the world is a totally unacceptable widening of immunity.

I should have been happy to support my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Huntingdonshire (Sir D. Renton) in his simple amendment to cut out what I regard as an offensive and unacceptable pair of lines in the Bill, but my right hon. Friend the Member for Lowestoft (Mr. Prior) and my hon. Friend the Member for City of London and Westminster, South (Mr. Tugendhat), who put his amendment with great skill, have seen otherwise. I commend them for their restraint and, naturally, I shall go along with them.

Mr. Robert Edwards (Wolverhampton, South-East)

It was not my intention to speak in the debate, and I shall not take long, but I see the burden of the Opposition's case as being a desire to curb the international power of the trade union movement while wanting no restraint on the increasing power of the multinational company. That is precisely it. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Then let us analyse what is happening in the world.

One-quarter of the total output of the Western world today is produced by about 300 multinational companies. Those companies operate across frontiers. There is no sanction against them, apart from the international trade union movement. There is no Government legislation. There is no register. They arrange for tax havens to avoid their responsibility to the community. They arrange pollution havens to dodge their responsibility for anti-pollution measures. They close factories without consulting the workers. About 60 per cent. of all capital investment today is directed towards reducing unit labour costs, creating technological unemployment.

All that is done across the frontiers of the world. How does the trade union movement discuss with those multinational companies the anti-social effects of their global investments? If a multinational company can operate across frontiers in that way, often pursuing a policy of internationalising both production and distribution, surely working people organised in their trade unions are entitled to look at those global investments and their effect upon the employment of their own people in different countries.

How does one stop a multinational company such as Dunlop-Pirelli deciding to establish a factory in Spain, South Africa, Portugal, Latin America or, say, Southern Asia where starvation labour is exploited and at the same time deciding to close a factory in this country? Is it wrong for the trade union movement to discuss with such a company the anti-social effects of its investments? If it closes a factory in Germany, is it wrong for our British workers to say "We want to talk about the problems of German workers"? If Shell International decides to close a distilling plant in Holland and to open one in Saudi Arabia or in Libya, are not the Dutch workers entitled to talk to Shell on an international basis about these problems? If Shell refuses to talk, is it wrong for workers across the frontiers of the world to say "We shall impose a sanction against you in the form of bans on overtime until you are ready to talk"?

Is there anything wrong with that in this modern world of internationalising production? [HON. MEMBERS: "That is not the amendment."] Yes, it is. What the Opposition want is no sanction against the multinational company but sanctions against the trade union movement.

8.15 p.m.

Mr. John Fraser

I take, first, Amendment No. 79, moved by the right hon. and learned Member for Huntingdon. shire (Sir D. Renton), to delete subsection (3) altogether. I shall not say much about this because I think that there is virtual unanimity in the House that action may be needed, or that the power ought to be vested in the trade unions to take action, against multinational companies. The difference between the two Front Benches is on the question whether, when action is taken against a multinational company, there is a direct interest for the workers in this country.

Sir David Renton

The hon. Gentleman must not misunderstand me. I said that the terms of subsection (3) should be limited but that, if they were not limited, it should be taken out in due course.

Mr. Fraser

I am sorry. I was taking the right hon. and learned Gentleman's amendment as it stood, which would take out subsection (3).

The extension of the definition of trade dispute as it stands in the Bill does not authorise political action. It is limited to the items listed in Clause 26. It does not authorise a purely political strike because a group of workers or a trade union disagree with the political complexion or political views of someone else, or with the view taken by another Government.

On the general principle, I thought that we were, in effect, fitting into the general view which is now taken that we ought to approach these matters at least on a European basis. Having some responsibility for certain aspects of European policy, I am constantly urged that this country should adopt a recommendation about hours of work operating throughout the European Economic Community, about basic holidays, about equal pay, about mergers, about mass dismissals, and so on. It seems to me perfectly logical to permit trade unions to press on with those improvements in hours and conditions on a European or a multinational basis.

I turn now from points of general principle to the details of the official Opposition amendment—Amendment No. 93. Although it is similar to an amendment which the Opposition moved in Committee, its terms are somewhat narrower, because the amendment in Committee allowed immunity if any party to the dispute in this country had an interest, but by the present amendment the Opposition are saying that so long as the person or persons whose actions in Great Britain are said to be in contemplation of furtherance of a trade dispute … outside Great Britain are likely to be affected … I think that hon. Members will concede that that is fairly narrow.

The nub of the matter is that the Opposition are saying that if a worker in this country has a direct interest, if he is affected, if he benefits from his action, the immunity ought to apply, but if he does not benefit from his action, if it is purely altruistic or idealistic, the immunity should not apply.

It would be extremely difficult to say with certainty whether a striking party in this country was likely to be affected. I give an example. Workers at Ford in Great Britain may be concerned about the terms and conditions and wages of Ford workers in Spain, where there are no trade unions. They may decide to take action in support of a trade dispute in Spain. It may well be that the action taken by the Ford workers here is entirely altruistic, that they are not affected personally in any way, or, indeed, that they may suffer loss by it. But is that any reason for not allowing them to take action in this country?

Here is another example. It is not uncommon for seamen aboard certain ships not to be paid their wages on arriving at a certain port. From time to time the Transport and General Workers' Union in this country and dockers' unions in other countries have taken action to secure the payment of wages to, say, Greek seamen, and this action has been successful. But the party taking the action did not benefit by it. It was idealistic, an effort to help one's fellow man. I should support the maintenance of opportunity for that effort and action to be taken

Workers in this country might take action here over a trade dispute between South African black workers and a company there. Again, in the terms of the Opposition amendment, the workers in this country would not be likely to be affected in respect of one or more of the matters specified in subsection (1)"— those being the items forming a trade dispute. Nevertheless, I think their action would be justified.

Time and time again it has been the tradition of the working class and trade unionists in this country to take action or to suffer consequences or penalties because of the sufferings of people in other parts of the world. That was done by the cotton workers of Lancashire during the American Civil War. Those workers did not benefit; they suffered willingly because of the needs of others. Such action and suffering were experienced by the British workers in connection with past Hungarian revolutions. Indeed, there is a tradition in this country of helping people who are suppressed and oppressed in other countries. There is the example of Prime Minister Gladstone assisting Garibaldi to make his journey from Sicily to Italy during the Risorgimento.

There is not that much difference between the two Front Benches on this matter. The Opposition say that trade disputes with international implications should be authorised where the workers in this country have an interest at stake. I say that such action should be authorised even where workers in this country act idealistically and in the interests of other people.

During this debate we have not heard one example of the kind of conduct about which the Opposition is worried. It is dangerous to try to conjure up hypothetical, imaginary situations and then try to design a law to meet a situation which has not occurred.

I hope that, on balance, the House will accept my argument and will reject the Opposition amendment.

Sir David Renton

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I wish to ask leave to withdraw my amendment. I do so with some reluctance, because I would prefer to see the official amendment passed. If, by any change, I pressed my amendment to a conclusion and it were carried, the Opposition amendment would be in a somewhat difficult position. Therefore, I think it best I withdraw my amendment and let the official Opposition amendment be the

Division No. 77.] AYES [8.25 pm
Adley, Robert Costain, A. P. Hall-Davis. A. G. F.
Aitken, Jonathan Crouch, David Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Crowder, F. P. Hannam, John
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford) Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)
Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj. -Gen. James Harvie Anderson, Rt. Hn. Miss
Ancram, M. Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.) Hastings, Stephen
Archer, Jeffrey Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Havers, Sir Michael
Atkins, Rt.Hn. Humphrey (Spelthorne) Dixon, Piers Hayhoe, Barney
Awdry, Daniel Dodds-Parker, Sir Douglas Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward
Baker, Kenneth Dodsworth, Geoffrey Henderson, J. S. B. (Dunbartonshire, E.)
Balniel, Rt. Hn. Lord Drayson, Burnaby Heseltine, Michael
Banks, Robert du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Higgins, Terence
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Durant, Tony Holland, Philip
Beith, A. J. Dykes, Hugh Hooson, Emlyn
Bell, Ronald Eden, Rt. Hn. Sir John Hordern, Peter
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay) Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Howe, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Surrey, E.)
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Fareham) Elliott, Sir William Howell, David (Guildford)
Berry, Hon. Anthony Emery, Peter Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, North)
Biffen, John Eyre, Reginald Howells, Geraint (Cardigan)
Hunt, John
Biggs-Davison, John Fairgrieve, Russell Hurd, Douglas
Blaker, Peter Farr, John Hutchison, Michael Clark
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.) Fell, Anthony Iremonger, T. L.
Body, Richard Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)
Boscawen, Hon. Robert Fidler. Michael James, David
Bowden, Andrew (Brighton, Kemptown) Finsberg. Geoffrey Jenkin, Rt. Hn. P. (R'dge W'std & W'fd)
Boyson, Dr. Rhodes (Brent, N.) Fisher, Sir Nigel Jessel, Toby
Braine, Sir Bernard Fletcher, Alexander (Edinburgh, N.) Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)
Bray, Ronald Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Johnston, Russell (Inverness)
Brewis, John Fookes, Miss Janet Jones, Arthur (Daventry)
Brittan, Leon Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'field) Jopling, Michael
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Fox, Marcus Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone) Kaberry, Sir Donald
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Freud, Clement Keliett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine
Bryan, Sir Paul Fry, Peter Kershaw, Anthony
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Galbraith, Hn. T. G. D. Kimball, Marcus
Buck, Antony Gardiner. George (Reigate & Banstead) King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)
Budgen, Nick Gardner, Edward (S. Fylde) King, Tom (Bridgwater)
Bulmer, Esmond Gibson-Watt, Rt. Hn. David Kitson, Sir Timothy
Burden, F. A. Gllmour, Rt. Hn. Ian (Ch'sh' & Amsh'm) Knight, Mrs. Jill
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) Knox, David
Carlisle, Mark Glyn, Dr. Alan Lamont, Norman
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Goodhart, Philip Lane, David
Chalker, Mrs. Lynda Goodhew, Victor Langford-Holt, Sir John
Channon, Paul Goodlad, A. Latham, Michael (Melton)
Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher Gorst, John Lawrence, Ivan
Churchill, W. S. Gow, Ian (Eastbourne) Lawson, Nigel (Blaby)
Clark, A. K. M. (Plymouth, Sutton) Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry) Le Marchant, Spencer
Clark, William (Croydon, S.) Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.) Lester, Jim (Beeston)
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Gray, Hamish Lewis, Kenneth (Rtland & Stmford)
Clegg, Walter Grieve, Percy Lloyd, Ian (Havant & Waterloo)
Cockcroft, John Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Loveridge, John
Cooke, Robert (Bristol, W) Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. MacArthur, Ian
Cope, John Grist, Ian McCrindle, R. A.
Cordle, John Grylls, Michael Macfarlane, Neil
Cormack, Patrick Gurden, Harold MacGregor, John
Corrie. John Hall, Sir John Macmillan, Rt. Hn. M. (Farnham)

subject of the Division. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment proposed: No. 93, in page 20, line 12, at end insert: so long as the person or persons whose actions in Great Britain are said to be in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute relating to matters occurring outside Great Britain are likely to be affected in respect of one or more of the matters specified in subsection (1) of this section by the outcome of that dispute."—[Mr. Prior.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 291, Noes 294.

McNair-Wilson, Michael (Newbury) Price, David (Eastleigh) Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest) Prior, Rt. Hn. James Stodart, Rt. Hn. A. (Edinburgh, W.)
Madel, David Quennell, Miss J. M. Stokes, John
Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Raison, Timothy Stradling Thomas, John
Mather, Carol Rathbone, Tim Tapsell, Peter
Maude, Angus Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter Taylor, Edward M. (Glgow, C'cart)
Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald Redmond, Robert Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)
Mawby, Ray Rees-Davies, W. R. Tebbit, Norman
Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David (H't' gd' ns' re) Temple-Morris, Peter
Mayhew, Christopher (G'wh, W'wch, E) Renton, R. T. (Mid-Sussex) Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Margaret
Mayhew, Patrick (RoyalT'bridge Wells) Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Thomas, Rt. Hn. P. (B'net, H'dn S.)
Meyer, Sir Anthony Ridsdale, Julian Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
Miller, Hal (B'grove & R'ditch) Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey Townsend, C. D.
Mills, Peter Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.-W.) Trotter, Neville
Miscampbell, Norman Roberts, Wyn (Conway) Tugendhat, Christopher
Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks) Tyler, Paul
Moate, Roger Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight) van Straubenzee, W. R.
Money, Ernie Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey) Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Monro, Hector Rost, Peter (Derbyshire, S.-E.) Viggers, Peter
Moore, J. E. M. (Croydon, C.) Royle, Sir Anthony Waddington, David
Morgan, Geraint Sainsbury, Tim Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)
Morgan-Giles. Rear-Adm. St. John-Stevas, Norman Wakeham, John
Morris, Michael (Northampton S) Scott-Hopkins, James Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Shaw, Giles (Pudsey) Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)
Morrison, Peter (Chester) Shaw, Michael (Scarborough) Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Mudd, David Shelton, William (L'mb'th, Streath'm) Wall, Patrick
Neave, Airey Shersby, Michael Walters, Dennis
Neubert, Michael Silvester, Fred Warren, Kenneth
Newton, Tony (Braintree) Sims, Roger Weatherill, Bernard
Nicholls, Sir Harmar Sinclair, Sir George Wells, John
Nott, John Skeet, T. H. H. Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Onslow, Cranley Smith, Cyril (Rochdale) Wiggin, Jerry
Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'm'ngton) Winterton, Nicholas
Osborn, John Spence, John Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
Page, Rt. Hn. Graham (Crosby) Spicer, Jim (Dorset, W.) Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher
Page, John (Harrow, W.) Spicer, Michael (Worcestershire, S.) Worsley, Sir Marcus
Pardoe, John Sproat, Iain Young, Sir George (Ealing, Acton)
Parkinson, Cecil (Hertfordshire, S.) Stainton, Keith Younger, Hn. George
Pattie, Geoffrey Stanbrook, Ivor
Percival, Ian Stanley, John TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Peyton, Rt. Hn. John Steel, David Mr. Paul Hawkins and
Pink, R. Bonner Steen, Anthony (L'pool, Wavertree) Mr. W.Benyon.
Abse, Leo Colquhoun, Mrs. M. N. Ewlng, Mrs.Winifred (Moray & Nairn)
Allaun, Frank Conlan, Bernard Faulds, Andrew
Archer, Peter Cook, Robert F. (Edinburgh, C) Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E.
Ashley, Jack Cox, Thomas Filch, Alan (Wigan)
Ashton, Joe Craigen, J. M. (G'gow, Maryhill) Fitt, Gerard (Belfast, W.)
Atkins, Ronald Crawshaw, Richard Flannery, Martin
Atkinson, Norman Cronin, John Fletoher, Raymond (Ilkeston)
Bagier, Gordon A T. Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Cryer, G. R. Foot, Rt. Hn. Michael
Barnett, Joel (Heywood & Royton) Cunningham, G. (Isl'ngt'n, S & F'sb'ry) Ford, Ben
Bates, Alf Cunningham, Dr. John A. (Whiteh'v'n) Forrester, John
Baxter, William Dalyell, Tam Fowler, Gerry (The Wrekin)
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Davidson, Arthur Fraser, John (Lambeth, Norwood)
Bennett, Andrew F. (Stockport, N.) Davles, Bryan (Enfield, N.) Freeson, Reginald
Bidwell, Sydney Davles, Denzil (Llanelli) Galpern, Sir Myer
Bishop, E. S. Davies, Ifor (Gower) Garrett, John (Norwich, S.)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend)
Boardman, H. Deakins, Eric George, Bruce
Booth, Albert Dean, Joseph (Leeds, W.) Gilbert, Dr. John
Boothroyd, Miss Betty de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Ginsburg, David
Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Delargy, Hugh Gourlay, Harry
Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland) Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Graham, Ted
Bradley, Tom Dempsey, James Grant, George (Morpeth)
Broughton, Sir Alfred Doig, Peter Grant, John (Islington, C.)
Brown, Bob (Newcastle upon Tyne, W.) Dormand, J. D. Griffiths, Eddie (Sheffield, Brightside)
Brown, Hugh D. (Glasgow, Provan) Douglas-Mann, Bruce Hamilton, James (Bothwell)
Brown, Ronald (H'kney, S. & Sh'ditch) Duffy, A. E. P. Hamilton, William (Fife, C.)
Buchan, Norman Dunn, James A. Hamling, William
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Springb'rn Dunnett, Jack Hardy, Peter
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (H'gey, WoodGreen) Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)
Callaghan, Jim (M'dd'ton & Pr'wich) Edelman, Maurice Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith
Campbell, Ian Edge, Geoff Hatton, Frank
Cant, R. B. Edwards, Robert (W'hampton, S.E.) Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis
Carmichael, Neil Ellis, John (Brigg & Scunthorpe) Heller, Eric S.
Carter, Ray Ellis, Tom (Wrexham) Henderson, Douglas (Ab'rd'nsh're, E)
Carter-Jones, Lewis English, Michael Hooley, Frank
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Ennals, David Horam, John
Clemitson, Ivor Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Howell, Denis (B'ham, Small Heath)
Cocks, Michael Evans, Ioan (Aberdare) Huckfield, Leslie
Cohen, Stanley Evans, John (Newton) Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)
Coleman, Donald Ewing, Harry (St'ling, F'kirk & G'm'th) Hughes, Mark (Durham)
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, North) Mendelson, John Sillars, James
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Mikardo, Ian Silverman, Julius
Hunter, Adam Millan, Bruce Skinner, Dennis
Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir A. (L'p'I. EdgeHI) Miller, Dr. M. S. (E. Kilbride) Small, William
Irving, Rt. Hn. Sydney (Dartford) Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen) Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Jackson, Colin Molloy, William Snape, Peter
Janner, Greville Moonman, Eric Spearing, Nigel
Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Spriggs, Leslie
Jeger, Mrs. Lena Morris Charles R. (Openshaw) Stallard, A. W.
Jenkins, Hugh (W'worth, Putney) Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon) Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)
Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (B'ham, St'fd) Moyle, Roland Stewart, Rt. Hn. M. (H'sth, Fulh'm)
John, Brynmor Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick Stoddart, David (Swindon)
Johnson, James (K'ston uponHull, W) Murray, Ronald King Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John
Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.) Newens, Stanley (Harlow) Stott, Roger
Jones, Barry (Flint, E.) Oakes, Gordon Strang, Gavin
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Ogden, Eric Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) O'Halloran, Michael Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Jones, Alec (Rhondda) O'Malley, Brian Swain, Thomas
Judd, Frank Orbach, Maurice Thomas, D. E. (Merioneth)
Kelley, Richard Ovenden, John Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Kerr, Russell Owen, Dr. David Thorne, Stan (Preston, S.)
Kilroy-Silk, Robert Padley, Walter Tierney, Sydney
Kinnock, Neil Palmer, Arthur Tinn, James
Lambie, David Park, George (Coventry, N.E.) Tomlinson, John
Lamborn, Harry Parker, John (Dagenham) Tomney, Frank
Lamond, James Parry, Robert Torney, Tom
Latham, Arthur (City of W'minster P'ton) Pavitt, Laurie Tuck, Raphael
Lawson, George (Motherwell & Wishaw) Pendry, Tom Urwin, T. W.
Leadbitter, Ted Perry, Ernest G. Varley, Rt. Hn. Eric G.
Lee, John Phipps, Dr. Colin Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough) Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, Ladywood)
Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold Prescott, John Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Lewis, Arthur (Newham, N.) Price, Christopher (Lewisham, W.) Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Price, William (Rugby) Watkins, David
Lipton, Marcus Radice, Giles Watt, Hamish
Lomas, Kenneth Reid, George Weitzman, David
Loughlin, Charles Richardson, Miss Jo Wellbeloved, James
Loyden, Eddie Roberts, Albert (Normanton) White, James
Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock) Whitehead, Phillip
Lyons, Edward (Bradford, W.) Robertson, John (Paisley) Whitlock, William
McCartney, Hugh Roderick, Caerwyn E. Wigley, Dafydd (Caernarvon)
MacCormack, Iain Rodgers, George (Chorley) Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
McElhone, Frank Rodgers, William (Teesside, St'ckton) Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
MacFarquhar, Roderick Rooker, J. W. Williams, Alan Lee (Hvrng, Hchurch)
McGuire, Michael Roper, John Williams, Rt. Hn. Shirley (H'f'd & St'ge)
Mackenzie, Gregor Rose, Paul B. Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Maclennan, Robert Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock) Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Rowlands, Edward Wilson, Gordon (Dundee, E.)
McNamara, Kevin Sandeison, Neville Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Madden, M. O. F. Sedgemore, Bryan Wilson, William (Covantry. S.E.)
Magee, Bryan Selby, Harry Wise, Mrs. Audrey
Mahon, Simon Shaw, Arnold (Redbridge, Ilford, S.) Woof, Robert
Mallalieu, J. P. W. Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne) Wrigglesworth, Ian
Marks, Kenneth Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (S'pney & P'plar) Young, David (Bolton, E.)
Marquand, David Short, Rt. Hn. E. (N'ctle-u-Tyne)
Marshall, Dr. Edmund (Goole) Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hamp'n, N.E.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Meacher, Michael Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (L'sham, D'ford) Mr. John Golding and
Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Silkin, Rt. Hn. S. C. (S'hwark, Dulwich) Mr. Joseph Harper.

Question accordingly negatived

Mr. Cyril Smith

I beg to move Amendment No. 65, in page 20, line 17, leave out subsection (5).

Subsection (5), as I understand it, appears to introduce a wholly unsatisfactory situation in that action might be taken or a threat issued despite the fact that the employer had already conceded the case. I read what was said in Committee, but the debate on this point was very short. It consisted merely of two speeches. I therefore move the amendment to enable the Minister to say why this provision is required.

Mr. Booth

I am grateful to the hon. Member for Rochdale (Mr. Smith) for raising this point which, as he fairly pointed out, was not covered in Committee.

Subsection (5) of the clause, which defines a trade dispute, covers the situation where one party accedes wholly or in part to a demand or threat of another party which if resisted would have led to a trade dispute. What that means in simple English is that if an employer threatens a union with a lockout unless it complies with certain conditions which he wants to impose, and if the union agrees to those conditions, the union is not thereafter prevented from having a right of action against the employer, and he would still have the protection of the Bill as if there had been a normal trade dispute.

To put the situation the other way round, if a trade union threatens an employer with a strike unless he agrees to a change in working conditions and he concedes wholly or partly that change in conditions, he is not prevented from having a right of action in the court against the union.

The need for that provision became apparent as a result of a decision in the court of appeal. We are doing no more than providing a protection which is totally compatible with the provision of immunities in the case of acts in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute.

Mr. Smith

I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

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