HC Deb 30 July 1974 vol 878 cc547-56

Lords amendment: No. 11, 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.

6.30 p.m.

Mr. Booth

I beg to move, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said amendment.

The amendment would restrict immunities for those workers striking in support of overseas workers to cases in which British workers were affected by the outcome of the dispute. It would not cover a strike within a multinational company. We are surprised that the Opposition have not met this point. When we debated it in Committee and on Report they made it clear that they believed that a worker in a multinational company in this country should be able to strike in support of another worker in that company working overseas and should have such protections and immunities for the pursuit or furtherance of a dispute as were open to a dispute in this country. Yet the amendment would restrict the right to those cases in which workers in this country would benefit from the outcome of the dispute—[Interruption.] The amendment would almost wholly destroy the object of Clause 26(3)—[Interruption.] The purpose of international trade union—[Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker

Order. A great deal of conversation is going on. I want to hear the Minister.

Mr. Booth

The purpose of international trade union federations, particularly those organised to cover the multinational company, is to enable workers in one country to act in support of those in another when those acting in support have no direct gain to obtain.

Let us suppose, for example, that a company had one factory in France, one in Canada and another in England. If the workers in France were in dispute with the company and the company sought to place the production in the English or Canadian factory, if workers in either of those factories took action to stop that work being placed, they would not stand to benefit directly but would simply be acting to make the French dispute successful. That is the logic of organising unions to cope with multinational situations. The amendment would rob the English or Canadian workers of the limited protection now left in the Bill for workers in trade disputes. To meet the basic requirement of international unionism the amendment must be rejected.

I should make it clear that the Government's opposition does not rest only on the multinational company. We intend that workers who strike in support of workers abroad should have such protections and immunities as are available under our union legislation. The amendment would reward selfishness, protecting strikes in which people engaged in their own interest but denying protection to strikes designed to aid others.

It has now become clear that the system of larger multinational organisations means that the conditions of unionists are threatened not only by the movement of sources of production from one country to another but by the use of means of production in one country to make good the deficit of goods from factories in other countries which are in dispute. If unions are to be organised effectively, they must from time to time call on the support of workers in other countries. The amendment would clearly deny to those who respond to such calls the limited protection left in the Bill. That is why we invite the House to disagree with the Lords.

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

We have made it clear throughout the prolonged discussions on the Bill that we are in favour of international trade unionism and of joint action by workers who have the same employer—in other words, multinational companies. We have also made it clear that we accepted that Oppositions did not always draft their amendments as perfectly as Governments and that if the Minister believed that our amendments did not meet the point but was willing to accept our arguments we would leave it to the Government to introduce amendments of their own.

The Government have steadfastly refused to do so. The reason was made clear by the Minister of State in his customarily frank and open fashion, when he pointed out that what the Government were really concerned with was not strikes against multinational companies or by groups of workers sharing the same employer. He made it clear that he interpreted these matters much more widely.

The Minister took an example—we both agreed that it was a far-fetched example—to show that he wanted the immunities and liberties of the Bill extended to British coal miners if they took strike action against the NCB in support of German coal miners striking against a German organisation. Those bodies would have no common link, and no interest in this country would be involved in the German action. That is a hypothetical case, but it illustrates the direction in which the Government wanted to go.

We support international trade unionism and the proposition that employees of a multinational company in one country should be able to pursue common interests with workers in other countries. However, we have always opposed the Government's aim to allow unions to strike with any political object in view, whether or not it was connected with what was going on—

Mr. Booth

We have never said that we sought in the Bill to cover political objects of strikes. We made it clear that we wanted the immunities that apply to strikes in furtherance of a trade dispute to cover those acting in furtherance of a dispute abroad but not to those acting in furtherance of a political object abroad.

Mr. Tugendhat

I take the point. It was argued in Committee and elsewhere that matters which in a British context were industrial became political in some countries, and that, in effect, the politics

of other countries would be coming on to the shop floors here. The division between us has always been clear in these debates.

The best thing for the House is to vote on the matter. It will be a vote of the House of Commons, not the House of Lords. It is because the Government do not have the votes in the House of Commons that they have been losing Divisions on the Bill. If they had the votes in the House of Commons they would be all right. It is because they have not got the votes in the House of Commons that they keep losing.

Question put. That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said amendment:—

The House divided: Ayes 272, Noes 280.

Division No. 107.) AYES [6.41 p.m.
Archer, Peter Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith
Armstrong, Ernest Deakins, Eric Hattersley, Roy
Ashley, Jack Dean, Joseph (Leeds, W.) Hatton, Frank
Ashton, Joe de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis
Atkins, Ronald Delargy, Hugh Heffer, Eric S.
Atkinson, Norman Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Henderson, Douglas (Ab'rd'nsh're, E)
Bagier, Gordon, A. T. Dempsey, James Hooley, Frank
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Doig, Peter Horam, John
Barnett, Joel (Heywood & Royton) Dormand, J. D. Howell, Denis (B'ham, Small Heath)
Baxter, William Douglas-Mann, Bruce Huckfield, Leslie
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Duffy, A. E. P. Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)
Bennett, Andrew F. (Stockport, N.) Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth Hughes, Mark (Durham)
Bidwell, Sydney Edelman, Maurice Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, North)
Bishop, E. S. Edge, Geoff Hughes, Roy (Newport)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Edwards, Robert (W'hampton, S. E.) Hunter, Adam
Boardman, H. Ellis, John (Brigg & Scunthorpe) Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir A. (L'p'l, Edge Hl)
Booth, Albert Ellis, Tom (Wrexham) Irving, Rt. Hn. Sydney (Dartford)
Boothroyd, Miss Betty English, Michael Jackson, Colin
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. Arthur Ennals, David Janner, Greville
Boyden, James (Bshop Auckland) Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas
Bradley, Tom Evans, Ioan (Aberdare) Jeger, Mrs. Lena
Broughton, Sir Alfred Ewing, Mrs. Winifred (Moray & Nairn) Jenkins, Hugh (W'worth, Putney)
Brown, Hugh D. (Glasgow, Provan) Faulds, Andrew Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (B'ham, St'fd)
Brown, Ronald (H'kney, S. & Sh'ditch) Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E. John, Brynmor
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Springb'rn Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Johnson, James (K'ston upon Hull, W)
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (H'gey. Wood Green) Fitt, Gerard (Belfast, W.) Jones, Barry (Flint, E.)
Callaghan, Jim (M'dd'ton & Pr'wch) Fiannery, Martin Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen)
Campbell, Ian Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Jones, Alec (Rhondda)
Cant, R. B. Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Judd, Frank
Carter, Ray Foot, Rt. Hn. Michael Kaufman, Gerald
Carter-Jones, Lewis Ford, Ben Kelley, Richard
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Forrester, John Kerr, Russell
Clemitson, Ivor Fowler, Gerry (The Wrekin) Kilroy-Silk, Robert
Cocks, Michael Fraser, John (Lambeth, Norwood) Kinnock, Neil
Cohen, Stanley Freeson, Reginald Lamborn, Harry
Coleman, Donald Galpern, Sir Myer Lamond, James
Colquhoun, Mrs. M. N. Garrett, John (Norwich, S.) Latham, Arthur (Cityof W'minster P'ton)
Conlan, Bernard Garrett, W. E. (Wallsend) Lawson, George (Motherwell & Wishaw)
Cook, Robert F. (Edinburgh, C.) George, Bruce Leadbitter, Ted
Cox, Thomas Gilbert, Dr. John Lee, John
Craigen, J. M. (G'gow, Maryhill) Golding, John Lever, Rt. He. Harold
Crawshaw, Richard Gourley, Harry Lewis, Arthur (Newham, N.)
Cronin, John Grant, George (Morpeth) Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Grant, John (Islington, C.) Lipton, Marcus
Cryer, G. R. Griffiths, Eddie (Sheffield, Brightside) Loughlin, Charles
Cunningham, G. (Isl'ngt'n, S & F'sb'ry) Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Loyden, Eddie
Dalyell, Tam Hamilton, William (Fife, C.) Lyon, Alexander W. (York)
Davidson, Arthur Hamling, William Lyons, Edward (Bradford, W.)
Davies, Bryan (Enfield, N.) Hardy, Peter Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson
Davies, Denzil (Llanelli) Harper, Joseph McCartney, Hugh
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) MacCormack, Iain
McElhone, Frank Phipps, Dr. Colin Thomas, D. E. (Merioneth)
MacFarquhar, Roderick Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
McGuire, Michael Prescott, John Thorne, Stan (Preston, S.)
Maclennan, Robert Price, Christopher (Lewisham, W.) Tierney, Sydney
McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Price, William (Rugby) Tinn, James
McNamara, Kevin Radice, Giles Tomlinson, John
Madden, M. O. F. Reid, George Tomney, Frank
Magee, Bryan Richardson, Miss Jo Torney, Tom
Mallalieu, J. P. W. Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Tuck, Raphael
Marks, Kenneth Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock) Urwin, T. W.
Marquand, David Robertson, John (Paisley) Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Marshall, Dr. Edmund (Goole) Roderick, Caerwyn E. Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, Ladywood)
Mason, Hn. Roy Rodgers, George (Chorley) Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Meacher, Michael Rodgers, William (Teesside, St'ckton) Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Rooker, J. W. Watkins, David
Mendelson, John Rose, Paul B. Watt, Hamish
Mikardo, Ian Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock) Weitzman, David
Millan, Bruce Rowlands, Edward Wellbeloved, James
Miller, Dr. M. S. (E. Kilbride) Sandelon, Neville White, James (Glasgow, Pollak)
Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen) Selby, Harry Whitehead, Phillip
Molloy, William Shaw, Arnold (Redbridge, Ilford, S.) Whitlock, William
Moonman, Eric Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne) Wigley, Dafydd (Caernarvon)
Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Short, Rt. Hn. E. (N'ctle-u-Tyne) Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hamp'n, N. E.) Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon) Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (L'sham, D'ford) Williams, Alan Lee (Hvrng, Hchurch)
Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick Silverman, Julius Williams, Rt. Hn. Shirley (H'f'd & St'ge)
Murray, Ronald King Skinner, Dennis Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Murton, Oscar Small, William Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Newens, Stanley (Harlow) Snape, Peter Wilson, Gordon (Dundee, E.)
Oakes, Gordon Spearing, Nigel Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Ogden, Eric Spriggs, Leslie Wilson, William (Coventry, S. E.)
O'Halloran, Michael Stallard, A. W. Wise, Mrs. Audrey
O'Malley, Brian Stewart, Donald (Western Isles) Woodall, Alec
Orbach, Maurice Stewart, Rt. Hn. M. (H'sth, Fulh'm) Woof, Robert
Ovenden, John Stoddart, David (Swindon) Wrigglesworth, Ian
Owen, Dr. David Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John Young, David (Bolton, E.)
Padley, Walter Stott, Roger
Palmer, Arthur Strang, Gavin TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Park, George (Coventry, N. E.) Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R. Mr. James. A. Dunn and
Parker, John (Dagenham) Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley Mr. Walter Johnson.
Parry, Robert Swain, Thomas
Perry, Ernest G. Spearing, Nigel
Adley, Robert Churchill, W. S. Fisher, Sir Nigel
Aitken, Jonathan Clark, A. K. M. (Plymouth, Sutton) Fookes, Miss Janet
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Clark, William (Croydon, S.) Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'field)
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Fox, Marcus
Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian Clegg, Walter Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone)
Archer, Jeffrey Cockcroft, John Freud, Clement
Atkins, Rt. Hn. Humphrey (Spelthorne) Cooke, Robert (Bristol, W.) Fry, Peter
Awdry, Daniel Cope, John Galbraith, Hn. T. G. D.
Balniel, Rt. Hn. Lord Cormack, Patrick Gardiner, George (Reigate & Banstead)
Beith, A. J. Carrie, John Gardner, Edward (S. Fylde)
Bell, Ronald Coslain, A. P. Gibson-Watt, Rt. Hn. David
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Fareham) Craig, Rt. Hn. William (Belfast, E.) Gilmour, Rt. Hn. Ian (Ch'sh'&Amsh' m)
Benyon, W. Critchley, Julian Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)
Berry, Hon. Anthony Crouch, David Glyn, Dr. Alan
Biggs-Davison, John Crowder, F. P. Godber, Rt. Hn. Joseph
Blaker, Peter Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford) Goodhart, Philip
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.) d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen James Goodhew, Victor
Body, Rchard Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.) Goodlad, A.
Boscawen, Hon. Robert Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Gorst, John
Boyson, Dr. Rhodes (Brent, N.) Dixon, Piers Gow, Ian (Eastbourne)
Bradford, Rev. R. Dodds-Parker, Sir Douglas Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry)
Braine, Sir Bernard Dodsworth, Geoffrey Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.)
Bray, Ronald Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec Gray, Hamish
Brewis, John Drayson, Burnaby Grieve, Percy
Britten, Leon du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Dunlop, John Grimond, Rt. Hn.
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Durant, Tony Grist, Ian
Bryan, Sir Paul Dykes, Hugh Grylls, Michael
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Eden, Rt. Hn. Sir John Gurden, Harold
Buck, Antony Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Hall, Sir John
Budgen, Nick Elliott, Sir William Hall-Davis, A. G. F.
Bulmer, Esmond Emery, Peter Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Eyre, Reginald Hannam, John
Carlisle, Mark Fairgrieve, Russell Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Farr, John Hastings, Stephen
Carson, John Fell, Anthony Havers, Sir Michael
Chalker, Mrs. Lynda Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Hayhoe, Barney
Channon, Paul Fidler, Michael Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward
Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher Finsberg, Geoffrey Henderson, J. S. B. (Dunbartonshire, E.)
Heseltine, Michael Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Higgins, Terence Mayhew, Christopher (G'wh, W'wch, E) Shaw, Michael (Scarborough)
Hill, James A. Mayhew, Patrick (Royal T'bridge Wells) Shelton, Wiliam (L'mb'th, Streath'm)
Holland, Philip Meyer, Sir Anthony Shersby, Michael
Hordern, Peter Miller, Hal (B'grove & R'ditch) Silvester, Fred
Howe, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Surrey, E) Miscampbell, Norman Sims, Roger
Howell, David (Guildford) Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Sinclair, Sir George
Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, North) Moate, Roger Skeet, T. H. H.
Howells, Geraint (Cardigan) Molyneaux, James Smith, Cyril (Rochdale)
Hunt, John Money, Ernle Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'm'ngton)
Hurd, Douglas Moore, J. E. M. (Croydon, C.) Spence, John
Hutchison, Michael Clark Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm. Spicer, Michael (Worcestershire, S.)
Iremonger, T. L. Morris, Michael (Northampton, S.) Sproat, Iain
Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Stainton, Keith
James, David Morrison, Peter (City of Chester) Stanbrook, Ivor
Jenkin, Rt. Hn. P. (R'dge W'std & W'fd) Mudd, David Stanley, John
Jessel, Toby Neave, Alrey Steel, David
Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Neubert, Michael Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Newton, Tony (Braintree) Stodart, Rt. Hn. A. (Edinburgh, W.)
Jones, Arthur (Daventry) Nicholls, Sir Harmar Stokes, John
Jopling, Michael Normanton, Tom Stradling Thomas, John
Kaberry, Sir Donald Nott, John Tapsell, Peter
Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine Onslow, Cranley Taylor, Edward M. (Glgow, C'cart)
Kilfedder, James A. Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N. W.)
Kimball, Marcus Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Tebbit, Norman
King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Page, Rt. Hn. Graham (Crosby) Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Margaret
King, Tom (Bridgwater) Page, John (Harrow, W.) Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
Kirk, Peter Paisley, Rev. Ian Townsend, C. D.
Kitson, Sir Timothy Pardoe, John Trotter, Neville
Knight, Mrs. Jill Parkinson, Cecil (Hertfordshire, S.) Tugendhat, Christopher
Knox, David Pattie, Geoffrey Tyler, Paul
Lamont, Norman Percival, Ian van Straubenzee, W. R.
Langford-Holt, Sir John Peyton, Rt. Hn. John Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Latham, Michael (Melton) Pink, R. Bonner Viggers, Peter
Lawrence, Ivan Price, David (Eastleigh) Waddington, David
Lawson, Nigel (Blaby) Prior, Rt. Hn. James Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)
Lester, Jim (Beeston) Ralson, Timothy Wakeham, John
Lewis, Kenneth (Rtland & Stmford) Rathbone, Tim Welder, David (Clitheroe)
Lloyd, Ian (Havant & Waterloo) Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)
Loveridge, John Redmond, Robert Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Luce, Richard Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal) Wall, Patrick
MacArthur, Ian Rees-Davies, W. R. Warren, Kenneth
McCrindle, R. A. Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David (H't'gd'ns're) Weatherill, Bernard
Macfarlane, Neil Renton, R. T. (Mid-Sussex) Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
MacGregor, John Ridley, Hn. Nicholas Wiggin, Jerry
McLaren, Martin Ridsdale, Julian Winstanley, Dr. Michael
Macmillan, Rt. Hn. M. (Farnham) Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey Winterton, Nicholas
McNair-Wilson, Michael (Newbury) Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.-W.) Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard
McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest) Roberts, Wyn (Conway) Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher
Madel, David Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks) Worsley, Sir Marcus
Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight) Young, Sir George (Ealing, Acton)
Marten, Neil Rosel, Hugh (Hornsey)
Mather, Carol Rost, Peter (Derbyshire, S.-E.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Maude, Angus Sainsbury, Tim Mr. Paul Hawkins and
Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald St. John-Stevas, Norman Mr. Spencer Le Marchant.
Mawby, Ray Scott-Hopkins, James

Question accordingly negatived.

Subsequent Lords amendments agreed to.