§ The Minister of State, Department of Employment (Mr Albert Booth)
I can assure the hon. Member that where managers become members of appropriate trade unions they have the usual opportunities to participate in the decision taking of those trade unions.
§ Mr. Booth
One of the prime functions of a trade union is to look after its members. It is right that those members alone should participate in the union's decision making. The operations of a company have to take account of the interests not only of management but of shareholders and workers. The responsibility in these cases should be shared, and we believe that in making provision for these matters in the industrial democracy Bill these mutual interests, even 1389 where they conflict, will be properly represented.
§ Mr. Wigley
Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that one of the greatest hindrances to economic growth resides in the wasted energy of endless industrial strife and the fact that an increasing number of people in management and trade unions now recognise the need for profit sharing and participation in industrial democracy to get ourselves out of the present situation?
§ Mr. Whitelaw
Does the hon. Gentleman agree that if that process is to take place—and it is desirable that it should— it must mean that the trade unions should be seen to have rules which make them responsible to their companies and to the community as a whole?
§ Mr. Booth
Trade union rules are matters for the trade unions, just as the rules of employers' associations are matters for those bodies. I have no reason to believe that the existing rules of employers' associations and trade unions will be allowed to stand in the way of a proper extension of industrial democracy.