§ 31. Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Lord President of the Council in view of the fact that the majority of Members of Parliament are members of their appropriate trade unions, whether he will arrange to meet the general secretaries of 29 these unions to negotiate a trade union agreement on hours, wages and working conditions of Members of Parliament. within the social contract.
§ The Minister of State, Privy Council Office (Mr. Gerry Fowler)
I have been ask to reply.
This would not be appropriate.
§ Mr. Lewis
You will recollect, Mr. Speaker, as will all hon. Members, that we have recently had an unfortunate dispute affecting the efficiency of the House. Is the Minister aware that the only body of workers now working for any reputable organisation but not having trade union recognition are those who work for the Government and that, irrespective of party, the Government have persistently and consistently refused to grant Members of Parliament trade union rights and recognition comparable with the rights given to every other worker, including every State employee? If other Members do not want to have their trade union recognised, am I not entitled to call for recognition myself?
§ Mr. Fowler
We in this House are part of a sovereign Parliament, and we should take the responsibility for these matters ourselves. Members' pay and allowances are already referred to the Top Salaries Review Body.