§ The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Mr. Adam Butler)
I beg to move,That the draft Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1981, which was laid before this House on 20 October, in the last Session of Parliament, be approved.
The provisions of the draft order are with a few exceptions analogous to those enacted in Great Britain in the Employment Act 1980, which has been on the Statute book for some time. Northern Ireland has its own separate legislative and administrative framework of industrial relations, although in general it has tended to follow Great Britain law in this transferred area.
While the Government believe that it is entirely right that Northern Ireland should adopt the changes introduced in the Employment Act 1980, we have been concerned that Northern Ireland should not follow blindly or without appropriate consideration. Representatives of employers and trade unions have impressed that point on me, and said that the case for following Great Britain changes deserves to be examined in the local context.
One particular local feature is the generally excellent industrial relations performance in Northern Ireland. That is most welcome, and long may it last. However, by itself, it is not an argument for failing to extend to Northern Ireland people the same rights as those held by workers in Great Britain; nor is it an argument for failing to give protection against the possible abuse of trade union power or the unjustified disruption of economic activity.
Consultations on the draft order, therefore, took place on the understanding that the Government were prepared to modify the provisions of the Employment Act., where a compelling case for a different course in Northern Ireland's circumstances could be substantiated. The consultations ranged wider than the content of the Employment Act, and resulted in some minor variations, and one major one. The major variation is that the draft order does not repeal the trade union recognition procedures contained in the Industrial Relations Order 1976. Those provisions flowed directly from the findings of the joint review body on industrial relations and therefore can be seen to have the general support of both sides of industry. The Northern Ireland procedures have generally operated sensitively and sensibly, and we are content to allow them to continue.
I should also mention that the order differs from the Employment Act 1980 in that it contains amendments to the Wages Councils Act (Northern Ireland) 1945. The order will allow the wages councils to make their own orders, as is already the case in Britain, rather than having orders made by the Department. In addition, the order enables wages councils to establish with more certainty the effective date of awards, subject of course to adequate notice to employers. A greater role will be given to the Labour Relations Agency by enabling the Department to request the Agency to examine the operation of wages councils individually or the system as a whole. These changes go a long way towards matching the wages council's system in Great Britain, although some difference will still remain.
I turn to the main substance of the order. Articles 3 to 5 are innovative, enabling provisions dealing with secret trade union ballots and the issuing of codes of practice by the Department of Manpower Services.
1047 The holding of ballots on matters such as those relating to strikes or industrial action, or the election of officers, gives full democratic authority to the decisions taken and should be welcomed by all those who consider that union members have a right to be consulted on such important matters and to be able to express their views in secret. Today there can be one impediment to that, and that is a financial one. This order removes that impediment but-and I should like to make it absolutely clear—does not make ballots in any way compulsory.
The order is silent as to who will be responsible for the operation of the scheme to reimburse trade unions for the costs of secret ballots, but I can inform the House that it has been agreed that an officer of the Labour Relations Agency shall be appointed for that purpose.
Article 5 will empower the Department of Manpower Services, after consultation, to issue codes of practice containing practical guidance for promoting the improvement of industrial relations. Once the order is made, officials will enter into discussions with the Labour Relations Agency on the preparation of codes covering those matters already covered by codes issued in Britain, namely the closed shop and picketing.
Articles 8 to 12 make various amendments to the statutory unfair dismissal provisions in Northern Ireland. Article 8 gives added protection to the individual by enlarging the grounds on which dismissal for non-membership of a trade union is to be regarded as unfair where a closed shop agreement exists. In particular, dismissal will be automatically unfair where the employee genuinely objects on grounds of conscience or other deeply held personal conviction to membership of any union or of a particular union.
I move on to article 10. The important position of small employers in the economy of Northern Ireland is recognised on all sides, and the Government have launched a number of initiatives designed to help the small business man to expand and create jobs. So far in Northern Ireland there has been that additional improvement lacking which has obtained in Great Britain since the Employment Act 1980 became law. This order seeks to redress that disadvantage under which Northern Ireland has been suffering.
Article 10 reduces one of the burdens on small employers by exempting firms with 20 or fewer employees from the unfair dismissal provisions in respect of any new employee who has been employed for less than two years. The order has been drafted so that there is no danger of the small firms provision opening up unwanted distinctions between the conditions of service of teachers in the voluntary and controlled sectors—a point which was represented to us in local consultations.
Articles 13 to 15 deal with maternity rights. Article 15, which provides a new right for pregnant women to be allowed paid time off work to receive ante-natal treatment, has properly been universally welcomed. Article 13 amends the existing provisions about giving notice of absence for pregnancy and exercising the right to return to work. Article 14 eases the burden on small firms, in this case those with five or fewer employees, of the obligation to reinstate an employee after maternity leave. The article also amends current provisons so as to enable employers, irrespective of size, to offer a woman a suitable alternative job, but only where they find it not reasonably practicable 1048 to reinstate the woman in the original job. Should the woman refuse the offer of the suitable alternative, employers may be protected from an unfair dismissal claim. The encouragement of small firms is very much part of our industrial development strategy. Easing the burden on small firms would improve the job creation prospects in Northern Ireland and, therefore, would be in the interests of all the community.
Article 18 deals with picketing, and especially the problem of secondary picketing. It replaces the existing definition of picketing contained in the Trade Disputes Act 1906 with a new definition. Lawful picketing in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute will be limited to a person picketing at or near his own place of work. Any act done in the course of picketing falling outside the newly defined "lawful attendance" will lose the existing legal immunity; that is, individual organisers will be liable to injunctions and/or damages for inducing breach of contract. The Government consider that this new definition of picketing will particularly protect the employer affected by the "flying picket".
It was represented to me in local consultations that the Northern Ireland industrial scene had not suffered from these particular afflictions and, therefore, that a change in the law was unnecessary. I have already given a general acknowledgement and I acknowledge, in particular, the first contention. However, I cannot accept the second. There is an overwhelming feeling in the country, which I suspect is shared by many members of unions, that the so-called flying picket and the mass picket are damaging and unacceptable and the Government believe that it is right that this should be reflected in the law throughout the United Kingdom.
Article 19 deals with sympathetic or secondary industrial action and seeks to restrict its excessive growth by limiting "lawful" secondary action to action taken within a cordon of first suppliers and customers of an employer involved in a trade dispute. Immunity from actions in tort will not apply to a person inducing a breach of contract for the purpose of furthering a trade dispute where the contract is a commercial contract and the breach is brought about by unlawful secondary action. Unlawful secondary action occurs when there is inducement of a breach of contract of employment with an employer who is not a party to a trade dispute.
I have rapidly taken hon. Members through the main features of the order. It is important to set out clearly what the order seeks to achieve. I hope that hon. Members will confine themselves to the contents of the order. There may be a temptation to confuse the subject under debate tonight with the subject under debate in Committee. If the House approves, that legislation will apply, in due course, to Great Britain. The order seeks almost entirely to introduce changes in legislation into Northern Ireland that have applied in Great Britain for, I believe, 18 months. It is an important piece of legislation. However, the provisions were debated at some length when we discussed the legislation that applies to Great Britain. In commending the application of similar proposals to Northern Ireland, with those omissions, I should add that our prosperity, and especially the prosperity of the most depressed regions such as Northern Ireland, depends on the ability of the United Kingdom to improve its performance at the workplace. That in turn depends on there being evolved a better relationship between individuals, employers and trade unions so that our industries will become more 1049 efficient, reliable and responsive in the highly competitive world markets. I readily accept that the most worthwhile changes will not be brought about simply by changing the law but rather by a voluntary process of accepting sensible and responsible procedures and attitudes in countless different places of work.
I also readily accept that one of the many advantages which Northern Ireland possesses as an industrial location is a proven record of generally good industrial relations. Nevertheless, the law is required to act as a basic framework, and to protect the community as a whole against the most damaging abuses, even though experience suggests that the threat may be less immediate in Northern Ireland than elsewhere. I also believe that where the basic rights and responsibilities of individuals, employers and trade unions are concerned there must be a strong presumption of equivalence of legislation in Northern Ireland and Great Britain and, further, that it would not be in the interests either of individuals in Northern Ireland or of the commercial and employment prospects of the Province if any radically different course were to be pursued. That is the context in which these proposals must be judged.
§ Mr. J. D. Concannon (Mansfield)
It is very rare for me to find myself in agreement with a Conservative Member, especially on industrial relations, but I can think of no better way of opening the Labour Party's case against the order than by quoting the words of the late Airey Neave and of the hon. Member for Epping Forest (Sir J. Biggs-Davison).
In December 1976, on the last occasion that the House discussed industrial relations legislation for Northern Ireland, the late Airey Neave supported the voluntary principle within the Northern Ireland review body on industrial relations and argued strongly that the position in Northern Ireland was different from that in the rest of the United Kingdom. The hon. Member for Epping Forest said in that debate:Industrial relations in Northern Ireland have hitherto been an example to the United Kingdom. To improve further on that proud record should be the common purpose of this House."—0Official Report, 9 December 1976; Vol. 922, c. 819.]Those are our sentiments exactly.
However, the order before us tonight, which implements the main provisions of the Employment Act 1980 in Northern Ireland, will have a disruptive and negative influence on industrial relations in the Province. It will inevitably destroy that excellent record of which some Conservative Members are so rightly proud. It has taken two years for the Government to extend the Employment Act 1980 to Northern Ireland. The time lapse is more indicative of the lack of enthusiasm for the changes in Northern Ireland than of a great re-think by the Government. If it takes as long to get "Tebbit's law" to Northern Ireland, all that I can say to the Northern Ireland people who read reports of this debate is, thank goodness that it will never see the light of day in Northern Ireland.
In all but a few details, this order is an exact replica of the Employment Act. Two years ago we made our position on such legislation crystal clear. It is an attack on the bargaining strength and solidarity of the trade union movement. It erodes those traditional rights which have protected several generations of men and women from exploitation in the work place. It weakens the right of 1050 individual workers and discriminates arbitrarily between those who work for firms with fewer than 20 employees and those who do not.
In addition, this order and the Employment Act before it discriminate unfairly against women who wish to bear children and return to their jobs after confinement. I do not intend to cover all those arguments in detail tonight. Our views about codes of practice and secondary picketing are well known. I wish the Minister of State to tell the House when such things have happened in Northern Ireland. I know of no instance of mass or secondary picketing and all the other matters that are covered in the Bill.
Any hon. Member who has dealings with Northern Ireland will know that the industrial relations record there is second to none. Management-employee relations are often cordial and many disputes are solved well before strike action is ever thought of. I am sure that the Minister and the House will agree that bad industrial relations in Northern Ireland are rarely a factor in causing a factory to close or in the failure to win investment. On the contrary, I continually hear tributes paid to the work force in Northern Ireland from a wide variety of industrialists, past and present. In the mid and late 1970s those good industrial relations were one of our main selling points when it came to encouraging overseas investment in Northern Ireland. On more than one occasion I took an industrialist and a trade unionist on visits when selling Northern Ireland for industrial development.
Why, then, do the Government deem it necessary to take the provisions of the Employment Act 1980 to Northern Ireland? I suspect that the extension of party dogma has something to do with it. The policy of equal misery for all parts of the country seems to have triumphed again.
Has it ever occurred to hon. Gentlemen that one of the main reasons for Northern Ireland's proud record in industrial relations is precisely that it was spared the ill-begotten legislation of 1971? I would argue that the Government ought to consider how best to extend the good industrial relations in Northern Ireland to the mainland, not vice versa. We should not make the mistake of assuming that we always know best. There is plenty that we could learn from industrial relations in Northern Ireland.
I remind the House of the words spoken in 1976 by the hon. Member for Epping Forest. He criticised the 1976 industrial relations order in these terms:The courage of Ulster workers, whether in management or on the shop floor, …who toil through terror and destruction, deserve better than the legislative importation…of the ingredients of industrial strife."—[Official Report, 9 December 1976; Vol. 922, c. 819.]I hope that the hon. Gentleman sticks to that point tonight.
We see absolutely no necessity for the importation of the Employment Act 1980 to Northern Ireland when all the evidence indicates that it discriminates between and against certain workers and undermines trade unions in their valuable work of negotiation and representation.
I find the views of the hon. Member for Antrim, South (Mr. Molyneaux) confusing on this matter, and I hope that he will have changed them by the end of this debate. Speaking in the employment and industrial relations debate, he said about this order:It applies to Northern Ireland the provisions of legislation on industrial relations for Great Britain passed in the last two Sessions of Parliament. In Northern Ireland we have been spared the more serious manifestations of bad industrial relations that 1051 have plagued the rest of the United Kingdom. Excellent industrial relations are the norm in Ulster and that is one favourable factor upon which we still depend for the attraction and retention of enterprise in our Province.Precisely, and that is our argument. But then, of course, he goes on to spoil it all with what I would say is a pretty weak argument. He says:However, my right hon. and hon. Friends will not be opposing the order because it is our stated conviction that a common statutory code for industrial relations, whatever it is, for the United Kingdom as a whole is, on balance, greatly to the advantage of Northern Ireland. In that respect, as in almost every other, the law should be uniform throughout the United Kingdom."—[Official Report, 9 November 1981; Vol. 12, c. 339.]
I hope that the Minister and his right hon. and hon. Friends will reflect on what the hon. Member said. He said "whatever it is", and if it is his view that whatever this House passes, whether it be good legislation or bad legislation, or legislation that should not be imposed on Northern Ireland, whatever it is the Ulster Unionists will accept it, I certainly do not share that view, I suggest that the hon. Member for Antrim, South would do well to think carefully about the impact of this order in Northern Ireland before he and his hon. Friends give it their support. I think their arguments are so superficial and misleading and so irrelevant to the problems Northern Ireland with its 30 per cent. unemployment that they should be turning their minds to doing something to alleviate the problem, not exacerbate it.
It would seem that the Official Unionists are not alone in their view that Northern Ireland should be subject to exactly the same legislation as the rest of the United Kingdom, regardless of how good or bad that legislation is. I have a letter here which was sent from the Minister's private secretary on behalf of the Minister of State to Mr. Jimmy Graham, who is the chairman of the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trades Unions, on 16 September 1981. The last paragraph reads:Finally I would like to repeat the comments I made at the meeting on the Government's reasons for making this Order. We believe that it is right that individuals and organisations should be subject to the same general body of rights and responsibilities as exists elsewhere in the UK even though there may have been locally few if any abuses of those rights and privileges.
If that is a statement of Government policy, it sounds clearly integrationist to me, and the Opposition would not support it.
I turn to the order's relevance—or should I say "irrelevance"?—to the overall economic situation in Northern Ireland. When the Employment Act was introduced two years ago the Government seemed to justify changing the law on unfair dismissal claims and maternity leave for small firms of 20 employees or fewer by saying that in future the creation of jobs would be easy. I think that we were told that each small firm would employ three more employees. If that happened in Northern Ireland, we should not have an unemployment problem; we should have a surplus of jobs.
I should like the Government to estimate how many jobs have been created as a direct result of changing the law in this way. I suspect that the number is insignificantly small. Indeed, unemployment has grown relentlessly since the Act was passed, and the underlying trend is still upwards. Tinkering with the rights of working men and women will not create jobs, either here or in Northern 1052 Ireland. Indeed, in percentage terms far more people will suffer from these changes in the Province than in the rest of the United Kingdom.
Whilst it is difficult to calculate precisely the number of small firms in Northern Ireland, it is widely accepted that a high proportion of workers are employed in small units, many of them employing 20 or fewer, Hence a far greater proportion of the work force will be affected by the changes in the order than in the rest of the United Kingdom. In the many small towns throughout the Province thousands of workers will in future be worse off when challenging dismissal, and they will lose out financially because minimum payments have been withdrawn. Women in particular suffer, especially where the only work places are small workshops. their right to return to work after bearing children has been effectively scotched by the order.
In short, we see the order as chiefly an attack on individual and collective rights of workers. Whilst it contains a few offerings—such as paid time off for antenatal care, which is welcome in Northern Ireland because of the high prenatal mortality rate—it is by and large a diversion from the main task of creating jobs and revitalising the economy.
In our view, the order is not only inappropriate and irrelevant to Northern Ireland but is potentially disruptive in a most sinister sense. As we in the House know only too well, sectarian divisions are still, unfortunately, very deep in Northern Ireland, yet it is worth noting that to a large extent they have been kept out of the work place. Much of the credit for that lies with the trade union movement, which has consistently resisted alignment with either side of the political or religious divide. All that may change once the provisions of the order come into force.
It is another widely known fact that certain groups are trying to set up independent Ulster trade union councils which will operate on sectarian lines. When I look at articles 3 and 8 I can see possibilities for breakaway sectarian unions to use this law to disrupt labour relations. For example, article 3(1) states that "independent trade unions" may receive financial help towards running a secret ballot in the work place on a number of specific issues. Who is to decide what constitutes an independent trade union?
In article 8(2) I see an even more obvious area where sectarianism will be permitted to develop in the work place. It says that dismissal is to be regarded as unfair in cases in which a workergenuinely objects on grounds of conscience or other deeply-held personal conviction to being a member of any trade union whatsoever or of a particular trade union.I understand that it will be up to an industrial tribunal to decide whatdeeply held personal convictionmeans, but, knowing Northern Ireland as I do, I can see no guarantee that that provision will be uniformly or consistently interpreted, or even how it will span the religious divide.
I am not saying that the Government are introducing this order deliberately to stir up sectarianism in the trade union movement. However, I suggest that its provisions give plenty of scope and encouragement to those intent on using worker power for sectarian purposes. Should this order go through tonight, I sincerely hope that the 1053 Government will withhold implementation of articles 3 and 8 until a thorough investigation has been made of all the implications for organised labour in Northern Ireland.
§ Mr. Adam Butler
How can the right hon. Gentleman conceivably argue that the availability of public funds to pay the costs of a trade union holding a secret ballot, which of itself would not be compulsory, may have the sort of end result that he suggests?
§ Mr. Concannon
I am amazed that the Minister of State defends this order in that way and does not understand what is now happening with the trade union movement in Northern Ireland. When I and some of my hon. Friends went to Northern Ireland a short time ago, the talking point among the trade unions was the possibility of an active body in Northern Ireland just looking and waiting for the opportunity to divide the trade union movement. All I am saying is that the order will present such an opportunity to these sinister people. Nothing could be worse for Northern Ireland and this House than that the one body in Northern Ireland that has resisted sectarianism—the trade union movement—should be split by orders in this House into two sectarian trade unions. I am very surprised that the Minister does not know or even understand this problem.
§ Mr. Butler
Of course I know what is going and, of course, 1 know what is at the back of the right hon. Gentleman's mind. However, he is suggesting that article 3, where there is the provision to make money available if a trade union wishes to make use of it to finance the holding of a secret ballot, will of itself make sectarianism possible. He has not begun to answer my question. A union is free to organise a ballot for specific purposes, as laid down in this order. All the order does is to make it possible for public funds to be put behind such a ballot to pay the costs rather than the union so doing. No ballot would he compulsory under this order.
§ Mr. Concannon
It is not the ballot that worries me but the organisations which can get their hands on and use such a ballot. One is not talking about recognised trade unions as we know them now. There is reference in this order to someone being a member of any trade union or of a particular trade union. One knows that trade unions in this respect, certainly in Northern Ireland, can form quickly and groups of people can get together, not specifically for trade union purposes but for sectarian purposes as well. I hope the Minister that takes on board the fact that these things are happening in Northern Ireland.
Our case against this order is that, while it might be all right for places such as Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire and might work in other areas, there is a different aspect to it in Northern Ireland. That aspect has not been fully dealt with by the Minister or State of the Secretary of State.
I have two further points that must be made. First, I urge the Minister to keep an open mind on the question of an employment appeal tribunal for Northern Ireland. There is no mention of one in this order and we would welcome such a change at an early date. Secondly, now that the Labour Relations Agency, in spite of what the Minister said, is to lose its function of making special arrangements to help alleviate low pay, I hope that the Minister will reconsider the powers of the wages councils 1054 in Northern Ireland. Even with the wages councils improvements in this order, they are still unable to determine minimum standards on all main terms and conditions of employment for lowest paid workers. I need hardly remind the House that the proportion of Northern Irish workers earning poverty wages is far higher than it is in the rest of the United Kingdom. Special attention should be given to further improving the strength of wages councils.
In the future, we may come to regret superimposing British legislation on Northern Ireland. The political, social and religious structure of the Province is quite different from the rest of the United Kingdom, and it is both stupid and dangerous to expect legislation for the mainland, particularly bad legislation such as the Employment Act 1980, to have anything but a detrimental and damaging effect in Northern Ireland.
I would have expected better of the Secretary of State, because I think he has accepted some of the criticisms put to him. It is not too late for him to withdraw the order. It has been done before. I think that I set a precedent when I withdrew an order relating to Northern Ireland business. The Minister of State might have been surprised at the response, because I was. It shows that the mind can be receptive and that it will listen to sensible argument. If the Government refuse to do so, for the reasons that I have stated, we shall vote against the order.
§ Mr. James Molyneaux (Antrim, South)
To a great extent, the order applies to Northern Ireland the principles and main features of the Employment Act 1980, which covers Great Britain. Unlike so many Northern Ireland orders, it does not, and cannot, employ the identical sections, subsections, phrases and words of the parent legislation.
At this point perhaps I can respond to the right hon. Member for Mansfield (Mr. Concannon) and state our position clearly. I am sure that the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland will not mind my quoting from a letter that I addressed to him on 8 December 1981, when I said:My colleagues and I share your belief that it is desirable to maintain our basic framework of industrial relations law in the United Kingdom. We also accept that consideration on any legislative changes should be wide enough to bring to attention any variations and circumstances in different areas of the Kingdom, and assume that the consultations that preceded the introduction of the new Bill ensured that any Scottish or Welsh, for instance, aspects would be taken into account".
I gently remind the right hon. Member for Mansfield that we are not the only body in the State that is seeking to apply to Northern Ireland legislation common to the rest of the United Kingdom. The trade unions in Northern Ireland, when it suited them, sought to have applied to them certain portions of the Labour Government's legislation in 1974 and 1976. They really cannot have it both ways. They cannot say that they want Labour legislation applied to Northern Ireland on the grounds that they are part of the United Kingdom but that they do not want legislation sponsored by any other party in this House.
It has been said, and it is absolutely true, that labour relations in Northern Ireland have been better than elsewhere in the United Kingdom. In the days of the very small family companies, there was at no time the "Them and Us" attitude that so often prevailed—perhaps it still does—in much larger undertakings. Even when the 1055 industrial giants were persuaded to extend their activities to Northern Ireland—as it turned out, on a temporary basis because, unfortunately, many of them have been and gone—that common sense attitude was retained by what in England would be regarded as both sides of industry.
It was perhaps for that reason that the Stormont Government in the early 1970s did not enact the Conservative Industrial Relations Act of unhappy memory. I am not sure whether any hon. Member would seek to defend that legislation nowadays.
When in the first Session of this Parliament the then Secretary of State for Employment was shaping what became the Employment Act 1980, our party responded to his invitation and tendered a submission on questions such as codes of practice.
§ Mr. Concannon
There is another piece of legislation concerning industrial relations going through the House. It is a much more vicious piece of legislation, which will be much more viciously applied to certain sections in Northern Ireland. Whether that legislation is good, bad or indifferent, is it the view of the Ulster Unionists that whatever goes through the House must be applied to Northern Ireland? What is their view on the Tebbit law?
§ Mr. Molyneaux
If the right hon. Gentleman will exercise a little patience, he will find that I am coming to that point.
I was saying that we responded to the invitation of the Secretary of State for Employment in 1980. We made a submission on matters such as codes of practice. Those were debated. We have reason to believe that our submission was appreciated by the Employment Committee at the time. Therefore, we might modestly claim that we did something to strengthen the hand of the then Secretary of State, who has since been elevated to the Northern Ireland Office.
Therefore, in more ways than one there has been a Northern Ireland input into the parent Employment Act 1980. We can also claim that our influence was beneficial and that it helped the then Secretary of State to resist more extreme demands from his own Back-Benchers. It helped him to produce a measure that was less offensive to the Opposition than it might have been otherwise. It saddens me that the right hon. Member for Mansfield is not displaying great gratitude for what we achieved on that occasion.
We would prefer that in future our moderating influence should make its impact in the early stages of United Kingdom Bills as they pass through the House. It was with that aim in view that I almost succeeded, when speaking in the debate on the Gracious Speech on 9 November 1981, in persuading the present Secretary of State for Employment to draft his Bill for the whole of the United Kingdom so that we could participate with a clear conscience in the debates thereon.
We might have succeeded in achieving our aim if the Northern Ireland Office had not got in on the act. It was left to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to reply to my follow-up letter, saying that there were practical reasons why there should be meaningful consultations before applying the 1980 provisions to Northern Ireland, therefore implying that there should be consultations before the new Bill could be applied to Northern Ireland.
1056 I am tempted to say "So far, so good." The Minister of State is asking us to apply Prior's law to Northern Ireland, but one wonders whether the Northern Ireland ministerial team two years hence will apply Tebbit's law with equal enthusiasm. Whatever may be the case, I can give the assurance to the right hon. Member for Mansfield that we will co-operate with him and his colleagues and all other well-intentioned hon. Members. We will seek to exercise that moderating influence for which we are famous as the next stage of the legislation takes form. We shall seek, with others, to improve the new legislation as it comes forward so that the final product will not be unacceptable either in the House or in the ranks of those to whom it will apply in all parts of the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. Neville Sandelson (Hayes and Harlington)
We shall have ample opportunity before long to debate the crucial issues of trade union reform, so tonight I shall be brief and limit myself to a few remarks on the order.
Article 3, paragraph (3)(b), provides for payment in respect of secret ballots for election to positions of union leadership. That provision is greatly welcomed by my right hon. and hon. Friends. A democratically elected leadership is likely to turn out to be more responsible leadership. That in turn would change the irresponsibility that only too often characterises trade union decisions, not least as regards strike and other industrial action. It is because we believe that what matters is the quality of leadership within the trade unions that we place the emphasis on voluntary rather than compulsory trade union reform.
While we would encourage trade unions in every possible way to hold ballots of their own volition on industrial action, we have considerable reservations about this provision. We believe that more would be gained by concentrating on measures that would lead to more responsible trade union leadership and on more democratic internal organisation as the means to ending irresponsible and precipitous strike action.
Articles 6 and 7, on exclusion from trade union membership, have our support, save only perhaps as regards the amounts of compensation set out in article 7, paragraphs (6)(a) and (b), because the amounts described therein could be too high. I would welcome information from the Minister as to whether the sums involved are higher than those in clause 2 of the new Employment Bill. That would appear to be the position. These amounts of compensation seem positively lavish compared with the compensation paid to the victims of dismissal as a result of sex or racial discrimination.
I refer now to article 8—Ballots as to union membership agreements.In our view, the requirement of 80 per cent. agreement on the part of those entitled to vote in the ballot is too high. Even the Industrial Relations Act 1971 specified only 66 per cent. or two-thirds of those voting. Nor do we have to achieve this end by the method of automatic balloting. It can equally be achieved by the reverse process of introducing a trigger mechanism for ballots which could be set off at the instigation of 20 per cent. of the work force.
The Secretary of State should look again at article 12, which makes union funds liable for claims from aggrieved workers and limits the immunities under the 1906 Act. It will now be for industrial tribunals—
§ Mr. James Lamond (Oldham East)
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I seem to recall Mr. Speaker making a statement recently deploring the fact that some hon. Members—particularly Back-Bench Members—read every word of their speeches during debates. Do you share that view, Mr. Deputy Speaker?
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bernard Weatherill)
Order. I do not think that the hon. Member for Hayes and Harlington (Mr. Sandelson) is reading. I think that he is occasionally looking at his notes. Mr. Speaker deprecated the reading of speeches as such.
§ Mr. Sandelson
I am obliged to you for your interpretation, Mr. Deputy Speaker.
I was saying that it will now be for industrial tribunals to determine the extent of the indemnity, and that may in practice prove to be an unsatisfactory procedure.
This article extends—[Interruption.] I point out to hon. Members that so far in this debate all right hon. and hon. Members have made their speeches in the same way as I am now making mine.
§ Mr. Sandelson
That may be so. We have yet to hear from the right hon. Gentleman before making a final judgment even about that.
This article extends to contractors as well as employers and could give rise to a situation in which a union could face multiple claims—claims from the primary employer, contractors, and so on down the line. Nothing could be less conducive to improved industrial relations than for unions to be faced with a chain of legal actions that could drive them into insolvency.
Articles 18 and 19, on picketing and secondary action, are in line with what is proposed in the Bill; and, broadly, they have our support. However, on Second Reading of the Employment Bill my right hon. Friend the Member for Stockton (Mr. Rodgers) indicated the difficulties that we had in making a precise interpretation of clause 7. That clause is covered by article 19 (1) and (2) dealing with secondary action that becomes actionable in tort. In due course we may well seek to amend those provisions.
In 1980 the present Secretary of State for Northern Ireland was Secretary of State for Employment. He gave a memorable lecture at the Guildhall on the role of the trade unions. In many ways it was an admirable statement of what we in the Social Democratic Party believe. I hope that that alignment will not embarrass the right hon. Gentleman. Such a statement cannot be made about his successor, whose approach to these matters we find extremely distasteful. The right hon. Gentleman concluded his address with an urgent plea fora breaking of the mould of 'them' and 'us' between management and workers, and (the creation of) an atmosphere of greater cooperation in industry for common ends.We echo those words and support that approach. The Social Democratic Party has come into existence because millions of our people of all classes and occupations seek precisely that aim, the breaking of the mould in industrial relations as well as in our party political structures.
§ Mr. Adam Butler
By leave of the House, I shall reply to the debate. I apologise to the House if I was a little slow in rising to my feet, but I was so lost in admiration of the speech of the hon. Member for Hayes and Harlington (Mr. 1058 Sandelson). Although I am sure that what he was saying was close to his heart, it was not close to the order before us.
The right hon. Member for Mansfield (Mr. Concannon) strayed along a number of paths and I found it difficult to follow him. When challenged, the right hon. Member found difficulty in substantiating some of his points. I start with the question of sectarianism in trades unionism in Northern Ireland. Clearly that is not something that we would wish to see develop. It is correct to say that the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trades Unions does not wish to see such a development. What we are concerned about in this debate, and in the charges made by the right hon. Member, is whether the order will make the risk of sectarianism more likely.
The right hon. Gentleman suggested that articles 3 and 8 might bring that about. I challenged him about how the making available of funds for ballots to be held at the discretion of a trade union was likely to bring about some increase in sectarianism. The House will have noted that he refused to answer my challenge on two occasions. He switched his ground to section 8 concerning the definition of strongly held personal conviction as grounds on which a breakaway from a union might occur. His argument presumably is that following such a breakaway, a rival trade union of a particular sectarian interest would be established.
The right hon. Gentleman fails to realise, I believe, what the article actually says. It does not give, as such, the right to a man to give up his membership of a closed shop. It refers specifically to a man who loses his job and makes a claim for unfair dismissal. If the man can substantiate to a tribunal that the grounds spelt out in the article were those on which he lost his job and his reasons for not belonging to a trade union, he would receive the compensation to which the order refers.
I cannot see that there will be the mass movement that has been described. It would be for the tribunal to decide whether a sectarian belief could be shown to fall within the meaning of the words in the order. I doubt that it would. Although the right hon. Gentleman has been talking with some of the trade unions in Northern Ireland which are concerned about the matter—they have discussed it with the Secretary of State and myself—I believe that he is not doing a service by suggesting that the order itself will bring about an increase in sectarianism in the trade union movement in the Province.
It is hard to believe that the right hon. Gentleman meant what he said in reading out a passage from a letter that I had sent to a prominent trade unionist in Northern Ireland in which I stated that there should be rights and responsibilities common throughout the United Kingdom as they affect individuals and organisations. Is the right hon. Gentleman really saying that he does not think that there should be equality of rights throughout the United Kingdom? I cannot believe that this is the case. Before the right hon. Gentleman jumps to his feet, I must remind him of what he said, admittedly at about the same time of the morning as we are now debating the matter, when he introduced the 1976 industrial relations order. The right hon. Gentleman referred to his predecessor declaringthat it was Government policy that workers in Northern Ireland should enjoy the rights introduced by the Trade Union and Labour Relations Acts 1974 and 1976 and the Employment Protection Act 1975 no less than their counterparts in Great 1059 Britain. The further implementation of that policy is the purpose of the draft order."—[Official Report, 9 December 1976; Vol. 922, c. 816.]
Why does the right hon. Gentleman subscribe to equality of rights in relation to his own legislation and deny it in the case of our legislation? It is because, as the right hon. Gentleman remarks from a sedentary position, it was Labour legislation. The right hon. Gentleman, again from a sedentary position, says that it was good legislation. But the 1976 order introduced practices which had been contained in employment protection legislation which offset many of the recommendations of the review body on industrial relations. The right hon. Gentleman cannot claim that that legislation embodied policy which had been recommended or approved by independent bodies. It was Labour Party legislation. The right hon. Gentleman cannot preach equality of rights as a principle of Labour legislation and deny it as an argument in support of the order.
§ Mr. Concannon
There is one great distinction. The legislation that the previous Labour Government introduced protected the rights of workers and was asked for specifically—not every dot and comma, I accept—by the Northern Ireland trade union movement. Is the Minister saying that the Northern Ireland trade union movement is fully behind the order and has given him the encouragement that it gave me in 1976?
§ Mr. Butler
The order seeks also to safeguard the position of workers. The right hon. Gentleman referred to the protection of the individual from exploitation. We accept that exploitation can take place at the hands of the employer, but it can happen also at the hands of the unions that run a closed shop. We are thus helping to protect what we believe to be the proper and due rights of the individual worker.
§ Mr. Concannon
Will the Minister give me one instance of the closed shop in Northern Ireland creating any industrial relation difficulties? The order is an example of party dogma. It has nothing to do with jobs, industrial relations or jobs in Northern Ireland. It is merely party dogma, the Government being apparently determined that everyone shall suffer equal misery. There is nothing else to be said about it.
§ Mr. Butler
When my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State introduced the Employment Bill 1980 on Second Reading when he was Secretary of State for Employment, he referred to considerable support among trade unions for the provisions set out in the Bill, especially on the closed shop. The right hon. Gentleman suggests that I do not know what is going on in Northern Ireland. I suggest that he does not know what is going on in the minds of many trade unionists. They do not like the closed shop and all that it means, including potential exploitation and denial of rights. The order extends the same rights, safeguards and protections to individuals in Northern Ireland that exist in Great Britain since the enactment of the Employment Act 1980.
§ Rev. Martin Smyth (Belfast, South)
As the Minister is discussing what is going on in the minds of trade unionists in Northern Ireland, will he help to clarify thinking there? He and the right hon. Member for 1060 Mansfield (Mr. Concannon) both speak loosely of sectarianism in trade unionism. Will he at least share the concern of some trade unionists in Northern Ireland who believe that they are caught in a trap with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, which has espoused Irish unity and not the British connection?
§ Mr. Butler
I take the first opportunity that I have had to welcome the hon. Member for Belfast, South (Rev. Martin Smyth) to our debates. I hope that he will subscribe to the view that I have recently expressed that it would be a pity if "sectarianism" were to be introduced into trade unionism in the Province.
§ Mr. J. Enoch Powell
Does the Minister regard affiliation with a political party and with a political point of view as properly described as sectarianism?
§ Mr. Butler
One of the many healthy and helpful features of trade unionism in Northern Ireland is that there is no affiliation with the Labour Party. This helps relationships.
§ Mr. Butler
I stand corrected. There are unions which are indeed affiliated to the Labour Party. I was talking about those which are members of the Northern Ireland Committee. They have no such affiliation and I believe that that is helpful to relations in the Province and certainly to relations between Government and unions.
The right hon. Gentleman asked about the employment appeal tribunal. We still have an open mind on this. The House may like to know that my right hon. Friend has suggested to the trade unions and to the CBI and the chamber of commerce that we should set up a body in which this matter can be discussed and on which future proposals should also be discussed as they come forward. I agree that we need to reach a decision on that.
In conclusion, may I say that in no way are the Government defensive or apologetic about introducing this order in the House, or the legislation in Northern Ireland. In Great Britain, the 1980 Act has settled down and is being worked sensibly and to good effect. It has produced a better but not a perfect balance in industrial relations and has conferred much needed rights upon individual workers. I deliberately return to the point that I have already emphasised. In a united kingdom, it cannot be correct that those same rights should not be available to United Kingdom citizens who work in Northern Ireland.
The order will give financial help to unions if they want it to meet the cost of democratically seeking their members' views on important matters and I believe that it is relevant to the immediate problems of the Province.
Northern Ireland companies have been affected by secondary action. I was challenged to produce examples. Perhaps the best example is the action which occurred during the road haulage dispute, which I believe took place during the notorious and damaging winter of discontent which followed the policies of the Labour Administration. We cannot afford any disruption of activity through secondary action when we are fighting for every pound's worth of output and orders and for every job. The order will give protection to such companies.
We depend to a great extent upon the development of small businesses, perhaps more than in any other part of the kingdom. To the extent that entrepreneurs and new 1061 investors have been deterred from starting businesses or established businesses have been deterred from expanding by the problems caused by the Labour Government's legislation, which the order amends, the Province's economy and those who lack work will stand to gain. I therefore look particularly for support for those provisions which seek to benefit our small firms.
The legislation is proving its worth in Great Britain. It is fair and important legislation which seeks to improve industrial relations and which should, I submit, be non-contentious.
I commend the order to the House.
§ 1.4 am
§ Mr. Concannon
I apologise, Mr. Deputy Speaker. With the leave of the House, I wish to speak again. I am in some difficulty, because at the moment I am the only person on the Opposition Front Bench who speaks for Northern Ireland affairs. It is quality that counts, not quantity.
I must stress that the Minister has not pointed out the relevance of this order to Northern Ireland and industrial relations. The NIC/ICTU, the trade unions and the workers in Northern Ireland feel that this is not a serious or realistic appraisal of industrial relations in the Province. They consider that the order is basically anti-trade union, anti-worker and anti-woman worker, and that it is not much help to the low paid. It cannot be described as an order that is designed to improve industrial relations. It is not logical for the Government to trumpet better industrial relations in Northern Ireland in major speeches made by the Secretary of State, and at the same time introduce legislation which will lead to a deterioration in industrial relations.
Those are our sentiments, and I ask the House to vote against the order as an irrelevance to Northern Ireland.
§ Question put:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 247, Noes 136.1064
|Division No. 107]||[1.5 am|
|Aitken, Jonathan||Brotherton, Michael|
|Alexander, Richard||Brown, Michael (Brigg&Sc'n)|
|Alison, Rt Hon Michael||Bruce-Gardyne, John|
|Arnold, Tom||Bryan, Sir Paul|
|Aspinwall, Jack||Buchanan-Smith, Rt. Hon.A.|
|Atkins, Rt Hon H. (S'thorne)||Buck, Antony|
|Atkins, Robert(Preston N)||Budgen, Nick|
|Baker, Kenneth(St.M'bone)||Butcher, John|
|Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset)||Butler, Hon Adam|
|Banks, Robert||Cadbury, Jocelyn|
|Beaumont-Dark, Anthony||Carlisle, John (Luton West)|
|Bendall, Vivian||Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)|
|Bevan, Dav id Gilroy||Chalker, Mrs. Lynda|
|Biffen, Rt Hon John||Channon, Rt. Hon. Paul|
|Biggs-Davison, Sir John||Chapman, Sydney|
|Blackburn, John||Churchill, W. S.|
|Blaker, Peter||Clark, Hon A. (Plym'th, S'n)|
|Bonsor, Sir Nicholas||Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)|
|Boscawen, Hon Robert||Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)|
|Bottomley, Peter (W'wich W)||Clegg, Sir Walter|
|Bowden, Andrew||Colvin, Michael|
|Boyson, Dr Rhodes||Cope, John|
|Bright, Graham||Cormack, Patrick|
|Brinton, Tim||Corrie, John|
|Brittan, Rt. Hon. Leon||Costain, Sir Albert|
|Brooke, Hon Peter||Cranborne, Viscount|
|Critchley, Julian||Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)|
|Crouch, David||Lyell, Nicholas|
|Dean, Paul (North Somerset)||McCrindle, Robert|
|Dickens, Geoffrey||Macfarlane, Neil|
|Dorrell, Stephen||McNair-Wilson, M.(N'bury)|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J.||McNair-Wilson, P. (New F'st)|
|Dover, Denshore||Madel, David|
|Dunlop, John||Marland, Paul|
|Dunn, Robert(Dartford)||Marlow, Antony|
|Durant, Tony||Marshall, Michael(Arundel)|
|Edwards, Rt Hon N. (P'broke)||Marten, Rt Hon Neil|
|Eggar, Tim||Mawhinney, Dr Brian|
|Elliott, Sir William||Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin|
|Emery, Sir Peter||Mayhew, Patrick|
|Eyre, Reg inald||Mellor, David|
|Faith, Mrs Sheila||Meyer, Sir Anthony|
|Farr, John||Miller, Hal(B'grove)|
|Fenner, Mrs Peggy||Mills, Iain (Meriden)|
|Finsberg, Geoffrey||Mills, Peter (West Devon)|
|Fisher, Sir Nigel||Miscampbell, Norman|
|Fletcher, A. (Ed'nb'gh N)||Moate, Roger|
|Fookes, Miss Janet||Motyneaux, James|
|Forman, Nigel||Monro, Sir Hector|
|Fowler, Rt Hon Norman||Montgomery, Fergus|
|Fox, Marcus||Moore, John|
|Fraser, Peter (South Angus)||Morgan, Geraint|
|Gardner, Edward (S Fylde)||Morris, M. (N'hampton S)|
|Garel-Jones, Tristan||Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes)|
|Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian||Morrison, Hon P. (Chester)|
|Glyn, Dr Alan||Mudd, David|
|Goodhart, Sir Philip||Murphy, Christopher|
|Goodlad, Alastair||Myles, David|
|Gorst, John||Neale, Gerrard|
|Gray, Hamish||Neubert, Michael|
|Greenway, Harry||Newton, Tony|
|Grieve, Percy||Oppenheim, Rt Hon Mrs S.|
|Griffiths, E. (B'y St. Edm'ds)||Page, John (Harrow, West)|
|Griffiths, PeterPortsm'th N)||Page, Richard (SW Herts)|
|Grist, Ian||Patten, Christopher(Bath)|
|Gummer, John Selwyn||Patten, John (Oxford)|
|Hamilton, Hon A.||Pattie, Geoffrey|
|Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Pawsey, James|
|Hampson, Dr Keith||Percival, Sir Ian|
|Hannam, John||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Haselhurst, Alan||Porter, Barry|
|Hastings, Stephen||Powell, Rt Hon J.E. (S Down)|
|Havers, Rt Hon Sir Michael||Prentice, Rt Hon Reg|
|Heddle, John||Price, Sir David (Eastleigh)|
|Henderson, Barry||Prior, Rt Hon James|
|Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael||Proctor, K. Harvey|
|Hicks, Robert||Raison, Rt Hon Timothy|
|Hill, James||Rathbone, Tim|
|Hogg, Hon Doug las (Gr'th'm)||Rees, Peter (Dover and Deal)|
|Holland, Philip (Carlton)||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Hooson, Tom||Renton, Tim|
|Hordern, Peter||Rhodes James, Robert|
|Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey||Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon|
|Hunt, David (Wirral)||Rid ley, Hon Nicholas|
|Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)||Ridsdale, Sir Ju I ian|
|Irving, Charles(Cheltenham)||Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey|
|Jessel, Toby||Roberts, Wyn (Conway)|
|Johnson Smith, Geoffrey||Ross, Wm. (Londonderry)|
|Jopling, Rt Hon Michael||Rossi, Hugh|
|Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith||Royle, Sir Anthony|
|Kaberry, Sir Donald||Sainsbury, Hon Timothy|
|Kershaw, Sir Anthony||St. John-Stevas, Rt Hon N.|
|Kimball, Sir Marcus||Sandelson, Neville|
|King, Rt Hon Tom||Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)|
|Knox, David||Shaw, Michael(Scarborough)|
|Lamont, Norman||Shelton, William(Streatham)|
|Lang, Ian||Shepherd, Colin(Hereford)|
|Latham, Michael||Shepherd, Richard|
|Lawrence, Ivan||Silvester, Fred|
|Lawson, Rt Hon Nigel||Sims, Roger|
|Lee, John||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|LeMarchant, Spencer||Smith, Dudley|
|Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark||Smyth, Rev. W. M. (Belfast S)|
|Lester, Jim (Beeston)||Spicer, Jim (West Dorset)|
|Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Spicer, Michael (S Wows)|
|Lloyd, Ian (Havant & W'loo)||Sproat, Iain|
|Stainton, Keith||Viggers, Peter|
|Stanbrook, Ivor||Waddington, David|
|Stanley, John||Wakeham, John|
|Stevens, Martin||Waldegrave, Hon William|
|Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)||Waller, Gary|
|Stokes, John||Ward, John|
|Stradling Thomas, J.||Warren, Kenneth|
|Tapsell, Peter||Wells, Bowen|
|Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman||Wheeler, John|
|Temple-Morris, Peter||Wilkinson, John|
|Thomas, Rt Hon Peter||Winterton, Nicholas|
|Thompson, Donald||Wolfson, Mark|
|Thorne, Neil (Ilford South)||Young, Sir George (Acton)|
|Thornton, Malcolm||Younger, Rt Hon George|
|Townend, John (Bridlington)|
|Townsend, Cyril D, (B'heath)||Tellers for the Ayes:|
|Trippier, David||Mr. Anthony Berry and|
|Trotter, Neville||Mr. Carol Mather.|
|van Straubenzee, Sir W.|
|Abse, Leo||Davies, Ifor (Gower)|
|Allaun, Frank||Davis, Terry (B'ham, Stechf'd)|
|Anderson, Donald||Deakins, Eric|
|Archer, Rt Hon Peter||Dean, Joseph (Leeds West)|
|Ashley, Rt Hon Jack||Dixon, Donald|
|Ashton, Joe||Dobson, Frank|
|Atkinson, N.(H'gey, )||Dormand, Jack|
|Barnett, Guy(Greenwich)||Douglas, Dick|
|Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (H'wd)||Dubs, Alfred|
|Bennett, Andrew(St'kp't N)||Duffy, A. E. P.|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Dunnett, Jack|
|Booth, Rt Hon Albert||Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G.|
|Bray, Dr Jeremy||Eadie, Alex|
|Buchan, Norman||Ellis, R. (NE D'bysh're)|
|Callaghan, Jim (Midd't'n&P)||English, Michael|
|Cant, R. B.||Ennals, Rt Hon David|
|Clark, Dr David (S Shields)||Evans, Ioan (Aberdare)|
|Cocks, Rt Hon M. (B'stol S)||Evans, John (Newton)|
|Cohen, Stanley||Ewing, Harry|
|Coleman, Donald||Flannery, Martin|
|Concannon, Rt Hon J. D.||Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)|
|Cowans, Harry||Foot, Rt Hon Michael|
|Crowther, Stan||Ford, Ben|
|Cryer, Bob||Forrester, John|
|Cunliffe, Lawrence||Foster, Derek|
|Davidson, Arthur||Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald|
|Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (L'Ili)||Garrett, John (Norwich S)|
|Graham, Ted||Parker, John|
|Hamilton, James(Bothwell)||Parry, Robert|
|Harrison, Rt Hon Walter||Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)|
|Hart, Rt Hon Dame Judith||Race, Reg|
|Haynes, Frank||Radice, Giles|
|Heffer, Eric S.||Rees, Rt Hon M (Leeds S)|
|Homewood, William||Richardson, Jo|
|Hooley, Frank||Roberts, Allan(Bootle)|
|Howell, Rt Hon D.||Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)|
|Huckfield, Les||Rooker, J. W.|
|Hughes, Mark (Durham)||Ross, Ernest (Dundee West)|
|Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)||Sever, John|
|Jay, Rt Hon Douglas||Shore, Rt Hon Peter|
|John, Brynmor||Silkin, Rt Hon J. (Deptford)|
|Johnson, Walter (Derby S)||Silkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Jones, Barry (East Flint)||Skinner, Dennis|
|Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald||Soley, Clive|
|Kerr, Russell||Spearing, Nigel|
|Lamborn, Harry||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Lamond, James||Stallard, A. W.|
|Leighton, Ronald||Stoddart, David|
|Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Stott, Roger|
|Lofthouse, Geoffrey||Straw, Jack|
|Lyon, Alexander(York)||Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley|
|McCartney, Hugh||Thorne, Stan (Preston South )|
|McDonald, Dr Oonagh||Tilley, John|
|McGuire, Michael (Ince)||Tinn, James|
|McKelvey, William||Torney, Tom|
|McNamara, Kevin||Wainwright, E.(Dearne V)|
|McTaggart, Robert||Walker, Rt Hon H. (D'caster)|
|McWilliam, John||Watkins, David|
|Marks, Kenneth||Welsh, Michael|
|Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)||White, Frank R.|
|Martin, M(G'gow S'burn)||Whitehead, Phillip|
|Meacher, Michael||Whitlock, William|
|Mikardo, Ian||Winnick, David|
|Mitchell, Austin (Grimsby)||Woodall, Alec|
|Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)||Woolmer, Kenneth|
|Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)||Wright, Sheila|
|Moyle, Rt Hon Roland|
|Newens, Stanley||Tellers for the Noes:|
|Orme, Rt Hon Stanley||Mr. Allen McKay and|
|Park, George||Mr. George Morton.|
§ Question accordingly agreed to.
That the draft Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1981, which was laid before this House on 20 October, in the last Session of Parliament, be approved.