HC Deb 08 March 1983 vol 38 c701
12. Mr. Renton

asked the Secretary of State for Employment how many representations he has so far received from trade unions in response to his Green Paper on trade union democracy.

Mr. Tebbit

I have so far received no representations from trade unions on our Green Paper "Democracy in Trade Unions". The period for consultations will continue until 8 April.

Mr. Renton

Is that not a very depressing reply? Are trade union leaders not interested in democracy in their unions? If there continues to be no response from those who are fearful that more balance will lead to loss of office and of power for them, will my right hon. Friend make a strong appeal in the remaining weeks for ordinary trade unionists to write to him with their views on obtaining more balance and on opting out of the political levy in their union?

Mr. Tebbit

My hon. Friend is slightly unfair to some of the trade union leaders, because many of them have a deep commitment to democracy in their unions and have been taking steps to achieve that. What is regrettable is that some have not and are seeking to thwart progress in this regard. I hope that more and more ordinary trade unionists, as well as those leaders such as Mr. Gavin Laird, who has said that these matters should be discussed with the Government, will come forward and give me their views.