HC Deb 07 November 1972 vol 845 c137W
44. Mr. John Page

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will set up a special inquiry into strong-arm tactics used during the recent dispute in the construction industry, and publish the result.

Mr. Patrick Wall

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the intimidation of workers during the building strike.

Mr. R. Carr

I have received reports from chief officers of police, and from building employers, about the activities of pickets during the building strike. It is clear that during this year some picketing—not only in the building strike—has gone far beyond what is lawful. The right to work is as important as the right to strike, and I am sure that the vast majority of trade unionists do not in any way condone the violence that has taken place.

The investigation of alleged offences is a matter for the police, to whom any evidence of criminal offences should be given. The police must in many cases depend on the willingness of the victims of intimidation to give evidence.

I am however in consultation with chief officers of police about the problems of enforcement caused by recent picketing.