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Unofficial Strikes

Volume 416: debated on Thursday 29 November 1945

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asked the Minister of Labour whether, in view of the repeated inconvenience suffered by the public as a result of illegal strikes, His Majesty's Government will in future bring to bear the full force of the law upon those who lead or instigate strike action contrary to the whole principle of collective bargaining and in defiance of the established machinery for conciliation.

:The Government are conscious of the inconvenience occasioned by stoppages of work in certain industries and they will take any necessary steps to protect the public interest. What such steps should be must however, be determined in the light of the circumstances of each case.

Is the Minister conscious of Section 4 of the Conspiracy Act, 1875, and that the criminal law has been broken with impunity by a great number of workers?

All those who have had any service in the trade union movement are conscious of that particular Act. I would remind the hon. and gallant Gentleman that if he looks at the matter, he will see that the power to authorise prosecutions does not rest with Government officials.