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Cambridge Evening News (Advertisement)

Volume 929: debated on Tuesday 29 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he remains satisfied with the operation of the law relating to trade unions and the freedom of the Press, in the light of the circumstances in which the trade unions known as SLADE and NGA refuse to allow the Alexandra Studio at Eaton Socon to advertise in the situations vacant columns of the Cambridge Evening News because the advertisement contains a simple monogram not produced by union members, a refusal which is in conflict with arrangements previously agreed: what action he is able to take to assist in this situation; and if he will make a statement.

It will not be possible to know whether the law relating to trade unions and the freedom of the Press is operating satisfactorily until a charter on the freedom of the Press has been prepared and has been in operation for a while. But on the facts as des- cribed by the right hon. and learned Member I would not necessarily accept that this dispute is very relevant to the issues involved in maintaining the freedom of the Press. I do not consider that any action on my part would assist in resolving this dispute.