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Grunwick Processing Laboratories Ltd (Sub Judice Rule)

Volume 933: debated on Friday 17 June 1977

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Before I turn to the business of the day, I have a brief statement to make which I wish to put on the record.

During business questions yesterday, the hon. Member for Hendon, North, (Mr. Gorst) raised with me the issue of whether Early-Day Motion No. 328, in the name of the hon. Member for Brent, South (Mr. Pavitt), concerning the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service and the Grunwick firm was sub judice.

I did not intervene in the remarks of the hon. Member for Brent, South yesterday because it seemed to me that he was simply drawing attention to his motion —which does not cease to exist because it is sub judice—rather than canvassing its merits.

Let me restate the applicability of the sub judice rule to the Grunwick dispute. Issues which touch on the activities of those against whom criminal charges have been brought, and on the civil action pending between ACAS and the firm, cannot be raised in motions or Questions until the cases have been disposed of. In consequence, the Table Office will, in accordance with usual practice, continue to decline to accept signatures to the motion in the name of the hon. Member for Brent, South.

Finally, as I said yesterday, the general issue of the strike as such is not sub judice.