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Industrial Disputes (Secondary Blacking)

Volume 987: debated on Thursday 3 July 1980

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I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House, under Standing Order No. 9, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration, namely,

"the need of this House to express its views on secondary blacking and boycotting before a final decision is taken in another place on the provisions of clause 17 of the Employment Bill."
The specific issue is the provisions of clause 17 covering secondary blacking or boycotting. It is a vitally important matter for the future of industrial relations in Britain—not only to achieve industrial peace, but to achieve reasonable fairness, and to enhance investment and profitability in the manufacturing base of our economy.

The matter is urgent because it appears that amendments to the clause may not be made in another place. That means that the House will have no further opportunity to debate the subject before it becomes law—

Order. Technically, the hon. Member for Winchester (Mr. Browne) is on a point of order. I think that he is on his last sentence.

The Government presented this subject to the House at the very last minute in a clause that is so complex that few right hon. and hon. Members fully understood its implications. The right hon. Members for Doncaster (Mr. Walker) and Chesterfield (Mr. Varley) confirmed that in their remarks, on Report, I think that many hon. Members feel hoodwinked, and that the vital clause passed the House without the due consideration that it deserved—

Order. I am being very patient, but the hon. Gentleman's speech is getting near an abuse of the Standing Order. I hope that he will now come to a conclusion, and I shall then give him my conclusion.

My conclusion is that the clause received insufficient debate in the House. My appeal through you, Mr. Speaker, is that it should be returned to the House for discussion.

The hon. Member for Winchester (Mr. Browne) gave me notice this morning before 12 o'clock that he would seek leave to move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that he thinks should have urgent consideration, namely,

"the need of this House to express its views on secondary blacking and boycotting before a final decision is taken in another place on the provisions of clause 17 of the Employment Bill."
In informing the hon. Gentleman that I cannot submit his application to the House, I wish to say to the whole House that this sort of application could occur on every measure that passes through the House. I hope that, in general, hon. Members will note that Standing Order No. 9 is for very special occasions.