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New Clause 2

Volume 172: debated on Thursday 17 May 1990

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Refusal Of Employment On Grounds Related To Previous Trade Union Activities

'It shall be unlawful to refuse a person employment because of his trade union activities in any previous employment.'.— [Mr. Tony Lloyd.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the clause be read a Second Time.— [Mr. Tony Lloyd.]

With this it will be convenient to consider the following: new clause 3—Refusal of employment to person on register kept by organisation compiling information about suitability of individuals for employment

'Where there is an arrangement or practice under which an employer will not offer employment to a person whose name is on a register kept by an organisation which compiles information about people in connection with their suitability for employment and that information includes information about a person's trade union activity, then a person who is refused employment in pursuance of that arrangement or practice, shall be held to have been refused employment by reason of his trade union activities.'.

Amendment No. 20, in clause 1, page 1, line 12 at end add—

'(c) because without his knowledge his name has been supplied to his prospective employer by a third party from an unpublished or secret register'.

Amendment No. 21, in page 2, line 23, at end add—

'(e) offers, and then subsequently withdraws the offer of employment without giving a satisfactory explanation for the withdrawal of the offer of employment.'.

Amendment No. 22, in clause 2, page 2, line 40 at end add—

'(c) because without his knowledge his name has been supplied to the agency by a third party from an unpublished or secret register.'.

It gives me great pleasure to speak to the new clauses and amendments, not least because they are good additions to what is not a constructive or good Bill for the current needs of our industrial relations. In the main, the new clauses are designed to outlaw the unacceptable practice adopted by British employers of blacklisting genuine and ordinary trade unionists. They are also a good test of the Government's sincerity when they claim equity and balance. Earlier in the debate a Conservative Member spoke about the need for a sense of balance.

Clauses 1 and 2 of the Bill seek to make it unlawful to discriminate against a potential employee whether or not he is a member of a trade union. Clause 2 states that, if an employment agency puts out an advertisement for a worker which says that the person appointed should be a member of a trade union, and if that person is subsequently refused employment, it can be deemed that he was refused employment because he refused to join or was not a member of a trade union.

In Committee, we argued that a distinction should be made between trade union membership and trade union activity. The Government repeatedly said that there was no need to do that because the two things were one and the same. We are again asking the Government to make that distinction and to ensure that quite sinister organisations, especially the Economic League, will not be at liberty to provide information about potential employees. Such information invariably includes details of trade union activity.

The Government see nothing wrong or contradictory in allowing the secret practices of that secret organisation to continue. In Committee we witnessed for the first time Ministers forcefully defending that organisation and its activities. I am sure that many of my colleagues will agree that that is disgraceful, because anybody who is aware of what that organisation does could not possibly support it in an open society.

On a number of occasions over recent years, people from west Cumberland have come to my surgery and my home to complain that they have been blacklisted by local employers and contracting organisations—not only in west Cumberland, but on the Sellafield site. It is a disturbing development. Ministers must not look lightly on these serious matters. We need legislative reform because they are an invasion of our constituents' civil liberties. Ministers must not casually brush it aside.

I intend to refer to some of the practices of the Economic League that have resulted not only in people being blacklisted and therefore unable to obtain work, but in innocent people being blacklisted. Wrong information has been passed on about people and, consequently, they have been refused employment. We might never know the numbers involved, because the information is secret, but they could run into thousands or even tens of thousands. Ordinary working people and ordinary, respectable trade unionists involved in legitimate trade union activities, have had their lives ruined because the practices of the Economic League have prevented them from obtaining gainful employment.

Hon. Members may not be familiar with the practices of the Economic League. After all, for almost 60 years its work was conducted in secret. The league contacted members of the Committee and set out, in part, what it considers to be its role in the recruitment of employees. It said:
"The existence of revolutionary organisations whose aim is to damage companies by fermenting unrest is well proven. Revolutionary organisations conceal their identity behind fronts and they use every artifice and method to achieve their aims. Therefore employers have a right, even a duty, to protect the interests of their companies, shareholders and employees alike. They need access to an information service that can help them to identify people who, by their membership or support of revolutionary bodies, can be expected to pose a threat to good relations in the company. The League supplies this information."
There is one problem with that. The information that the league provides—or at least, its interpretation of it—is quite different from reality. Fortunately, some investigative journalism—in particular, the Granada "World in Action" programme—has exposed the sinister activities of the league, as have books such as the "The Economic League—The Silent McCarthyism" by Mark Hollingsworth and Charles Tremayne. They have exposed what the league is up to.

The league includes in its list of revolutionary organisations Christian Aid, Oxfam, War on Want, Greenpeace, the Anti-Apartheid Movement, trade unions and one of the most popular political parties, the Labour party. Those activities, in which ordinary people engage, are revealed to employers to use as an excuse for refusing gainful employment. The paranoia revealed by such an organisation is a threat to open industrial relations, and the Government should support the new clause.

What evidence is in the book to suggest that employers have refused jobs to people who are members or supporters of the organisations that the hon. Gentleman has mentioned?

I do not have time to go through all the examples set out in the book. I shall simply choose a page at random and cite two examples. The first was exposed by "World in Action". Mr. Roy Turnbull, a labourer from Newcastle upon Tyne, was for some considerable time refused employment because of his political activities. In fact, Mr. Turnbull belonged to no political party and he said in his testimony that he had never even bothered to vote.

Similarly, Mr. Ken Martin—another labourer from Newcastle upon Tyne—was blacklisted because of information about his political activities that was passed on by the Economic League. That information was false. It accused Mr. Martin of being a long-standing member of the Communist party. As a result, for some considerable time he could not obtain gainful employment. The information was not true because Mr. Martin was not, and never has been, a member of the Communist party. I could cite more examples, but I suggest that the hon. Gentleman reads the book or looks at the "World in Action" video.

The nature of the Economic League is revealed in the way that it gathers its information. It is known to use spies, private detectives, election nomination forms and press cuttings. That is unreliable, clandestine and sinister. The organisation is secretive and sinister in four ways. First, its existence remained a secret for many, many years. Indeed, its existence was denied only recently. Secondly, the organisations and companies affiliated to the Economic League were also secret until recent exposures. I am glad to say that many reputable companies which were previously affiliated have now broken their association because they have recognised the mood of the people of the country—something which the Government, if they do not support the new clause, will fail to do.

Thirdly, the organisation is secret and it keeps its information secret. Indeed, it refuses to put its information on computer but instead keeps manual records that do not come under the Data Protection Act. That is worrying in this day and age and it is another sign of the secret activity of that organisation. Finally, the organisation is secret because the information that it passes to employers about potential employees is secret. In particular, those potential employees do not have access to that information. They do not know what has been said about them. Like the two people whom I cited earlier, they do not have an opportunity to defend themselves. That is disgraceful.

The Government have an opportunity tonight to accept the new clause and the other amendments that we are discussing that relate specifically to trade union activity. Indeed, they have a clear choice—a closed society with closed industrial relations where secretive and sinister organisations can interfere with the smooth running of the labour market in general and recruitment of suitable labour in particular; or an open society where people, especially trade unionists, know exactly what is being said about them behind closed doors. They can then engage in the legitimate trade union activity that we have experienced in Wales.

It was interesting to note that in the rising unemployment figures released today, Wales did not suffer as badly as other regions. We have had some success in inward investment because we have the highest density trade union membership in the country. Those ordinary trade unionists make a major contribution to the economic well-being of the country.

8 pm

I fully support the new clause. It is unacceptable that those actively involved in trade unions should be discriminated against when it comes to applying for employment. It is even more unacceptable that there should be an organisation such as the Economic League, the main function of which—the reason why it came into existence at the end of the first world war—it to draw up a list of those who, in the view of those who run the organisation, should not be taken on by companies.

The Ecomomic League is funded by a number of large companies. I am pleased to note that more recently, perhaps in the past two or three years and certainly since the television programme, the Economic League has not received the same amount of funding as previously. Nevertheless, it continues to receive quite a large chunk of money.

British United Industrialists, an organisation responsible for receiving funds from companies and passing them on to the Tory party, also acts as a paymaster for the Economic League. It may be of some interest that some 57 companies which subscribe financially to the Tory party also subscribe to the Economic League, so the link is clear.

Yes. I am not surprised.

The Economic League engages in a number of undeniable habits which should be deplored. For example, officials infiltrate private, political and trade union meetings. They like to get their hands on the attendance lists and use them for their own purposes. My hon. Friend the Member for Vale of Glamorgan (Mr. Smith) made the point that they also indulge in making a note of those who nominate candidates for local and national elections. All that is for one purpose—to draw up the dossier and to use it for the purposes of discrimination when it comes to employment.

The hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Riddick) asked where is the evidence of such discrimination. In the book already referred to, "The Economic League—The Silent McCarthyism", reference is made to Malvyn Barton, a loyal member of his local Conservative club for nearly 10 years. He was a rather reluctant member of a trade union, but for some reason he was branded a militant. His name appeared on the Economic League's list and, as a result, he has been penalised. He has been unemployed for the past six years and is a bitter man. He said:
"I've always got impeccable references that could get me a job but being on a blacklist is like banging your head against a brick wall. My reputation is now in rags."
The Economic League has not refuted that there is such a dossier on that person.

Derek Ogg is an Edinburgh solicitor whose case should interest Conservative Members. He was chairman of his local Young Conservatives and stood as a Conservative party candidate in the regional and district council elections, but he was listed by the Economic League as an anarchist. The explanation was that he was associated with a magazine which had been on sale in a radical bookshop.

I do not deny that many—perhaps a large majority—or those on the list are active trade unionists and proud to be so—they are not like the two cases to which I have just referred—but in a democratic society, is it wrong for an active trade unionist who takes pride in his trade union membership to want to recruit those who are not in a trade union? Of all the functions of a democratic society—all the things which are not allowed in a dictatorship, fascist or communist—why should that one be the subject of a list kept by a central organisation funded by companies so that the people listed can be penalised, often for years on end?

I wish to refer to two cases nearer home. My right hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ashley) is not necessarily considered the most revolutionary member of the Opposition. In the early 1940s, before he went to Ruskin college, my right hon. Friend was a worker and a shop steward in a factory. He was put on the list for no other reason than that he was an active trade unionist and proud of it.

Perhaps even nearer home is my own case. When I finished my Army national service, I went to work in a clerical capacity in engineering. I was an active trade unionist and regularly attended trade union meetings and the annual conference of my union. Two years ago, my union, honoured me with its highest award—it may not seem much to Conservative Members because there is no commercial involvement, but I am proud to be the holder of a gold medal from my union. As an active lay member of my union, I sought then to ensure that, wherever I worked, I would try to recruit non-unionists in engineering establishments into my union, and I make no apology for that. I was put on the London Engineering Employers Federation blacklist for no other reason than my trade union activities.

That was in the mid-1950s, but fortunately in the area where I was living at the time there was no unemployment problem. I could not get work in federated firms, so I went to non-federated firms and had no difficulty in getting employment there. Employers would probably have considered me a conscientious worker. Yet I could not work in any federated firms because I was on the blacklist, merely because I was an active trade unionist. That is a deplorable state of affairs, not because of my experience as such but because of all the other people who are subject to such action.

There seem to be links between the Economic League and the police and special branch. A former official of the Economic League, Richard Brett, who was featured on the television programme as having worked for the Economic League, became somewhat disillusioned. He said that, during his days as an official of the Economic League, he regularly gave talks to the local police on industrial subversion. There is an allegation—the Minister will not be able to respond to this, because it is more a matter for the Home Office—that the Economic League continues to receive information from the police as well as passing information to them. If that is true, it is a further reason why we should deplore the activities of that organisation. I hope that the Home Secretary will look into those allegations and, if they are true, ensure that such actions do not continue.

Fortunately, we live in a political democracy, in a free society, and the freedoms that we have built up are precious, certainly to Opposition Members. Those freedoms, those civil liberties, are seriously eroded when people are penalised simply because of their trade union work, and that is completely unacceptable.

If new clause 2 is not acceptable to the Government—I do not think that it will be—I only hope that, after the next general election, the Labour Government will look at all those aspects and take measures to make such discrimation unlawful. We should have done that before, but I hope that we shall do it next time. If the law is so changed, it will further help to strengthen the freedoms that we already have in Britain. New clause 2 should be enthusiastically supported.

Many hysterical comments have been made, without evidence to back them up. We heard many accusations on Second Reading and I understand that there were one or two lively debates on the subject in Committee.

I have taken the trouble to talk to the Economic League and it has written to me, and I want to inject a touch of realism and accuracy into the debate. I begin by quoting the league's objectives:
"The Economic League collects and analyses extremist papers, magazines, reports and leaflets of left and right alike. Where industries or companies are mentioned by name, we let them know. Where the threat is more general we bring it to wider public attention.
This is just one of the ways in which the League is supporting freedom, free enterprise and democracy against those who are working to destroy it.
We provide an industrial relations advisory service to industry and commerce, particularly aimed at countering politically motivated industrial unrest and the creation of more positive attitudes."
Its aims are clear.

The hon. Gentleman seeks to defend the league's activities. Does he believe that the information that the league retains on its files should be publicly available, so that people who suspect that information held on them is inaccurate may have the right to appeal?

Yes, people who are the subject of information held by the Economic League should have the right to see it. The Economic League says that people have that very right. Anyone who believes that they appear on an Economic League blacklist can write in, and the league will reply, confirming whether or not it holds any information on them. That is what the Economic League claims. The hon. Member for Walsall, North (Mr. Winnick) claims that he is on an Economic League list, but has he ever written to the organisation to ascertain whether that is the case?

The hon. Gentleman cannot be serious when he makes that suggestion. He must think that people are very naive. I did not suggest that I am on an Economic League list—I may be, or I may not. I explained rather that I had been on a blacklist kept by an employers' organisation.

The hon. Gentleman gave the impression that he is on an Economic League blacklist. I have to say that he was being a little misleading, but I accept now that he was not attempting to suggest that he was on a list kept by the Economic League. The fact remains that one of the league's raisons d'être is to identify industrial saboteurs and make information relating to them available to the companies that subscribe to its services. What is wrong with that?

Last year, the newspaper Scotland on Sunday reported that the league was setting up a list on environmentalists. Do they come within the hon. Gentleman's definition of industrial saboteurs?

It does not sound to me as though environmentalists should be included in that category, but I cannot be sure that there is any truth in the report to which the hon. Gentleman referred. Does he know whether there is any substance to that allegation?

A number of unsubstantiated claims about the league's activities have been made, and I shall refer to them later. Clearly, the Labour party wants to put the Economic League out of business, but the only people to benefit would be left-wing extremists who want to wreak industrial havoc in this country. Perhaps that is what Opposition Members want. If so, their amendments amount to a wreckers' charter.

Several Opposition Members suggested that the league is anti-union and discriminates against trade union members. The league vehemently denies that accusation. I quote from the brochures that the league sends to prospective clients—companies that have expressed an interest in the services that if offers:
"The League is in favour of employees voluntarily joining a trade union, having it represent them and negotiate on their behalf. If the union and the company fail to agree, the League recognises the right of the union to call on its members to take industrial action, provided that they are properly consulted."
8.15 pm

Individuals named in various "World in Action" programmes claimed that they were listed by the Economic League because of their trade union activities, and were as a result refused jobs. I asked the league whether there was any truth in those accusations. Mr. Hardy, the director-general of the league, wrote to me on 9 May:
"The League has no record on the individuals named in the programmes. Furthermore, none of the individuals named has ever either written to us to complain or commenced legal action against us. None of them has ever communicated with us about our alleged blacklisting of them."
I suggest that Opposition Members ask the people named in the "World in Action" reports to contact the Economic League, to establish whether that is true. If those individuals have not done so, or fail to do so, they can hardly go round making wild allegations about being on an Economic League blacklist. The House may be interested to know that the Broadcasting Complaints Commission found that Granada TV's "World in Action" programme
"constituted unjust and unfair treatment of the League."
Do Opposition Members think it would be sensible for a company that employs, for example, a high percentage of Asian workers to employ also an individual having links with the National Front? Of course not. That is the kind of information that the league can provide.

What evidence does the hon. Gentleman have to support that accusation? He has none. He simply makes another wild allegation.

Does the hon. Gentleman accept that there is no way of knowing for certain whether the league holds information on a particular individual—because what it does, it does in secret?

I repeat that anyone who believes that they are listed by the league should contact the organisation—[Laughter.] Opposition Members may laugh, but the league has made it clear that it is willing to allow Members of Parliament to visit its offices and inspect its files.

I can show the hon. Gentleman correspondence that I have received, as someone involved in the Anti-Blacklisting Campaign, from a gentleman who suspected that he was listed by the Economic League. I saw the league's reply, on its letterhead, and it requested him to give a great deal of information about himself—including his name, present addresses, past address, trade union membership, political activities, and so on—and to submit it together with a small fee. In other words, " Please blacklist yourself."

Surely the hon. Lady would want the Economic League to make absolutely certain that the person requesting such information is really the same person appearing in its files—which clearly is of great importance.

Opposition Members claim that the league is trying to avoid the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1984, yet the league itself says that it would have no difficulty in conforming to an extension of that Act to cover manual records. It claims that it would welcome such an extension. I quote again from the letter that I received from the league's director-general:
"Our archives are open for inspection at any time by the Data Protection Registrar and our systems were fully inspected during 1989. The Data Protection Registrar gave us a clean bill of health."
That inspection related to information held on computer. However, the league has made it clear to me that it would be happy for the provisions of the Act to be extended to manual records. Its director-general adds:
"In addition we would be happy to host an all-party deputation of Members of Parliament at our Archive Centre. They will then be able to see the system at work for themselves."
I suggest that Opposition Members take up that offer.

Good. I am glad to hear that from the hon. Member for Workington (Mr. Campbell-Savours).

The actions of the Government will probably diminish the role and the importance of the Economic League because only when the industrial situation is ripe for saboteurs are the services of such organisations necessary. The Government's trade union legislation has made it more difficult for people to subvert trade unions and industries, and I welcome that. It means that the work of the league is less in demand now than it was.

The hon. Gentleman has made an offer and I and my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Maryhill (Mrs. Fyfe) will take him up on it and visit the league. He also mentioned what information it would make available to us. I think that he mentioned that we would be able to see the records, how information is recorded, what is recorded and how manual and computerised record systems work. Judging by what he has been told, can he say that all that will be made available to us as Members of Parliament?

I cannot speak on behalf of the Economic League. I can only quote what is contained in this letter to me. It will be printed in Hansard tomorrow.

The hostility of many Labour Members of Parliament to the organisation, without any proof of wrongdoing, is a poor reflection on them because the league's purpose is to contribute towards upholding industrial peace. I suggest that the Labour party should subscribe to the league—rather than knocking it—and find out about the militants and the people who disrupt its ranks in such places as Liverpool, London and Birkenhead—of course we know the hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field) has been deselected.

I shall happily vote against the amendments tabled by the Opposition.

I am glad to have the opportunity to speak because, some time ago, an anti-blacklisting campaign was formed in the House and it now has a large number of members, including more than 70 Members of Parliament. It is pleasing to note that, in the recent past, the Opposition attacked blacklisting during debates on previous employment legislation and attempted to get the law changed, but they were opposed by the Government. I introduced an anti-blacklisting Bill, which was opposed by the Government. Here we are again tonight, with yet another Employment Bill, taking the opportunity to raise the issue once again and to try to further the democratic standards that we wish to preserve in this country. I am delighted to know that the Labour party has undertaken, in its policy review, to clear up the matter once and for all when Labour forms the next Government.

I am particularly pleased that the Select Committee on Employment will be investigating blacklisting in the near future.

The hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Riddick) questioned whether there was any evidence that blacklisting took place. A member of my union, the Transport and General Workers, and an employee of Ford was blacklisted last year. Ford openly admitted—it has been in all the newspapers—that it subscribes to the Economic League and that it practises blacklisting. That admission comes from a major car manufacturing company.

The building workers' union, the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians, is holding its annual conference soon; because it is so aware of the problems of its members in the construction industry, this will be a major topic for debate. According to the hon. Member for Colne Valley, everyone seems to be letting his imagination run riot.

Before I give way, I wish to cite the example of another building firm. Some of its papers came into my hands recently, and the show that the company blacklisted people who had never worked for it, and it did not do so on grounds of incompetence. I shall present that evidence to the Select Committee.

The hon. Lady mentioned Ford. Is it not true that the motor car industry in this country has been blighted during the past few decades by industrial disruption? It has had a history of individuals actively disrupting it—for example, Red Robbo and the mole at Cowley. Such individuals have enormous power. In the past they created tremendous problems for companies, and those problems spilled over to other employees. Surely Ford has a responsibility to its shareholders and its employees to ensure that industrial saboteurs are not employed.

I shall come to the general principles of the issue in a moment, but one of the people the hon. Member for Colne Valley named—the so-called Red Robbo——

I am answering right now, if the hon. Gentleman wants to listen to me. Red Robbo was sacked for no better reason than that he offered an alternative to the plan offered by the management at the time of a dispute several years ago. Notice how far back the hon. Member has to go to find something that he can begin to describe as subversive activity—which it certainly was not.

Thousands of people are on the Economic League's blacklist. The league organises in various parts of the country and has local lists. Presumably it has a nationwide list on its computer. No doubt my hon. Friend and I will ask about that when we visit them.

Do Conservative Members seriously believe that those people are all subversives and revolutionaries? If so, I do not know why the revolution has not already broken out, given the activities of the Government during the past 10 years. Tory Members are talking nonsense. We have been given the evidence of Mr. Richard Brett, who used to be a regional director of the Economic League, and who came to a meeting in the House of Commons organised by the anti-blacklisting campaign. He had fallen out with the league and was prepared to give evidence which will be presented to the Select Committee in due course. He said that, for the vast majority of the huge number of names in the records, the information recorded was inaccurate.

People are listed, they are prevented from getting jobs, but the information on them is not correct. How does that come about? It is due to the league's methods of blacklisting people. It picks up names and addresses from a wide range of left-wing and ultra left-wing newspapers, and other such sources, noting the names of people who are nominated for posts. However, if a senior official of that organisation is prepared to admit publicly that the records are inaccurate, the public have reason to worry.

Sometimes the league has got it right, and has listed someone accurately, but the information is irrelevant. For example, one of my constituents was on the "World in Action" list for no better reason than that she was an organiser for the anti-apartheid campaign. Most people would think that if she put that on a job application an employer might think that it was to her credit—I certainly would. I cannot imagine what employer could object, except perhaps the South African embassy or companies such as Outspan. It is not of interest to industry in general. Those are reasons for putting people on the blacklist.

Even if someone considers himself or herself a revolutionary and a danger to capitalism, Opposition Members realise—although Conservative Members do not—that many such people take themselves more seriously than their activities justify. We have a police force, special branch, MI5 and MI6 and if people are attempting to subvert the interests of the country it is their job to attend to such matters—[Interruption.] As my hon. Friend the Member for Walsall, North (Mr. Winnick) points out, we know that some secret services have taken a strange view of what is and what is not a subversive activity. A former leader of the Conservative party referred to the fact that some of MI6's activities were very strange and that it had odd notions of what constituted subversive activities.

The forces of the state are there to look after the interests of the state. When it comes to employers looking after their own interests, do not Conservative Members of Parliament realise that ordinary, hard-working, decent trade unionists do not want their job prospects to be wrecked and industry to be ruined by people who fancy themselves as some kind of latter-day Lenin? Trade unionists can tackle attempts to make something out of nothing. Ordinary trade unionists are the ones who have suffered the most from such activities. A shop steward who is trying to do a decent job for his members can come to the attention of an organisation such as the Economic League and be blacklisted as a revolutionary or a subversive.

8.30 pm

I have already referred to the fact that people can be invited to blacklist themselves. We have heard that the Economic League is prepared to allow us to examine its records. It believes that it would be a good idea if the law required both computer records and general records to come under the Data Protection Act 1984. Why, therefore, do the Government resist our arguments? I called precisely for such a measure two years ago when I introduced my Bill—that all the records of blacklisting agencies should be open to inspection and that people who had applied for a job and had been checked by a would-be employer should be able to find out what information was held on them. At long last we hear that the Government are prepared to allow that. I can only imagine that it is because they have come under pressure as a result of investigative journalism.

Apart from the Economic League, other organisations have blacklists. They prevent people from gaining employment for reasons wholly unconnected with their ability to do the job. They can be blacklisted for their beliefs, or for their suspected beliefs, or even because of the beliefs of their relatives or friends. They can be blacklisted on the basis of false information. People are tried secretly by unknown individuals who act as prosecutor, judge and jury. They have no opportunity to challenge and correct the false information, unless they choose to write and virtually blacklist themselves. If they had not come to the attention of a blacklisting agency before, they would certainly do so then.

It has been called McCarthyism. I have seen a letter from a man who says that it is worse than McCarthyism, for at least McCarthy was prepared to stand up in front of Congress and the Senate and justify his actions. These people are not prepared to justify their actions. All they do is to talk nonsense about secret revolutions breaking out everywhere in Britain. I hope that the House will throw out this nonsense.

The Bill claims to give people the right to belong to a trade union. It did so belatedly. We heard a great deal about the right not to belong to a trade union. It was only towards the end of the gestation period that we heard anything about the right to belong to a trade union. It is a new right. Under our law, there has never been the right to belong to a trade union.

Since 1926, a printing firm, D. C. Thomson in Dundee, has operated the policy that anybody who wants to be employed by that firm must sign what is called "the document", stating that they are not a member of a trade union. If the right to belong to a trade union is to mean something, we have to ask how that right is to be enforced. If there is no mechanism to enforce the right to belong to a trade union, it will be a completely meaningless sham.

We have heard a great deal about the pre-entry closed shop and how dreadful it is. I do not intend to say a great deal about the Economic League. The Select Committee on Employment has launched an inquiry into recruitment practices. The Economic League is to give evidence to the Committee and I do not wish to prejudge what it will say. A number of other organisations are described as blacklisting organisations. They are engaged in pre-entry discrimination. Discrimination takes place before someone gets a job. It is not a question of an employee not being allowed to join a union; the discrimination takes place before a person even gets the job.

Blacklisting organisations provide the so-called information in secrecy and furtively to firms that then illegally—or what will be illegally—refuse employment. The purpose of a blacklisting organisation is to supply information secretly; then the firm will do something that will be illegal—it will refuse employment and break the law.

What does the Minister intend to do about it? If the Bill gives the right to employees to belong to a trade union but there is pre-entry discrimination, what will the Minister do if firms break the law? That would be wrong, repugnant, mischievous and evil. It must be combated, if we are serious about giving people the right to belong to a trade union.

We must be even-handed. The right to belong to a trade union has to be protected. People must also be given the right to be active in trade unions. It is all very well to give people the right to belong to trade unions, but what happens if they are active trade union members? An active trade union member may find that he is on a blacklist and that therefore he cannot find employment, so it does not seem to me that the right to belong to a trade union has any real meaning. I understand that in Committee my hon. Friends tabled an amendment that would have covered that possibility, but it was rejected by the Government. An explanation is needed.

We know, from all sorts of evidence, that some of these blacklisting organisations are shady and incompetent. We also know that many firms use them. The organisations are secret and furtive, and operate on the fringes of the law. We listened to the apologist or spokesperson for one of these organisations, the hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Riddick). Perhaps he will take back the message that, if such organisations were more open, there would not be so much objection to them.

Parliament has considered the matter before. In our modern society, a vast amount of information is available on all of us. According to the Data Protection Act, Parliament has said that we should be able to check what is on the record, but some organisations manage to find furtive ways to circumvent the law. They say that they have manual files. If they were more open about their activities, there might not be the same objection to them. I hope that the Minister will tell us what he thinks about that.

If blacklists deny employment, the so-called right to belong to a union is a sham. In a free society it cannot be right for people to be shut out of employment by the use of secret information. We criticise the secret police and the Securitate in eastern Europe because they kept blacklists and files on people and used informants. I have heard that some of the blacklisting organisations here infiltrate agents into anti-apartheid organisations and trade unions and compile information, rather like the Ceausescu secret police. If those organisations can deny people employment, that must be wrong, and if people being denied a livelihood cannot challenge that secret information, that must be a denial of natural justice.

I want to know what the Government intend to do about it. If they claim that they will give the right to belong to a trade union, perhaps we shall hear that in future it will be unlawful to keep and supply secret, inaccurate and incompetent information to firms which will then operate pre-entry discrimination. Perhaps the Minister will promise to ensure that they are brought under the Data Protection Act and that everything they do will have to be out in the open and that their lists will be published so that not only the employer but the individual—the Conservative party has often said that it has the interest of the individual at heart, and what could be more important to the individual than the denial of his livelihood?—will have access to it. Unless that is done, the so-called right to belong will be a sham. That is the litmus test of whether the Government will be even-handed and give the right to belong as well as the right not to belong. Unless something is done about it, that right will be an empty sham.

I hope that the hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Riddick) will reflect on his speech. If he looks back through history he will find that one of the great parliamentarians from his constituency was a man called Victor Grayson who is well remembered throughout the valley that the hon. Gentleman now represents in the House of Commons.

Victor Grayson was destroyed by the blacklist. That is how the British establishment dealt with that gentleman all those years ago. If the hon. Gentleman wants to know more about Victor Grayson, he need do no more than read the book about him written by my hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Dr. Clark). He will learn much about the operation of those organisations that he has sought to defend in the Chamber tonight.

I shall certainly take up the offer that the hon. Gentleman made and go to meet those people, but I say to them in advance that we shall want many questions answered. We will want to know all kinds of information about their organisation which hitherto they have been totally unwilling to provide to journalists that have made contact with them. We shall want them to justify why they question people who apply for information about themselves, and why people are charged the princely sum of £10 to secure access to the personal information kept about them.

We shall also want to know how they can morally justify the compiling of information such as one would expect to find only in parts of eastern Europe and in the Soviet Union. In those countries and in other parts of the world the systems are being dismantled, and it is incongruous that we should allow such operations here in the United Kingdom.

The hon. Member for Workington (Mr. Campbell-Savours) has something of a reputation for instigating bogus smears on hon. Members. I recall the way in which he tried to smear my hon. Friends the Members for Stirling (Mr. Forsyth) and for Hampshire, East (Mr. Mates). I should point out that the portion of the letter that I read out specifically said that the Economic League would be happy for an all-party delegation to visit its premises. That was a sensible caveat to ensure that hon. Members such as the hon. Gentleman do not go on their own and abuse the hospitality of the Economic League. The most effective body of people to carry out such an investigation would be the Select Committee on Employment.

8.45 pm

I am perfectly prepared to accept the caveat that the hon. Gentleman introduced. If I and my hon. Friends have any difficulty in gaining access, I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will be willing to accompany us to ensure that the delegation has an all-party complexion.

I should like to pay tribute to my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Maryhill (Mrs. Fyfe) who, since her election to the House, has done so much in these matters. Her name stands out on the Labour Whip each week, drawing attention to meetings that she is convening. I know that she has played a prominent and important part in uncovering the activities of that organisation and drawing them to the attention of hon. Members and people throughout the country. I should also like to pay tribute to my hon. Friend the Member for Vale of Glamorgan (Mr. Smith), who made his maiden spech from the Dispatch Box this evening.

Finally, I turn to a particular issue—who should be blacklisted, if anyone? I want to draw attention to an incident at the Devonshire dockyard in Barrow in Furness in Cumbria. I was approached by a person within the county of Cumbria who drew my attention to the security arrangements in that dock. I should point out that the Devonshire dock is where they are to build the Trident submarine, one of Britain's most secure projects in terms of defence contracts. It demands the highest level of security. It is so secure and officially secret that Parliament cannot be officially informed even of the date of commissioning of the first Trident boat, so we are dealing with a highly sensitive subject.

When I asked the Secretary of State whether the Trident project was being carried out at the Devonshire dock in Barrow I received the reply: "Yes." Then I asked about security. The Minister replied:
"Security at the Devonshire dock is the responsibility of Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Limited and is being maintained at a level appropriate to the nature of the work undertaken and the perceived threat."
I asked about the screening arrangements for people working in the dock and the security clearance for those already working there and received the reply:
"It is not the policy of this or previous Administrations to release information on security clearance procedures."—[Official Report, 14 May 1990; Vol. 172, c. 826.]
Clearly they are extremely sensitive matters. One assumes that the level of security at the dock is extremely high.

One of the main contractors in the dock just happens to be a subscriber to the Economic League, a firm called McAlpine, one of Britain's premier construction companies. The firm was recently carrying out work not in the main construction hall but within the dock area in the immediate vicinity of the main construction hall. When McAlpine is short of labour, and needs a specialist skill for a few days, it uses a local labour contractor to employ persons who have to have security clearance to come to the dock and do the work. I understand that on a number of occasions McAlpine has used a firm called Nicholas Labour Hire Ltd. of Preston. The potential employees on the books of that company need security clearance.

I have with me a form which shows that Nicholas Labour Hire Ltd. of Winckley square, Preston, told a person who was to work in the dock area—this relates to a particular occasion but I understand that it has happened on a number of occasions—and who had to clear security, that because of delays with security clearance, he should impersonate an employee of Nicholas Labour Hire Limited, a Mr. Mike Power. Mr. Power is the office manager of Nicholas Labour Hire Limited and I understand that he has security clearance for the dockyard.

Obviously, the contractor, McAlpine, will want to deny knowledge of these matters, as no doubt will Vickers shipyard security officials; they will say that they know nothing about these matters. Nicholas Labour Hire will probably want to blame everyone else, although it is party to this impersonation and deception which is breaching security in a dockyard in the United Kingdom in which the highest level of security manufacturing activity is taking place, aside perhaps from Sellafield and the Aldermaston complex in the south of England.

I want an inquiry to be conducted into this case. How is it that such large companies, one of which at least we know subscribes to the Economic League, can be party to a system by which people are required to impersonate others and breach security to gain access to their place of employment?

I want to know why firms such as McAlpine are willing to subscribe to organisations such as the Economic League as part of the exercise of blacklisting individuals who seek employment, while they themselves are engaged indirectly in breaching security by, if not condoning them certainly not finding out about and preventing, abuses of security on the scale that I have divulged to the House tonight.

I understand that in the dockyard in Barrow there is an inner security area. It was put to me that it would be impossible for people to breach that area, even though they might gain access, by way of security passes, to the main dock area. But I am told by other people in the dock that it possible to move from one security area even into the tighter security area.

The hon. Gentleman may say that it is irrelevant. I believe that people in the construction industry—be they McAlpine, Nicholas Labour Hire Ltd. of Preston or Vickers of Barrow—who condone this sort of activity present a far greater threat to national security than ever some trade unionist did who perhaps happened to say the wrong word at the wrong place at a certain time, thereby doing irreparable damage to himself and his prospects of employment for the rest of his life, or perhaps someone who belonged to CND, who attended a rally and whose presence was picked up on a video camera by some crummy official in some organisation that believes it has a right to monitor the activities of people.

We have our priorities wrong. I hope that when the inquiry that I have requested takes place—as it inevitably must take place, since a breach of security has occurred; I have the documentary evidence with me, for I hold in my hand the form that was requested and was filled in requiring a man to impersonate another man—it will prove who really threatens security in this country. I hope that it will address the real issues that confront us.

Despite some of the remarks that have been made, this is one of those debates in which there is probably more agreement than might at first seem to be the case. At the outset, from the Government Bench, I welcome the hon. Member for the Vale of Glamorgan (Mr. Smith) to the Opposition Front Bench. He will have found that a great benefit of speaking from that position is that at long last one has something on which to rest one's notes. Speaking for myself, one hardship of being a Back Bencher, having left the court room, is having to leave one's lectern behind. The hon. Gentleman will agree that it is nice to have a lectern again.

The hon. Gentleman came to the heart of the matter—his concern about the Economic League—but the clause and the amendments to it deal with a fundamental point in the Bill, and one which attracts acceptance from hon. Members in all parts of the House. I refer to the proposition that, when it comes to recruitment, the fact of trade union membership should be irrelevant. It must be said that that is not the position under the law as it stands, and that a change is to take place in that respect.

The hon. Member for Newham, North-East (Mr. Leighton) was concerned that our conversion to the even-handed approach, if I may so put it, came somewhat late in the day, but that is not so. The Green Paper dealt specifically with the pre-entry closed shop, but once the proposals in the Green Paper were being taken forward and worked into a Bill, one saw all the implications and became aware of how to put the policy into practice. The hon. Gentleman will see that an even-handed approach has been adopted on the face of the Bill, as it should be.

I am interested in the pre-entry aspect. If the Minister wishes to be even-handed, does he agree about the other side of the coin? There is pre-entry discrimination by blacklisting organisations if secret, furtive information is given by them to firms which, after the Bill becomes law, illegally discriminate against people who have previously been active in trade unions, and the individual cannot challenge the information. Does the Minister agree that that would be a breach of natural justice? That is pre-entry discrimination for being a trade union member. Does the Minister accept that?

I will come to that issue in more detail later in my remarks. I accept that we are here in the business of introducing a new criterion that employers will not be entitled to take into account when deciding whether or not to employ somebody. I refer to the fact of trade union membership. Be it the presence or absence of such membership, employers will not be entitled to take that into account. Whatever else we may disagree on, that is accepted by Members on both sides.

The hon. Member for the Vale of Glamorgan said that in Committee we had presented the case on the basis that activities and membership were one and the same thing, but I would not put that construction on it. We made the point that we were dealing essentially with the status of a person, be he a member of a trade union or not, rather than with his activities.

It is equally clear that the mere fact of membership carries with it certain incidental activities which are implicit. That matter was decided by the court as recently as this year, in Discount Tobacco and Confectionery Limited v. Armitage. If one reads that case in conjunction with the older case of Drew v. St. Edmondsbury borough council, it is clear that, although there may be the normal incidence of trade union activity, the organisation of industrial action would not form part of it. I appreciate that the hon. Gentleman was fair in keeping his remarks about that as short as he could, but he perhaps condensed matters rather more than I would have done.

The hon. Member for Vale of Glamorgan also felt that the Economic League had been defended by Ministers. Let me make it clear that, speaking for myself and for my right hon. arid hon. Friends, we never come to the Front Bench to defend the Economic League. It is for the Economic League to defend itself. If it is indulging in any illegal activity, that should be drawn to the attention of the relevant authorities. To say that I or my right hon. or hon. Friends would defend the work of the Economic League would be preposterous. The matter rests on particular knowledge. If any hon. Member has knowledge that the Economic League has acted illegally, that should be drawn to the attention of the police.

Our point, which does not seem to be getting through, is that this secret McCarthyism should be made illegal.

9 pm

I understand the hon. Lady's objections and I promise that I will come to them.

The hon. Member for Vale of Glamorgan was fair in the way that he opened up his case. He felt that we were defending the Economic League per se, but we are not. However, I come now to the first point of difference between myself and the Opposition. It is a fair construction to say that they feel that it is undesirable and unfair, and should be made illegal, if an employer decides to use sources of information or tries to find out whether a potential employee has a history of industrial disruption. An employer may want to know whether that person is a well-known subversive.

I assure the hon. Member for Glasgow, Maryhill (Mrs. Fyfe) that I shall come to the point about accuracy of information in a moment. She herself hinted that certain people are on the extreme of right and left—a view which is common ground between us. An employer's wanting to know merely whether a person was involved in industrial disruption should not be made illegal, but——

The hon. Member for Vale of Glamorgan might have liked to hear my "but", but I will give way to the hon. Gentleman.

If an employer knew that someone was going to be disruptive and destructive, he could dismiss him. That employee would then go to an industrial tribunal and might prove his case. However, to have secret information to say that somebody was X, Y or Z when he was not and for that person to be unable to challenge that false information is a different matter.

This will be common ground between us. Yes, if the employer took somebody on and then found one week, two weeks or two years later that the person had a track record for industrial disruption, he could dismiss him. If the person had been employed for the qualifying period, the industrial tribunal could deal with the matter. However, it makes sense from an employer's point of view not to have to dismiss someone in those circumstances. It might make more sense to find out whether the person has a history of industrial disruption—before taking him on.

Does the Minister accept that, for many employers, what he has just described would apply to a person who wanted to be employed by a firm and who was an active trade unionist who wished to recruit others who might not be in a union? In the eyes of many employers, that is a form of industrial subversion. Yet I believe that the practices in which I engaged were perfectly legitimate and right in a democratic society. If people did not want to be persuaded by me to join a trade union, so be it, but why should I or anyone else be prevented from joining a firm because I am an active trade unionist?

The hon. Gentleman amplifies the point that he made earlier. It may assist the House if I come to that point in due course.

I was making the point that trying to find out not whether someone had been engaged in trade union activities or was a member of a trade union, but whether he had been indulging in something a great deal worse, is obviously a matter in which an employer might take a legitimate interest.

From what I have read in the newspapers about the Economic League, it is clear that some organisations which employ trade unionists have used that organisation. The mere fact that an employer goes to an organisation to find out whether someone has been guilty of industrial disruption should not automatically be made illegal.

The hon. Member for Walsall, North (Mr. Winnick) made several allegations of malpractices about which he knew. I hope that he will accept that those allegations are more the province of the Home Office than of the Department of Employment. He came to the crucial point when he said that, under the next Labour Government, he would seek certain changes in the law. I can give the hon. Gentleman some comfort now rather than leaving him to wait until his extreme old age. That change in the law is very much enshrined in clause 1.

Today, if an employer approached the Economic League or any other organisation and found that a person was indulging in trade union activities which were incidental to membership, he would be entitled to take that into account. After enactment of the Bill, however, that will no longer be the case—employers will no longer be able to obtain such information. I do not know whether that assurance is sufficient to make the hon. Gentleman cross the Floor, or vote Conservative, or both, but the change in the law that he expected to come in the clays of his grey-haired old age is already being made.

My hon. Friend the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Riddick) also mentioned the Economic League, of which he clearly has some knowledge. He has corresponded with its members, given the House information, and made a certain offer. Again, I do not think that it is for me to pass comment, except to say—this leads me to the main point made by the hon. Member for Maryhill—that any information supplied by such organisations should obviously be accurate. I say that for a number of reasons, one of which may not appeal particularly to Opposition Members. If the organisation providing the information identifies the wrong John Smith, to pick a name at random, thus blackguarding the right John Smith, that will not do the organisation itself any good.

My hon. Friend suggested that people could write asking whether they were on the Economic League's list. If they were sufficiently left or right-wing, they might add, "PS—If not, why not?" The hon. Member for Maryhill and several of her hon. Friends asked, "What about the Data Protection Act?" Although I am sure that the remarks of my hon. Friend the Member for Colne Valley were as accurate as he could make them, I could not say whether the Economic League favours an extension of the Act to cover manually held records. All that I can tell the hon. Lady is that whether the Act should be extended is a question for the Home Office rather than for my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Employment, although I appreciate that the hon. Lady and her hon. Friends welcomed the opportunity to return to the subject, which arose in Committee as well.

The Minister is on to a good point. He will also appreciate the importance of information acquired for recruitment purposes. Does he agree that such information should be covered by the Data Protection Act, and will he take steps to ensure that it is? That might deal with the anxiety felt by hon. Members on both sides of the House.

I cannot take a view on legislation that has not been introduced by a Department which, were it to do so, would in any case not be the Department in which I serve. The data protection issue is plainly dear to the hearts of Opposition Members, and they will doubtless wish to pursue it, but they cannot pursue it with the Department of Employment.

What is the Minister offering the House? How does he intend to ensure that only accurate information is kept, without requiring the aggrieved individual to pay £10?

And I will give the hon. Gentleman a simple answer, although he may not find it satisfactory. It is not the business of the clause, or of the Bill, to devise a structure to ensure that the information given out by organisations is accurate. What the clause does—this should be said again, as it represents common ground—is ensure that it will no longer be regarded as legal for a potential employer to refuse a person employment on the ground of trade union membership.

I have given the hon. Gentleman my answer to his question. I warned him that he might not find it satisfactory.

The hon. Member for Newham, North-East asked about the sanctions. The details are set out in schedule 1. The tribunal can make an order, or a declaration, about the steps that should be taken to remedy the problem, and compensation can then be awarded.

The hon. Gentleman also said that he wanted the information to be made public. That takes us back to the point about accuracy. I am not sure how far the hon. Gentleman would want to take the matter—he might not wish all the information to be made public on each and every occasion—but I accept the arguments about the accuracy of the information.

Before I outline the concession that I intend to offer, I Will deal with the point made by the hon. Member for Workington (Mr. Campbell-Savours), who asked whether anyone should ever be blacklisted. That is an interesting question, but it seems to me that there is some agreement among hon. Members on both sides that there are some things that employers ought to be able to take into account, and the intention to cause deliberate industrial disruption might be one of them. The Bill deals with trade union membership, which employers will no longer be able to take into account.

Grouped with new clause 2 is amendment No. 21, which would add to a list of criteria set out in the Bill for deciding what would amount to a refusal of employment. It is clearly right that we should be clear about what constitutes refusal of employment. The list is set out in clause 1(5), and the amendment proposes that an extra ground should be offered. The amendment refers to an employer who
"offers, and then subsequently withdraws, the offer of employment without giving a satisfactory explanation for the withdrawal of the offer of employment."
The second part of that proposal would not assist Opposition Members in achieving their aim, because the subsection is intended to help us to determine whether there has been a refusal of employment. That matter should not be prejudged—it should be left to a tribunal. I cannot say whether the exact words in the amendment are satisfactory, as I have not yet had time to seek the view of parliamentary counsel, but the Government accept the principle behind it and we are prepared to bring forward a proposal to reflect that in the other place.

I was about to come to the points that the hon. Gentleman made. The hon. Gentleman made a number of allegations about firms—McAlpine, Nicholas Labour Hire, Vickers, and others. He made the allegations in his own inimitable way. It is not for me to pass judgment on whether those allegations are right, and the hon. Gentleman needs no lectures from me about how to bring such matters to the attention of the relevant authorities. Clearly, he feels that he has started that process today.

I am grateful to the Minister for accepting the principle of amendment No. 21, which stands in my name. I should explain that I did not participate in the debate merely because of pressure of time and because other hon. Members wished to speak.

On that thoroughly uncontentious note, I conclude my remarks by congratulating the hon. Gentleman on his perspicacity in realising that an extra paragraph should have been included.

We look with considerable interest to see what the Government propose by way of a concession to my hon. Friend the Member for St. Helens, North (Mr. Evans), and we welcome the fact that they are prepared to make such a concession.

It is disingenuous of the Government to argue that they are doing members of trade unions an amazing favour by making it unlawful to refuse to employ someone because he is a trade union member. The Government do not accept the logic of the case by offering equivalent protection to someone who is active in his or her trade union. It is ludicrous to afford protection to those who are members but not to someone who has taken an active part in his or her union even at a very low level. It will be ridiculous if employers are allowed to use that loophole and continue to refuse to employ on that basis. I must make our strong objections clear. The Government seem to be trying to have it both ways.

I strongly disagree with the hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Riddick), and he would not expect me to say otherwise. My hon. Friends have made good speeches explaining our reasons for that.

It is not good enough for the Minister to tell us piously that he thinks that it is important that such secret organisations provide accurate information. Of course, if they provide information, that information should be accurate, but in reality it is not. It is neither accurate nor acceptable. The very fact that it is gathered in such a covert sinister way means that nobody—neither employer nor employee—should have any confidence in the activities of such listing organisations. They have no place in British industry.

The Government should accept our fairly minimal view of how blacklists should operate in our society. I must make it clear that, in the event of the Government not accepting our proposals, a Labour Government will bring in legislation to that effect. We are committed to that. It is a great shame that the Government do not recognise that they have the same kind of moral obligation if they really have the interests of both sides of industry at heart.

For those reasons, we shall seek to divide the House on new clause 2.

Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:—

The House divided: Ayes 126, Noes 178.

Division No. 215]

[9.15 pm


Abbott, Ms DianeBuckley, George J.
Allen, GrahamCaborn, Richard
Anderson, DonaldCampbell, Ron (Blyth Valley)
Armstrong, HilaryCampbell-Savours, D. N.
Ashdown, Rt Hon PaddyCarlile, Alex (Mont'g)
Banks, Tony (Newham NW)Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)Clay, Bob
Battle, JohnCohen, Harry
Beckett, MargaretCook, Robin (Livingston)
Benn, Rt Hon TonyCorbett, Robin
Bermingham, GeraldCryer, Bob
Bidwell, SydneyCummings, John
Blair, TonyCunliffe, Lawrence
Boateng, PaulDavies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Brown, Gordon (D'mline E)Dixon, Don
Brown, Ron (Edinburgh Leith)Eadie, Alexander
Buchan, NormanEastham, Ken

Evans, John (St Helens N)Martlew, Eric
Ewing, Harry (Falkirk E)Maxton, John
Field, Frank (Birkenhead)Meale, Alan
Fisher, MarkMichie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Flannery, MartinMitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)
Foster, DerekMoonie, Dr Lewis
Foulkes, GeorgeMorris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)
Fyfe, MariaMorris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Galloway, GeorgeMowlam, Marjorie
Garrett, John (Norwich South)Murphy, Paul
Garrett, Ted (Wallsend)Nellist, Dave
Golding, Mrs LlinOakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Graham, ThomasO'Brien, William
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)O'Neill, Martin
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)Pike, Peter L.
Grocott, BrucePowell, Ray (Ogmore)
Harman, Ms HarrietPrimarolo, Dawn
Haynes, FrankQuin, Ms Joyce
Henderson, DougRedmond, Martin
Hinchliffe, DavidReid, Dr John
Hoey, Ms Kate (Vauxhall)Richardson, Jo
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)Robertson, George
Home Robertson, JohnRobinson, Geoffrey
Howells, GeraintRogers, Allan
Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)Ruddock, Joan
Hughes, John (Coventry NE)Sheerman, Barry
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Illsley, EricShort, Clare
Ingram, AdamSkinner, Dennis
Janner, GrevilleSmith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Jones, Ieuan (Ynys Môn)Smith, J. P. (Vale of Glam)
Kaufman, Rt Hon GeraldSnape, Peter
Leighton, RonSoley, Clive
Lewis, TerryTaylor, Matthew (Truro)
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)Turner, Dennis
McAllion, JohnWallace, James
McAvoy, ThomasWalley, Joan
McCrea, Rev WilliamWardell, Gareth (Gower)
McFall, JohnWatson, Mike (Glasgow, C)
McKay, Allen (Barnsley West)Williams, Alan W. (Carm'then)
McKelvey, WilliamWinnick, David
McLeish, HenryWorthington, Tony
McWilliam, JohnWray, Jimmy
Madden, MaxYoung, David (Bolton SE)
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Marek, Dr John

Tellers for the Ayes:

Marshall, David (Shettleston)

Mr. Jimmy Dunnachie and Mr. Frank Cook.

Martin, Michael J. (Springburn)


Aitken, JonathanCarlisle, John, (Luton N)
Alexander, RichardCarlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Alison, Rt Hon MichaelCarrington, Matthew
Amos, AlanCarttiss, Michael
Arbuthnot, JamesChannon, Rt Hon Paul
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)Chapman, Sydney
Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove)Chope, Christopher
Atkins, RobertClark, Sir W. (Croydon S)
Atkinson, DavidConway, Derek
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley)Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)Curry, David
Baldry, TonyDavies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)
Bellingham, HenryDavis, David (Boothferry)
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)Day, Stephen
Benyon, W.Dickens, Geoffrey
Bevan, David GilroyDouglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir PeterDover, Den
Body, Sir RichardDunn, Bob
Bonsor, Sir NicholasDurant, Tony
Boswell, TimEggar, Tim
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)Evennett, David
Bowis, JohnField, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Braine, Rt Hon Sir BernardFishburn, John Dudley
Brandon-Bravo, MartinForman, Nigel
Brooke, Rt Hon PeterFranks, Cecil
Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)Freeman, Roger
Browne, John (Winchester)Gardiner, George
Budgen, NicholasGarel-Jones, Tristan
Burns, SimonGlyn, Dr Sir Alan
Butler, ChrisGoodhart, Sir Philip

Goodlad, AlastairMorris, M (N'hampton S)
Goodson-Wickes, Dr CharlesMorrison, Sir Charles
Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW)Moss, Malcolm
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)Neubert, Michael
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Ground, PatrickNicholls, Patrick
Hague, WilliamNicholson, Emma (Devon West)
Hamilton, Hon Archie (Epsom)Norris, Steve
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley
Hanley, JeremyOppenheim, Phillip
Hannam, JohnPatnick, Irvine
Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Harris, DavidPorter, David (Waveney)
Hawkins, ChristopherPortillo, Michael
Hayhoe, Rt Hon Sir BarneyPowell, William (Corby)
Hayward, RobertRaffan, Keith
Heseltine, Rt Hon MichaelRaison, Rt Hon Timothy
Howard, Rt Hon MichaelRedwood, John
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)Renton, Rt Hon Tim
Howe, Rt Hon Sir GeoffreyRhodes James, Robert
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)Riddick, Graham
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas
Hunt, Sir John (Ravensbourne)Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Hunter, AndrewRost, Peter
Irvine, MichaelRowe, Andrew
Jack, MichaelRyder, Richard
Jackson, RobertSackville, Hon Tom
Janman, TimSainsbury, Hon Tim
Jessel, TobyShaw, David (Dover)
Jones, Robert B (Herts W)Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Key, RobertShaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Kilfedder, JamesShelton, Sir William
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
Kirkhope, TimothyShepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Knapman, RogerSmith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Knowles, MichaelSoames, Hon Nicholas
Knox, DavidSpeed, Keith
Lennox-Boyd, Hon MarkStanbrook, Ivor
Lightbown, DavidSteen, Anthony
Lilley, PeterStevens, Lewis
Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant)Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)
Lord, MichaelStokes, Sir John
Macfarlane, Sir NeilStradling Thomas, Sir John
Maclean, DavidSumberg, David
Madel, DavidTaylor, John M (Solihull)
Malins, HumfreyThompson, D. (Calder Valley)
Mans, KeithThompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Marshall, Michael (Arundel)Thurnham, Peter
Maude, Hon FrancisTracey, Richard
Mawhinney, Dr BrianWalker, Bill (T'side North)
Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir PatrickWatts, John
Mellor, DavidWiddecombe, Ann
Meyer, Sir AnthonyWiggin, Jerry
Miller, Sir HalWood, Timothy
Mills, IainYeo, Tim
Miscampbell, NormanYoung, Sir George (Acton)
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Moate, Roger

Tellers for the Noes:

Monro, Sir Hector

Mr. Greg Knight and Mr Michael Fallon.

Montgomery, Sir Fergus

Question accordingly negatived.