Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland)
Mr Peter Viggers (Gosport)
I beg to move,
That the draft Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1987, which was laid before this House on 22nd January, be approved.
The draft order, with a few exceptions, contains provisions analogous to those enacted in Great Britain in the Employment Act 1982. The purpose of that Act on introduction was twofold: first, to safeguard the liberty of the individual from the abuse of industrial power; secondly, to improve the operation of the labour market by providing a more balanced framework of industrial relations law. The Act was a further, and successful, step by Government to restore the balance between the rights and obligations of unions, management and the community, and it is that success that has informed our proposal to apply similar provisions in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland has its own separate legislative and administrative framework of industrial relations, but in general it has followed closely Great Britain law in this transferred area. At present, Northern Ireland is two steps behind Great Britain in respect of industrial relations legislation—that is, the Employment Act 1982 and the Trade Union Act 1984. The order will help to redress the situation, and reflects the Government's view that there should be parity in industrial relations provision between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, unless there are exceptional local considerations that would justify a different approach. Such parity is particularly important when we are dealing with the basic rights and responsibilities of individuals, employers and trade unions, as in the present legislation.
In considering the application of the 1982 Act, we naturally judged it essential fully to consult interested parties, including trade unions and employers' organisations. Detailed consultations took place on the basis that the Government would want to follow the provisions of the Employment Act 1982, except where there was a compelling case for a different course, in the circumstances obtaining in Northern Ireland.
Despite the views of the trade union movement in Northern Ireland against replication of the 1982 Act, I have to say that the Government do not consider that a substantive and persuasive case for a different course of action in Northern Ireland has been made.
The order contains 25 articles. The key provisions address aspects of the closed shop and trade union immunities. In relation to the closed shop, the order will extend the protection the law provides for those who work in closed shops by requiring validation of the closed shop through a ballot if dismissal for non-union membership is to be regarded as fair and by providing enhanced compensation for closed shop dismissals found to be unfair. The anomaly whereby trade unions enjoy a far wider immunity than their individual officials will also be brought to an end.
I now propose to go through the order in a little more detail. Articles 1 and 2 are self-explanatory and deal with the title, commencement and interpretation of terms used in the order. Article 3 concerns employee involvement and requires directors' reports of companies employing an average of 250 employees in any financial year to contain a statement describing what action has been taken during the year to introduce, maintain or develop arrangements aimed at furthering employee involvement. This article is not designed to compel companies to take steps towards greater employee involvement, but companies affected will have to report what steps, if any, have been taken. It is expected that this will involve only some 230 companies in Northern Ireland, due to the high proportion of smaller firms in that economy, but it is nevertheless a wholly desirable provision.
Turning now to the closed shop, the Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1982 provided additional grounds on which dismissal for nonmembership of a trade union was to be regarded as unfair, namely, where the employee objected to trade union membership on grounds of conscience or other deeply held personal conviction and where the employee was an existing non-member of the union when the union membership agreement took effect.
Article 4 of and schedule 1 to this order provide for compensation to be claimed by those employees dismissed from their employment, due to non-membership of a trade union in a closed shop on or after 1 October 1976, when the 1976 closed shop provisions came into force in Northern Ireland, and before 4 May 1982, when the 1982 amendments came into force, and who would have been eligible for compensation under the 1982 order, had it been in force at that time. This parity provision brings Northern Ireland into line with an existing ruling of the European Court of Human Rights, and while we are not aware of any likely Northern Ireland claimants it is clearly important and proper that the European Court ruling is given legislative effect in Northern Ireland, as in the rest of the United Kingdom.
Articles 5 to 12 give new rights to individuals working in a closed shop to protect them from unfair dismissal, or action short of dismissal, due to their refusal to join a union and provide increased levels of compensation for employees unfairly dismissed in certain circumstances. Articles 5 and 11 build on changes introduced by the 1982 order by providing additional circumstances in which dismissal, or action short of dismissal, for nonmembership of a trade union become unfair. The most important of these circumstances makes dismissal unfair where a closed shop agreement has not in the preceding five years been approved by the requisite majority in a secret ballot. Those who advocate the closed shop, or who wish to safeguard their interests through such an arrangement, should be willing to submit it to periodic scrutiny and the test of employee opinion.
The new framework of compensation for unfair dismissals arising either from a closed shop or from trade union membership or activities is set out in articles 6 and 7. It consists of a minimum basic award of £2,200 and a new special award of twice the annual salary, subject to a minimum of £11,000 and a maximum of £22,000 if the applicant asks for reinstatement but the tribunal does not order it, or three times the annual salary, subject to a minimum of £16,500 but no maximum if the employer refuses to comply with an order to reinstate. It is intended that at the time the order comes into operation these limits will be increased by subordinate legislation to £2,300, £11,500, £23,000 and £17,250 respectively, to maintain parity with those operating in Great Britain since 1 April this year. These awards are additional to the compensatory award, whose current maximum is £8,500, which is now in force for the generality of unfair dismissals. In the event that reduction of the total award is contemplated, by virtue of the employee's conduct before dismissal, article 8 provides that no account may be taken of a breach by the employee of any requirement in contract that he must be either a member or a non-member of a union.
Articles 9 and 12 provide that, in proceedings before an industrial tribunal in which compensation is claimed for unfair dismissal, or action short of dismissal, as a result of trade union pressure, the claimant may request joinder of that union as a third party to the proceedings brought against the employer. At the moment, such joinder is available only to an employer. Any award of compensation may be wholly against the employer or the union or it may be apportioned between the employer and the union. These provisions require in effect that unions, like employers, should be prepared to stand over actions for which they are responsible.
A closed shop is normally the result of negotiations between an employer and one or more trade unions representing his employees. But it is important to ensure that closed shops are not brought in by back door pressure through union labour only requirements in contracts.
Articles 13 and 14, therefore, provide that any terms or conditions in contracts for the supply of goods or services requiring contractors to operate a closed shop or to recognise, negotiate or consult with a trade union are void. Further, it will be a breach of statutory duty if such a contract is withheld or terminated on those grounds and any persons adversely affected can sue for damages. These provisions would be ineffective if trade unions were free to accomplish the same result by industrial action. Article 15, therefore, removes immunity from trade unions that put pressure on an employer to contravene articles 13 and 14.
The next part of the order, covered by articles 16 to 19, deals with trade union immunities and provides for trade unions to have the same immunity as individual trade union officials and other organisers of industrial action. This is significant in that, since 1906, trade unions in Northern Ireland, like their British counterparts prior to 1982, have enjoyed total immunity from civil actions in tort even if they have acted unlawfully. Most reasonable opinion would regard this as an anomaly which requires correction. Articles 16 and 17 therefore introduce a measure of change which still leaves trade unions with a significant degree of protection. Article 16 confers sufficient legal personality on trade unions and unincorporated employers' associations for them to sue and be sued in their own name, while article 17 abolishes the special and wider immunities for trade unions granted by section 4 of the Trade Disputes Act 1906 and brings them into line with those granted to other persons.
Broadly speaking, unions will be liable for unlawful acts, such as blacking or secondary picketing, that are authorised or endorsed by a "responsible person", for example, the principal executive committee, president, general secretary and so on or by the national executive or national officials. Article 18 sets upper limits on the damages which may be awarded against a trade union in any single set of proceedings, while article 19 protects certain trade union property from awards of damages, costs or expenses. These protected funds include union provident funds and political funds which are not used to finance industrial action.
A further main change made by the order is the tightening up of the definition of trade dispute. For a dispute to be lawful under the terms of article 20, it must be between workers and their employer and wholly or mainly about matters such as pay, conditions or jobs.
Articles 22 and 23 make minor changes to the method of computation of a period of continuous employment by providing that the calculation will, in future, be based on calendar years and months rather than, as at present, on years of 52 weeks. The 52-week year was an artificial creation which caused all sorts of administrative difficulties in ascertaining length of service. A special service calendar has to be published each year and, even so, employers often get it wrong. The change to a calendar year will simplify matters for all concerned.
Article 24 makes statutory provision for schemes designed to assist unemployed persons improve their employment prospects either through temporary employment, self-employment or voluntary work. These include schemes such as action for community employment, enterprise allowance, and community volunteering—all of which are particularly important in Northern Ireland—which are already in operation in the Province but are funded on an extra-statutory basis.
Some will say that the legislation is irrelevant to the real industrial relations needs of Northern Ireland; and individual trade unions may take exception to certain detailed provisions in the order.
Mr John Hume (Foyle)
What puzzles me about the bringing forward of this order, is that the Minister's own Department, together with the Industrial Development Board, in promoting industrial investment in Northern Ireland—I support them in doing that—hold up as a major attraction for investment in Northern Ireland the high quality of industrial relations there and the low level of strikes. That being so, why does the Minister wish to interfere with that?
Mr Peter Viggers (Gosport)
In talking about inward investment and the promotion of the prospects of companies in Northern Ireland, it would be wrong if I let that opportunity pass without saying that I am grateful for and aware of the efforts that the hon. Gentleman has made to promote investment in his constituency, and in the whole of Northern Ireland. His efforts have been most strenuous and helpful.
On the Minister's significant point about the good industrial relations in Northern Ireland, yes we boast with justification of the good industrial relations record there. However, that does not mean that the provisions proposed by this order to rectify the balance between individual workers and trade unions should not be extended to Northern Ireland so that individual workers there have the background of the industrial framework that workers in Great Britain have enjoyed for some years.
Apart from the fact that the order rectifies the balance between employer, union and individual union member, which is extremely important, another extremely significant point is that many in Northern Ireland—the Government certainly take this view—would regard it as most unfortunate if there should be a growing divergence between industrial relations law there and that in Great Britain. As I pointed out earlier, industrial relations legislation in Northern Ireland is currently two steps behind that in Great Britain. If we did not pass this order, that growing divergence would concern many people who feel it important that the legislation should be the same. Although I agree with the hon. Gentleman that industrial relations in Northern Ireland are better, that does not destroy my point.
As I have said, when dealing with the economic problems of Northern Ireland it is essential that all who are seeking to do business there should be reassured that Northern Ireland is not diverging from the broad progress and developments that are taking place in industrial relations legislation in the rest of the United Kingdom. I am convinced that economic development and regeneration are more likely in a climate of industrial stability and where there are legislative safeguards against the abuse of industrial power. Further, the protection of individual rights is an important matter in its own right. There is a balance to be struck between the protection of individual liberty and legitimate and reasonable use of collective power.
Half the articles in the order deal with the closed shop. It is against the traditions of personal liberty in this country to be required to join a union in order to obtain or hold a job, and our first consideration in questions about the closed shop must be the freedom and rights of the individual. The order also corrects the anomaly whereby trade unions have enjoyed a virtually total immunity from actions in tort, an immunity wider than that enjoyed by any other person or organisation in this country. This means that people who previously would not have been able to bring civil proceedings to secure redress against unlawful behaviour will now be able to do so. This is a reaffirmation of an individual's right to seek justice and to be compensated for harm suffered. Protection of these rights is just as important in Northern Ireland as it is in Great Britain.
Mr Peter Archer (Warley West)
As I listened to the Minister introduce the order, I must confess that I found myself feeling sorry for him. He tried to convey some sense of enthusiasm for what he was doing, but, if I may say so, and it is no reflection on his powers of advocacy, he sounded like a reluctant messenger. He depressed me too.
At the end of the debate last Wednesday, it was clear that the political leaders in Northern Ireland were not prepared to change a word of the speeches that they have been making from the beginning of time. No one was willing to make a minor concession, let alone to share a new vision, and we knew that direct rule, with all its shortcomings, would be with us for the foreseeable future. I reflected that, deep as are the differences between us, the Government might now be as anxious as we are to improve the procedures of this House as they apply to Northern Ireland. Indeed, I assume that hon. Members from the alliance parties might have agreed with me, had they taken the trouble to attend this debate.
Now, as this Parliament breathes its last, and at the end of the day's main business, the Government have introduced what they must know is one of the most controversial Northern Ireland measures this Session. We did not expect them to agree with all our arguments, but we expected them to recognise that the order raises issues in which deep emotions are involved, and that each issue merits a separate debate. They knew that there were legitimate views to be expressed on many of the provisions of the order and that suggestions to that effect had been made through the usual channels. Yet, they have introduced the measure by way of an unamendable order, debatable for an hour and a half late at night with no previous opportunity for the House to express an opinion. It is direct rule at its worst. The Government have demonstrated a contempt for the rights of the Opposition. a contempt of the House and a contempt of working people in Northern Ireland. But history has a way of passing judgment on the arrogant and one day it may be the Conservatives who appeal to the traditions of the constitution and plead the rights of minorities.
Why was it essential to introduce these provisions with such ungracious haste? What was the nature of the emergency which required the Government to disregard such principles of decency as they have not already abandoned? The Minister gave us two reasons. First, he said that we must achieve uniformity between the law of Great Britain and the law of Northern Ireland. Clearly, that is a matter to be taken into consideration and there have been occasions when we have wished that the Government had been more mindful of it. We have urged it on the Government during debates on the emergency provisions legislation, in the context of civil rights and in relation to the Payments for Debt Act.
Let us shed the hyprocrisy. The Government profess a concern for uniformity whenever it suits their book. If it happens not to coincide with the argument that they wish to advance, they do not spare it a second thought.
For many years the law on industrial relations has rarely been the same in Northern Ireland as in Great Britain. The law on the matters which form the subject of this order was introduced into Great Britain in 1982, so the law in Northern Ireland and in Great Britain has been different for five years with no adverse consequences. Why does the principle of uniformity suddenly become of such overriding importance that it is necessary to turn direct rule into a mockery?
Perhaps we may find a clue in the second reason that the Minister gave. He told us that it was all to do with protecting the rights of individuals. If there was a spark of merit in that argument I would be with him shoulder to shoulder. I have spent my political life crusading for the rights of individuals. We have just spent a whole Standing Committee debating the rights of individuals. But what has happened in industrial relations in Northern Ireland which has suddenly endangered the rights of individuals? Or what has been happening since 1982 which has now resulted in this sudden need to protect them? The answer, as the hon. Member for Foyle (Mr. Hume) has just pointed out, is nothing.
Whatever other tragic quarrels have existed in Northern Ireland, industrial relations have been exemplary. The rest of the world has wished its industrial relations could be like those in Northern Ireland. As the hon. Gentleman reminded us, they have been a great selling point for the Government when they have sought to attract capital investment into Northern Ireland.
The Province offers industry an industrial relations record equal to that of West Germany and Japan, and the most productive and efficient workforce in Europe, with the highest academic standards.
That is not just my judgment or that of the hon. Member for Foyle. It is a direct quotation from the former Minister
of State, Northern Ireland Office, the right hon. Member for Bosworth (Sir A. Butler) as reported by The Irish Times of 16 March 1984. Does the Minister suggest that anything has taken place since then which would invite us to review that judgment?
Industrial relations in Northern Ireland have been improving, as the hon. Member for Foyle pointed out. In 1982 the number of working days that were lost in Northern Ireland through industrial disputes per 1,000 employees was 195, compared with 249 in Great Britain. By 1986 the figure had fallen to 71 per 1,000.
When this order was ventilated, the former Minister of State was invited by the trade unions to specify any of the abuses at which these proposals were directed. He made no response to that invitation, except to say that it was directed to, "avoiding potential abuses".
If ever there was a solution in search of a problem it is this order. But the case against it is not merely that it serves no purpose; it is that it is positively pernicious. It will no longer be possible to say to the rest of the world, potential customers and potential investors, that industrial relations in Northern Ireland are free of problems because that would invoke the question, "Then what was all the fuss about?" It is not only that we shall not be able to say that there are no industrial relations problems, it may well not be true that there are no such problems because the order invites a reaction from the trade union movement. It will create industrial discord because it will bring to an end the consensus that has obtained until now. It will be seen and properly seen as a deliberate confrontation because that is exactly what it is. Even worse, it will frustrate the strategy that the trade union movement has successfully pursued of avoiding involvement in sectarian quarrels. The trade unions have provided a forum where those from differing traditions and with incompatible views could meet to discuss how to pursue their common objectives. They have bridged the sectarian divide with the Government's full approval. In that respect also they have earned tribute from Ministers in this Government. Speaking in the Belfast city hall on 29 February the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary, the hon. Member for Bath (Mr. Patten), expressed this judgment:
The standard of the trade unions in Northern Ireland against bigotry, intolerance and violence, has won the widespread admiration and sympathy of all political parties in Great Britain. I would not like this opportunity to pass without paying my own personal tribute to the work of many brave and dedicated men and women in the Trade Union Movement in maintaining a civilising influence in this community throughout the last 15 years. What you have contributed here in Northern Ireland presents one of the most valuable of the many contributions which your Movement has made to our social and industrial history.
The Belfast Newsletter in an editorial on the previous day added this endorsement:
Without exception, trade unions in Northern Ireland have consistently done a superb job in directing people's minds in the correct way to live rather than the wrong way to die.
The Government are proposing to end that position. Do they think that it will be possible to avoid sectarian overtones if at every workplace where there is a membership agreement there must be a ballot? Have they no imagination? How can trade union officials conduct a ballot without raising debates about their stand in relation to demonstrations against the Anglo-Irish Agreement?
How could there be a ballot without specific groups making it a condition of support that they will lend their voice to some sectarian campaign or other? The ballots will have more to do with who goes on marches, what flag flies over the workshop and what emblems appear on the shop floor than with recognition agreements.
As the hon. Member for Foyle reminded us, it is not only the closed shop provisions that set a direct course for disaster. The Employment Act 1982, the parent of today's untimely offspring, sought to put back the clock—as the Minister admitted, or even boasted—to the Taff Vale case and to remove immunities which in the United Kingdom were equivalent to the positive rights that trade unions enjoy elsewhere in the world and which we thought were no longer in the area of political dispute. Not only is that a direct challenge to three quarters of a century of industrial history, it may well raise the issue of sequestration of funds.
Uniformity or no, the situation in Northern Ireland is not similar to that in the rest of the United Kingdom. In Northern Ireland, the trade unions with headquarters in Belfast, in London and in Dublin have lived side by side. If the Government encourage the union-bashers to play for sequestration, the important difference between funds situated within the jurisdiction of the British courts and those deposited in the Republic will become vital. If minds are directed to the issue, because the Government insist on stirring these things up, some may see advantage in belonging to a union based in the Republic rather than in the United Kingdom. Or the converse may happen, and industrial disputes in one part of Ireland may spread to the other.
Do the Government take the Labour Relations Agency seriously? The danger that I have described has not been dreamed up by the unions or the Labour Front Bench. The Labour Relations Agency in its annual report for 1985–86 expresses concern on this very point. Or do the Government, with their neurotic obsessions, believe that the Labour Relations Agency, too, has been infiltrated by Communists?
I make just one point about the drafting of the order. As the Minister has said, in many ways it follows the 1982 Act, although one might have expected the Government by now to have learned something from experience on this side of the water. This legislation has not only to be argued in the Court of Appeal but be applied by people at the sharp end on the shop floor, by union officials and by managers. Those who drafted the order had at their disposal the most perfect instrument ever devised for communication—the language of Chaucer and Shakespeare, of Keats and of Shelley—but the following is what they produced. Paragraph (8) of the new article 22A states:
In any case where neither paragraph (4) nor paragraph (7) has the effect of displacing paragraph (3) and the employee
—it then sets out three things that employees might do—
paragraph (3) shall not apply if the reason (or, if more than one, the principal reason) for his refusal was, in a case falling within sub-paragraph (c)(i), that his taking the action in question would be in breach of the code or, in a case falling within sub-paragraph (c)(ii), that if he became, or as the case may be remained, a member he would be required to take part in a strike, or other industrial action, which would be in breach of that code.
That is just what I have always said!
We thus have an order which purports to deal with a problem that never existed and which will gratuitously
create problems that need never have arisen. It makes no contribution to solving the real industrial problems in Northern Ireland by providing jobs for people there. It is a recipe for discord, foisted on the House without any opportunity to discuss its abrasive details, merely to gratify the dogmatic obsession of the Prime Minister and the chairman of the Conservative party with union-bashing.
We are debating a draft order, but the Government have removed the "r" from the word "draft". We can only hope that before its damaging effects have run their course we shall he in a position to bring sanity and concord to the industrial processes in Northern Ireland. Tonight we can at least vote against it.
Mr Enoch Powell (South Down)
The Minister, in moving the order, enunciated a principle with which it is difficult to disagree, despite the efforts of the right hon. and learned Member for Warley, West (Mr. Archer): that parity of the law between all parts of the United Kingdom is in principle desirable unless a strong case to the contrary is shown; and that one of the areas in which the desirability of parity is self-evident is the law that governs employment and the rights of employees and trade unions. To argue that there are some parts of the kingdom in which the mischiefs against which legislation is aimed are less prevalent than in others is surely not an argument in favour of legislation that is patchily applied to different parts of the kingdom. The validity of whatever the legislation is applies equally, irrespective of the prevalence or otherwise of the mischiefs that the legislation attempts to prevent.
Mr Peter Archer (Warley West)
I unreservedly accord the right hon. Gentleman at least the accolade of being consistent in his advocacy of uniformity, which cannot be said of the Government. Does he believe that the need for this indecent haste, which has meant that we are not in a position to debate the details of the order, made uniformity desirable today?
Mr Enoch Powell (South Down)
I am coming immediately to the question of indecent haste, which seems to me a strange objection to raise against the order.
I was about to say that one of the characteristics of parity is simultaneity. It is impossible to say that all parts of the United Kingdom enjoy the same law if the same law is only applied to them at different times. This law has applied to the rest of the United Kingdom for five years, during which time it has not applied in Northern Ireland. Whatever may be the objections or otherwise to correcting that state of affairs exactly at this moment, I do not think that five years of disparity in this respect between Northern Irelartd and the rest of the United Kingdom, if it is to be removed, is being removed with indecent haste. But true parity, which involves simultaneity, can be obtained only in one way—and that is a way that has much else to commend it. It cannot be satisfactorily attained by passing legislation for Great Britain in this House and then, at some interval of time, by making an Order in Council under direct rule that applies to Northern Ireland.
There is only one genuine way in which parity of law can he created between all parts of the United Kingdom, and that is that that law is made at the same time, in the same way and in the same place by the representatives of all parts of the kingdom. I quite agree—and if this is implicit in the argument of the right hon. and learned Member for Warley, West I shall grant it to him—that if the law made in 1982 for the rest of the United Kingdom is to apply to Northern Ireland, it should have been applied by the representatives of Northern Ireland taking part in the 1982 passage and debating of the legislation which applied to the whole of the United Kingdom.
It is only by United Kingdom legislation that we can ensure genuine parity of law between all parts of the Kingdom, and it is only in that way that the opinions and the possible variation in the impact of law in different parts of the United Kingdom can be brought to light by the well tried processes of debate in this House—debate which is responsible debate, because that which is being debated will apply to the constituents of hon. Members who take part in it.
In the death throes of this Parliament I shall refrain from entering upon the sordid reasons why for so long—indeed, strictly speaking, since 1920 the people inhabiting Northern Ireland have been denied the right to participate in the formation of the laws of the United Kingdom in this House of Commons. I shall say only that that denial is illustrated in a particular crass manner by the draft Order in Council.
I do not know whether the eyes of any hon. Members studying the order strayed to the schedule. Schedule 4 repeals the Trade Disputes Act 1906:
Extent of Repeal … The whole Act, so far as unrepealed.
So a United Kingdom statute of 1906 which, when it was made, applied to Northern Ireland as well as to the rest of the United Kingdom is apparently to be repealed as far as Northern Ireland is concerned by a schedule to an Order in Council. It is an abomination that we should have to proceed in this way. We do so simply because, quite artificially, and for reasons which have nothing whatever to do with the well-being of Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom, the legislative process for Northern Ireland has deliberately been kept separate from that practised in the rest of the United Kingdom.
The time will come when there is a House of Commons which will no longer inflict that injustice on that part of the United Kingdom. There will come a time when the House of Commons, making law for the United Kingdom, will insist on making it for the whole of the United Kingdom at the same time. That time will come: it may come in the next Parliament, it may come later, but it will come. Meanwhile, we have no excuse for denying to Northern Ireland the application of law that was passed in 1982.
Mr Anthony Beaumont-Dark (Birmingham, Selly Oak)
No hon. Member holds more admiration than me for the right hon. Member for South Down (Mr. Powell), but he talks as though the rest of the United Kingdom is deliberately trying to keep the Northern Ireland part of our United Kingdom separate. Surely that is not true. In spite of the brilliance of the right hon. Gentleman's mind, it is nonsense to suggest that the rest of the United Kingdom has oppressed Northern Ireland and kept it separate from the rest of us.
Mr Enoch Powell (South Down)
The hon. Gentleman misheard me. I accused successive Governments of the United Kingdom, for reasons which were not perhaps very apparent at the time, of having imposed this differentiation. If the hon. Gentleman cares to study the 1920 Act and the 1973 Act for the government of Northern Ireland, he will find that the House passed legislation which enforced on part of the United Kingdom a separate legislative procedure from that which the rest enjoys.
Mr Anthony Beaumont-Dark (Birmingham, Selly Oak)
I accept all that, but whether it is a 1920 Act or a 1973 Act, the problem is that the rest of the United Kingdom wants the problems of Northern Ireland to be solved as pacifically as possible. I have a feeling that, in 1990 and 2000, the House will be talking about the same problem. Whether it be the problems arising out of what Cromwell did in Northern Ireland or the problem of Carson, or anything else, surely the rest of us have a right to ask, "For how long does this have to go on?"
It is no use saying it is the Roman Catholics, the Church of Ireland or the Church of England—people die, whether they be a Lord Justice or a member of the public caught in the crossfire when there was some great victory over terrorism. We have a right to ask for how long it will go on.
Mr Enoch Powell (South Down)
It will go on as long as the United Kingdom insists on treating Northern Ireland differently from the rest with the perceived and intended object of eventually separating it.
Mr Ernest Armstrong (North West Durham)
Order. The hon. Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Mr. Beaumont-Dark) must relate his remarks to the order. I have been lenient with him during his preamble.
Mr Anthony Beaumont-Dark (Birmingham, Selly Oak)
We have arrived at the nub of it—the order is part of it—when the right hon. Member for South Down asks, in effect, "Where are we getting to, and do we want Northern Ireland to be part of the rest of the United Kingdom?" The answer is that we do. However, I do not think that the rest of the United Kingdom is prepared for the united Northern Ireland part of the kingdom to rest day after day, week after week and month after month with the idea that one part of the United Kingdom can act as a tyranny against the rest of the United Kingdom when in the end there has to be a salvation of a problem of part of our United Kingdom. The inference that those of us who say that there is a way out of the impasse want to sell out one part of the United Kingdom to another is entirely false and entirely unfair.
As I have said, I have the greatest admiration for the right hon. Member for South Down, but for him to say that those of us who talk about solving the problem wish to sell out a part of the United Kingdom is a travesty of the truth. The other part of the United Kingdom is saying that it is fed up with and tired of pouring in its treasury in money and people only for its people to be put to the sword, with one part of the United Kingdom saying that there can never be any other good but the United Kingdom being torn apart by this small part of our United Kingdom.
The time has come for Northern Ireland to recognise that the rest of the United Kingdom is tired of the carnage and tired of the tyranny of small groups who say that there is no other way. Whether it is the Member of this place who will not take his seat or the Members who have taken their seats but will not perform in the House, the rest of the United Kingdom is tired of the killing. The killing must stop at some stage, and surely that time is now.
Mr David Winnick (Walsall North)
I find it sad that the order deals with a group in the Province which has been in the forefront in campaigning day in and day out against sectarianism. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland agreed with an oral question which I put to him about six months ago about a conference that was being organised by the trade unions in Northern Ireland against sectarianism. It was decided to hold a special one-day conference to make it clear that whatever the differences are that the hon. Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Mr. Beaumont-Dark) has been referring to, when it comes to the future of Northern Ireland, in the eyes of Republicans or Loyalists, taking into account the background and all the rest of it, the role of the trade unions is to unite working people and to try to establish on a daily basis at places of employment the ability of people to work together regardless of their political views or religious affiliations. I speak as a member and officer of a trade union which has members in Northern Ireland. One of the late officials of my union, Harold Binks, played a distinguished role for many years in promoting trade union unity among people with very different backgrounds. He was recognised for his contribution both in Northern Ireland and in the Irish Republic.
Unfortunately, hardly a single day goes by without Northern Ireland being in the news. We all know why. It is because of the terrorist bombings and killings. So many people have difficulty in living their lives because of the terrorist actions of whichever side of the sectarian divide.
The Minister agreed that the trade unions in Northern Ireland have campaigned against terrorism. Therefore, why is it that, in the dying days of this Parliament, penal legislation against those trade unions should be passed? It is an odd way to show understanding. It is a odd way to pay tribute to trade unions in Northern Ireland. Why should anti-trade union legislation, arising from the Employment Act 1982, be applied to trade unions in Northern Ireland?
How will such legislation be interpreted abroad? News of Northern Ireland takes up much coverage not only in our media, but in the media of other European countries and the United States. What will be said of the British Government? Considering all the problems of Northern Ireland the Government have found time, in the last week of this Parliament, to introduce such legislation. Why now? I agree with my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Warley, West (Mr. Archer)—indeed, I said so in an earlier intervention—that such legislation arises from a neurotic obsession to act against the trade union movement.
This legislation is a blow against the trade unions in Northern Ireland that have played an important role in the fight against sectarianism. I agree with my right hon. and learned Friend that, with regard to the membership ballot, issues will be brought into play that do not arise in the rest of the United Kingdom. We are all aware that the sort of sectarianism that exists in Northern Ireland does not exist on the mainland. If such membership ballots lead to people being asked whether they agree with the Anglo-Irish Agreement or for their views on the future of Northern Ireland, what good will be served? What purpose will be served if the legislation undermines the campaign that the trade unions have fought against sectarianism? That campaign has won praise from the Government. The trade unions have sought to recognise that, at the end of the day, whether one is a Catholic or Protestant, it does not matter at one's place of employment. Such legislation will undermine that campaign.
I view this order with much sadness. I hope that my right hon. and hon. Friends will vote against it tonight. We will be defeated, but certainly when a Labour Government are returned this will be one of the first issues that will be repealed—not only in Northern Ireland but in the rest of the United Kingdom.
Mr Stuart Bell (Middlesbrough)
It is a pleasure to follow my hon. Friend the Member for Walsall, North (Mr. Winnick)—short though his contributions was—on this important subject. The fact that the House is not heavily attended does not diminish the importance of the debate and importance of the contributions made.
I welcomed, and listened with interest to, the contribution of the hon. Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Mr. Beaumont-Dark). He sought, in response to the speech of the right hon. Member for South Down (Mr. Powell) to go to the heart of the problems that face us in Northern Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman for South Down (Mr. Powell), as my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Warley, West (Mr. Archer) said, is consistent in the view that he has taken over many years, which is that legislation passed in the House should be the same for the entire United Kingdom. We accept that, as long as Norther Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom there should be some consistency in the legislation——
Mr Stuart Bell (Middlesbrough)
I am glad that the hon. Member for Langbaurgh (Mr. Holt) is present. He has often taken an interest in these debates. He will be aware that in the Anglo-Irish Agreement and part of the history of Northern Ireland since 1920, is the dictum in its constitution that is shall be a part of the United Kingdom for as long as a majority of those who live in Northern Ireland wish to remain a part of the United Kingdom. It provides a possibility for the people of Northern Ireland to take a different position. That fact has been accepted and recognised by successive Governments over many years. It is a point of contention by the right hon. Member for South Down, and legitimately so, since he takes a contrary view.
We are dealing with the Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1987. It came to the House and was fiercely debated in 1982 as the Employment Bill. The right hon. Member for South Down is right to say that it is rather curious that the Government have taken five years to bring it before the House. As my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Warley, West and my hon. Friend the Member for Walsall, North said, it is even more curious that it should be brought before the House as an order, with 90 minutes for debate in the dying days of the Parliament. It is quite remarkable, even though the House is not well attended, that the Government seek, with their last dying breath, to inflict a diminution of opportunities on trade unionists in Northern Ireland. That is a sad thing. It is a sad finale for the Government. Opposition Members have long believed in a fundamental shift in the balance of wealth and power to workers and their families. In the past eight years, we have seen a fundamental shift from workers and their families. By the order, the Government propose to diminish still further the rights of workers in Northern Ireland. The former Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office, the hon. Member for Brent, North (Dr. Boyson), said that outside investors in Northern Ireland considered that the labour force was co-operative, productive and of a high quality and compared favourably with that in other locations.
The hon. Member for Foyle (Mr. Hume) asked why, if it is the case that the work force is co-operative, productive, and produces work of a high quality, the industrial relations order should be inflicted upon those in the trade union movement in Northern Ireland. It is rather strange that, in such undue haste to bring the order forward, the Government are setting aside a series of statements made by Ministers in the past.
The right hon. Member for Bosworth (Sir. A. Butler), when he was Minister of State, said:
Northern Ireland has its own separate legislative and administrative framework of industrial relations."—[Official Report, 24 March 1982; Vol. 20, c. 1046.]
Why, all of a sudden, in the dying days of the Parliament, have we the Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order, seeking to bring adjustments to trade union activity in Northern Ireland? That matter was brought before the House in 1982. It might be useful to point out that unions in Northern Ireland are of a different variety from those in the United Kingdom. Some unions in Northern Ireland are Great Britain-based, some are entirely Northern Ireland-based, and some are Dublin-based. How does one proceed with the punitive sequestration of assets of Dublin-based unions that fall clearly within the jurisdiction of another sovereign country? The Minister has not considered how the order, when it is enacted, as it relates to Dublin-based companies, will affect relations between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.
We all know what has happened since 1982 in regard to sequestration. We discovered a lawyers' paradise that had not existed since the latter part of the 17th century. A sordid situation arose in which sequestration of union solicitors, union accountants, union bankers and union stockbrokers could be demanded. Unions had to comply with the sequestration orders or be in contempt of court. How will that apply in the future to Dublin-based unions that operate out of Dublin when there is the application of the order to their branches in Northern Ireland?
The Under-Secretary was good enough to take us through the order, but it might be as well to remind hon. Members of those gaps in interpretation that he did not touch upon. The order will provide for a compensation scheme for those dismissed for non-membership of a trade union in a closed shop between 1976 and 1982. Therefore, the order introduces an element of retrospection. We accept that the Government and the House can legislate retrospectively, but we ask whether it is wise to go back five years on a membership, a dismissal or compensation for non-membership of a trade union. Is it wise for the House to exercise its sovereign power in such a way and in such circumstances?
The order will also widen the grounds on which dismissal or actions short of dismissal of non-members of a trade union in a closed shop are unfair. We see this as a simple class attack on trade union rights in Northern Ireland. The trade union movement in Northern Ireland is suffering the sort of robust attack on its rights that we have seen in Great Britain since 1982. The order enables an employee to join as a party to unfair dismissal proceedings any union or other person that he claims put pressure on his employer to dismiss him. There we see again that the unions will be brought before the courts of Northern Ireland over industrial disputes which are entirely matters of relations between worker and employer. The order exacerbates generally the relations between law and trade unions and can only be detrimental to good working practices and productivity in Northern Ireland.
We accept that Government Ministers over a period of years have sought as best they can to bring investment to Northern Ireland. One of the reasons why they have brought investment to Northern Ireland has been the excellent relations between trade unionists and employers. Yet the Government, for doctrinal reasons, feel at this late stage that they ought to upset that balance between trade unionists and employers. Therefore, they are seeking to strike at trade union rights, for no other than ideological reasons, by proposing to render void any clause in a commercial contract that requires the use of union or nonunion labour.
The Government continue that attack further on the abolition of certain trade union immunities. They essentially seek to subdue the work force of Northern Ireland, as they have sought to subdue the work force of Great Britain, by changing the method of computing the period of continuous employment.
My right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Warley, West, in a spirited speech on behalf of the Labour party, decried the great animosity we have to the division that is being created in Northern Ireland between those who work there and those who employ there. He touched upon the fact, and I repeat it, that the order awakens in the hearts and minds of the British people how anti-union, anti-worker, anti-production and, in the end, anti-British the Government are when it comes to ameliorating or advancing the needs of working people. Rather, they wish to detract from those rights, often acquired over centuries of dispute, conflict and labour, and they seek to do it by stealth, by an Order in Council, late at night, on a 90-minute motion.
Again, my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Warley, West touched upon the work record in Northern Ireland and the few disputes that there have been over many years. The only disputes of any note have been those local establishment disputes which were linked, if they were linked to anything at all, to militant community attitudes across the sectarian divide.
This is a serious piece of legislation with many articles. As the right hon. Member for South Down said, it repeals the Trade Disputes Act 1906 as it relates to Northern Ireland. It is outrageous that we have such a short time to discuss this order, but I certainly do not blame the Minister for that. We have no means of changing the order, even if it contains a series of errors by the parliamentary draftsman. This method of dealing with Northern Ireland legislation must be the first casualty after the general election. Whatever the decision of the electorate, this means of dealing with Northern Ireland business cannot continue.
The Minister said that it was the intention of the order to safeguard the individual from the abuse of industrial power and to improve the operation of the labour market by improving the framework of trade union law. He said that some Opposition Members would consider the order irrelevant. He is right. We consider it to be irrelevant and to add nothing to the prospects of those who work in Northern Ireland by hand or by brain, and who look to the Northern Ireland economy for their wherewithal and their future. It offers nothing to those from abroad who wish to invest in Northern Ireland. It is ideological and has no place in the House; it is not based on the experience of the Employment Act 1982, and it is redundant and should be made so. By our vote on the order we shall express the hope that at some future time it will be redundant.
Mr Peter Viggers (Gosport)
By leave of the House, may I say that I have listened with interest to all that has been said? I emphasise again that the order is not an attack on trade unions. The right hon. and learned Member for Warley, West (Mr. Archer) and the hon. Member for Middlesbrough (Mr. Bell) said that it represents a diminution of the rights of trade unionists. I wrote down "Diminution of rights of workers in Northern Ireland." It is not at all an attack on trade unions. It provides a framework within which employers, trade unions and their members are free to act responsibly and to get on with the essential business of providing goods and services without unfair pressures.
The right hon. and learned Member for Warley, West was kind enough to speak about my enthusiasm in introducing the order. I am indeed enthusiastic about the order, just as I was enthusiastic about the Employment Act 1982. It is right that the privileges enjoyed by workers in Great Britain should be extended to Northern Ireland workers. The right hon. and learned member for Warley, West and the hon. Member for Middlesbrough spoke about indecent and undue haste in introducing this legislation. This point was well answered by the right hon. Member for South Down (Mr. Powell), who said that five years could scarcely be regarded as undue haste. Negotiations have stretched over three Secretaries of State for Northern Ireland. In my post as the Minister with responsibilities for industry in Northern Ireland, I have been hoping for some months that it would be possible to introduce this order and I am happy to introduce it now.
Mr Peter Viggers (Gosport)
The time allowed for the debate is a different matter. We recognise the concerns expressed in the debate and voiced from various quarters at different times that legislation for Northern Ireland by Order-inCouncil is unsatisfactory. We do not pretend that this method of legislation is perfect. For that reason, our existing procedures provide for extensive consultation in Northern Ireland and, if desired, for debate in the Northern Ireland Committee. We always seek to take careful account of any points put to us on proposals for draft legislation. Obviously, it is much easier to do that before draft orders are laid.
My first point is that more use could be made of existing procedures. That is not to say that our minds are closed to the possibility of change, but we should always remember that Orders in Council were never intended as a permanent means of legislating for Northern Ireland. During direct rule they stand in the place of measures by the Northern Ireland Assembly. We appreciate that difficulties are posed by unamendable Orders in Council. We are willing to talk about the problem to all interested parties including, of course, the Unionist parties, and to consider constructive suggestions against the background that I have described.
Let me immediately agree with the right hon. and learned Member for Warley, West about the excellent industrial relations performance in Northern Ireland. It is indeed most welcome, and long may it last. However, by itself it is not an argument for failing to extend to Northern Ireland people the same rights held by workers in Great Britain; nor is an argument for failing to give protection against the possible abuse of trade union power, or the unjustified disruption of ecomomic activity. Traditionally, industrial relations legislation in Northern Ireland has followed that in the rest of the United Kingdom, and the Government see no need to depart from that policy in the present instance.
The right hon. and learned Gentleman referred to possible pernicious effects of the order. It has been argued that, as the unions in Northern Ireland have not abused their power, there is no need for the order. If there were no abuses, it is difficult to see in what respect our proposal could cause any difficulty. Others argue that the provisions of the order will he oppressive, thereby implicitly admitting that abuses occur. Those arguments reinforce my view that a legal framework is required. If there are no abuses, it will confirm the good sense of the unions in Northern Ireland. On the other hand, employers and workers will know that, if there are abuses, the order provides them with legal remiedies.
Mr Peter Archer (Warley West)
I am sorry to interrupt the Minister again, but has he not grasped the point that, if the effect of the order is to introduce into industrial relations the very sectarian divisions from which the unions have succeeded in keeping aloof, it will have a pernicious effect?
Mr Peter Viggers (Gosport)
The right hon. and learned Gentleman has made an important point. We are aware that there have been suggestions that the closed-shop balloting provisions could be used to destabilise the trade union structure and introduce a sectarian dimension. However, we do not consider that the provisions by themselves are likely to have that reult. Similar arguments have been put forward before the House on a number of occasions. During a debate on the Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order in 1982, the then spokesman for the Labour party said that the provisions would give plenty of scope and encouragement to those who were intent on using worker power for sectarian purposes. The Government did not accept that argument then, and we believe that we have been proved right in the intervening five years. We do not agree that the provisions can be perverted into being used for sectarian purposes.
The right hon. and learned Gentleman made a point about the drafting of article 22(a) of the order. He will agree that it is not difficult to find some words of legal gobbledegook in most legislation. The drafting of the order follows that of the Employment Act 1982, and consolidates those changes into the Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1976.
The right hon. and learned Gentleman, and others who have contributed to the debate, made a significant point about the distinctive position of unions in Northern Ireland. Some are based in London, some in Dublin. Of course we were aware of the different positions of unions based in the Republic of Ireland, and we could have sought to place conditions on their operation in Northern Ireland. However, the legislation does not seek to differentiate such unions from those based in the United Kingdom. They have the same rights and immunities as United Kingdom-based unions; they also have the same obligations to act responsibly and within the law.
Let me establish the facts. The vast majority of trade unions operating in Northern Ireland—there are 88—are Great Britain-based, but eight have their headquarters in Northern Ireland, and five are based in Dublin. The five Dublin-based unions have about 19,000 members, which is about 7 per cent. of the total union membership in Northern Ireland. Enforcement of Northern Ireland court judgments in the Republic will be possible when the Republic gives effect to the European convention on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters. In practice, we do not anticipate a particular problem.
On the one hand, the right hon. and learned Gentleman made a point about indecent haste; on the other hand, the right hon. Member for South Down mentioned the long delay in introducing the order.
I have already said that Northern Ireland's industrial relations law tends to follow that of Great Britain. There have been divergencies. With a separate, albeit similar, body of legislation it is right and important to consult fully both sides of industry on the precise way ahead for the Province. In this instance, consultation has been prolonged, but the Government are now satisfied that the appropriate course of action is to replicate the provisions of the 1982 Act in Northern Ireland.
The hon. Member for Walsall, North (Mr. Winnick) paid what I believe to be a well deserved tribute to the late Harold Binks who was a most respected leader of a white collar trade union. We recognise and respect the stand of the trade unions in Northern Ireland against sectarianism. I am entirely happy to endorse the hon. Gentleman's remaks in that respect and to reiterate and endorse the remarks of ministerial colleagues who have also referred to the point. In practice, however, the balloting provisions in this order should not provide an opportunity radically to alter the present political sectarian scene. Ballots are not compulsory. There have been relatively few in Great Britain, and I should regard it as most unlikely to find that ballots were misused for sectarian purposes.
The hon. Member for Middlesbrough made an important point about article 4 and schedule 1, which relate to compensation for closed shop dismissals between 1976 and 1982. It is erroneous to describe this as retrospective legislation. It does not declare unfair what the law then said was fair. The article does not impose any additional burden on employers or unions. The law in 1976 was that an employer could impose a closed shop and dismiss without compensation anyone who refused to join. This provision brings Northern Ireland law into line with the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the British Rail case over the dismissal of three railway workers because of the closed shop. That was held to have been contrary to article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights—the right to free association and the right to join a trade union. In practice, we do not anticipate that there are likely to be any or many cases under this article, but the hon. Gentleman ought to respect the fact that it is right that the European Convention on Human Rights should be replicated in Northern Ireland in this way.
In conclusion, I reiterate that this order is another measure in the step by step approach to restoring the balance between the rights and responsibilities of trade unions, employers, individuals and society generally. It thus follows on from the Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1982. I fully accept that both the trade union movement and employers have been successful in keeping sectarian tension away from the shop floor, and I should like to associate the Government with the tributes that have been paid to both sides of industry. I commend the order to the House.
|Division No. 162]||[11.45 pm|
|Alexander, Richard||Emery, Sir Peter|
|Amess, David||Eyre, Sir Reginald|
|Aspinwall, Jack||Fallon, Michael|
|Atkins, Robert (South Ribble)||Favell, Anthony|
|Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)||Fenner, Dame Peggy|
|Baldry, Tony||Forman, Nigel|
|Batiste, Spencer||Forth, Eric|
|Beaumont-Dark, Anthony||Fox, Sir Marcus|
|Bevan, David Gilroy||Franks, Cecil|
|Biffen, Rt Hon John||Fry, Peter|
|Blackburn, John||Gale, Roger|
|Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter||Garel-Jones, Tristan|
|Bonsor, Sir Nicholas||Gorst, John|
|Boscawen, Hon Robert||Gow, Ian|
|Bottomley, Peter||Gower, Sir Raymond|
|Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)||Gregory, Conal|
|Braine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard||Griffiths, Sir Eldon|
|Brandon-Bravo, Martin||Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N)|
|Bright, Graham||Ground, Patrick|
|Brinton, Tim||Grylls, Michael|
|Brittan, Rt Hon Leon||Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom)|
|Bruinvels, Peter||Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)|
|Budgen, Nick||Hannam, John|
|Butler, Rt Hon Sir Adam||Hargreaves, Kenneth|
|Butterfill, John||Harris, David|
|Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)||Haselhurst, Alan|
|Carlisle, Rt Hon M. (W'ton S)||Hawksley, Warren|
|Carttiss, Michael||Hayes, J.|
|Cash, William||Hayward, Robert|
|Chope, Christopher||Heathcoat-Amory, David|
|Churchill, W. S.||Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.|
|Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)||Hind, Kenneth|
|Conway, Derek||Hirst, Michael|
|Coombs, Simon||Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)|
|Cope, John||Holland, Sir Philip (Gedling)|
|Corrie, John||Holt, Richard|
|Crouch, David||Howard, Michael|
|Currie, Mrs Edwina||Howarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A)|
|Dickens, Geoffrey||Howarth, Gerald (Cannock)|
|Dorrell, Stephen||Hubbard-Miles, Peter|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord J.||Hunt, David (Wirral W)|
|Dunn, Robert||Jackson, Robert|
|Dykes, Hugh||Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey|
|Eggar, Tim||Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)|
|Jones, Robert (Herts W)||Ottaway, Richard|
|Key, Robert||Page, Sir John (Harrow W)|
|King, Roger (B'ham N'field)||Page, Richard (Herts SW)|
|King, Rt Hon Tom||Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil|
|Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)||Patten, Christopher (Bath)|
|Knowles, Michael||Portillo, Michael|
|Knox, David||Powley, John|
|Lang, Ian||Price, Sir David|
|Lawler, Geoffrey||Proctor, K. Harvey|
|Lawrence, Ivan||Raffan, Keith|
|Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark||Rathbone, Tim|
|Lester, Jim||Renton, Tim|
|Lightbown, David||Rhodes James, Robert|
|Lilley, Peter||Rowe, Andrew|
|Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)||Ryder, Richard|
|Lord, Michael||Sackville, Hon Thomas|
|McCurley, Mrs Anna||Sainsbury, Hon Timothy|
|MacKay, Andrew (Berkshire)||Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)|
|Maclean, David John||Squire, Robin|
|McNair-Wilson, M. (N'bury)||Stern, Michael|
|McNair-Wilson, P. (New F'st)||Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)|
|Malone, Gerald||Sumberg, David|
|Marland, Paul||Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)|
|Marlow, Antony||Thompson, Donald (Calder V)|
|Marshall, Michael (Arundel)||Thurnham, Peter|
|Mather, Sir Carol||Townend, John (Bridlington)|
|Maude, Hon Francis||Trotter, Neville|
|Moate, Roger||Viggers, Peter|
|Montgomery, Sir Fergus||Wakeham, Rt Hon John|
|Morris, M. (N'hampton S)||Waller, Gary|
|Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes)||Whitfield, John|
|Moynihan, Hon C.||Wiggin, Jerry|
|Murphy, Christopher||Wolfson, Mark|
|Neale, Gerrard||Wood, Timothy|
|Newton, Tony||Tellers for the Ayes:|
|Nicholls, Patrick||Mr. Tony Durant and Mr. Michael Neubert.|
|Adams, Allen (Paisley N)||Eastham, Ken|
|Alton, David||Evans, John (St. Helens N)|
|Anderson, Donald||Fatchett, Derek|
|Archer, Rt Hon Peter||Fields, T. (L'pool Broad Gn)|
|Ashdown, Paddy||Fisher, Mark|
|Atkinson, N. (Tottenham)||Flannery, Martin|
|Banks, Tony (Newham NW)||Foster, Derek|
|Barron, Kevin||Fraser, J. (Norwood)|
|Beckett, Mrs Margaret||Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald|
|Beith, A. J.||Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John|
|Bell, Stuart||Golding, Mrs Llin|
|Benn, Rt Hon Tony||Hamilton, James (M'well N)|
|Bermingham, Gerald||Hardy, Peter|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Heffer, Eric S.|
|Bray, Dr Jeremy||Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)|
|Brown, Gordon (D'f'mline E)||Holland, Stuart (Vauxhall)|
|Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)||Home Robertson, John|
|Brown, N. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne E)||Howarth, George (Knowsley, N)|
|Brown, R. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne N)||Hoyle, Douglas|
|Brown, Ron (E'burgh, Leith)||Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)|
|Bruce, Malcolm||Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S)|
|Caborn, Richard||Hughes, Simon (Southwark)|
|Callaghan, Jim (Heyw'd & M)||Hume, John|
|Canavan, Dennis||Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald|
|Clark, Dr David (S Shields)||Kennedy, Charles|
|Clarke, Thomas||Kirkwood, Archy|
|Clelland, David Gordon||Lamond, James|
|Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S)||Leadbitter, Ted|
|Cook, Robin F. (Livingston)||Leighton, Ronald|
|Corbett, Robin||Lewis, Terence (Worsley)|
|Corbyn, Jeremy||Litherland, Robert|
|Crowther, Stan||Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)|
|Cunliffe, Lawrence||Loyden, Edward|
|Davies, Ronald (Caerphilly)||McDonald, Dr Oonagh|
|Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'ge H'l)||McKay, Allen (Penistone)|
|Dobson, Frank||McKelvey, William|
|Dormand, Jack||McTaggart, Robert|
|Dubs, Alfred||McWilliam, John|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Madden, Max|
|Marek, Dr John||Rowlands, Ted|
|Martin, Michael||Sheldon, Rt Hon R.|
|Maynard, Miss Joan||Shields, Mrs Elizabeth|
|Meacher, Michael||Shore, Rt Hon Peter|
|Meadowcroft, Michael||Short, Ms Clare (Ladywood)|
|Michie, William||Short, Mrs R.(W'hampt'n NE)|
|Mikardo, Ian||Skinner, Dennis|
|Millan, Rt Hon Bruce||Smith, C. (Isl'ton S & F'bury)|
|Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride)||Soley, Clive|
|Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)||Spearing, Nigel|
|Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)||Steel, Rt Hon David|
|Nellist, David||Strang, Gavin|
|O'Neill, Martin||Taylor, Matthew|
|Parry, Robert||Thompson, J. (Wansbeck)|
|Patchett, Terry||Wallace, James|
|Pike, Peter||Wardell, Gareth (Gower)|
|Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)||Wareing, Robert|
|Radice, Giles||Welsh, Michael|
|Randall, Stuart||Wigley, Dafydd|
|Raynsford, Nick||Williams, Rt Hon A.|
|Redmond, Martin||Winnick, David|
|Richardson, Ms Jo||Woodall, Alec|
|Roberts, Allan (Bootle)|
|Robertson, George||Tellers for the Noes|
|Robinson, G. (Coventry NW)||Mr. Frank Haynes and Mr. Don Dixon.|
|Ross, Ernest (Dundee W)|