Trade Union Membership

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th July 1951.

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Photo of Mr Edward Hardy Mr Edward Hardy , Salford East 12:00 am, 24th July 1951

asked the Minister of Labour what steps he has taken to make known to employers the terms of paragraph 4 of Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Mr. Lee:

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December, 1948, was given full publicity in a Command Paper (No. 7662) issued in early 1949.

Photo of Mr Edward Hardy Mr Edward Hardy , Salford East

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that there is a firm known as D. C. Thomson, of Dundee, Glasgow and Salford, who have had a closed shop for the last 25 years and do not employ members of trade unions? People who are employed there must sign a declaration not to belong to a trade union, and in view of the international decision about human rights, what is the Minister prepared to do with this firm?

Mr. Lee:

I do not know that we have the power to do anything, but I agree with my hon. Friend that it is deplorable that in 1951 any firm should have to adopt such disgusting tactics.

Photo of Mr Malcolm McCorquodale Mr Malcolm McCorquodale , Epsom

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that when the Minister of Labour was winding up the debate on the Hants-Dorset bus dispute the other evening, he showed himself at variance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

Mr. Lee:

I do not at all accept that.

Photo of Mr Henry Strauss Mr Henry Strauss , Norwich South

If the Minister decides to give further publicity to the provision mentioned in the Question, will he at the same time give equal publicity to the provision of paragraph 2 of Article 20 of the same Universal Declaration, that no one may be compelled to belong to an association?

Mr. Lee:

I do not know if that includes the trade union that caters for solicitors and lawyers.

Photo of Mr Edward Hardy Mr Edward Hardy , Salford East

Is my hon. friend aware that at the United Nations on 10th December it was recommended for international acceptance that everyone had the right to form a trade union for the protection of his or her own interests?

Mr. Lee:

I quite accept that.