Non-Judicial Bodies (Fines)

Oral Answers to Questions — Board of Trade – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th April 1965.

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Photo of Mr Ian Lloyd Mr Ian Lloyd , Portsmouth Langstone 12:00 am, 29th April 1965

asked the Prime Minister whether he will introduce legislation to make it an offence for any body other than Her Majesty's courts to impose fines on anyone under any circumstances.

Photo of Mr Ian Lloyd Mr Ian Lloyd , Portsmouth Langstone

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for his terse if unilluminating reply, which suggests that he has been to Moscow rather than to Rome, may I ask if the House is to assume from the reply that trade unions are to have power to impose fines on their members? If so, how is this to be reconciled with an incomes policy and with the statement which the Prime Minister has made on television?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

There have been, and there are, a number of professional bodies which have powers—one thinks of doctors, lawyers and others—to impose all kinds of penalties on their members when their members are in default of the rules agreed by the association in question. I remember in this House some very bitter exchanges about the activity of certain trade associations, in fining tyre retailers, defended by right hon. Members opposite. If the hon. Member is con-concerned, as I think he may be, with particular restrictive practices which may be enforced by fines, I think that he will find support in all parts of the House for our efforts to deal with these restrictive practices and to try to get rid of them by agreement wherever that is possible.