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National Graphical Association (Dispute)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 30th November 1983.

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Photo of Mr Leon Brittan Mr Leon Brittan , Richmond (Yorks) 3:31 pm, 30th November 1983

I understand that the right hon. Gentleman, given the difficulties that he faces, should seek to erect a smoke screen which has nothing to with matters that we have been debating. I suppose that it was unreasonable to expect the right hon. Gentleman to rise to the occasion and to seek to prevent violence tonight.

However, in spite of that, I welcome the fact that the right hon. Gentleman has endorsed the TUC guidelines, though, if he believes that my invitation to him to do so implied that I agree with everything else that the TUC says, he cannot be serious. I remind the House again, because we have a responsibility in this matter, of what the guidelines say, that picketing is permissible only to do no more than peacefully obtain or communicate information or peacefully persuade workers to abstain from work. I make no apology for repeating that there cannot be any possible need to have 4,000 people to do that.