3 MAY 1924, Page 15


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]

Sra,—As it is about forty-five years since the first interference of Trade Union delegates in the previously existing most cordial relations between us as employers and our workmen (numbering 1,500 to 2,000), I have had an almost unique experience in negotiating labour questions with a dozen or more Trade Unions. I therefore welcome the important letter from your correspondent, who signs himself " X " in your issue of the 19th inst., drawing attention to the necessity of legislative effort to stop strikes. I have elsewhere suggested that this could to a very large extent be done by making illegal all so-called peaceful picketing, which is solely used to intimidate men who otherwise are willing to continue their work. And most important of all, it is absolutely necessary to require that all ballots of members of Unions on any pro-- posed strike must be made secret—like a Parliamentary election, and not as at present, conducted under the vigilant. supervision of the Trade Union delegates and officials, whose prime interest is in promoting and continuing discontent. The large majority of sober-minded and reasonable members at present refrain from voting at all, for they know that if they

vote against the policy of their leaders they are marked men. Legislation to this effect would largely stop strikes, and need not necessitate the too elaborate system of individual register cards which " X " proposes.—I am, Sir, &c., AN OLD EMPLOYEE.