15 MARCH 1975, Page 8

They can't

stop THE TIMES coming out tomorrow


FOR the last few weeks a group of people, for whom I am the spokesman, has been meeting to discuss what can be done to avert the crisis towards which our country is now hurtling, and against which there appears at present to be no counteraction of any kind.

The group includes economists and businessmen, bankers, members of the legal and accountancy professions, politicians and other men and women active in public life.

They have agreed unanimously that the overmightiness of the Trade Unions is the gravest of all menaces to the well-being of Great Britain.

THE fact must be faced that the .2Trade Unions are now in virtual control of the country. The Labour Party is manifestly nothing more than the political wing of the Trade Union movement. Mr. Wilson and his Government dance to the tune of their paymasters in Transport House. The Trade Unions dominate industry as well as Government, and have the -power to bring both to a stop any time they may wish. • In fact, a Trade Union leader has boasted that the Unions can bring the life of the whole country to a standstill in a matter of minutes simply by cutting off the electricity supplies over which they have absolute practical — but not lawful statutory — control.

No newspaper or magazine, or even copies of an Act of Parliament, can now be produced if the Trade Unions object.

The traditional freedom of the press has gone. The Unions have even begun to overule Editors and censor the contents of newspapers.

THE grim and imminent reality is that the Trade Unions could bring all communication between Government and People to a stop in a few hours by suppressing newspapers and closing down radio and television.

This is something that the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, the Lord Chief Justice, the Commissioner of Metropolitan Police, even Parliament itself, have no power to do.

A couple of trade union leaders can do it simply by lifting their telephones.

The Trade Unions have already proved themselves above the law. The case of the five dockers will be remembered when the Official Solicitor was wheeled onto the scene in order to get Mr. Heath's Government off the hook.

The Trade Unions are now planning to force the Government to make legal both the tyranny of the closed shop and the intimidation of mass picketing on the public highway.

AFTER the primary and craven culpability of all recent Governments the chief responsibility for inflation rests at the door of the Trade Unions.

Not only because they insist on ever higher wages, and obtain them by the blackmail of strikes, but because they enforce widespread restrictive practices which have priced us out of our world markets, and are rapidly pricing us out of our own home market too.

These are the real truths of the country's position. These are the truths which Mr. Heath and the Conservative Party should have put before the country but abdicated from that responsibility.

Conclusive proof of the extent of restrictive practices was shown when trade unionists endeavoured to take over the Scottish Daily Express when it was closed down and proposed to run it with 1,300 fewer staff than the number they had forced Beaverbrook Newspapers to employ.

Remember, too, how production only fell by less than fifteen per cent during the period of the 3-day week.

SOMEONE has got to throw the gauntlet down to the Trade Unions if the disaster they are bringing upon the country is to be averted. We have hopes of Mrs. Thatcher but for the last thirty years it has been useless to look to the Conservative Party. Even when in power they failed lamentably to take effective measures, or even to appreciate the gravity of the menace of trade union power.

It is no use looking to big business, or even industries or nationalized concerns as a whole, to make a real stand. The Trade Unions can, and would, smash any of them who dared to oppose them.

We have to accept the fact that some of the members of our Group cannot publicly defy the Trade Unions because of their positions as Directors of public companies. As such their first duty is to their shareholders. Taking steps which would probably mean the ruin of their companies would hardly be in those shareholders' interest. This illustrates the depths to which the City and the country have been driven by the Unions.

WHAT, then, is to be done?

We have decided, again unanimously, that if the Trade Unions are to be brought within the ambit of the constitution, it can only be done by individuals in their private capacity. The time for exhortation, speeches. appeals, declarations, leading articles, and television arguments is over.

Public opinion must be organised until it is powerful enough to insist that the rule of law is also applied to the Trade Unions.

Most trade unionists will welcome it, for the vast majority of them have little direct responsibility for the national havoc their movement is creating. They know that they are being manipulated by those "tightly knit groups ' of politically motivated men" whose existence has already been acknowledged by the Prime Minister. The law gives the rank and file scant protection against the pressures and intimidations of their leaders.