INVESTIGATION INTO ETU ROW?
THE scandal of the recent election for the general secretaryship of the Communist-dominated Electrical Trades Union should be investigated by the trade union Labour Members of Parliament, says Mr. Hugh Delargy,
Labour M.P. for Thurrock.
Before any action can be taken,. he holds, there needs to be a thorough and impartial inquiry to find out what
happened. " The notice of Parliament needs to be drawn to this question," he says. "As a preliminary step it should be considered by the trade union M.P.s—there are about 100 of them: they meet regularly, but I've never known anything they've done except meet. They could investigate the question either as a body or they could appoint a group of their own number to carry out the inquiry.
"They could then report to the Parliamentary Labour Party, and the matter could then be raised in the House." Too many things were by-passing Parliament these days —Mr. Delargy quoted as an example the railway strike that was threatened for this week—and this should not be one of them.
His first reaction to the election result was: "I'm rather surprised that so few voted. Despite all the publicity and the controversy the election aroused, only about 16 per cent of the E.T.U. members voted—which implies that 84 per cent don't care one way or the other."
Thus the first step E.T.U. mcmbers should take if they are worried by the Communist domination of their union is to turn out and vote. As it is, the Communist leaders of the union could at present very well turn round to objectors and retort that over 90 per cent of members seemed to be satisfied with their leadership.
Would the E.T.U. election scandal have a damaging effect on the reputation of the Labour movement as a whole? "It depends how many people are interested in the matter," Mr. Delargy said. "1 know the newspapers are interested: but how many of their readers are?"