Commentary

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1977 Aug 20 Sa
Commentary (The Times)

Trade unions: "Trade union privileges" (Hayek letter) ["The trouble is that British trade unions refuse to accept the law which applies to everybody else"]

Document type:commentary
Document kind:Letter
Venue:-
Source: The Times , 20 August 1977, p13
Journalist:-
Editorial comments:-
Importance ranking:Major
Word count:203
Themes:Conservatism, Labour Party and Socialism, Law and order, Liberal and Social Demoratic Parties, Trade union law reform

Trade union privileges

From Professor F. A. Hayek, FBA

Sir, Mr Arthur Palmer (August 10) surely has so far forgotten old English traditions which have made this country great that he confuses obeying a law which everybody has to obey with obeying dictates of the state. The trouble is that British trade unions refuse to accept the law which applies to everybody else.

Since some people still seem to feel doubts that this is the chief cause of the British economic decline it might be helpful if, as an impartial test, the House of Commons invited the leaders of some of the great corporations which attempt to conduct similar enterprises in Britain and other European countries to give evidence on their experience in the respective countries. I suspect that for instance Mr Henry Ford II might have much useful information to give on why his German firm has just quintupled its profits over last year while one understands that his British firm has been a constant source of worry to him.

Yours faithfully F. A. HAYEK

Obergurgl, Tyrol, Austria. August 10