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A debate on the Bullock Report on Industrial Democracy, organised by the National Union of Mineworkers in Harrogate, December 1977

A copy of this article can be downloaded as a Word document here

Introduction by the Ernest Bevin Society, September 1984
Tony Benn, Secretary of State for Energy: 'If it is really true that the NUM wants nothing to do with the management of the mining industry until socialism is created, what in heaven's name are you doing sponsoring NUM Members of Parliament in the hope that they will run an economy that still falls short of socialism?'
Arthur Scargill, NUM: 'It is impossible to have workers' control within a capitalist society. Capitalism, by its very nature, produces contradictions which cannot be resolved until and unless we change the system of society. We have to change the system, otherwise workers' control cannot be obtained.'
Peter Heathfield, Derbyshire NUM: 'Many of us feel that miners have the ability and capacity to play a major role in the running of our industry. It is not our intention to prop up capitalism, but rather to formulate and fashion new systems of management that will enable the socialist cause to advance.'
David Lea, TUC (and member of Lord Bullock's committee): 'Surely the whole history of trade unionism has been the history of making more issues the subject of joint regulation or indeed autonomous regulation by the union. Isn't that also what we are here for?'
Views from the floor from miners' representatives in Nottinghamshire, South Derbyshire, South Wales, Lancashire, Kent, Yorkshire
Mr Allen, National Coal Board: 'Industrial democracy is part of the social evolution of our industrial society, and one of those things that everyone believes in. But everyone believes in it in a different way, and I sometimes think that too much has been said and written, and too little effort concentrated on deciding precisely what to do next.'