Industrial chemist Alec Parker stands accused of criminal damage, specifically of damaging a pump at the factory where he worked, resulting in repairs costing £20000. At the time there was a strike in the factory and the prosecution claim that Parker holds militant views and did this in order to avoid having to work on the shop-floor to replace the strikers as ordered by management. Parker's father was one of the strikers and Parker admits he sympathised with their action. However he says he would never have damaged equipment as this would have jeopardised his own research. He argues that his boss Garfield Lawrence wants to discredit him so he can take full credit for the research tasks on which the pair have worked.