The House will remember that last Session, on 20th February, I announced that for the purpose of determining the existence of vacancies through the presumption of death, I proposed to secure the assistance of a panel of advisers consisting of Members representative of the various sections of opinion in the House; and that, when the presumed death of a Member through any form of enemy action had been notified to me, I would, at my discretion, consult two members of this panel, and, if it were found necessary, inquire into the evidence on which the presumption of death was founded. At the same time, I notified to the House the names of five Members who had been good enough to assist me by consenting to serve on this panel.
I propose, with their consent, to reappoint for service on this panel the same right hon. Gentlemen, with the substitution of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence) in the room of Mr. Lees-Smith, whose loss we feel in so many ways. The panel will thus consist of: The right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Rye (Colonel Sir George Courthope), the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Antrim (Sir Hugh O'Neill), the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Platting (Mr. Clynes), the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence), the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Sir Percy Harris), and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Molton (Mr. Lambert). I have no doubt the House will agree that the term of appointment of this panel should be regarded as continuing till the end of this Parliament.