Election of Speaker

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1 March 1950.

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Photo of Mr David Kirkwood Mr David Kirkwood , Dunbartonshire East 12:00, 1 March 1950

(addressing himself to the Clerk of the House, who, standing up, pointed to him and then sat down): I have the honour to propose, That Colonel the Right Hon. Douglas Clifton Brown do take the Chair of this House as Speaker. A long and not always quiet experience of this House has taught me that to be a perfect Speaker a man must have four qualifications. First, a complete knowledge of the Rules of Procedure of the House. Second, a full acquaintanceship of the Members and their temperaments and an absolute impartiality in his attitude towards them. Third, a mind so attuned to the spirit of justice that, without conscious effort, his decisions will be fair to every aspect of every problem. Fourth, patience that knows no limit and good humour that never grows weary.

When I consider the extraordinary composition of this House as a result of the recent General Election, I feel that no Speaker of the past had more need of the four qualifications I have mentioned than he who is about to be elected. I know, and the Members who have served in the late Parliament also know, that Colonel Clifton Brown has these four qualifications in abundant measure as well as others of a more personal character. [Hear, hear.]