Associated States (Gift of a Parliamentary Library)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th July 1968.

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Photo of Mr Frank Tomney Mr Frank Tomney , Hammersmith North 12:00 am, 25th July 1968

Mr. Speaker, I have to report to you that the delegation given leave of absence by this House on 25th June to visit the Associated States of St. Christopher, Nevis and Anguilla, Antigua, Dominica, St. Lucia and Grenada for the purpose of presenting a Parliamentary Library to their Assemblies has conducted and discharged its duty.

The delegation comprised the hon. Gentleman the Member for Weston-super-Mare (Mr. Webster), a Deputy Principal Clerk of the House, Mr. David Pring, and myself. On their behalf and my own, I want to thank the House for giving us the opportunity to visit what is a very delightful part of the world.

We were well received with great hospitality in every island. The difficulty of visiting islands of this nature when one is not as young as one would wish is that one is too short of wind to do all the things one would like to do.

Photo of Mr Frank Tomney Mr Frank Tomney , Hammersmith North

Nevertheless, I had with me two very delightful companions from the House. Indeed, Mr. Pring, once we got him away from the rigidity of his department, proved to have a very remarkable turn of philosophy.

There were two innovations which I should report for your consideration, Mr. Speaker, and which you might want to put into practice in this House. At St. Lucia, there was an innovation for the Commonwealth in that the House had a lady Clerk—a very attractive lady with dark, velvety eyes, whose manner in approving or reproving Mr. Speaker was just to turn in her chair and look at him. I am not sure whether he was bewitched, bewildered, or just bothered. Certainly, he did not come up with answers to her.

The other innovation was in Grenada, which has a lady Governor of the island. She, too, proved to be a very remarkable and charming person. She provided every facility for us where possible, even to the provision of a steel band.

On behalf of the delegation, therefore, I can assure you that if there are any further trips to this area the three of us will be very happy to volunteer.

Photo of Dr Horace King Dr Horace King , Southampton, Itchen

The House will wish me to thank the hon. Member for Hammersmith, North (Mr. Tomney) and the other hon. Members of the delegation for a mission well and truly performed. I would add that I have received, since the return of the delegation, warm personal messages from each of the Speakers and that they have asked me to convey their greetings to this honourable House.