Dominica (Independence Gift)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th December 1980.

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Photo of Mr Norman St John-Stevas Mr Norman St John-Stevas , Chelmsford 12:00 am, 9th December 1980

I beg to move, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that Her Majesty will give directions that there be presented on behalf of this House a gift of a Speaker's Chair to the House of Assembly of Dominica, and assuring Her Majesty that this House will make good the expenses attending the same.

Perhaps I may preface my remarks by offering my sincere congratulations and good wishes to the right hon. Member for Deptford (Mr. Silkin) on his becoming Shadow Leader of the House. He is familiar with the procedures of the House as a most distinguished Opposition Chief Whip and, even rarer, as a reforming Chief Whip. That is a rara avis indeed. It is virtually—a contradiction in terms—as rare—we were told by the Leader of the Opposition—as a Tory intellectual. I look forward to co-operating with the right hon. Gentleman in the interests of the House.

I am equally happy to move this motion to approve a gift of a Speaker's Chair from this House to the House of Assembly of Dominica. I again understand that this accords with the wishes of the Speaker of the Assembly. It is a dignified and traditional feature of a legislative chamber.

The Chair will be on display in the Upper Waiting Hall from Monday to Wednesday of next week.

I am sure that the House will join me in supporting the motion, which conveys our warm wishes for the happiness and prosperity of this equally lovely island and for the successful future of the House of Assembly of Dominica.

Photo of Hon. John Silkin Hon. John Silkin , Lewisham, Deptford

I thank the Leader of the House for his good wishes and for his tribute to me. I hope that both of us will recover from it in due course.

I am happy to associate the Opposition with this motion, too. In the case of Dominica, here again we are very happy to be fully associated with what is an excellent traditional symbol.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that Her Majesty will give directions that there be presented on behalf of this House a gift of a clock and gavel set to the Parliament of St. Lucia, and assuring Her Majesty that this House will make good the expenses attending the same.Address to be presented by Privy Councillors or Members of Her Majesty's Household.

Resolved,That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that Her Majesty will give directions that there be presented on behalf of this House a gift of a Speaker's Chair to the House of Assembly of Dominica, and assuring Her Majesty that this House will make good the expenses attending the same.Address to be presented by Privy Councillors or Members of Her Majesty's Household.