HC Deb 20 January 1902 vol 101 cc322-3

I rise in accordance with the announcement I made on Thursday last, and in conformity I well believe with the wishes and sentiments of every part of the House, to ask them to pass a resolution of thanks to Mr. Archibald John Scott Milman, C.B., soon, I am authorised to say, to be Sir Archibald Milman, for the services he has rendered to this House and to the Chair. Few words will be necessary on my part to recommend this Resolution to the House, because the work of the Clerk of the House of Commons comes before the personal notice of almost every man in the House, and every man in the House is qualified to offer an opinion upon it. I am sure that the unanimous opinion which all would offer, with regard to the services of Mr. Milman, is that they were uniformly rendered gladly and willingly, and that he always placed his unrivalled experience and knowledge of the House of Commons at the service of any Member, whatever his personal position or status in the House might be, or from whatever party he might be drawn. Mr. Milman's life was spent in the service of this House, his whole energies were absorbed by it, he lived in it and he lived for it; and for these reasons, and they need not be amplified, I am sure the House will agree with me in the Resolution which I now beg to move.


This is a matter on which there will be not only unanimity but cordial unanimity in every part of this House. As the right hon. Gentleman has said, we have all had an opportunity for ourselves of judging of the nature of the services rendered by Mr. Milman; we have seen how extraordinary was his acquaintance with the history and precedents which guide our proceedings; and we have seen how shrewd and true was his judgment where a question arose on which judgment could be exercised. But, above all, we have all experienced the extreme courtesy and kindness with which he rendered his assistance to the individual Members of the House. The House of Commons as an institution will suffer a heavy loss through the retirement of Mr. Milman. We are the poorer for all our purposes without him; and if anything were required to add to our sense of regret it would be the nature of the cause which has compelled him to withdraw his services from us.

Resolved, nemine contradicente, That Mr. Speaker be requested to convey to Mr. Archibald John Scott Milman, C.B., on his retirement from the office of Clerk of the House, the assurance of its sincere appreciation of the valuable aid it has derived from his intimate acquaintance with the law and custom of Parliament, acquired during upwards of forty-five years of devoted service in different offices, of which thirty-one have been passed at the Table of the House, where his accurate knowledge and ready advice have rendered constant assistance to the House and its Members, in the conduct of its ever-increasing business.—(Mr. A. J. Balfour.)