§ The House met at a Quarter before Three of the Clock, and, it being the first day of the meeting of this Parliament, pursuant to a Proclamation, Sir Thomas Lonsdale Webster, K.C.B., Clerk of the House of Commons, Horace Christian Dawkins, Esq., M.B.E, and Gilbert Francis Montriou Campion, Esq., Clerks Assistant, attending in the House, and the other Clerks attending according to their duty, Sir Claud Schuster, K.C.B., C.V.O., K.C., Clerk of the Crown in Chancery in Great Britain, delivered to the said Sir Thomas Lonsdale Webster, K.C.B., a Book containing a List of the Names of the Members returned to serve in this Parliament.
§ Several of the Members repaired to their seats.
§ Message to attend the Lords Commissioners by Black Rod.
§ The House went, and a Commission having been read for opening and holding the Parliament, the Lords Commissioners directed the House to proceed to the Election of a Speaker, and to present him To-morrow, at a quarter before Three of the clock, in the House of Peers for the Royal Approbation.2
§ The House having returned,
§ Sir ELLIS HUME-WILLIAMS
(addressing himself to the Clerk of the House, who, standing up, pointed to him, and then sat down): Sir Lansdale Webster. As pointed out in the Gracious Message from the Throne, which has just been heard in another place, it now becomes the duty of Members elected to this House of Commons to choose their Speaker, and I rise to exercise the great privilege which has been conferred upon me of suggesting to the House the election of the Rt. Hon. John Henry Whitley to fill the position.
It requires but a slight acquaintance with English history to realise how great is the office of Speaker of this House, how it is bound up with the struggles for freedom of the English people, and how, with the ever advancing tide of progress and of freedom, Speaker after Speaker has in days gone by been called upon to assert the independence and to claim the privileges of the Commons House of Parliament. Happily in these days Mr. Speaker's duties, if equally important, are less dangerous, and possibly less exciting, but the position remains, as it must always remain, one of the most important and one of the most dignified to which any citizen of our country can attain. Chosen bythis House to preside over its Debates, and at the same time to be the guardian of its privileges; vested by the House itself with a unique power 3 within these walls—a power which rests upon and is exercised by the assent of the governed—treated within the Palace of Westminster with universal respect, and taking rank outside as the first Commoner in England, the office of Speaker is one which indeed carries with it dignity commensurate with its duties and its responsibilities.
Great responsibilities require exceptional qualities in the man who is called upon to exercise them. So many attempts have been made in the past to find the ideal Speaker that I hesitate to tread in the same path, and I would not try to do so now but for the fact that, in attempting to define the ideal Speaker, I am in truth but supporting the proposition before the House of the election of Mr. Whitley to that Office. First, the Speaker must, of course, be a man of outstanding honour, for, indeed, his reputation is a national asset. His must ever be the simple, straightforward dealing which leads every man to trust his word, and to rest upon his assurance. Next, the ideal Speaker must be a born ruler and a born diplomat—a very unusual combination. He will need, too, courage, industry, patience and sympathy, and, when the High Gods have granted it, humour. He must be firm, but with a firmness tempered by tact, quick, but not too quick, severe when severity be opportune. He must see everything and hear everything—and yet even his hearing may be attuned to the necessities of a situation. I seem to remember, during my fourteen years of Parliamentary life, more than one occasion when some angry remark has been hurled in the heat of debate from one party to the other—a remark probably regretted as soon as it was made—and I have been relieved, if slightly surprised, to hear a thoroughly conscientious Streaker assert that the observation had not reached his ears, with the result that the turmoil which was threatened in the House has died a natural death of inanition, and the House has been gently led back to the soothing influence, say, of the Scottish Estimates.
If it is in his nature, the Speaker must be kind, helpful and tolerant, when he is sure that toleration will not be abused, and that methods, if irregular, are at least honest. Always, Mr. Speaker must remember, if others should forget it from time to time, that what happens in this 4 House matters so much, that the eyes of the world are focussed upon the doings of this English House of Commons—[HON. MEMBERS: "British:"—this British House of Commons, the Mother of Parliaments, and that what is called a "scene" in this House is chronicled in every newspaper in the world, and is read with satisfaction by our enemies and with shame by our sons and our sons' sons to the uttermost corners of the earth.
I have attempted this brief and very imperfect outline of some of the qualities which the Speaker should possess. May l be permitted, before leaving this subject, to respectfully remind those who will so soon begin the work of a new House of Commons under the Chairmanship of the Speaker that, if the House has the right to look to the Speaker to uphold its dignity and its great traditions, at the same time the Speaker has the right to look to the House to support him in his rulings, to remember always that he is exercising to the best of his ability the power with which Members have themselves invested him, and to see that at all times, and in all circumstances, his rulings are obeyed and the authority maintained which he exercises by common consent for the common good.
I turn now to that which directly concerns the proposal which I am laying before the House. Mr. Whitley has behind him a long record of services in the House of Commons and to the House of Commons. Elected Member for Halifax in 1900, nearly a quarter of a century ago, he became Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means in 1910. It was not long before we discovered in him those qualities which at once endeared him to the House, and earned for him its sincere and enduring respect. In the following year, 1911, he became Chairman of Committee of Ways and Moans, and remained in that high office until 1919, consolidating his position, gaining the experience which is now the property of the House, increasing the respect in which he was universally held, and, in his spare time, remembering not only his duty to the House, but laying the well accepted foundations of modern statesmanship by always smoking a pipe.
In 1921 Mr. Whitley, on the retirement of his brilliant predecessor, became Speaker of this House. The task was no easy one. The War was over, but men's spirits were still sore. Overstrained 5 nerves were still remaining, as the result of the national struggle for existence, and the House of Commons could not be expected always to remain calm in the midst of universal unrest and discontent. But in Mr. Whitley the House of Commons had a great asset. By his unfailing tact, his conspicuous and unvarying impartiality, his readiness to help all those who were really desirous to make an honest contribution to debate, and his quiet and reassuring dignity in every emergency, he conducted the House of Commons through troubled waters, and maintained unblemished the great traditions of which he and the House are the inheritors. Of him indeed it may justly be said "Suaviter in modo, fortiter in re."
Into the future of the Parliament over which Mr. Whitley will preside, if it is your good pleasure that he should be chosen, I will not dare to try to look. Indeed we must admit that the view is not wholly exempt from the fogs which are seasonable at this time of year. But one thing, I think, I may legitimately promise to Mr. Whitley in his time of office. That is, that there will be given to him what has been defined as the "salt of life"—variety. Of one thing I am quite sure. Whatever the future may contain, whatever the situation may be, which Mr. Whitley will be called upon to control, he will deal with it with that impartiality which is part of his nature, he will show all that detachment from the claims of party which has distinguished him in the past, and, by his kindness, firmness, and dignity, he will maintain the great traditions of the high office to which, I hope, he will now be chosen. I beg to move, "That the Right Hon. John Henry Whitley do take the Chair of this House as Speaker."
Captain O'G RA DY
Sir Lonsdale Webster.—I have had the very great privilege given to me of seconding this Motion, which has been proposed so eloquently by my hon. and learned Friend opposite. I think that he has said all that might be said upon a Motion of this character, and he has said it in such eloquent terms that I am sure the House will at once assent to the Motion, when it is submitted to it. I suppose that I have been asked to second this Motion because for 18 continuous years I have been a Member of this House. During 6 that period I sat under Mr. Whitley as Chairman of Committee of Ways and Means, and subsequently as Mr. Speaker. And, of course, representing a Yorkshire constituency, and knowing that I was sitting under a Yorkshire man, I followed with keen interest his graduation from the position of Chairman of Committee of Ways and Means to that of Speaker.
I am inclined to think that we sometimes ask too much of our Speaker, and, if I may say so, give very little in return. Indeed, if I were to venture to run through all the qualities indicated by my hon. Friend opposite as those which should be possessed by the ideal Speaker, I should, I am afraid, present the picture of a superman rather than of one of the ordinary poor mortals who come into this House. I recollect that in Mr. Whitley's case in particular I once transgressed the rules of this House. Mr. Whitley reminded me of the story of Nelson at the Battle of Copenhagen, who, when he received the signal not to attack, put his telescope to his blind eye, and I think of Mr. Whitley on that occasion that at least one ear was deaf. But I would warn the new Members not to construe the patience of the Speaker in terms of weakness. That was what I did, and I came out of the ordeal somewhat bruised and sore—I mean of course mentally—but with great kindness of heart he took hold of me by the arm and said "The House saw that you lost your temper, and everything is all right."
We ask of Mr. Speaker high qualities which I think we ask from no other man who may be in the service of the country. We ask that his judgment should be infallible, or at least nearly so, in order that his rulings may not be assailed. That is a quality which we do not ask even of our judges in our Law Courts, and those two Speakers under wham I sat, Mr. Speaker Lowther and Mr. Whitley, have never in my experience had their ruling assailed. Then we ask that he should be firm and yet kind. I think that it would require a super-man to reconcile those two qualities. We ask, finally—a very big claim to make—that our Speaker should have just that touch of humour which may turn awkward situations in this House. As an old Member I have seen what the Press are pleased to call "turbulent scenes," and I think 7 that new Members of this House, should anything of this character occur, will be astonished when they read about it in the papers next morning. It is never like what is described.
After all, the Speakers in this House, at least those under whom I have sat, recognise the fact that men coming into this House, out of the hurly burly of rough and tumble political strife outside, come in with very strong convictions, and that you cannot expect an assembly composed of men and women like that to be conducted upon the method of a Sunday school. Things will be said across the Floor of the House; it is what we expect. In the past I have known the kindly intervention of Mr. Lowther and Mr. Whitley, by a humorous remark, to sweep the scowl from our faces and the anger from our hearts, and by a sudden transformation we became a band of happy, rollicking school boys, and got down to our business immediately. It has been usual to indicate to the man whom we want to call to the Chair that there might be difficulties in the new House over which he is to preside. Sometimes, too, it has been hinted that the problems that the House will deliberate upon will be of a very intricate character. I am glad that that has not been said on this occasion, for, after all, that would be teaching Mr. Whitley business which he knows better than we do. Whatever may be the scenes enacted, whatever may be the difficulties or problems of Mr. Speaker, I believe that when this Parliament has passed away, there will be as great a respect for the honour and dignity of this House and of the Chair as has been the case in preceding Parliaments.
Incidentally, I cannot help remarking upon what is said outside this House in a certain section of the Press. I want to say to Mr. Whitley, if he accepts the call that we make upon him to take the Chair, that he and I and all of us will still find the social structure intact when this Parliament has passed away. The British House of Commons is blessed more than any other institution of a similar character in the world in its selection of men to occupy the Chair. When in the course of time Mr. Whitley leaves the Chair, and goes to the other Chamber at the curl of the Corridor, I am certain that the great record of his 8 public service to the State will show that he stands not the least among those who have presided over this House. I submit in confidence that the best thing we can do is unanimously to endorse the Motion which has been submitted.
Lieut.-Colonel J. WARD
Before the Proposer and Seconder escort Mr. Speaker-Elect to the Chair, I would like to say one or two words. Under the rules of the House it is only on this occasion that I can say what I wish to say. If I were to allow these few minutes to elapse without making the statement I wish to make, there would be no other period during the whole of this Parliament when I could make my statement. If I were to allow Mr. Speaker-Elect to be brought to the Chair before I made my remarks, I should be out of order, or what I said might be considered as disrespectful to the appointment. I do not wish to be either. In fact I support in every way, from the bottom of my heart, every word that has been said both by the Proposer and the Seconder as to the fitness of Mr. Whitley for the post of Speaker. But there are two tendencies in this House to which I wish to call attention before the final step be taken. Some time before the War a most vigorous protest was made by a Member of this House at the moment of the election or re-election of Mr. Speaker Lowther. It was pointed out that there was a growing tendency in these proceedings to destroy the usefulness of the ordinary private Member. Even in these proceedings as they have begun to-day just two Gentlemen have spoken—one appointed by the Government, which has the largest number of supporters in the House, and another appointed by the party with the next largest number of Members in the House.
There is a tendency, unquestionably, in these proceedings, as one can see, to regard the position of the private Member as not of the slightest consequence in the proceedings of the House. I know that after the protest in the old House of Commons the private Member got a much better chance. But the War came. It is over now, and we are back to new conditions and we find the most ruthless exclusion of the private Member in this House from its Debates and from everything concerned with it, particularly in one respect to which I wish to draw Mr. 9 Whitley's attention before he assumes the position of Speaker. New Members may imagine that when a new Member stands up in this House, Mr. Speaker spots him, and thinks he is a most desirable Member to deal with the subject which is being debated, or to reply to a speech that has been delivered. Hon. Members who are new to this House will discover that that is the merest Parliamentary fiction, and that nothing of the kind happens. Men have stood up time after time in an attempt to catch Mr. Speaker's eye, and have failed to do so, even though it was known that there was no other Member in the House who had more detailed knowledge of the subject under discussion. Members have gone to Mr. Speaker and have been informed that they are too late, that the Party Whips have sent in the names of those whom they wished to speak, and they are so numerous that there will be no time for others. [Interruption]. Hon. Members who interrupt me are only delaying the proceedings. They may take it for granted that, although they can sometimes suppress me outside, they cannot do it here.
Time after time men have gone to Mr. Speaker, and have been informed that the whips of the different sections of the House have sent in such an elaborate list of names to Mr. Speaker that it is utterly impossible for anyone else to have the slightest chance of speaking, however well acquainted with the subject other hon. Members might be. I hold that that is fatal to real discussion, and is magnifying the importance of the mere party machine, as opposed to the independent private Member. It is altogether at variance with the traditions of true discussion.
There is another tendency to which I wish to call attention. It was a development of the last Parliament. It is that, in proportion as a Member showed respect for the traditions of Parliament and for the rulings of the Chair, so less respect was paid to that Member, and that, just in proportion as a man was disrespectful to the Chair and outraged the traditions of the House, so respect and attention were paid to him in any demand that he wished to make. That may go on. But it may be carried too far.
I wish to tell Mr. Speaker-Elect that there is no other occasion when I can bring these matters to his attention and 10 to that of the House. Without any disrespect whatever to the gentleman who is proposed for the Chair, I say most emphatically that the position of the independent and private Member of Parliament has to be maintained. Having made my protest, I support in every way I possibly can the election of Mr. Whitley.
§ The House then unanimously called Mr. John. Henry Whitley to the Chair.
§ Mr. WHITLEY
(who, standing up in his place, was received with general cheers): Sir Lonsdale Webster.—In accordance with ancient usage, I rise to submit myself humbly to the will of the House. If my fellow-Members are pleased to call me again to their service in the Chair, I can assure them I will give them the best that is in my power.
The hon. and learned Member for Bassetlaw (Sir E. Hume-Williams) has made me tremble. He has elaborated a catalogue of the qualities a Speaker ought to have. I would beg him and all my colleagues to remember that a Speaker is human—very human—perhaps human above other Members, because he has 614 varieties of human nature to study, to attempt to understand and to sympathise with. All the same, I must tender to the hon. and learned Member my gratitude for the kindly words he has spoken of me. All I would add in that matter is that the picture he has drawn is of a kind to which I look, but into which, I am quite sure, I can never fit. My Yorkshire colleague, the hon. and gallant Member for East Leeds (Captain O'Grady) leaves me equally in his debt for the kind words he has spoken about me. Anything I have been able to do in this House in the last 23 years, I have done not of any powers of my own, but because of the kindly goodwill and help of those who have been here with me.
To-day we miss a good many old friends—one, perhaps, in particular, who for so long had his place on the other side of the House, and whom we knew so well as one of the Members for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury). I am wondering whatever we shall do without him, especially on Fridays. The passing of a Private Member's Bill or—horrible thought—more than one, on a Friday, to him was a sort of monstrous impiety. We shall think of him for long almost as if he were clothed in flowing white, forbidding the entry 11 of the infidel to the Holy City. I think with very tender heart of his state of mind if he find what he would think a horrible spate of legislation going through on the Fridays of coming Sessions. We all have a very tender place for him in our hearts. Whatever he thought of other Members' Bills, there was one for which he was always vigilant. Whoever else took his ease on a Friday, the Member for the City was always in his place, and, Friday or other day, he never let go a chance of promoting the progress of his Dogs Bill.
There are others here to-day, who have come back to us after an interval, long or short. We are all, I am sure, glad to see their faces here again, and there are many, very many, new faces. I confess I had hoped to have had two years or three of the last Parliament in which to make a real acquaintance with the new Members, and now I do not know how many further new colleagues we have around us. I must ask for their kindly indulgence, if I am to undertake this office, during the early days of the Parliament, and perhaps also ask their kindly help in aiding me to learn not only their constituencies and their names, but also something of their personalities.
We are met in new circumstances as well. It would ill become me on an occasion like this to enter into any forecast or discussion. All I would say is that I am a believer in this old House of Commons, and whatever the new circumstances may be, I believe we shall find a way to solve our problems in the House of Commons as the wisdom of our ancestors has built it up. Time certainly does not diminish the responsibilities of the Chair. Every new Parliament seems to bring an increased number of Members eager for and capable of joining in our Debates. I have often left the Chair at night with a very heavy sense of grief about the speeches that were not delivered. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Stoke (Lieut.-Colonel J. Ward) evidently is one of those persons whom I have on my conscience. I offer him my most humble apologies, but he is one among many who go home of a night convinced that the undelivered speech would have been the speech of the day. After all, speaking is only a part, and perhaps the smaller part, of the business of the House. To be able to listen is 12 more difficult, and perhaps requires more training and character. I beg the House never to forget that in a deliberative assembly the quality of listening is quite as important as the quality of speaking. I leave myself humbly in the hands of the House. If my fellow Members are pleased to call me again to this high office, I assure them that I will devote to it all the powers which are in me.
§ The House then having again unanimously called Mr. John. Henry Whitley to the Chair, he was taken out of his place, and conducted to the Chair by Sir Ellis Hume-Williams and Captain O'Grady.
(standing on the upper step): Before taking the Chair of this House again as its Speaker, I would tender to the House my deep sense of gratitude for the honour which it has conferred upon me.
§ Mr. Speaker-Elect sat down in. the Chair.
§ Then the Mace (which before lay under the Table) was placed upon the Table.
§ The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Baldwin)
Mr. Speaker-Elect.—I am very proud to be the first Member to be allowed to offer the congratulations of this House to you, Sir, on your unanimous re-election to the Chair. It was well and truly said by the hon. and learned Member for Bassetlaw (Sir E. Hume-Williams) that in times past the Speaker was the guardian of the privileges and the rights of this House against outside authority. In your time, Sir, it is inside this Chamber where your authority is supreme, and where your great task has to be performed, for, in fact, it would not be saying too much of constitutional government itself—words which would have conveyed little to your earliest predecessors—that you are to-day, as your successors will be, the guardian and trustee of its very soul. You have many critics, I know. I myself have sat under a Speaker as a Member of a Government, as a Member of the Opposition, and as a private Member, and I know with what different aspects your position presents itself to each of those. The Government look to you for support, the Opposition for protection. I was long a private Member, and I tasted, almost more than any Member in the House, the experience of spending my life in trying to catch that 13 most elusive organ that nature has ever yet created, the Speaker's eye. Whether in old times or at the present time, courage, an essential part of the equipment of everyone who enters public life, is a necessary part of the Speaker's equipment. But just as courage, perhaps, was the most important part in old days, to-day more than courage is required—the rarer virtue of wisdom—and if I may paraphrase what has been so well said by those who proposed you to-day, we have often noticed how many a situation has been saved by the assumption on your part of a physical disability, whether of hearing or of vision, which deceives no man, but which at the same time wins the approbation of the wisest among us.
No man in this House who was a Member of Parliament at the time when you were first elected Speaker will ever forget the words which you uttered on your election, when you told us that the House will please take you as you are. They were words which, as no words of studied eloquence could have done, touched our hearts, and they touched them because of the humanity in them. It is your human qualities that make you so pre-eminently fitted to direct this very human assembly, and I venture to assert that it will not be long before the newest Member among us will realise at the same time the peculiar greatness of the office of Speaker of the House of Commons and the peculiar fitness, Sir, which is yours to hold that office, which you have adorned now in this, the third, Parliament, and which we hope you may continue to adorn for the normal spell of a Speaker's life.
Mr. J. RAMSAY MacDONALD
Mr. Speaker-Elect.—I rise with the very greatest pleasure to join with my right hon. Friend in congratulating you upon your re-election. When I listened to, if I may be allowed to say so, the very charming and most delightful speech by which your re-election was proposed by the hon. and learned Member for Bassetlaw (Sir E. Hume-Williams), there was just a slight fear that came into my mind, that you would play your card, and describe to us what was an ideal House of Commons. I will help you, if I may, not by trying to describe it, but by suggesting the idea to hon. Members on both sides of the House, because I am sure that if that be present in their minds they will understand the 14 tremendously difficult task which a human House of Commons presents to a very human Speaker.
We are not taking you to-day on trust, Sir. This is the third time, as my right hon. Friend has reminded us, that you have presided over Parliament. Those of us who have sat under you can most heartily commend you to the new Members. We hope that they will take you on trust, on our recommendation, because we know that that trust will be very speedily transformed into a much better trust, based upon their experience of you as the Speaker of this House. You have not only upheld the very great dignity of this House—an essential thing for the life of this House—but you have also caught up the essential traditions of your office, first of all, that you shall be absolutely independent in your decisions; then, that the privileges of this House shall be maintained; and, finally, that the rights of the individual Members a the House shall always be safeguarded, and held in trust by you.
Those duties, if I might say so, you have fulfilled with extraordinary distinction. There is another one—one that is not written in the books, but one which, I am sure, every Member of this House highly values. It is this, that the Speaker is the friend and the counsellor of every individual Member of the House. At some time or other—some very long ago, some only to-day—we have been new Members. We have walked into this House in awe, and with great expectation—the expectation of the unknown. We have tried our best to begin to walk warily through the very intricate mazes of the Orders, the Regulations and the Procedure of this assembly; and again and again we have almost been broken-hearted in that maze. But, Sir, there has been a Speaker in that Chair. I remember your predecessor, Mr. Lowther, whose kindly hand, always outstretched to aid us, brought us round many a difficult corner, and helped us over many a high stile. You picked up that tradition of paternal custodianship of every one of the 600 Members of this House. I, therefore, very heartily join my right hon. Friend, and, on behalf of my friends here, offer you our humble and loyal support, and hope that Godspeed may attend you in the fulfilment of your very arduous and distinguished duties.
Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
Mr. Speaker-Elect, I regret that, owing to illness, my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Liberal party is unable to be present to take part in this important ceremony, but, on his behalf, as well as on behalf of all the Liberal Members of this House, I join the chorus of congratulation upon your election to that exalted position. As my hon. Friend has just reminded the House, this is the third time you have been called to the Chair, and when one recollects the difficulties with which you have been confronted, the fact that you have been chosen three times to occupy the position is in itself an added cause for congratulation.
I may say that I am a very old Member of this House. This, I think, is the 34th year of my membership. I remember four Speakers, and my experience and observation during those years have made me come more and more to the conclusion that the success of democratic government depends as much upon the holder of your high office as upon any office in the State. The authority and the influence of the Chair, as my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has told us in eloquent terms, are essential to the success of representative institutions. Without them, this Assembly would be reduced to chaos, to confusion and to distraction, and representative institutions themselves would thus be discredited. It is, therefore, important that the occupant of the Chair should have a combination of very care and exceptional qualities. Experience, judgment, tact, temper, courage—I agree with my right hon. Friend that that is vital—and also stern impartiality. The occupant of the Chair, whatever his personal proclivities may be, must be no respecter either of persons or of parties. He has to secure a fair hearing for every point of view, however unpopular, and for every exponent of those points of view, however unattractive he may be. That is why the occupancy of the Chair is a matter of such vital moment to democratic institutions at a time when they are being challenged throughout the world, and it is because we confidently expect, trust and believe that you will display those qualities, that all sections of the House have joined in your election, and join in congratulating you upon the choice.
§ Mr. T. P. O'CONNOR
Mr. Speaker-Elect, many of my friends have urged upon me that, holding the position of the oldest Member of the House, having been 43 years a Member of it, in my 12th Parliament, I might with appropriateness add a word to those which have been spoken by more important men. I just wish to say that I was an old Member of the Parliament when you, Sir, first entered the House, 23 years ago. I do not claim to have trundled your Parliamentary perambulator, but certainly I was a very sympathetic observer of your acts and words as a young Member of Parliament, and if, in the history of this House, there could be one example outstanding more than another of the good apprentice of the House of Commons, it is in your person. At a very early moment after your election to the House you took the humblest work, the greatest drudgery, the work which Members will discover in time is important very often in inverse proportion to its attention in the Press or its attraction to the limelight. You took all that great work upon your hands, and, before you reached the high office you now occupy, you had prepared yourself for it by years of unmitigated, tireless, ceaseless drudgery in the service of the House.
One word only in conclusion. I must be brief, because an intimation has been conveyed to me that the Prime Minister is anxious to disappear—[Laughter]—I understand that he wishes to catch a train. Far be it from me to delay for a moment that desirable consummation. Therefore, I wind up with this sentence. I would say to every Member of the House, young and old, that if he wants to cultivate—and we all ought to cultivate—a calm spirit, good humour and good feeling in spite of difficulties, no Member of the House can find a better exemplar of these saving virtues than in the personality, the character and conduct of the Speaker.
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."—[The Prime Minister.]
§ Mr. SPEAKER-ELECT thereupon put the Question, which, being agreed to, the House adjourned accordingly until Tomorrow, and Mr. SPEAKER-ELECT went away without the Mace before him.
§ House adjourned at one minute before Four o'Clock till To-morrow (Wednesday) at a Quarter before Three o'Clock.