§ 3.55 p.m.
§ The Prime Minister (Mr. Chamberlain)
I beg to move,That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty to express the deep concern of this House at the loss which His Majesty has sustained by the death of Her Royal Highness the Princess Louise, and to condole with His Majesty on this melancholy occasion; and to assure His Majesty that this House will ever participate with the most affectionate and dutiful attachment in whatever may concern the feelings and interest of His Majesty.I do not think anybody can have read of the passing of Her Royal Highness Princess Louise without a pang of regret at this severing of another link with the historic past. I am sure that the House will desire to offer their condolences to His Majesty in the loss of his oldest relative.
Princess Louise had attained a great age, and all through her long life she maintained those high standards which we always look for from Members of our Royal House. Everyone knows that she made a very happy and popular marriage with a subject of the Queen, and when Lord Lorne was appointed Governor-General of Canada she accompanied him as his wife, and so began a personal connection between the Royal Family and the Dominion of Canada which has been repeated with such happy results only recently by the visit to Canada of Their Majesties the King and Queen.
The late Princess was possessed of remarkable literary and artistic gifts which were expressed in various directions. It was perhaps specially as a sculptress that she was known, and the statute of Queen Victoria which stands to-day in Kensington Gardens will remain an illustration of her admirable gifts in that respect.
Princess Louise had not for some time appeared in public, but she maintained her interest in public affairs right up to the end, and I myself during the last two years received more than one letter from her in her own hand which showed her sympathetic understanding of the international situation and her keen desire that, if possible, war might be averted. I think that on this occasion the House will also recollect that her brother and sister are mourning their loss to-day, and they will desire to express- 498 their sympathy with Their Royal Highnesses Princess Beatrice and the Duke of Connaught.
§ 3.59 p.m.
§ Mr. Attlee
I desire to support the Motion which has been moved by the Prime Minister in such fitting terms and to join, on behalf of the Opposition, in offering our sympathy to His Majesty and the Royal Family on their bereavement. The death of Princess Louise at the venerable age of 91 breaks one of the few connecting links with the middle years of Queen Victoria's reign. Born in 1848 in the year of the Revolution, married in 187o the year of the Franco-Prussian War, she has died in the midst of a disturbed world. Her death takes from us a great and gracious lady. Her marriage to one outside the circle of Royalty was typical of her refusal to be bound by obsolete conventions and outworn theories, and of her forward outlook. One recalls her interest, in days when such interest was not very popular, in the cause of women's rights; recalls her work in the fields of literature and art, and particularly in sculpture. And, too, as the Prime Minister has said, she was the first member of the Royal house to fill an important position in the Overseas Dominions. Canada, with us, will mourn her death.
§ 4.2 p.m.
§ Sir Archibald Sinclair
I rise to associate my hon. Friends and myself with the eloquent tributes that have been paid by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, tributes of respect to the memory of a gracious princess, a lady of strong and distinguished personality, and of sympathy with our bereaved King, whose grief we would humbly share. As a Scotsman it is natural for me to recall that Her Royal Highness was the wife of an eminent Scotsman, who rendered great service to his country, and, as the Prime Minister has said, to the Empire; and to recall also how closely Her Royal Highness identified herself with the interests and welfare of the people among whom she lived in Scotland. Nor will lovers of art in Scotland quickly forget her pictures which adorned many Scottish exhibitions and were as much appreciated in my country as is her beautiful statue, to which the Prime Minister referred, of Queen Victoria, by Londoners who visit Kensington Palace Gardens. The ties 499 which bind the King to his people are so close that it is natural for us to share his joys and his sorrows. So to-day, when bereavement brings sadness into his life and into the life of his family, we join together to tell him that his sorrow finds an echo in our hearts.
§ Question put, and agreed to nemine contradicente.
That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty to express the deep concern of this House at the loss which His Majesty has sustained by the death of Her Royal Highness the Princess Louise, and to condole with His Majesty on this melancholy occasion; and to assure His Majesty that this House will ever participate with the most affectionate and dutiful attachment in whatever may concern the feelings and interest of His Majesty.
§ To be presented by Privy Councillors or Members of His Majesty's Household.