HC Deb 31 October 1951 vol 493 cc2-24
Sir Hugh O'Neill (Antrim, North)

stood up, and addressing himself to the Clerk of the House (who, standing up, pointed to him and then sat down) said: Sir Frederic Metcalfe, in accordance with the Gracious Message which we have received from the Throne, I beg to move, That the right hon. William Shepherd Morrison do take the Chair of this House as Speaker. This is the fourth occasion on which I have been present at the first election of a new Speaker—Mr. Speaker Whitley, Mr. Speaker FitzRoy, Mr. Speaker Clifton Brown, and the present occasion. All those that I have mentioned, and also Mr. Speaker Lowther before, had previously occupied the Chair either as Chairman or Deputy-Chairman of Ways and Means. This had the advantage that the House had experience of their conduct and capacity in the Chair. Nevertheless, it does not always happen to be the case that a good Chairman of Committees is necessarily a good Speaker. Perhaps it is a good thing that the candidate I am proposing breaks with that custom.

The present occasion makes another difference as compared with the election of most Speakers in recent times in that it comes at the beginning of a new Parliament. Generally Mr. Speaker retires during the course of the Parliament. This gives more time for consideration as to who should be his successor, which is impossible just before a General Election, because we do not know who is going to be re-elected, who is going to fall by the way or which party will be in a majority. It also means, in the case of the last Speaker, that we have been denied the usual courtesies of farewell; but I imagine there may be another opportunity for that later on. I am sure the House will wish Colonel Clifton Brown all good fortune and good luck in his retirement.

The election of a new Speaker is one of the most important things which this House ever has to undertake, because so much depends upon the selection of the right man. Whether the House is an orderly assembly or a bear garden; whether its proceedings are businesslike and efficient or dilatory and inefficient; and whether its ancient traditions are maintained or are allowed to deteriorate depend on the personality of Mr. Speaker. In the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. W. S. Morrison) I hope and genuinely believe that we have a man who possesses the right qualities.

May I tell the House what I conceive to be those qualities? First and foremost, he must be absolutely impartial. That is the greatest fundamental of all. From the moment that he takes his place in the Chair he must divorce all party affiliations and party prejudices from his mind; thenceforward he is the servant of no party, but the servant only of the whole House. He must give a fair crack of the whip to all sections of the House without fear, favour or affection. He must give due consideration to minorities in the House. He must be of a calm and equitable temperament, not easily flurried, and possessing a super-abundance of patience. In this respect I do not think the present Prime Minister would have made a good Speaker, nor perhaps would the late Foreign Secretary. On the other hand, the late Prime Minister might have made a very good Speaker.

Mr. Speaker must have a complete knowledge of the practice and procedure of the House. My right hon. Friend, whose election I am now putting forward, has never been a member of the Chairmen's Panel or made a special study of procedure, but he will very soon learn it. But a Speaker must never become too procedure-minded. I can imagine no worse Speaker than one who was so absorbed and wrapped up in the intricacies of Parliamentary procedure that he forgot the wider aspects of his office. Mr. Speaker must have a strong sense of justice, and, above all, he must be firm. He must be able to make up his mind and stick to it. He should have, if possible, a good presence and, by no means unimportant, a good voice. He should also have a sense of humour. This is a formidable catalogue of qualities and I think my right hon. Friend possesses most of them.

He has other attributes which I personally think are important. First of all, he is a Scotsman. I have always had an admiration for the Scottish race, mainly perhaps because I am half Scottish myself, and also because the Ulster people, to whom I belong, have always had the closest associations with their neighbours across the narrow seas. The Speakership is, I think, the only high office which has not in recent years been held by a Scotsman. Perhaps it is about time that that omission was rectified. Not only is my right hon. Friend a Scotsman, but he hails from the Western Isles, which I know well and for whose people I have great admiration. Then he is a lawyer. Although none of the last four Speakers have been legal men, there is no doubt that a legal training provides many of the qualities necessary for the Speakership. At any rate, it is time the law had a look in.

On personal grounds I am glad that my right hon. Friend is going forward. I have known him for many years in the House. I succeeded him as Chairman of the Conservative Private Members (1922) Committee. I have always valued his friendship, and I believe I have had his confidence. I am sure that Members in all quarters of the House will wish him well should he be elected. I do not think he will find the House difficult to manage. It is an infinitely more orderly assembly than it used to be, and in recent years Speakers have had much easier times than was the case a generation or so ago. In fact, I think the last two Parliaments have been about the best behaved in my recollection. It is a long time since a Member has been suspended, and I do not know how long it is since Mr. Speaker had to suspend a Sitting through grave disorder arising.

These things used to be fairly common in the days of the Irish Nationalist Party, which contained such members as Joseph Devlin and Jeremiah M'Veigh, and later the Members representing the Clydeside area, like James Maxton or George Buchanan, both of whom subsequently became highly respected and orderly Members of the House. This House of Commons has an extraordinarily mellowing influence on even the most fiery temperament, which is due largely to its traditions, its courtesies and its ceremonies, like the ceremonies of bowing to the Chair, Black Rod knocking at the Door, the introduction of new Members during a Session, and the bringing of a Message from the King. New Members may sometimes feel inclined to scoff at these things as unnecessary relics of the past, but soon the atmosphere of the old place gets hold of them and they realise how much these customs mean in the general make-up of this ancient assembly.

Our rights, our traditions, our liberties and our ceremonials all find their embodiment in the personality of Mr. Speaker, He is one of us and part of us, and his authority can only rest on the support and good will of the House as a whole. I am sure that, if my right hon. Friend is elected Speaker today he will find that he will have that support, and that he will preside over our deliberations in the best traditions of those who have gone before.

Sir Ralph Glyn (Abingdon)

I beg to second the Motion moved by my right hon. Friend.

I think this is probably the first occasion upon which any hon. Member of this assembly has been able to express to his colleagues in the House something of his experience when occupying the position of Speaker of the Northern Ireland Parliament. What I should like to try to impress upon hon. and right hon. Gentlemen is that I first came into this House in 1918, when Mr. Speaker Lowther occupied the Chair, and, like my right hon. Friend the Member for Antrim, North (Sir H. O'Neill), I have had the experience of four occasions, including this, when the House has had to decide who will occupy the Chair.

I hope that hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite will bear with me for a moment when I say that I think it is very important on this occasion that the House of Commons as a whole should realise that, quite apart from previous claims of any individual, it is the business of the House of Commons itself, from among its Members, to select a person whom they believe will occupy the Chair with distinction and without any partiality on one side or another.

I have known my right hon. Friend the Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. W. S. Morrison) for a very great many years. He has a constituency next to mine; I march with him. It may be within the recollection of some hon. Members who have had the advantage of knowing the upper reaches of the Thames that there is a place called Lechlade, one of the most beautiful spots in England; at the uppermost lock of the Thames Conservancy there is St. John's Bridge which crosses the river, where those who fish stay at the Trout Inn; you find there, at St. John's Bridge, the junction between Gloucestershire and Berkshire. That is the connection that I have with my right hon. Friend. He went there as Member, succeeding a very remarkable predecessor, whom I also knew, who was a great friend of agriculture, and with whom I sat in the House.

I ask hon. Members to realise that on this occasion we must think of the best person we can possibly have, and I am quite certain in my mind, in rising to second this Motion, that the right hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury should have the full consideration of the House. I say that for these reasons. He has been in four or five different Ministries, but I think that one of the greatest claims he has to fame is that, after having been in this House for only two years, he was selected by his friends in our party to occupy a very prominent position in party politics as chairman of a Private Members' Committee of our party. Now hon. Members know perfectly well that none of us, no matter to what party we belong, pick out somebody after so short a service in the House unless he possesses very special characteristics, which my right hon. Friend undoubtedly does.

The other thing I wish to say is a personal thing. I do not pretend to be what is called a very good party man, but in this I rather follow the previous prac- tice of my right hon. Friend the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill). I believe it is very important in this House that hon. Members should have a certain amount of independence of view. I believe that if my right hon. Friend, whose candidature I now second, occupied the Chair he would not only be the protector of minorities, but he would also be the friend of those who, under circumstances of great personal difficulty and stress, find that their consciences make it necessary for them not always to follow the lead of their party. To my mind that is a matter of very great importance when we come to select somebody to occupy the Chair.

Another matter is that my right hon. Friend is not only a Scotsman, as my right hon. Friend who moved the Motion said, but something far better. He is a Highlander; he comes from Argyll; and I think it is high time that there was an occupant of the Chair from North of the Border. I think that even the Scottish Nationalists would be quite pleased to see somebody from Argyll, one of their Scottish race, occupying the Chair.

Finally, I hope very much that in the first speeches that are made in this House in this new Parliament we shall try to see whether we cannot agree on the individual who shall preside over our deliberations during what must be a very critical time, not only at home but abroad. In seconding this Motion I beg hon. Members to realise that the office of Speaker of this House is not only one of the most honourable, dignified and onerous positions in the world, but it stands for much in the building up of Parliamentary institutions throughout the whole British Commonwealth: and I believe we all desire to see Parliament stand in a more superior position in the estimation of our people than even the Executive.

So much turns on the respect the peoples have for Parliamentary institutions, and especially this Parliament at Westminster, and I would never support the candidature of anybody whom I did not believe would fulfil to the full that onerous position, and bring dignity to the proceedings of this House, with the knowledge which comes from his wide experience to help us in our deliberations.

Mr. S. P. Viant (Willesden, West)

then stood up, and addressing himself to the Clerk, moved, That Major the right hon. James Milner do take the Chair of this House as Speaker.' In moving this Motion I am exercising the right of every Member of this assembly. I quite appreciate all that has been said regarding the importance of the position of Speaker of this House, and it is just because I appreciate the importance of that position that I am prompted to move this Motion this afternoon, because of the experience Major Milner has had in presiding over this House. I move this Motion with the utmost confidence, and I am going to place on record a few of his qualifications. For the purpose of greater accuracy I have put them on paper.

The right hon. and gallant Gentleman whose name I beg to submit for the judgment of the House has been a Member for a continuous period of 22 years. He has taken a full part in all our activities from the first day he entered the House, and I think he may be fairly termed "a House of Commons man." Major Milner became a Member of the Chairmen's Panel in 1935. In 1943, during the Coalition Government, he was elected Deputy-Chairman of Ways and Means, and on the lamented death of Mr. Speaker FitzRoy presided over our proceedings. He has been apprenticed to the Chair for some 16 years.

I would remind the House that on many occasions my right hon. and gallant Gentleman has occupied Mr. Speaker's Chair for several days, and on one occasion for as long as a fortnight during the illness of the former Mr. Speaker. He was Acting Chairman of the Defence Committee during the war to, I believe, the full satisfaction of the House. He has been chairman of two committees for revising the whole of the Standing Orders of both Public and Private Business and has, I say without hesitation, far and away the greatest experience in the Chair of any present Member of this House.

He has at all times been approachable and helpful to Members in all parts of the House. The position of Deputy-Speaker is a difficult one in all circumstances. He has all the disadvantages of holding an office which demands abstention from party politics, with none of the traditional advantages of the Speaker. The position has been especially difficult in recent months owing to the indisposition of Mr. Speaker Clifton Brown, which has in many ways put an additional strain upon the Chairman and his Deputy, who were both most loyal to the former Speaker.

I would venture to stress the independence and impartiality of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman, which has never been in doubt, or in question. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] No. Indeed, I would say frankly that there have been times when we who are now on this side of the House thought that the right hon. and gallant Gentleman favoured the Opposition. This is the third occasion upon which I have been present in the House when a Speaker has been elected, but in my experience there always has been that feeling in regard to a Speaker elected from one's own side. It is perhaps the best proof of impartiality.

It will be remembered that the right hon. and gallant Member represented this House with credit in journeying to Ceylon and presenting a Speaker's Chair and Mace to their Parliament. He has always been most punctilious in making reports and recommendations to the House. I would especially mention his initiation of the new procedure on the Budget Resolutions, when copies are passed round and only the headings read. The result of that 'has been that a tedious process which used to take 15 or 20 minutes of reading involved Resolutions now takes less than five minutes. That was a step which, while retaining the traditional method of taking each Resolution separately, was, I think it will be agreed, a most acceptable and convenient innovation.

The right hon. and gallant Gentleman had a gallant war record, being honoured with the Military Cross and Bar. He has the presence, the dignity and the voice which are so desirable in a Speaker, and I respectfully submit that he is well fitted by experience and service to the House for the position to which, I hope, hon. Members will call him.

Mr. David Logan (Liverpool, Scotland Division)

Sir Frederic Metcalfe, I beg to second the Motion.

In doing so. I want to emphasise that the election of a Speaker is a matter for the individual decision of Members of this House. It would be regrettable if it became purely a party matter. I would add to the qualities of Major Milner, so well set out by my hon. Friend, those of courtesy, patience and firmness. I have never known the right hon. Gentleman to use a discourteous or impatient phrase during my 20 years in this august assembly, and I might mention that I am the oldest Member in the House now in years of age.

Whatever has been the right hon. and gallant Gentleman's personal feelings, they have been subordinated to his duty to the House. His patience throughout the many debates, often lasting far into the night, must have commended him to the attention of Members. I believe this House will reflect credit on itself in electing the right hon. and gallant Gentleman, who has served us so well in the past, and that, in turn, the right hon. and gallant Gentleman will justify the confidence which I hope the House will now repose in him.

Mr. W. S. Morrison (Cirencester and Tewkesbury)

Sir Frederic Metcalfe, in accordance with ancient custom and usage, I beg to submit myself to the will of the House. I am afraid that at the moment this voice which we were told is so important a qualification is temporarily a little out of action. I am sure that the whole House will sympathise with me in undergoing this moving experience of being nominated for the Chair, especially when it was done by two such old friends as proposed and seconded me today.

For my part, I have been in this House now 22 years, and I will say that the older I get the more I become filled with admiration and affection for this great institution. That is not only because in that time I have made many friends of all parties. but because there is in this great House of Commons something that transcends the sum of the individuals composing it at any time. Its long history has made it stand and shine like a symbol of freedom, buttressed by order, to the whole world.

For my own part, I would only say that if I am called to this duty I shall consider it a noble task to keep alive those traditions of impartiality, freedom and order which have made this House what it is. I beg to submit myself to the House.

Major James Milner (Leeds, South-East)

Sir Frederic Metcalfe, in humbly submitting myself to the will of the House, I must first thank my hon. Friend the Member for Willesden, West (Mr. Viant) and my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Scotland (Mr. Logan) for the all-too-generous compliments they have paid me. The fact that they are both old and valued friends and colleagues, who, in pursuance of my duty, I have often had to disappoint, makes me all the more sensible of the kindness they have done me.

As hon. Members know, it is not the custom on these comparatively rare occasions for the candidate to make a long speech. In a few words I would only say that I give place to no one in my respect for the dignity and traditions of the House. Indeed, I have a deep and abiding affection for them. For 22 years this House has very largely been my home, especially during the last 8½ years when I have had the honour of occupying the position of Chairman of Ways and Means. They have been difficult years in many ways, and I thank hon. Members in all parts of the House for the consideration they have afforded me during that time.

There is one other claim which I hope I may make without immodesty. If I may use as my own the words of Mr. Speaker Onslow, I would say: I have loved independency and pursued it. I have kept firm to my original principles and upon conscience have never deviated from them to serve any party cause whatsoever. I recognise the great responsibility resting upon me. If the House should think me worthy of the high honour which it is in the power of the House to confer, it would be my bounden duty to uphold those principles.

The King's Government must be carried on. Both majorities and minorities have their rights, and the Speaker is the servant of the House alone. I should hope to he not only an impartial occupant of the Chair but a personal friend of every Member. Indeed, if the House thought right to elect me, I could only serve the House and be sustained in the Office if I had the respect, the confidence and the good will of Members in all parts of the House. It is in the hope and belief that if I were elected I should have that good will and confidence that in all humility I submit myself to the will of the House.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Winston Churchill)

The House has its choice to make between two greatly respected Members who have long lived their life with us here. I agree with all that has been said that Members should feel that the election of a Speaker arises, as it were, from the whole body of opinion in the House, and it is unfortunate for Parliamentary institutions if it should be the result of a sharp division of opinion. There have been cases when that has occurred, but generally it has been possible to settle these matters by private discussion between parties on both sides, and also very often, in the first instance, by discussion through what I trust we may continue to call the usual channels.

On the night of the 26th of this month, I received the King's Commission to form a Government. Parliament was arranged to meet, according to the plans put forward by the late Administration, today, the 31st, and to be opened for the Debate on the Address on 6th November. I do not wish myself to alter these plans and to put off the meeting of Parliament because I think there are many important things happening in the world, and I am very anxious to feel that the House of Commons exercises its full authority and gives its full support at every step and every stage in the business which it is appropriate to bring before it.

When I realised how urgent it was that the Speaker should be chosen today, on the evening of the 28th—that was less than 48 hours after I had this responsibility laid upon my shoulders—I wrote to the late Prime Minister the following letter: "MY DEAR ATTLEE, When the House meets on Wednesday, our first business will be to elect a Speaker. We have two ideas in our mind on neither of which have the personages concerned been consulted—Mr. W. S. Morrison or Mr. Hopkin Morris. I will not expatiate upon their virtues because I think the matter might, in the first instance, be discussed through the usual channels. Mr. Buchan-Hepburn will to-morrow be appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury. There is no reason, however, why informal talks should not be begun between him and Mr. Whiteley, or whoever you select. Reciprocating your courtesy in the late Parliament, we should be very glad to offer the Deputy-Chairman of Committees to your party. This might also be a matter for discussion, and it would perhaps be effective upon an agreement reached upon the Speakership. Anthony Eden, as Leader of the House, would be very glad to see you on Monday or Tuesday some time if you would like a talk." [Interruption.] I do not think I was wrong so far in what has happened. I quite appreciate all the difficulties that lie on the other side. In a free, democratic assembly and in parties in which there are great elements of separate and individual opinions, it is not always possible to produce machinelike, drilled results, and it ought not to be so.

The present Leader of the Opposition said on Monday, 29th October, that he would like to see the right hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Eden) and the Chief Whip about the Speaker. A meeting took place at No. 10, and there were also present the right hon. Member for Lewisham, South (Mr. H. Morrison) and the right hon. Member for Blaydon (Mr. Whiteley), the Opposition Chief Whip. I nearly called him the Patronage Secretary; I am sorry how these things stick in one's mind. The present Leader of the Opposition and his friends expressed a preference for the right hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. W. S. Morrison)—[Interruption]—as between the two names, and agreed to undertake the Deputy-Chairmanship. They suggested the name of the hon. Member for Nuneaton (Mr. Bowles).

Later that evening it was understood by us—but perhaps a wrong impression was gathered—that they also agreed to second the election of the right hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury as Speaker. That may have been a wrong impression on our part. At any rate, the question of the right hon. and gallant Member for Leeds, South-East (Major Milner), was raised by my right hon. Friend the Member for Warwick and Leamington, on the general issue of a Labour Speaker. My right hon. Friend made it clear that if the suggestion were pursued, he did not know whether it would be acceptable to the Conservative Party, who had a majority. The idea was not, however, pressed at all. That is the account of the discussions which took place on 29th October.

I was informed of these, and later in the evening the understanding was confirmed between the two Chief Whips. Accordingly, I asked my right hon. Friend the Member for Cirencester and Tewkes- bury whether he would allow his name to be submitted to the House for its judgment on the subject. After some consideration he told me that he would. I considered myself bound then.

On Tuesday, 30th October, in the morning, the late Patronage Secretary sent a message to the Government Chief Whip to say that the Liaison Committee, which is a body in the party opposite, felt that they should have a Labour Speaker and he asked for the consideration of the right hon. and gallant Member for Leeds, South-East. If this could not be agreed, they could not second the election of my right hon. Friend the Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury, nor could they accept the offer of the Deputy-Chairmanship.

Later, the late Patronage Secretary rang again and said that if the name of the hon. and gallant Member for Bute and North Ayrshire (Sir C. MacAndrew) were agreed to, they would give their support, and also might accept the post of Deputy-Chairman; but all this was too late. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why?"] Too late so far as I was concerned, because I had already made my proposal—following the discussions which I have recorded and which I do not think are disputed in any case—to my right hon. Friend the Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury—[An HON. MEMBER: "What proposal?"]—the proposal to submit his name—and he had accepted it. I should certainly not think of going back. That is no way of carrying on, not only the dignity of Parliamentary business, but the decency of private relationships.

Individuals who are Members of this House and who are to be chosen for this position of unique dignity are chosen by the House with the eyes of all the Parliaments in the world directed upon them. If their names are to be hawked about, not merely in the informal party discussions but between the leaders of different parties after quite definite indication had been given and a definite offer has been made—[HON. MEMBERS: "What offer?"]—the offer to submit his name—I am sure that there is a very considerable disparity between the way in which we manage our affairs and the spirit in which this Parliament has to fulfil its duties.

We have heard the names of the two candidates who have been put forward. There have been divisions before on this matter, and there is surely no reason to have ill-feeling about it. If I had been told earlier, I very likely might have taken a different course, but having made an offer I think it would be very improper to do so now. I feel bound to urge the House most earnestly to give its support to my right hon. Friend the Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury, and I trust that he will be elected to occupy the Chair.

Mr. C. R. Attlee (Walthamstow, West)

I should have preferred that we should have gone at once to a Division after the names of the two Members had been moved and seconded, because I do not think, it is very useful to discuss the informal talks, which are bound to happen. I was grateful to the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister for what he wrote, and I was glad, naturally, to see the right hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Eden) and the Chief Whip, but I made it abundantly clear that I had had no opportunity of consulting with anybody. We discussed the matter informally.

I expressed the opinion that there was no objection whatever on our part to the right hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. W. S. Morrison) on personal grounds. We put forward the point that we considered that my right hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Leeds, South-East (Major Milner), by his long experience, was a suitable man to occupy the Chair, and we asked that his name should be considered as well. We did also mention the hon. and gallant Member for Bute and North Ayrshire (Sir C. MacAndrew) because he has also occupied the Chair with distinction.

I understood that on the other side of the House they were considering these names. I remember thinking to myself: "The three Ms." The right hon. Gentleman decided that he preferred the right hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury. I did not decide on behalf of anybody. It is essentially a House of Commons matter. I took what soundings I could, but the time was rather short. We subsequently discussed the matter fully on this side. We think there is a great advantage in having someone who has already occupied the Chair and has great experience. Without impunging in the slightest degree the qualities of the right hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury, who is a friend of all of us, we also considered that there was another previous occupant of the Chair who also had those qualities.

The best thing to do is to proceed to vote on the names submitted to the House. For my part, I consider that my right hon. and gallant Friend, who has occupied the Chair as Chairman of Ways and Means, is eminently qualified to preside over the proceedings of this House.

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Anthony Eden)

I only want to say one sentence. I do not think it is unreasonable that I should do so. I do not propose to say it in any harsh terms. I put a point which I do not think any right hon. Gentleman opposite will dispute. I did not understand at any time in our conversations that there was any preference expressed for my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Bute and North Ayrshire (Sir C. MacAndrew). [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] If I should have so understood I should have so reported. It is fair for my right hon. Friend to say that I did not so report, because I did not so understand the views of right hon. Gentlemen opposite.

Mr. Clement Davies (Montgomery)

I intervene for only two moments. The House is called upon to come to a decision, but there is not one of us who does not feel that this is a very painful decision to have to make between two men for whom we have not only great respect but affection, and whom we have known for a great number of years. We have now heard the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. My suggestion would be: Would it be possible even now, seeing that the matter has to be decided in such a short while, for the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition to reconsider this matter and leave it until tomorrow?

The Question was put by the Clerk, "That the right hon. William Shepherd Morrison do take the Chair of this House as Speaker."

The House divided: Ayes, 318 Noes, 251.

Division No. 1.] AYES [3.45 p.m.
Aitken, W. T. Dugdale, Maj. Sir Thomas (Richmond) Lambert, Hon. G.
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.) Duncan, Capt. J. A. L. Lambton, Viscount
Alport, C. J. M. Duthie, W. S. Lancaster, Col. C. G
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.) Eccles, D. M. Langford-Holt, J. A.
Amory, Heathcoat (Tlverton) Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J. Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Leather, E. H. C.
Arbuthnot, John Erroll, F. J. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford) Fell, A. Legh, P. R. (Petersfield)
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.) Finlay, G. B. Lennox-Boyd, A. T.
Astor, Hon. J. J. (Plymouth, Sutton) Fisher, Nigel Lindsay, Martin
Astor, Hon. W. W. (Bucks, Wycombe) Fletcher, Walter (Bury) Linstead, H. N.
Baker, P. A. D. Fletcher-Cooke, C. Llewellyn, D. T.
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M. Fort, R. Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (King's Norton)
Baldwin, A. E. Foster, John Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.)
Banks, Col. C. Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone) Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)
Barber, A. P. L. Fraser, Sir Ian (Morecambe & Lonsdale) Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.
Barlow, Sir John Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell Longden, Gilbert (Herts, S.W.)
Baxter, A. B. Gage, C. H. Low, A. R. W.
Beamish, Maj. Tufton Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok) Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)
Bell, R. M. (Bucks, S.) Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead) Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)
Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.) Gammans, L. D. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Bennett, Sir Peter (Edgbaston) Garner-Evans, E. H. (Denbigh) Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) George, Rt. Hon. Maj. G. Lloyd McAdden, S. J.
Bennett, William (Woodside) Glyn, Sir Ralph MacAndrew, Col. Sir Charles
Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth) Godber, J. B. McCallum, Major D.
Birch, Nigel Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.
Bishop, F. P. Gough, C. F. H. Macdonald, Sir Peter (I of Wight)
Black, C. W Gower, H. R. McKibbin, A. J.
Boothby, R. J. C. Graham, Sir Fergus McKie, J. H. (Galloway)
Bossom, A. C. Gridley, Sir Arnold Maclay, Hon. John
Bowen, E. R. Grimond, J. Maclean, Fitzroy
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans) MacLeod, Iain (Enfield, W.)
Boyle, Sir Edward Grimston, Robert (Westbury) MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty)
Bracken, Rt. Hon. B. Harden, J. R. E. Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)
Braine, B. R. Hare, Hon. J. H. Macpherson, Maj. Niall (Dumfries)
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.) Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.) Maitland, Cmdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)
Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.) Harris, Reader (Heston) Maitland, P. (Lanark)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H. Harrison, Lt.-Col. J. H. (Eye) Manningham-Buller, R. E.
Brooke, Henry (Hampstead) Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield) Markham, Major S. F.
Brooman-White, R. C. Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.) Marlowe, A. A. H.
Browne, Jack (Govan) Harvie-Watt, Sir George Marples, A. E.
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T. Hay, John Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin)
Bullard, D. G. Heald, Lionel Marshall, Sidney (Sutton)
Bullock, Capt. M. Heath, Edward Maude, Angus
Bullus, Wing Commander E. E. Henderson. John (Cathcart) Maudling, R.
Burden, F. F. A. Hicks-Beach, Maj. W. W. Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.
Butcher, H. W. Higgs, J. M. C. Medlicott, Brig. F.
Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden) Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton) Mellor, Sir John
Carr, Robert (Mitcham) Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe) Milner, Maj. Rt. Hon. J.
Carson, Hon. E. Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Molson, A. H. E.
Cary, Sir R. Hirst, Geoffrey Monckton, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter
Channon, H. Holland-Martin, C. J. Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir Thomas
Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S. Hollis, M. C. Morris, Hopkin (Garmarthen)
Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead) Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich) Morrison, John (Salisbury)
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth,W.) Holt, A. F. Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.
Clyde, J. L. Hope, Lord John Nabarro, G. D. N.
Cole, N. J. Hopkinson, Henry Nicholls, Harmar
Colegate, W. A. Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P. Nicholson, G.
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Horobin, I. M. Nield, Basil (Chester)
Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. Albert Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P.
Cooper-Key, E. M. Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire) Nugent, G. R. H.
Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne) Howard, Greville (St. Ives) Nutting, Anthony
Cranborne, Viscount Hudson, Sir Austin (Lewlsham, N.) Oakshott, H. D.
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Hudson, Rt. Hon. Robert (Southport) Odey, G. W.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.) O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Antrim, N.)
Crouch, R. F. Hulbert, Wing Cmdr. N. J. Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.
Crowder, Capt. John (Finchley) Hurd, A. R. Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood) Hutchinson, Geoffrey (Ilford, N.) Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)
Cuthbert, W. N. Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh, W.) Orr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare)
Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.) Hutchison, Col. James (Scotstoun) Osborne, C.
Davidson, Viscountess Hyde, Lt.-Col. H. M. Partridge, E.
Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery) Hylton-Foster, H. B. H Peake, Rt. Hon. O.
De la Bère, R. Jenkins, R. C. D. (Dulwich) Perkins, W. R. D.
Deedes, W. F. Jennings, R. Peto, Brig. C. H. M.
Digby, S. Wingfield Johnson, E. S. T. (Blackley) Peyton, J. W. W.
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Johnson, Howard (Kemptown) Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA. Jones, A. (Hall Green) Pilkington, Capt. R. A.
Donner, P. W. Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W. Pitman, I. J.
Doughty, C. J. A. Kaberry, D. Powell, J. Enoch
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord Malcolm Keeling, E. H. Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)
Drayson, G. B. Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge) Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.
Profumo, J. D. Speir, R. M. Vane, W. M. F.
Raikes, H. V. Spence H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.) Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Rayner, Brig. R. Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.) Vosper, D. F.
Redmayne, M. Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard Wade, D. W.
Remnant, Hon. P. Stevens, G. P. Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Renton, D. L. M. Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.) Wakefield, Sir Wavell (Marylebone)
Roberts, Maj. Peter (Heeley) Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.) Walker-Smith, D. C.
Robertson, Sir David Stoddart-Scott, Col. M. Ward, Hon. George (Worcester)
Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.) Storey, S. Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Robson-Brown, W. Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.) Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Rodgers, John (Savanoaks) Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray) Watkinson, H. A.
Ropner, Col. L. Studholme, H. G. Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Russell, R. S. Summers, G. S. Wellwood, W.
Ryder, Capt. R. E. D. Sutcliffe, H. White, Baker (Canterbury)
Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne) Williams Charles (Torquay)
Sandys, Rt. Hon. D. Taylor, William (Bradford, N.) Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Savory, Prof. D. L. Tealing, W. Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Schofield, Lt.-Col. W. Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford) Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R. Thompson, Kenneth Pugh (Walton) Wills, G.
Shepherd, William
Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.) Thompson, Ll.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.) Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter Thorneycroft, Rt. Hon. Peter (Monmouth) Wood, Hon. R.
Smithers, Peter (Winchester) Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N. York, C.
Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington) Tilney, John
Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood) Touche, G. C. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Snadden, W.McN. Turton, R. H. Mr. Drewe and
Soames, Capt. C. Tweedsmuir, Lady Brigadier Mackeson.
Adams, Richard Delargy, H. J. Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.
Albu, A. H. Dodds, N. N. Janner, B.
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth) Driberg, T. E. N Jay, D. P. T.
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell) Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Jeger, George (Goole)
Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven) Edelman, M. Jeger, Dr. Santo (St. Pancras, S.)
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Edwards, John (Brighouse) Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford)
Awbery, S. S. Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly) Johnson, James (Rugby)
Ayles W. H. Edwards, W. J. (Stepney) Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)
Balfour, A. Evans, Albert (lslington, S.W.) Jones, David (Hartlepool)
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J. Ewart, R Jones, Jack (Rotherham)
Bartley, P. Fernyhough, E. Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Field, Capt. W. J. Kenyon, C.
Bence, C. R. Fienburgh, W. Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.
Benn, Wedgwood Finch, H. J. King, Dr. H. M.
Beswick, F. Fletcher, Eric (lslington, E.) Kinley, J.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Follick, M. Lee, Frederick (Newton)
Bing, G, H. C. Foot, M. M. Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)
Blackburn, F. Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)
Blenkinsop, A. Freeman, Peter (Newport) Lewis, Arthur
Blyton, W. R. Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N. Lindgren, G. S.
Boardman, H. Gibson, C. W. Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.
Bottomley, A. G. Glanville, James Longden, Fred (Small Heath)
Bowden, H. W. Gooch, E. G. MacColl, J. E.
Bowles, F. G. Gordon-Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C. McGhee, H. G.
Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale) McInnes, J.
Brockway, A. F. Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur (Wakefield) McKay, John (Wallsend)
Brook, Dryden (Halifax) Grey, C. F. McLeavy, F.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)
Brown, Thomas (lnce) Griffiths, William (Exchange) Mainwaring, W. H.
Burke, W. A. Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Burton, Miss F. E. Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley) Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.) Hall, John (Gateshead, W.) Mann, Mrs. Jean
Callaghan, L. J. Hamilton, W. W. Manuel, A. C.
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Hannan, W. Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.
Champion, A. J. Hardy, E. A. Mayhew, C. P.
Chapman, W. D. Hastings, S. Mellish, R. J.
Chetwynd, G. R. Hayman, F. H. Messer, F.
Clunie, J. Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis) Mikardo, Ian
Coldrick, W. Hewitson, Capt. M. Mitchison, G. R.
Collick, P. H. Hobson, G. R Monslow, W.
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Holman, P. Moody, A. S.
Cove, W. G. Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth) Morgan, Dr. H. B. W.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Houghton, A. L. N. D. Morley, R.
Grossman. R. H. S. Hoy, J. H. Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)
Cullen, Mrs. A. Hubbard, T. F. Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)
Daines, P. Hudson, James (Ealing, N.) Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey) Mort, D. L.
Darling, George (Hillsborough) Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Moyle, A.
Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.) Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Mulley, F. W.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.) Hynd, H. (Accrington) Murray, J. D.
Davies, Harold (Leek) Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe) Nally, W.
de Freitas, Geoffrey Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Neal, Harold (Bolsover)
Deer, G. Irving W. J. (Wood Green) Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J.
O'Brien, T. Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir Hartley Wallace, H. W.
Oldfield, W. H. Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E. Watkins, T. E.
Orbach, M. Short, E. W. Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.)
Oswald, T. Shurmer, P. L. E. Weitzman, D.
Padley, W. E. Silverman, Julius (Erdington) Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury) Silverman, Sydney (Nelson) Wells, William (Walsall)
Pannell, T. C. Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill) West, D. G.
Pargiter, G. A. Slater, J. Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John
Paton, J. Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.) White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Pearson, A. Snow, J. W. Whiteley, R. Hon. W.
Peart, T. F. Sorensen, R. W. Wigg, G. E. C.
Plummer, Sir Leslie Sparks, J. A. Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.
Poole, C. C. Steele, T. Wilkins, W. A.
Popplewell, E. Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.) Willey, Frederick (Sunderland, N.)
Porter, G. Strachey, Rt. Hon. J. Willey, Octavius (Cleveland)
Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton) Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall) Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
Price Philips (Gloucestershire, W.) Stross, Dr. Barnett Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Proctor, W.T.
Pryde, D.J. Summerskill, Rt. Hon. Edith Williams, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Don V'll'y)
Pursey, Cmdr. H. Swingler, S. T. Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)
Rankin, J. Sylvester, G. O. Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Reeves, J. Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield) Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Reid, Thomas (Swindon) Taylor, John (West Lothian) Winterbottom, Ian (Nottingham, C.)
Reid, William (Camlachie) Taylor, Robert (Morpeth) Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
Rhodes, H. Thomas, George (Cardiff) Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Robens, Rt. Hon. A. Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin) Wyatt, W. L.
Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Timmons, J. Yates, V. F.
Roberts,Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G. Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.) Tommy, F.
Rogers, George (Kensington, N.) Turner-Samuels, M. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Ross William Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn Mr. Viant and Mr. Logan.
Royle, C. Usborne, H. C.


Mr. Speaker-Elect

(standing on the upper step): Before I take this Chair as Speaker-Elect I beg to thank the House most sincerely for the great honour they have done me in calling me to this position. Contrary to what I expected there has been a disputed election, but I bear no ill will about that and I will endeavour by my conduct in the Chair to gain the support and confidence of those who felt obliged this time to vote in the No Lobby.

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. Speaker-Elect, I have the agreeable and honourable duty of offering you on behalf of the whole House our united congratulations upon your election to the high dignity of Speaker of the House of Commons. We are sure that you will act without regard to party, that you will endeavour to sustain the great traditions of this House, and will during your tenure get from the House in all quarters that measure of support which amid our many difficulties has rightly never been withheld from occupants of the Chair. Sir, I offer you these congratulations.

It is often said that we are the Mother of Parliaments, the cradle of Parliamentary institutions. How we conduct ourselves here, how our affairs are managed, how our Rules are enforced and carried out by the Chair, all form guides and precedents for the actions of Parliaments under many different skies and in many different climates, and I feel that we have a great responsibility here. There is nothing in the life and spirit of the House of Commons which prevents fierce and violent discussion here is the place where passions are allowed to work themselves out. But behind them, around them and above them lies that understanding British way of life and the comprehension which has enabled us to form these institutions. Yet, I am certain that your guidance will enable us to make sure, not only that they do not fall into tatters and rags during this present Parliament, but that they definitely gain strength and authority, and form a continuous example to other countries all over the world.

Mr. Attlee

Mr. Speaker-Elect, I should like to join in the congratulations which we all offer to you from all sides of the House on your election to the Chair. We have had a vote, and although the House has the right to exercise its choice, when its choice has been made that choice becomes Speaker of the whole House. You, Mr. Speaker-Elect, can be sure that you will have the full support of this side of the House in maintaining order and the authority of the Chair. We have known you, Sir, for many years; many of us have personal friendship with you, and I am sure that you are one of those who understands the spirit as well as the letter of Parliamentary procedure.

I have known many people come into this House and think the whole of our procedure was tedious, antiquated and unnecessary. It is something that has been worked out through the years to accomplish what is rarely found in any assembly, and that is a procedure under which the Government has the right to govern but the Opposition is given full rights to criticise and have its say. That depends, not just on the phraseology of regulations, but on the spirit of the whole House, and in particular the spirit of the occupant of the Chair in interpreting the wishes of the House.

Many things have been said today about the qualities that are needed from anyone in the Chair, but above all I think is that sympathetic understanding, and that reaction to atmosphere in this House of Commons. I believe, Sir, that you have those qualities, and I hope that you may have a most successful tenure of your high office.

Mr. Clement Davies

Mr. Speaker-Elect, may I, on behalf of the minority here, also offer you our most sincere congratulations. You are being called to the most dignified office that this House can confer upon any one of its Members. We have every confidence that you will protect not only minorities but every individual. You will be blind to our faults; you will be deaf to our misuse of language; but you will be firm with regard to our conduct. Sir, we wish you every success in your high office.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."— [Mr. Crookshank.]

Mr. SPEAKER-ELECTthereupon 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 Five Minutes past Four o'clock.

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