HC Deb 11 March 1959 vol 601 cc1263-4
Mr. A. G. Bottomley (Rochester and Chatham)

Mr. Speaker, a Motion was proposed by the Leader of the House on 4th February that leave of absence be given to the right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Mr. Turton), the hon. Member for Blackpool, South (Sir R. Robinson), the hon. Member for Huddersfield, West (Mr. Wade) and myself to present, on behalf of this House, a Speaker's Chair to the National Assembly of Ghana.

We were accompanied by Mr. T. G. B. Cocks, Second Clerk-Assistant of the House, and we should like to place on record our best thanks to him for his valuable services. Unfortunately, the right hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton was taken ill in Ghana and is still absent from the House. I am sure that we send him our sympathy and regret that he is not able to do this pleasant duty of reporting back this afternoon.

After speeches by the right hon. Member and myself, the Prime Minister of Ghana replied. We then presented the Chair to the National Assembly of Ghana. The programme was carried out in conformity with the arrangements previously made, except for one incident. Towards the end of the ceremony, the Prime Minister and some of his colleagues left the Government benches and placed the Speaker's Chair in position. They then gently hoisted the Speaker into the Chair.

During our visit we were shown every courtesy and kindness and we take this opportunity of expressing our thanks to all in Ghana who showed that kindness to us. It was most pleasing to see Africans and Europeans working together in amity and complete trust. There was no sign at all of racialism. I hope that this is a happy augury for the future of the whole of Africa.

The Ghana National Assembly, upon the Motion of the Prime Minister, seconded by an Independent Member, carried unanimously the following Resolution: We, the Speaker and Members of the National Assembly of Ghana in Parliament assembled, express our most sincere thanks to the Commons House of the Parliament of the United Kingdom for the Speaker's Chair which it has presented to this House. I hope that you, Mr. Speaker, in accordance with precedent, will give the necessary instructions for this Resolution to appear in the Journals of the House.

Hon. Members

Hear, hear.

Mr. Speaker

I will give those instructions.