§ Mr. Speaker
I have to acquaint the House that I have received a letter from the Clerk of the House of Commons in the following terms:
§ I have the honour to inform you that I desire, as from the 31st December, to resign 954 the patent of Clerk of the House of Commons which I have been privileged to hold for the past seven and a half years. Although my acknowledgements must in many cases be retrospective, I cannot lay down my office without expressing to you, Sir, my gratitude for the support and encouragement so generously given to me by yourself, your three immediate predecessors below whom I sat at the Table, and by all the other occupants of the Chair during this period.
§ To the Members of all parties in the twelve Parliaments which I have known, and to my colleagues past and present of all ranks and grades in the service of the House, I tender my warmest thanks for the many marks of courtesy, kindness and consideration which they have shown me.
§ I shall never forget the warm welcome which, as a servant of the House of Commons, I received from the Members and officials of many Parliaments of the Commonwealth.
§ After forty-two years of which nearly twenty-five have been spent at the Table, it is with great regret that I leave the service of the House, but I am proud that my working life has been passed in the service of parliamentary democracy of which the House of Commons stands as model to the world.
§ I am, Sir,
§ Your obedient servant,
§ EDWARD FELLOWES."
§ The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. Iain Macleod)
I am sure that all of us will have heard with sincere regret of the decision of the Clerk of the House. I shall not add anything more now, because there will be an opportunity of expressing our thanks to him tomorrow, when a Motion will come before the House.