HC Deb 30 January 1962 vol 652 cc904-6
Sir John Vaughan-Morgan (Reigate)

On 19th December, 1961, the House gave leave of absence to a delegation to present a Mace as a gift from this House of Commons to the House of Representatives of Sierra Leone, as directed by Her Majesty the Queen. The delegation comprised the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths), my hon. Friend the Member for Hereford (Mr. Gibson-Watt), the hon. Member for Huddersfield, West (Mr. Wade) and myself. We were accompanied by Mr. Hugh Farmer, an Officer of this House, and I know that we were all most grateful far his help and advice.

Accordingly, on 9th January, the Mace was presented, after speeches had been made by the right hon. Member for Llanelly and myself. The following Resolution was then moved by the Prime Minister, the right hon. Sir Milton Margai, seconded by the Leader of the House, the hon. Paramount Chief Koker, and passed unanimously: This House accepts with sincere thanks the generous gift of a Mace from the United Kingdom House of Commons to mark Sierra Leone's attainment of Independence in April, 1961, and to serve as a visible symbol of those ties of goodwill which have existed between this Legislature and the Mother of Parliaments in the United Kingdom and as a constant reminder of those high ideals of Parliamentary government and the democratic way of life in which this Legislature has been nurtured over the years. I hope that, in accordance with precedent, Mr. Speaker, you will instruct that that Resolution be recorded in the Journal of this House.

It was a unique and memorable occasion and the gift of a Mace, bearing its royal symbols, was made the more appropriate since, only a few weeks before, Her Majesty, as Queen of Sierra Leone, had presided over her Parliament there.

The delegation were the guests for a week of the Government and people of Sierra Leone. I speak for us all when I say how grateful we are for the kindness and hospitality shown to us and for the opportunities we were afforded to see something of that beautiful country and to appreciate the many problems which it faces now and for the future.

We return with a deep affection for this small new nation in the Commonwealth whose ties with us are so close and so historic, confident, also, that there is no other country in Africa where Parliamentary government in the Westminster tradition has a better chance of flourishing.

Hon. Members

Hear, hear.

Mr. Speaker

In accordance with what I am sure are the wishes of the House, I shall cause the Resolution referred to by the right hon. Gentleman to be recorded in the Journal.