HC Deb 17 July 1963 vol 681 cc681-2

Considered in Committee.


10.40 p.m.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. Iain Macleod)

I beg to move. That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that Her Majesty will give directions that there be presented, on behalf of this House, a Speaker's Chair to the Malayan House of Representatives, and assuring Her Majesty that this House will make good the expenses attending the same. There are only two or three points that it would be right for me to make in recommending the Motion which, I am confident, the Committee will be willing to accept. First, it is now an established and happy tradition that we send gifts from the House of Commons to other Legislatures within the Commonwealth. This is particularly appropriate since we axe surrounded by gifts that they have sent to us.

I should mention one unusual feature about this gift. It has, for a reason which I will briefly explain, taken a long time. Indeed, it was in 1957 that the then Leader of the House, when replying to the late Mr. Hugh Gaitskell, made the original proposal. The reason is that our friends in Malaya wished the Chair to harmonise with their new Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur and they asked us to withhold a decision on the Chair until they could visualise exactly what was wanted. Earlier this year they told us that they would now welcome this gift. It has been made. I hope that it will be displayed within the Palace of Westminster during next week.

The other point is that it is now presented in rather different circumstances because it will arrive shortly after the formation of the Federation of Malaysia. The House of Representatives of Malaya will by then have become the House of Representatives of Malaysia and the Chair will be used by the Speaker of that House. I should add that the question of gifts to mark the inauguration of Malaysia is a separate matter which is under consideration.

If the Committee accepts the Motion we pledge ourselves to honour the necessary Estimate and, in accordance with our custom, arrangements will be made by Mr. Speaker for a small Parliamentary delegation to present this gift with the best wishes of the House of Commons at a convenient time.

Mr. Kenneth Robinson (St. Pancras, North)

Having recently been a member of a small delegation which made a presentation to the Legislature in Cyprus from this House, I am aware of how much these gifts mean to these Assemblies. I would, therefore, like to associate my right hon. and hon. Friends with the Motion moved by the Leader of the House and with the sentiments he has expressed.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolution to be reported.

Report to be received Tomorrow.