HC Deb 16 July 1968 vol 768 cc1383-4

10.0 p.m.

The Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Fred Peart)

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 gift of a Clerk's Table and Chairs and a Chair for the Serjeant at Arms to the Guyana National Assembly and assuring Her Majesty that this House will make good the expenses attending the same. This gift to Guyana follows the now established tradition of the House, which we are glad to honour, of sending a gift to the legislature of a Commonwealth country to mark that country's attainment of independence within the Commonwealth. As Leader of the House, I speak tonight with great affection for Guyana, because I was in that country last year as Minister of Agriculture and met Guyana's distinguished Prime Minister, his Ministers and many people there. I had an opportunity of seeing the country. I have great admiration for what is being done there and I have much personal affection for its people, many of whom I met when I had the honour of being a guest in their country.

The House may recall that on 26th May, 1966, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, in reply to a Question, informed the House that Her Majesty's Government would propose that the House should offer an independence gift to the Guyana National Assembly. The Parliamentary authorities in Guyana, whose wishes were naturally consulted, welcomed these proposals, and Parliamentary furniture consisting of a Clerk's table, three Clerk's chairs, and a chair for the Serjeant at Arms have been designed and manufactured. For the convenience of hon. Members, it is hoped that the furniture will be on display in the House between 22nd and 26th July.

If the House accepts the Motion, as I feel sure it will, arrangements will be made for a small delegation from the House to present the gift. We understand that the presentation could conveniently be made during the third week in October. I therefore commend the Motion to the House in the expectation that it will be accepted as an expression of our friendship and goodwill towards the National Assembly of Guyana.

Question put and agreed to.

To be presented by Privy Councillors or Members of Her Majesty's Household.

Forward to