HC Deb 06 November 1968 vol 772 cc910-2

4.21 p.m.

Mr. E. S. Bishop (Newark)

Mr. Speaker, there is an established and pleasant tradition of this House whereby we send a gift to the Legislature of a Commonwealth country following its attainment of independence within the Commonwealth.

On 16th July last, the House agreed to make a gift to the Parliament of Guyana comprising a Clerk's table, three Clerics' chairs and a chair for the Serjeant at Arms. Subsequently, the House gave leave of absence to four hon. Members to go to Guyana and make the presentation on its behalf. Today, I have the pleasant duty of reporting to the House that the mission has been accomplished.

On Tuesday, 22nd October, there was a special sitting of the Parliament of Guyana, held in Georgetown, and the four hon. Members appointed for the task carried out their responsibility. The delegation was composed of the right hon. and learned Member for Huntingdonshire (Sir D. Renton), the hon. Member for Gravesend (Mr. Murray), the hon. Member for Paddington, South (Mr. Scott) and myself, and we were accompanied by Mr. Kenneth Mackenzie, a Principal Clerk of this House and Clerk of Public Bills, to whom we are grateful for his assistance.

The Speaker of the Assembly, Mr. Rahman Gajraj, asked us to convey to you his good wishes on receipt of the letter of goodwill which you asked us to convey to him. The Assembly approved with acclamation a Resolution expressing its sincere thanks and good wishes and appreciation of the gesture of this House, and this is recorded in the Resolution which I shall hand you, Mr. Speaker, and which, in accordance with precedent, I trust you will order to be recorded in the Journal of this House.

I am sure that my colleagues would wish me to express our sincere appreciation of the very generous hospitality afforded to us by the Government of Guyana, whose guests we were, to the Speaker, the Clerk of the House, the Prime Minister, members of all parties and all concerned, who gave us not only generous hospitality but a great deal of their valuable time so that we could see the country, meet the people, and understand some of their problems.

We return much better informed of the problems and possibilities of Guyana, convinced that, with the proper development of its latent resources, with better trading, investment, and other facilities, coupled with continuing stable government, the people of that country can be assured of a prosperous future.

My colleagues would also wish me to thank the House for the honour accorded to us on this occasion and for the opportunity of taking the good wishes and good will of this assembly to the people of Guyana.

Mr. Speaker

I am pleased, on behalf of the House of Commons, to thank the hon. Member for Newark (Mr. Bishop) and his colleagues for the satisfactory way in which they carried out the mission which we gave to them.

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for bringing me a personal message from the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and I will see that the Resolution which the hon. Gentleman is to bring to the Chair is entered in the Journal of the House.