HC Deb 23 October 1968 vol 770 cc1288-90

3.34 p.m.

Mr. John Robertson (Paisley)

on 30th May this year, this House gave leave of absence to a delegation comprising the hon. Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North (Mr. R. W. Elliott), my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Kelvingrove (Dr. Miller) and myself, accompanied by Mr. H. M. Barclay, a Deputy Principal Clerk of the House, to proceed to the Island of Barbados and there present a gift to mark the occasion of that island's independence.

I believe that you, Mr. Speaker, have received a copy of the Address to Her Majesty the Queen by the Barbados House of Assembly in which it expresses its thanks for a gift of a Parliamentary Library to commemorate the achievement of independence. I would like briefly to tell the House of our visit and then perhaps you could read the text of the Address and order it to be entered in the Journal.

The delegation was received with the utmost cordiality and good will and we were extended friendship by everyone we met. We had opportunities to meet people in all parts of the island and in all walks of life. We wish to express our appreciation for the hospitality shown to us.

The presentation ceremony took place in the House of Assembly in the capital town of Bridgetown, under the chairmanship of the Speaker of that House, and was attended by a very large audience and conducted with due ceremony and sense of occasion. It seemed, however, to the delegation that there was an inadvertent omission from the list of books presented, and I am sure that it will have your approval, Mr. Speaker, that a copy of the poetical works of Robert Burns has since also been placed in the Library of the House of Assembly.

The delegation remembers with pleasure the opportunities given to it to see this beautiful island and will always remember the warmth and sincerity of its reception. I am asked, Mr. Speaker, to convey to you personally, and to this House, the appreciation of Mr. Speaker Brancker and Members of the Barbados Houses of Parliament.

Mr. Speaker

I wish to thank the hon. Member for Paisley (Mr. John Robertson) and his colleagues for the way in which they carried out their mission.

I have been asked to read to the House the message which the House of Assembly has sent Her Majesty. It is headed: "Barbados House of Assembly to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty." and reads: Most gracious Sovereign, The House of Assembly, with loyalty and due submission, beg to inform Your Majesty that they have thankfully received from the House of Commons in the United Kingdom a most valuable gift of books for their Library. The House note with pleasure that this gift commemorates the independence of Barbados and that Your Majesty had been pleased to direct, in response to a Prayer made by the House of Commons, that the proper supply be provided. The House accordingly wish to thank Your Majesty for this gesture of good will and respectfully request that an expression of their warm appreciation to the Honourable House be conveyed to Mr. Speaker. It is signed by Mr. J. E. Theodore Brancker, Speaker of the House of Assembly. I will see that the message is entered in the Journal of the House.