HC Deb 28 May 1982 vol 24 c1163 9.34 am
Mr. Speaker

I have a brief statement to make.

Yesterday, the hon. Member for Rye (Mr. Godman Irvine), the First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means, submitted to me his resignation from that office and also, therefore, from the office of Deputy Speaker of the House.

I am convinced that the House would like to express its deep and sincere gratitude to the hon. Gentleman for the distinguished and honourable way in which he has served our House.

The hon. Gentleman has the record since the war: as a Deputy Speaker, he has served us for 6 years and 3 months, which is longer than any other Deputy Speaker; he also served for 11 years as a member of the Panel of Chairmen.

I believe that he has maintained the highest traditions of this Chair. His impartiality, his courtesy and his friendliness have put us all in his debt. On behalf of the Deputy Speakers and myself and, I think, the whole House, I want to place on record our sense of gratitude for the service that he has given.

The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. John Biffen)

May I associate myself with those words of yours, Mr. Speaker, and say on behalf of the whole House, I am certain, that my hon. Friend the Member for Rye (Mr. Godman Irvine) has discharged his responsibilities as First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means and as Deputy Speaker with dignity and understanding and has earned both the respect and the affection of hon. Members everywhere?

I beg to move, That the right hon. Ernest Armstrong be appointed First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means and that Mr. Paul Dean be appointed Second Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means.

Question put and agreed to.

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