§ Mr. Speaker
I have received a letter from the Librarian indicating his wish to retire on 5 July this year. I will arrange for the text of his letter to be published in the Official Report.
Dr. Menhennet has worked in the Library for some 37 years and has held the office of Librarian during the past 15 years, a time of dramatic development in the range of Library services and the demands made upon them. I am sure that hon. Members in all parts of the House will join me in thanking Dr. Menhennet for his distinguished service to the House and, at the same time, will acknowledge the incomparable help provided to us by the Library as a whole. I have appointed Mr. Dermot Englefield, the Deputy Librarian, to succeed. Dr. Menhennet from 6 July.
§ The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. John MacGregor)
I should like to associate the whole House with the tribute that you, Mr. Speaker, have paid to the Librarian and with the thanks that you have expressed to the staff of the Library working under his leadership.
During his nine years as Deputy Librarian and his 15 years as Librarian, Dr. Menhennet has overseen extensive development of the Library in many ways. He is well respected by fellow heads of Department, staff of the House, his own staff and, of course, by hon. Members and our staff. On behalf of the House, I should also like to convey our sincere gratitude to him for all that he has done and to wish him well for a long and happy retirement.
§ Dr. John Cunningham (Copeland)
I associate myself and my right hon. and hon. Friends with your thanks, Mr. Speaker, and those of the Leader of the House to the Librarian.
David Menhennet has been not only a great servant of the House but a friend to many hon. Members. He has guided the Library through many important changes, wide extensions of services to Members, and huge improvements to the information and resources that are available to us all. He deserves our thanks and congratulations on his tremendous effort and on the way that he has carried out his duties in the interests of the whole House. We thank him warmly.
§ Sir Bernard Braine (Castle Point)
Having been in this place for 40 years, may I, on behalf of the generality of 1000 hon. Members, say how much the service provided to Members by the Library staff has improved and is improving? We readily acknowledge the influence that the Librarian has brought to bear during his term of office. For that, I say on behalf of my colleagues, "Thank you."
§ Mr. A. J. Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed)
My right hon. and hon. Friends wish to be associated with the tribute that has been paid to Dr. Menhennet and with the good wishes that have been expressed. His quiet competence, objectivity, and readiness to serve Members personified the qualities of the Library itself which we have come to admire so much.
§ Mr. Colin Shepherd (Hereford)
As the Chairman of the Library Sub-Committee for the past nine years, I associate my Committee and the Services Committee with the tributes that have been paid to the service of Dr. Menhennet. For the past 15 years, the Library has been headed by a remarkable duo who have seen through the tremendous changes to which you, Mr. Speaker, made reference.
As Dr. Menhennet leaves, I can think of no finer successor to welcome to the post of Librarian than Mr. Dermot Englefield.
§ Following is the text of the letter:
Dear Mr. Speaker
I write to inform you of my wish to retire, later this year, from the office of Librarian of the House of Commons which I have had the honour to hold since 1 July 1976. I therefore place my office at your disposal with effect from 6 July 1991.
I have had the great privilege and pleasure of working in the Library for some 37 years, and of seeing its services to the House and to Members develop and grow, just as the needs of Members themselves for better information and research services have grown. First as Deputy Librarian and then as Librarian, I have had the great good fortune to be associated with those developments. Such growth could not have taken place without the support, friendly interest and encouragement of Members on all sides of the House, and the advice and guidance of the Library Sub-Committee of the Services Committee. As a member of the Board of Management since it was first established, I have also been very conscious of the goodwill and understanding of my colleagues, both inside and outside the Department of the Library.
For all that, but most especially for the honour of serving the House as its Librarian during the last 15 years, I am and will remain deeply grateful.
§ Yours sincerely
§ David Menhennet