HC Deb 14 March 1995 vol 256 c693 3.30 pm
Madam Speaker

I have a short statement to make. I must acquaint the House with the fact that I have received the following letter from Sir Alan Urwick, the Serjeant at Arms. I am writing to confirm to you my decision to retire on 31 July 1995 shortly after my 65th birthday. Following 37 years in the Diplomatic Service, I have been uniquely privileged to spend a further 6 years in the service of the House of Commons. It has been a period of far-reaching change, as the House has taken control of its own administration and finance and also embarked on the rapid expansion of the accommodation available for Members and their staff. I owe a very great debt of gratitude to all who work in the Serjeant at Arms' Department, incIuding the Parliamentary Works Directorate, without whom none of the achievements of these years would have been possible. I would also wish to pay special tribute to the Metropolitan Police, on whom we rely so heavily for the safety of these buildings and of all those who work here. Finally I wish to record my deep appreciation of the kindness and consideration shown to me by all Members of the House which have made my tour of duty such a happy and rewarding one.

There will be an occasion later to pay formal tributes. Meanwhile, consultations on the recommendation for a successor to Sir Alan Urwick are taking place through the House of Commons Commission.