§ THE LORD PRIVY SEAL (THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY)
My Lords, it is my duty to inform your Lordships that the Lord Chancellor, acting upon medical advice, has found it necessary to absent himself from his official duties for a few weeks. I need not say with what regret his colleagues make that announcement, but I should add that we are entirely satisfied that it is very necessary he should go—all the more do I say so because I am aware that it is largely owing to the very heavy strain which our work has thrown upon him that this step has become necessary. I am sure that I am only saying what he would himself say if he were still here, when I say how very much he regrets putting the House and the office over which he presides to any inconvenience by his absence; but I think I am able to say that so far as the judicial work which your Lordships have in hand is concerned there will be no very great difficulty at the present time. I believe I ought to add that that is largely owing to the kindness of my noble and learned friend the Leader of the Opposition, who has always done his best to help public business in this respect through. I do not think there is anything more to say, except that we have every hope that the Lord Chancellor will be able to resume his duties after Easter.