§ 2.35 p.m.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (VISCOUNT JOWITT)
My Lords, I have to inform your Lordships that Vice-Admiral Sir Geoffrey Blake has received permission from His Majesty the King to retire from the appointment of Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod when Parliament reassembles after the adjournment for Christmas. Sir Geoffrey's decision to seek His Majesty's approval of his retirement is necessitated by his deafness, which is the result of gun blast and which has, he tells me, become progressively worse. I am bound to add that if all members of the Magisterial Bench applied to themselves the same strict standard as Sir Geoffrey Blake has applied to himself, we might have many more retirements. I know with what regret your Lordships will receive this intimation that we are to lose the services of Sir Geoffrey, who has carried out his duties with such marked distinction and with so much kindness and consideration to us all. I have been requested to make this announcement now, in view of the approaching Recess. The name of the officer selected by His Majesty to succeed Sir Geoffrey will no doubt be announced to the House in the New Year, and your Lordships will then have the opportunity of expressing your appreciation of Sir Geoffrey's services.