HL Deb 16 June 1965 vol 267 cc110-2

2.51 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to move that an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty as follows:

Most Gracious Sovereign,

We, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, welcome this occasion of commemorating and celebrating with Your Majesty and with Members of the House of Commons the seven hundredth anniversary of the Parliament to which were summoned for the first time to our certain knowledge the Citizens and Burgesses, as well as the Knights of the Shire, to join with the Lords in deliberation upon the needs and affairs of the Realm. The Parliament summoned to meet in January 1265 by Your Majesty's forbear, King Henry the Third, at the instance of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, thus contained all the essential elements of later Parliaments. With the civil war yet unfinished, it met in the shadow of strife, and was itself conceived as an attempt to end that strife. Then as now, one of the purposes of Parliament was to provide for the settlement of dissension by debate, by discovery of common views, and by agreement rather than by bloodshed.

The Citizens and Burgesses thus summoned added a new representative element to Parliament. The pattern then established has matured into Parliament as we know it to-day. The experience of seven hundred years has shown that it is the Crown in Parliament which endures; in separation, the partners fail. Together they have provided an inspiration and a model to the world. Together they have fostered the liberty of the subject and upheld the rule of law. Those assemblies throughout the world in which men regulate their affairs in freedom have been inspired by the example of our own Parliament at Westminster, of which we recognise the germ in the Parliament of Simon de Montfort seven hundred years ago. In living demonstration of that fact, we welcome at this commemoration many Presiding Officers and Speakers, representing Houses of Parliament from every continent, and all members of the Commonwealth.

It is our hope and wish that our great institution of Parliament may grow and continue to benefit mankind all over the world, but especially this Kingdom; and that under God's providence we, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, may loyally work in Parliament for many years to come under Your Gracious Majesty, to whom we humbly wish a long and happy reign.

My Lords, this is the Address which, if Her Majesty is graciously pleased to agree, it is proposed that the Lord Chancellor, as Speaker on behalf of the whole House, should present to Her Majesty in Westminster Hall on Tuesday next, the June 22. The terms of the Address, which I hope the House will approve, do not, I think, require any further explanation from me. As the Address makes clear, our purpose is to celebate, together with our Sovereign and the Commons and with many representatives of Commonwealth Parliaments, a land- -mark in the development of our Parliamentary institutions.

Since this development is of significance, we believe, not only to ourselves but also to all the other peoples of the Free World, we shall especially welcome the presence of our colleagues the Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth Senates at this celebration. Arrangements have been made for them to attend Prayers with us when this House meets next Tuesday at 11 a.m., and the Queen's formal permission is being sought for them to accompany this House in attending Her Majesty in Westminster Hall. My Lords, I beg to move.

Moved, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty in the said terms.—(The Earl of Longford.)


My Lords, on behalf of those who sit on these Benches, I should like wholeheartedly to support the Motion which the noble Earl the Leader of the House has moved. I do not think it is necessary for me to say anything else, except that we greatly welcome the invitation given to the Presiding Officers to attend our Prayers on Tuesday next, and hope very much that they will be able to accept, because we should be greatly honoured by their presence.


My Lords, in the absence of my noble friend Lord Rea, I should like on behalf of the noble Lords on these Benches to associate myself with the remarks which were made by the Leader of the House and by the Leader of the Opposition.

On Question, Motion agreed to, nemine dissentiente; and the same was ordered to be presented to Her Majesty by the Whole House; and the Lords with White Staves were ordered to wait on Her Majesty to know when Her Majesty would be pleased to appoint to be attended with the said Address, and whether Her Majesty would be pleased to permit the invited representatives of overseas Parliaments of the Commonwealth to accompany this House in attending Her Majesty.