§ 2.40 p.m.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Woolsack in this House has now been refilled with wool produced entirely within the Commonwealth, and which Commonwealth countries responded to the invitation of the British Wool Marketing Board to provide wool for this purpose.]
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE FOR COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS AND FOR THE COLONIES (LORD BESWICK)
My Lords, the Woolsack has now been refilled with wool from fourteen Commonwealth countries. All the main producers and exporters of wool in the Commonwealth contributed their share, and my noble and learned friend the Lord Chancellor is now firmly supported by the produce of Australia, Basutoland, Canada, Cyprus, the Falkland Islands, India, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan and Swaziland, as well as England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Her Majesty's Government are grateful to the British Wool Marketing Board and our friends in the Commonwealth for their co-operation in providing a worthy seat for the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor, and a symbolic piece of furniture for your Lordships' House.
§ LORD HURD
My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for that Answer. May I take it—I think it is a fair assumption—that a word of appreciation has been sent to all those responsible, both here and overseas, for their co-operation in ensuring that we now have a Woolsack which worthily represents the wool trade of the Commonwealth? We hope that the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor will be seated properly on that, and that we shall all remember the importance of the wool business here.
§ LORD RUSSELL OF LIVERPOOL
My Lords, may I ask the noble Lord whether there is any Rhodesian wool in the Woolsack, and whether that was obtained before U.D.I.? I seem to think that in that case, perhaps, the Lord Chancellor may not be very comfortably seated.
§ LORD BESWICK
My Lords, as a matter of fact, Rhodesia does not produce wool in commercial quantities, and neither Rhodesian nor Bechuanaland wool is included.