§ Lord Elwyn-Jones
My Lords, I am sure that it will be the wish of the House, before we begin today's business, to congratulate the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor on his marriage. Everybody is delighted at the news, both in this House and outside it. The photographs at the weekend of the smiling noble and learned Lord and his bride with Spot the terrier in her arms really brought us all good cheer during that cold weekend. We wish the Lord Chancellor and Lady Hailsham every possible happiness in the future.
§ The Lord Chancellor (Lord Hailsham of Saint Maryle bone)
My Lords, I am very deeply grateful to you all.
§ The Lord President of the Council (Viscount Whitelaw)
My Lords, my noble and learned friend the Lord Chancellor has very properly pre-empted me and I fully understand that. But I should like to be associated with the remarks of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Elwyn-Jones, about my noble and learned friend the Lord Chancellor. I am sure that everyone on this side of the House would like to be associated with those words, which we much appreciated. It is appropriate that the remarks were made by my noble and learned friend's predecessor, the previous Lord Chancellor. Perhaps it is also appropriate that the person who can respond on behalf of this side of the House has now been a very close friend and colleague of the Lord Chancellor in Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet for, I think, over 20 years.
If I may add one comment of a more frivolous nature, I was delighted to read that the Lord Chancel- 2 lor looked "dapper" at his marriage ceremony. Whether that is something that normally could be ascribed to the Lord Chancellor, I am not sure. It clearly was on that occasion. If he were to take offence at that, I think a similar comment could be made about myself at any particular moment. May we all offer our very considerable congratulations and happiness—and I really believe happiness—from all parts of this House to the Lord Chancellor.
§ Lord Aylestone
My Lords, may I on behalf of my colleagues on the Alliance Benches also add our very hearty congratulations to the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor on his marriage? We who are on these Benches have the privilege of being almost his near neighbours in this House, which gives us the advantage of hearing asides, and I can assure the whole House that those asides over the past few months have been very happy. We congratulate him on his marriage and wish all possible luck to himself and his good lady.
Lord Home of the Hirsel
My Lords, may all the Back-Benchers be allowed to associate themselves with the Front-Benchers on this occasion?
§ Baroness Hylton-Foster
My Lords, I am sure that Members sitting on the Cross-Benches would not want to be left out of this very happy occasion. We, like the others, should like to wish the noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor many happy congratulations and with them go our very best wishes.
§ Lord Donaldson of Kingsbridge
My Lords, as, I think, the only Peer who was born on the same day as the noble and learned Lord, may I add my congratulations?