§ Lord Denham
My Lords, in moving that this House do now adjourn for the Christmas Recess I should like, as usual, to say a few words from the noble Lords on the government side of the House to noble Lords in all other parts of the House, wishing them a happy and peaceful Recess.
Speaking for the whole House, as I know I do on this, I should like to thank very much indeed all the staff in this end of the Palace of Westminster in every department for the kindness, the forbearance and the good temper with which they look after us through the long and sometimes tiring days. If I may be permitted to say a few words to one small part of the staff, I wish all the Doorkeepers a very happy evening tonight.
§ Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede
My Lords, I join with the noble Lord the Government Chief Whip in the expressions of felicity that he has passed to all Members of the House at this festive time and wish all Members a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
More particularly, or perhaps one should say as particularly, I join with him in wishing the staff of the House a happy Recess. We think not only of the staff who are visible to us and with whom we come into daily contact but also those whom we do not see so frequently; those who clean our rooms, look after the corridors, attend the boilers and so on in all parts of the Palace of Westminster.
I should perhaps extend a special tranche of good wishes to the security staff, who will of course not be absent from the Palace of Westminster throughout the Recess. They will continue to ensure that security is maintained here.
Let me also add that I am sure all our thoughts will be with the Leader of the House at this time of the year. We should like to renew our good wishes to him for a speedy recovery.
§ Lord Tordoff
My Lords, I join entirely in supporting the expressions that have come from both sides of the House to the members of the staff, both internal and external, and also to people who are not quite members of the staff but who are supportive of our efforts—the Official Report writers and even (dare I say?) those members of the media who regularly turn up to report our activities from the galleries and behind the cameras. However, we particularly thank our staff here, in Select Committees and in all the activities of the House that go on from day to day.
907 I very much want to join with the noble Lord, Lord Ponsonby, in his wishes to the Leader of the House and I hope that the Chief Whip will pass them on when he sees him.
We look forward to an energetic New Year. There is some of the copyright Bill still to be dealt with, apart from anything else. I am glad that at least the Government have the Local Government Bill here so that we can proceed on the first day back with the Second Reading. We do not want to miss that and the adjournment this afternoon may have been worth while.
It is time to go home and to have a happy Christmas. From these Benches we wish everyone a very happy Christmas and a successful New Year.
§ Viscount Allenby of Megiddo
My Lords, on behalf of the Cross-Bench Peers I reiterate what has already been said. We are indeed most grateful to all the staff in the Palace of Westminster for what they do for us throughout the year. I am informed that none will be retiring or leaving the Palace during the Recess. Therefore, we can look forward with confidence to their support in the future. I wish them and their families, on behalf of us all, a very happy Christmas and a fruitful New Year.
§ Lord Denham
My Lords, I thank all noble Lords for their kindness and expressions of sympathy to my noble friend the Leader of the House. I know that it will give him very much pleasure when I pass on those words. I should like to add how much my noble friends and I who are here tonight appreciate those words too. I beg to move that this House do now adjourn.
§ Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.
§ House adjourned for the Christmas Recess at twenty-four minutes before six o'clock until Monday, 11th January next.