§ Lord Denham
My Lords, in moving the Adjournment of the House, I should like on behalf of all noble Lords on this side of the House to wish noble Lords in every other part of the House a happy Christmas, an auspicious new year —a new decade even —and a restful Recess. On behalf of the whole House I should like to thank all those who serve us so well at this end of the Palace of Westminster —the Clerks' Office, Black Rod's Office, the Doorkeepers, the Custodians, the Hansard writers, the secretarial staff, the Refreshment Department and not least the security service and the police—for all they do for us to make our political lives here comfortable, efficient and secure.
§ Lord Graham of Edmonton
My Lords, on behalf of colleagues on this side of the House perhaps I may tell the noble Lord, Lord Denham, that he speaks on behalf of the whole House when he wishes us all a merry Christmas and a happy new year and pays tribute to the staff. I am grateful to him for taking the care to remember all the various groups of people that we include in that general list. I am grateful too because my list was not complete. However, those who work in the Library were on my list, though I am not sure whether they were on the noble Lord's list. That is the problem with making lists!
We are deeply in the debt of the servants of the House, who serve not only our interests but those of our guests, our visitors and those outside the House who need to find their way around. We are grateful for the courtesy and for the genuine feeling that our servants care for their welfare and well being. In the absence of my noble friend Lord Ponsonby, who is a past master at following the noble Lord in these matters, it is with great pleasure and with sincerity and absolute conviction that I join the general good wishes to the House and in particular to Black Rod and all those who under his guidance have served us so well.
The Viscount of Falkland
My Lords, in the absence of my noble friend Lord Tordoff, I echo the sentiments and wishes of the noble Lord the Government Chief Whip and the noble Lord, Lord Graham. We extend to the whole House our best wishes for a happy Christmas and also for, as they say in Scotland, a good new year. We should like to extend them to members of staff in all departments because, as has already been said, without their unfailing courtesy and sense of public service we would not be able to come here and carry out our duties in this memorable and extraordinary House. It is part of a unique parliamentary democracy. It has been seen on television, although I venture to suggest that it will now be seen a little less. All those outside will have seen how unfailingly courteous, good humoured and fair are our deliberations. I am quite sure that the country can be assured that this will continue in the same manner. I look forward to seeing all noble Lords and all members of the staff in the coming year.
§ Baroness Stedman
My Lords, we too should like to be associated with the words of the Government Chief Whip. I think that he covered almost everyone. I have a list as well which includes the cleaners. They look after our offices and leave them spick and span when we manage to make them untidy every day with our voluminous amounts of discarded papers. We are grateful to the staff and to all those who help to make life so pleasant for us here. They look after us and, as the noble Lord, Lord Graham, said, they look after our visitors as well. We wish all noble Lords and all members of staff a very happy Christmas and a good new year.
The Earl of Halsbury
My Lords, in the absence of my noble friend Lady Hylton-Foster, I rise on behalf of 244 of my noble friends to express 245-fold unanimity in thanking those who have served us so faithfully during the parliamentary term which is now coming to a close, and to wish them a merry Christmas and a happy new year. Perhaps I may assure them that the multiplicity of the services that they render the Cross-Benches, the second largest grouping in your Lordships' House, is reflected in the warmth of our thanks and our greetings.
§ Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.
§ House adjourned for the Christmas Recess at half-past two o'clock until Monday, 15th January next.