§ The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Belstead)
My Lords, it is my duty to notify your Lordships that I have received the following letter from the Clerk of the Parliaments, Sir John Sainty. It reads as follows:Dear Leader of the House,It is my duty to request you to announce to the House that, after consultation with the Lord Chancellor and yourself, I have asked the Prime Minister to submit to Her Majesty The Queen my resignation from the office of Clerk of the Parliaments with effect from 31st December next and that Her Majesty has been graciously pleased to accept it.I was appointed Clerk of the Parliaments in July 1983 and will have served seven-and-a-half years in that office. I believe that this will be an appropriate time for me to make way for a successor.I shall leave the House with regret. I am conscious of the privilege that I have enjoyed in occupying one of the most ancient and honourable offices in the gift of the Crown and would like to place on record my deep appreciation of the kindness which I have received from all sides of the House during my period of office.
§ Yours sincerely,
§ John sainty".
§ My Lords, it is my further duty to notify your Lordships that The Queen has been pleased to appoint Mr. Michael Addison John Wheeler-Booth to succeed Sir John Sainty from the beginning of next year.
§ Following that announcement it will, I am sure, be your Lordships' wish in due course to pay tribute to the services of Sir John Sainty in this House.
§ Lord Belstead
My Lords, I am advised that the proper manner of doing this is for the Leader of the House to table a Motion recording the House's appreciation of Sir John Sainty's services; but Sir John will be with us until the House rises for the Christmas Recess and that Motion will not therefore be tabled until nearer the time.
The noble and learned Lord the Lord Chancellor will in a few moments announce his appointments 1212 to the vacancies at the Table consequential on Sir John's retirement, and I should like to say for myself and on the Lord Chancellor's behalf that extensive consultations have been held with representatives of all sides of the House over these important appointments. This is in accordance with undertakings given by my predecessors as Leader of the House and previous Lord Chancellors that appointments to the Table should be the subject of wide consultations, and these undertakings have on this occasion been honoured to the full. I should also report to the House that the result of those consultations was unanimous.