HL Deb 17 December 1992 vol 541 cc711-4
Lord Hesketh

My Lords, in moving the Adjournment of the House I should like on behalf of the noble Lords on these Benches to wish noble Lords from all parts of the House a happy Christmas, a refreshing Recess, and an equally happy and auspicious new year. I also take the opportunity to thank on behalf of the Whole House all those in the Palace of Westminster who serve us so well and make possible all of the work which we carry out in this place—all those in the Parliament Office, Black Rod's Office, the doorkeepers, the custodians, the Hansard reporters and editors, the secretarial staff, the Refreshment Department and, not least, the security service and the police. I offer our best wishes for a happy Christmas and our continued thanks for the courtesy, charm and efficiency with which they all in their own individual way discharge their duties.

Lord Graham of Edmonton

My Lords, what a splendid address we have just listened to. On behalf of my colleagues on these Benches, and like the noble Lord the Government Chief Whip on behalf of the whole House, I should like to thank the long list of colleagues on the parliamentary scene whom he mentioned. We certainly extend our thanks to them too. I would only add that Ministers and their parliamentary colleagues have had perhaps a restful period up to Christmas. We know that that will speed up a great deal. Certainly I am very grateful to my new deputy Chief Whip, my noble friend Lord Morris, who is here today in that capacity and who would have deputised for me had I not been back from an engagement.

I was interested to hear the noble Earl, Lord Ferrers, telling us that sometimes something called "anger control" had been exercised at one of the prisons. It seems to me that from time to time we need a lesson on that in this House; but not today, and not during the Christmas season. We are very grateful indeed for the words of the Government Chief Whip and we look forward to him and his colleagues coming back refreshed after a restful Christmas, ready for the battle in the new year.

The Viscount of Falkland

My Lords, the happy duty falls to me, in the absence of my noble friend Lord Tordoff, to echo the sentiments that have been expressed both by the noble Lord, Lord Hesketh, and by the noble Lord, Lord Graham of Edmonton. I speak on behalf of all my noble friends on these Benches when I say that it is yet again a great privilege to be a Member of this House. We in this House may be able perhaps to counteract some false impressions that may have been spread through certain television programmes. We are happy to belong to a family, as it were, that, to me at any rate, represents a great deal that is best in our British life. It is courteous and thorough in the work that it does; it is good humoured without being soft when it needs to be combative. It is a great privilege also to work with such a staff as we have here. I have particular reason to be grateful, particularly to the security officers and the policemen, who have to raise and lower the barrier at Chancellor's Gate to let me and my motorcycle in on so many occasions. I think it is time that they were mentioned.

Having said that, it has been a fairly quiet year in relation to previous ones. I do not think that we will have a quiet year in 1993, but I am quite sure that the same qualities will prevail and that the same standard of service and the same goodwill as we get from all staff will continue. Let us hope that they do not have to come back during the Recess for two days, but let me hasten to add that, apart from a lack of bread in the Grill Room, everything seemed to be much the same as usual. It only remains for me to say "Happy Christmas" and to wish peace and goodwill to all. Perhaps that wish is more than usually appropriate at the moment.

Baroness Hylton-Foster

My Lords, the Cross-Bench Peers would like to add their good wishes to all those who look after us: upstairs, downstairs, inside and outside, seen and unseen. Especially we would like to thank the doorkeepers for so kindly looking after so many of the new Peers and also the Peers who come here only sometimes for debates in which they have a special interest. They all appreciate so much the way in which they are guided. I say thank you on their behalf. I offer best wishes for Christmas and 1993 to all other Peers.

Moved accordingly and, on Question, Motion agreed to.