§ 3.28 p.m.
§ Lord Hesketh
My Lords, at a convenient moment after 3.30 p.m. my noble friend Lord Belstead will, with the leave of the House, repeat a Statement that is to be made in another place on the security situation in Northern Ireland.
It may also be for the convenience of the House to know that the Report stage of the Charities Bill will be adjourned at approximately 7 p.m. for about one hour and that during this adjournment the International Transport Conventions Act 1983 (Amendment) Order 1992 will be taken.
§ Lord Boyd-Carpenter
My Lords, as regards the Business of the House perhaps I may ask my noble friend whether it is intended to give noble Lords an opportunity to express, perhaps briefly and informally, their strong feelings of affection and devotion to Her Majesty on this the 40th anniversary of her accession. I understand that it is Her Majesty's wish that there should be no formal Motion and for that reason no formal Motion has been tabled. I also understand that by use of a procedural device another place is giving its Members the opportunity to say what your Lordships too might feel about this tremendous occasion. Can my noble friend say whether we shall be given an opportunity, however short and informal, to say something of the same on a matter on which your Lordships are unanimous in their enthusiasm?
§ The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Waddington)
My Lords, we are grateful to my noble friend Lord Boyd-Carpenter for what he has said because he has given us the very opportunity for which he is asking. Your Lordships will wish to know that a message went from the Cabinet this morning conveying warmest good wishes to Her Majesty on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of her accession to the Throne. The 346 message was in recognition of the incomparable contribution which Her Majesty has made to the life of our nation throughout her reign.
I am sure that those are sentiments which the whole House would wish to endorse. I know that I speak for all your Lordships if I express our congratulations to Her Majesty.
§ Lord Cledwyn of Penrhos
My Lords, on behalf of my noble friends, perhaps I may support the felicitous words of the noble Lord the Leader of the House and the noble Lord, Lord Boyd-Carpenter, about the 40th anniversary of Her Majesty's accession to the Throne. Her reign has been memorable in so many ways and marked with great changes and historic events. However, throughout Her Majesty has been a wise and dedicated Queen of these islands and we wish her many more years to reign over us.
§ Lord Jenkins of Hillhead
My Lords, we are all aware of today's anniversary. Probably most of us who are old enough remember what we were doing 40 years ago when we first heard the news of the death of his late Majesty. We thank Her Majesty the Queen for the focal point of sanity and stability over four fluctuating decades which she has provided. We hope that we shall be here to celebrate, perhaps more formally and even more rumbustiously, the jubilee in 10 years' time.
§ Baroness Hylton-Foster
My Lords, I am quite sure that all those sitting on the Cross-Benches today will wish to be associated with what has already been said. We all appreciate so much what Her Majesty has done in those wonderful 40 years and how much service she has given not only to this country but also to the Commonwealth. Many Cross-Bench Peers will have had the honour of serving Her Majesty. I am sure that they will be very sorry not to be here today. However, I know that they will wish to be associated with all the thanks and congratulations which have already been expressed.
§ The Lord Bishop of Newcastle
My Lords, those of us sitting on these Benches would wish to associate ourselves with all that has been said in the last few minutes. We all greatly admire Her Majesty and are grateful to her for her consistency, dignity and devotion to duty, and so much else besides.