§ 3.26 p.m.
§ The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Richard)
My Lords, I am sure some of your Lordships are already aware that today is an unusual and special occasion. Indeed, it is the 100th birthday of the noble Lord, Lord Granville of Eye—
§ Lord Richard
—and not, if I may say so, as recorded in certain manuals, notably Dod's and Who's Who, where he is recorded as being a mere 99 years of age. I am delighted too, that the noble Lord is in his place in the Chamber today.
It is not often that your Lordships get the chance to celebrate the birthday of such a long-serving and distinguished Member of this House. I am sure that all noble Lords will be awed to learn not only that the noble Lord served in the First World War but also that he fought, among other fields of action, at Gallipoli. The noble Lord was a Member of the other place as long ago as 1929 and joined your Lordships' House—I suppose for him comparatively recently—in 1967. I ask the whole House to join with me in wishing the noble Lord a very happy 100th birthday indeed.
My Lords, it is a very great pleasure to be able to follow the noble Lord the Leader of the House in associating this side of the Chamber with the elegant way in which he wished the noble Lord many happy returns of the day. We echo those sentiments. As the noble Lord the Leader of the House made clear, the noble Lord is both a distinguished Member of both Houses of Parliament and a gallant former soldier with particular connections with the Commonwealth, which I believe is an institution that all sides of the House are coming increasingly to value.
I could, perhaps, suspect that the vigour of the noble Lord is a tribute not only to the rich blood that politics encourages to flow in the veins of her practitioners, but also, if I may say so, to the preservative qualities of membership of your Lordships' House. In either case, whichever is true, we congratulate the noble Lord who embodies the great virtues of continuity in his person. We look forward to many more occasions upon which we may congratulate him in the years to come.
§ Lord Rodgers of Quarry Bank
My Lords, perhaps I may associate these Benches with the remarks made by the Lord Privy Seal and the noble Viscount. However, they omitted to say—and I am sure that it was by oversight—that the noble Lord served as a Liberal 1264 Member of Parliament for 22 years and represented that most interesting part of Britain, East Anglia, the politics of which have always fascinated us.
It has been a life of distinction and, as the noble Lord, Lord Richard, said, one also of courage. To put it at its very least, the thought that the noble Lord is 100 years of age today makes many of us feel a great deal younger than we supposed.
§ Lord Weatherill
My Lords, on behalf of the Cross-Benches I wish a happy birthday to the senior of our 326 Cross-Bench Peers. Long may he continue to keep that number up.
§ The Lord Bishop of Chichester
My Lords, I associate these Benches with the congratulations to the noble Lord and send him our best wishes and many happy returns of the day.