§ The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Leader of the House of Commons and Minister for the Arts (Mr. Norman St. John-Stevas)
I beg to move,That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that Her Majesty will give directions that there be presented on behalf of this House a gift of a clock and gavel set to the Parliament of St. Lucia, and assuring Her Majesty that this House will make good the expenses attending the same.It is one of the best of both our parliamentary and our Commonwealth traditions that this House offers a present suitable for use in a legislative assembly to the Parliaments of the Commonwealth countries to mark their independence. I am happy to be moving two motions today to give formal authorisation for such gifts. The first motion relates to the gift of a clock and gavel set for the Parliament of St. Lucia. this present was agreed after consultation with the then Speaker of the House of Assembly and is now ready for presentation. It will be on display to hon. Members in the Upper Waiting Hall from Monday to Wednesday next week.
If the House agrees to the motion, and to the following motion relating to a gift to Dominica, a further motion will be moved for leave of absence to be given to a small delegation from the House for the presentation of these two gifts.
I commend the motion as an expression of the friendship and good will of this House to the Parliament 799 of St. Lucia. I am sure that I speak for the whole House in expressing our warmest good wishes for the future of the Parliament and people of that beautiful island, which I had the good fortune to visit some time ago.
§ Mr. John Silkin (Deptford)
On behalf of this side of the House, I am happy to associate the Opposition with this motion. It is a very pleasant and agreeable tradition that such gifts should be made, and it is a symbol of the growing friendship of an independent nation with what was the mother country.
I think that hon. Members on both sides of the House would wish to express our sympathy with the island for the damage that was suffered during the recent hurricane. It was a sign of the friendship and kinship between the two countries that we were able to offer some assistance during that disturbance.
§ Question put and agreed to.