§ The Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. John Biffen)
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 Speaker's Chair to the House of Representatives of Antigua and Barbuda, and assuring Her Majesty that this House will make good the expenses attending the same.It is a tradition 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 Speaker's chair for the House of Representatives of Antigua and Barbuda. This present was agreed after consultation with the authorities in Antigua and is now ready for presentation. It will be on display to hon. Members in the United Kingdom branch, CPA Rooms, on 27, 28 and 29 April, up to 4.30 pm each day.
If the House agrees to the motion, and to the following motion relating to a gift to Belize, 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 House of Representatives of Antigua and Barbuda. 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 those islands.
§ Mr. John Silkin (Deptford)
On behalf of the Opposition, I echo the words of the Leader of the House, and wish the people of Antigua and Barbuda all happiness and prosperity. We hope and trust that the gift that we make on behalf of the House will remind them of the importance which we attach, and which we know they attach, to democracy and freedom, which we believe are likely to flourish as much there as in the rather colder and mistier latitudes in which we live.
§ Question put and agreed to