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Mr Deputy-Speaker Left The Chair

Volume 387: debated on Wednesday 3 March 1943

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The SERJEANT AT ARMS laid the Mace under the Table, and the CLERK ASSISTANT, at the Table, acquainted the House that it was with extreme sorrow that he had to inform them that Mr. Speaker died this afternoon.

The news which the House has just received will be felt, I think, as a tragic personal blow to each one of us. The Speaker was not only a great Speaker, but also he was a man whom every Member of the House had come to regard as a personal friend. In that light, perhaps, most of all we shall always remember him. This, as the House knows, is not the moment for the tributes which will in due course be paid, but I think I shall be expressing the feelings of every Member if now, on behalf of the House, I send a message of bur deepest and most heartfelt sympathy to Mrs. FitzRoy and to the family in the loss which, though it, is nearer to them than to us, is a loss which we the House of Commons feel also. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]

In the circumstances, I think the House will feel it appropriate that I should move, "That this House do now adjourn till Tuesday next."

On behalf of those who sit on this side of the House, may I say that we join, with the utmost feeling of regret and sorrow, in the suggestion that has been made by the Leader of the House? I would like to express my sense of personal loss at the passing of one who has presided over the House with exceeding capacity and a manner and demeanour we shall always remember. I shall be speaking for everybody on this side, as one of the oldest Members sitting here, when I say how much we respect the memory of the late Speaker and how much we desire to give whatever comfort can be given to his wife and family by expressing the unstinted and universal admiration of the House for the late Speaker.

This is not the occasion to pay a tribute, but I want, on behalf of my hon. Friends, to express our deep sympathy with the family of the late Speaker. He was a man whom we all loved and revered and respected, and on the right occasion we shall be able to express it in a formal manner.

I would like to associate my hon. Friends with the tribute which the Leader of the House has paid to the late Speaker and to express our sympathy with Mrs. FitzRoy.

I would like also to associate my hon. Friends and myself with the words that have been said by the Leader of the House and with the message that is to be sent.

The CLERK ASSISTANT, by direction of the House, then put the Question, "That this House do now adjourn till Tuesday next," which being agreed to, the House accordingly.