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Clerk Of The House (Retirement)

Volume 531: debated on Wednesday 28 July 1954

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I have to inform the House that I have received a letter from Sir Frederic William Metcalfe, K.C.B., Clerk of the House, as follows:

28th July, 1954.


I have the honour to inform you that, after thirty-five years in the service of this House, I desire as from the end of this month to resign the patent of Clerk of the House of Commons which it has been my proud privilege to hold for the last six years.

During my twenty-four years at the Table I have seen many events memorable in the history of Parliament and of our country, and owing to the chances of war I have sat at no fewer than five different Tables of the House. I count myself fortunate to have been Clerk of the House at the first sitting in this new Chamber in 1950 when many Speakers and Officials from Parliaments overseas visited Westminster to take part in our ceremonies.

It is with great regret that I leave the service of the House and I wish to express to you, Sir, to all occupants of the Chair and to all Members of the House in this and previous Parliaments, my deep gratitude for the kindness and courtesy which I have always experienced. The friendship and loyalty of all my colleagues has made my work happy, and I am confident that they will continue to serve this honourable House with the devotion that we all feel for our ancient Parliamentary institutions.

I am, Sir,

Your obedient Servant,


I am sure that I speak for the whole House when I say that we have heard with great regret the terms of the letter which you, Mr. Speaker, have just read. I therefore give notice that, in accordance with precedent, a Motion will be proposed tomorrow expressing our thanks to Sir Frederic Metcalfe for the long service which he has rendered to this honourable House.