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Mr Speaker (Members' Farewells)

Volume 116: debated on Thursday 14 May 1987

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I have a brief statement to make. In view of what was said on Tuesday about hon. Members desiring to have an opportunity to bid me farewell, which I much appreciated, I wish to inform the House that I will be in the Chair at the close of business tomorrow to shake the hands of hon. Members, especially those who are not standing for re-election.

I shall be at home in Speaker's House on Monday next between 12 noon and 1 pm. I would welcome the opportunity, on that occasion, to offer refreshment and good wishes for the future to hon. Members who are retiring, and I say to the hon. Member for Warley, East (Mr. Faulds) that no one will be turned away.

Order. I will take points of order in their usual place. Nothing arises on my statement.

Later ——

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. This is more in the nature of an RSVP than a point of order, and I am sure that you will allow me to make it. It was extraordinarily kind of you to issue such a privileged invitation to me for these small drinks—[Interruption.]—perhaps large drinks—on Monday. I shall be responding to you privately about that, with great gratitude for your extraordinary and unique invitation.

However, on the question of the cancellation of the prorogation, do you not agree, as I am sure my colleagues on both sides of the House would agree, that it would be more fitting if in future the wishes of this House and its Speaker were considered rather than the lazy inclinations of the other place and its chairman?

I should be careful about giving my hon. Friend open invitations to your place, Mr. Speaker. You never know, he might just sus it out for the future.

On the question of the prorogation——

Yes, dissolution. May we have it stated openly, before anyone else puts his foot in it, that the ceremony was stopped in 1979? It did not happen in 1983, and the lack of it is not something new for 1987.

It is not for me to express an opinion. Indeed, the hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) once wisely advised me not to do so. However, such ceremonies have good historical reasons and act as a reminder of many of the past struggles of those who have been before us in this place. It would be a matter of regret if we were to let them go.