Skip to main content

Speaker's Statement

Volume 395: debated on Wednesday 27 November 2002

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

3.31 pm

I have a brief statement to make to the House. I have to inform Members that I have received the following letter from the Clerk of the House:

"Dear Mr. Speaker,
I am writing to let you know formally of my desire to resign as Clerk of the House at the end of the year.
I entered the service of the House in September 1961, and I first sat at the Table of the House in 1977. By the time I resign, I shall have been Clerk of the House for exactly five years. Two years ago, I had the further privilege of being appointed the First Chief Executive of the House Service.
It has been an honour and a unique privilege to serve the House of Commons over these 41 years, and especially to do so as its principal adviser on privilege and procedure. I shall always be grateful to the occupants of the Chair and Members in all parts of the House, past and present, for their courtesy and friendship over that long period.
For at least the past decade, the House's procedures and services have adapted to meet new demands and challenges at a pace which would have startled my colleagues in 1961. I hope we have been generally successful in coping with change while maintaining the traditional high standard of service. If so, the credit must go to all those men and women in the six departments of the House on whose loyal service so much depends. It has been a privilege for me to be associated with them.
I shall leave the service of the House with regret, but I shall do so in the knowledge that no other career could possibly have provided as much satisfaction and opportunity for service.
Yours sincerely,
William McKay"

Members on both sides of the House who have benefited from the sound and impartial advice of Sir William McKay over four decades will regret the announcement that you, Mr. Speaker, have just made to the House. I realise that Members on both sides will wish to express their appreciation of his service, and therefore we shall shortly table a motion on his retirement, which will give Members the opportunity to pay tribute to him.