As the member of the House who had the honour of proposing the first Chairman of this House, I should like, Sir, to convey to you, on behalf of the members of our Party, an expression of our indebtedness for your dignified, courteous and impartial conduct of affairs in this House. I do so the more willingly because I was one of those who dissented when you were originally proposed for the Chair. I must confess now that my judgment has been revised, and I should like to record my appreciation of the choice made by my colleagues. When you succeeded such a brilliant Chairman as the late Lord Glenavy, a man whose high legal training and intellectual gifts particularly fitted him for the position, there were many who thought that your chairmanship would suffer in comparison. They have been agreeably disappointed. Your chairmanship has been just as successful as that of your distinguished predecessor. For eight eventful years you managed the affairs of this House with tact and skill, and defended our rights and privileges with courage and ability. I have no doubt that you, Sir, feel as some of the rest of us do in our own cases, that President de Valera has done you an unwitting service in relieving you of public responsibility, but I do not think that the service he has done you is a service to the nation. You have added lustre and dignity to this House by your conduct in the Chair.
As one who has no ambition to be a member of a Second Chamber as in future constituted, I do not pretend that it is without a wrench that I sunder the many pleasant contacts I have made in this House, contacts, I am glad to say, not confined to the Party to which I belong. I notice that some of our friends on the right profess to look forward with enthusiasm to the disappearance of this stronghold of feudalism and West Britonism. I do not think the majority is quite so enthusiastic about it. The last moments are always the saddest, and, in spite of this forced gaiety and enthusiasm for their own destruction, there are, I think, amongst the Government and Labour Parties, a few concealed tears. The tears may be, of course, for the nation which is being deprived of their unselfish services. I have already said what I thought about their conduct in voting for the abolition of the House of which they were members. I will on this occasion spare their feelings and merely express the hope that they will all enjoy their well-earned obscurity.
Again, Sir, I thank you for your courtesy and for your services to this House and to the nation.