Australia's new Governor General, Lord Dunrossil - W.S. Morrison as former Speaker of the House?
GV. Australia House (in fog).
CU. "Flag Flying".
LV.PAN.Down Australia House.
SV. Ditto to name "Australia House".
CU. Name "Australia House"
LV.INT.Sir Eric Harrison addresses press.
SV. Viscount Dunrossil PAN to Sir Eric.
SV. Reporters PAN to Sir Eric speaks.
SV. New Governor General rises from seat to speak.
SV. New governor General speaks.
CU. Sir Eric PAN to new Governor general speaks.
TRANSCRIPT (SEQ 11): Q. "Lord Dunrossil, have you been to Australia before?"
A. "Yes, I had the happiness of visiting the country ten years ago. I went to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference, which was held in Wellington, New Zealand. When that was over, I flew from Auckland to Sydney and spent about a fortnight in the country. I couldn't say that gives one any deep knowledge of it, but it was sufficient to attract me very much to the country and to its people."
Q: "Well, now you live in the countryside - here in Gloucestershire. Why have you accepted this appointment when you might have lived a very happy retirement down there?"
A. "Well, it depends what you call happiness. I very gladly embraced the very high honour of attempting to represent Her Majesty in that great country of Australia, and I think I am happier in that thought that I can still be of public service. But I would simply be lounging in idleness in retirement."
Q. "We know you in the House, sir, for your combination of firmness and wit. What qualities do you think a Governor General needs?"
A. "Well, I suppose Lowther's description of what is required by a Speaker is the closest we can get. He doesn't require any extraordinary qualities. What he does require, is ordinary qualities in an extraordinary degree."
Q. "What will your duties be sir?"
A. "My duties will be to do the best I can to represent Her Majesty in that great country of Australia, performing roughly the duties that are performed by the Royalty here. The constitutional duty of opening Parliament, of giving the Royal Assent to Bills that have been passed, and generally - there are other duties of course - opening things I have no doubt, and also of hospitality, to which I look forward with great interest and pleasure."
Q. "You are very keen on cricket. Are you going to change your allegiances now?"
A. "No, I don't change allegiances very rapidly, I think that it will be true that hereafter, I will take a move friendly view of the Australian eleven in its contests with the British eleven, and I shall always continue to take a very keen interest in the progress and fortunes of the County Cricket team of Gloucestershire."
"Thank you vary much"
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Australia's new Governor General, Lord Dunrossil - W.S. Morrison as former Speaker of the House of Commons - was interviewed in London, UK, Nov. 12 on his appointment.
Lord Dunrossil, who is 66, succeeds Field-Marshal, Sir William Slim. He was created a Viscount on his retirement as Speaker of the House of Commons. A farmer's son, he was born in Argyllshire, Scotland.
The Governor-Generalship carries with it a salary of GBP10,000 a year. News of the appointment came only a few hours before the Commons discussed granting Lord Dunrossil a GBP4,000-a-year-pension as former Speaker.
Heated opposition came from the Labour benches, who feel that a Speaker returning to public life after services in the House, should not be granted the pension - especially in view of the fact that the Governor-Generalship commands such a high salary.
The Bill provides that only half the pension will be payable as long as Lord Dunrossil holds office under the Crown at a salary equal to or exceeding its whole amount.
It is obvious that Labour M.P's will not be satisfied unless Dunrossil announces he will draw no pension while he remains Governor-General. Lord Dunrossil hopes to sail for Australia on Dec. 31.