Parliament sat for the first time since the General Election, Oct. 20. For the majority?
Parliament sat for the first time since the General Election, Oct. 20. For the majority of MPs it was the beginning of yet another session, for several others the beginning of their parliamentary career.
Among the 'new-boys' were Liberal member Jeremy Thorpe, and Conservative members TV personality Geoffrey Johnson-Smith and British runner Chris Chataway.
Labour MPs Tom Driberg and Woodrow Wyatt were returning after four years' absence.
The first sitting started off the session lively. First matter for the MPs was the election of a Speaker. The Labour Party leader Hugh Gaitskell accused the Conservative Party of trying to dictate to them who should be chosen: "Members should deliberate among themselves before making their choice. I do not think any of us could possibly claim that any deliberation has taken place."
The Conservative Party had informed the Labour Opposition that it would support Sir Frank Soskice, Labour MP, as Speaker. Sir Frank declined the offer and the Conservatives put up their own party member Sir Harry Hylton-Foster, Solicitor-General in the last Parliament.
Labour wanted to divide the House on this issue but it was found that this was not possible. Sir Harry was elected, after emphatically, and traditionally, refusing to accept the chair.