On February 23 Lord Lexden carried out a very pleasant duty in his capacity as President of the Independent Schools Association. Each year the ISA awards its prestigious Whitbread Memorial Prize to the highest-achieving pupil at GCSE in its 360 member schools.
On February 13, Lord Lexden contributed once again to the Lord Speaker’s important ‘ Peers in Schools’ outreach programme, visiting East Bergholt High School, a 900-pupil Academy on the Essex/Suffolk border. He spoke about the work of the Lords and the current political situation to some 50 members of the school’s recently established Politics Society.
The Recall of MPs Bill, which came to the Lords in December, has been widely criticised by peers on both sides of the House. It prescribes the circumstances in which ‘serious wrongdoing’ by an MP would enable his or her electors to seek a by-election.
On February 9, Lord Lexden addressed a group of over 50 students from a school in Barnet after they had toured both Houses of Parliament.
'It was probably the greatest state funeral ever held, a magnificent imperial occasion in the twilight of Empire. No monarch has had a state funeral on the same vast scale’, Alistair Lexden said at a commemorative lunch in the Carlton Club on January 30, the fiftieth anniversary of the day on which Churchill was laid to rest in Bladon churchyard in the Oxfordshire countryside following hours of grand ceremonial in London.
On January 22, the Lords questioned a Lib Dem Scottish Minister, Lord Wallace of Tankerness, after he had made a statement about the government’s latest devolution proposals for Scotland.
On January 16 he went to the Hanbury Manor Hotel outside Ware in Hertfordshire to speak to a large group of new heads at a conference organised by the Independent Schools Association (ISA), of which he is President.
Reginald Bevins, the Liverpool working-class Tory who had responsibility for licensing the BBC, did indeed propose to take action against the programme (letter, Jan.13). He immediately received a sharp note from Harold Macmillan, “Oh, no, you won’t”.
Select Committees, which have an all-party membership, produce detailed reports on a wide range of subjects. They do not always get the full and reasonably prompt attention from the government that they deserve.
This milestone in his career as a contributor to the newspaper's famous letters page was passed on January 5 with the publication of a letter about an extraordinary Victorian missionary, Dr Joseph Wolff. The full text of the letter, which appeared in slightly abbreviated form, is attached.