Special Collections & Archives

 

Weatherill Papers: parliamentary papers 1

Files on particular issues, drafts of speeches and newspaper clippings, articles featuring Weatherill in his various positions of office. See also parliamentary papers 2.

 

Speaker of the House of Commons

Accession code: WEA/PP S

In 1983 Weatherill was chosen by his fellow Members of Parliament as the Speaker of the House of Commons. It was generally well known at the time that he was not the first choice of the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, but his appointment otherwise seems to have been a popular one. Although his relations with Mrs Thatcher were to have been strained at times, he quickly gained a reputation for being fair and evenhanded. This is particularly true with back-benchers whose rights to speak in debates he protected when possible. He was re-elected as Speaker in 1987 following the General Election, and managed to stave off an attempts from within the Conservative Party to replace him in 1988. His relationship with John Major as Prime Minister was an easier one and his position continued on an easy footing until the General Election of 1992 when he resigned.

The files in this section are not a consistent series, but cover a variety of issues and functions. The bulk of his work is covered in the Engagement File series, WEA/PP E and the Hansard Files WEA/PP H. Some of the files in this section appear to have been extracted from these two series to cover a particular theme or to form a reference file with constant additions. Several items have attached notes of explanation added by Weatherill as he left office, and as always there are contemporary annotations in his hand.

18 files, covering the period 1983-1992

Accession no.DescriptionDate
WEA/PP S1 Letters of congratulation on appointment as Speaker of the House of Commons

These files consist of letters, telegrams and greetings cards congratulating Weatherill on his appointment as Speaker of the House of Commons. Most of the letters are marked as being acknowledged and some have comments in Weatherill's hand. There appears to be no overall pattern to the organisation although some are sorted into categories.

10 files

1983
WEA/PP S2 Letters of congratulation on re-election as Speaker of the House of Commons

This file consists of letters and telegrams, many of which come from abroad, congratulating Weatherill on his re-election as Speaker. Most of them have a copy of Weatherill's reply

1 file

Jun 1983 to Jul 1983
WEA/PP S3 Letters of tribute written on the announcement of retirement as Speaker

This file consists of letters congratulating Weatherill on his retirement as Speaker and MP and paying tribute to his success in both roles.

1 file

Mar 1991 to Apr 1991
WEA/PP S4 Letters of tribute and congratulation written on the announcement of Weatherill's elevation to the House of Lords

This file consists of letters congratulating Weatherill on his retirement as Speaker and MP and his elevation to the House of Lords in the dissolution honours list.

2 files

Jun 1992 to Jul 1992
WEA/PP S5 Letters of thanks for visits to the House of Commons

This file consists of letters thanking Weatherill for arranging visits to the House of Commons. Many of the cards are from children who have made cards or send drawings. Many also refer to Weatherill's habit of winking at his visitors as he passed them on the Speaker's procession. Included are photographs with his visitors.

1 file

1985 to 1990
WEA/PP S6 Letters replying to an invitation to a reception at Speaker's House

This file consists of letters replying to an invitation to helpers in the General Election in Weatherill's constituency. Also included is a copy of the music hall song 'The Speaker's Eye' with a note indicating that it was sung at Speaker's Dinners.

1 file

Jul 1983
WEA/PP S7 Letters of appreciation of a sermon preached at St Margaret's Westminster

This file consists of letters concerning a sermon preached by Weatherill at St Margaret's Westminster on Sunday 3 March 1991 with the title of 'if I only had one sermon to preach'. Many of the letters ask for a copy of the text of the sermon which was also broadcast on Radio 4.

1 file

Mar 1991 to Apr 1991
WEA/PP S8 Administrative File concerning an appointment to the post of Clerk of the House of Commons

These letters concern the appointment of Kenneth Bradshaw to the post of Clerk of the House of Commons and the condition that he retire on his 63rd birthday.

1 file (12 docs)

Apr 1983 to Dec 1984
WEA/PP S9 Administrative File concerning the Speaker's Entertainment Allowance

This file concerns Weatherill's dealings with the Refreshment Department of the House of Commons for food and drink supplied to Speaker's House for various dinners and receptions. There is also correspondence with the Inland Revenue as Weatherill attempted to negotiate a tax allowance for entertainment. The matter was finally resolved in 1988, when in return for a reduced salary the Speaker was given an official entertainment allowance. Weatherill encloses a note, explaining his policy of inviting MPs and their spouses to the neutral ground of Speaker's House.

1 file

1983 to 1991
WEA/PP S10 Files of accounts for entertainment by the Speaker

There files contain invoices and statements issued by the Refreshment Department for receptions and dinners held by the Speaker in Speaker's House. Some have notes with comments attached.

3 files

1983 to 1988
WEA/PP S11 Administrative File concerning the Speaker's Secretary

This file is concerned with securing honours at various levels for House of Commons staff when they retire, and looking particularly at the case of William Beaumont, the Speaker's Secretary.

1 file

1986 to 1988
WEA/PP S12 Reference File - Opposition MPs

This file contains material on new opposition MPs elected in June 1983. It contains copies of election leaflets, photographs and press cuttings, so that Weatherill had a picture of each new MP.

1 file

1983
WEA/PP S13 Reference File - Conservative MPs

This file contains material on new Conservative MPs elected in June 1983. It contains copies of election leaflets, photographs and press cuttings, so that Weatherill had a picture of each new MP.

1 file

1983
WEA/PP S14 Reference File - List of MPs

This file contains list of MPs and their constituencies as they appeared in the House Magazine, various extracts of Hansard with notes on procedure and the disciplinary powers of the Chair and monthly lists of MPs in the Liberal Democratic Party marked up with the number of speeches and their duration made in the early months of 1992.

1 file

1983 to 1992
WEA/PP S15 Reference File - Various matters

This file contains timings in the Chair for the last sessions before the General Election in 1992, copies of reprints of Country Life showing Speaker's House and various correspondence with Weatherill's comments on the background information.

1 file

1985 to 1992
WEA/PP S16 Subject File - The Speaker's Appeal for St Margaret's Westminster

Weatherill was Chairman of the Appeal Committee and President of the Appeal to raise money for the cleaning and restoration of the St Margaret's Westminster. The file also contains some routine material about the services in the church and some correspondence with the Speaker's Chaplain, Trevor Beeston.

1 file

1981 to 1991
WEA/PP S17 Subject File - The Malvernian Society

This file covers the activities of the Malvernian Society, of Malvern College, where Weatherill was educated, and later became a school governor

2 files

1969 to 1991
WEA/PP S18 Subject File - The Black Glove

This file concerns the criticisms of Weatherill as Speaker and his handling of the debates and question time when it became rowdy. The criticism was quoted in the Press and seemed to come from within the Conservative Party as well as outside. Weatherill refers to this manoeuvring as the 'black glove'. The file includes many letters of support following an interview he gave on Weekend World.

1 file

1988
WEA/PP S19 Miscellaneous Files - printed items and press cuttings

These files contain articles from newspapers, periodicals and newspapers about Weatherill, either about his role as Speaker, his life at Speaker's House or his earlier life. There is some correspondence, mostly letters of appreciation, but the occasional letter of complaint from Weatherill to the Press. Included in these files are many items with notes by Weatherill of their significance and some of the articles appeared in foreign publications.

3 files

1980 to 1992
WEA/PP S20 Miscellaneous Files - correspondence

These files contain various items, mainly correspondence relating to his parliamentary duties and engagements. The material is similar to that in the Engagement Files series, WEA/PP E, but seems to have been omitted from those files.

2 files

1983 to 1992
 

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Last Updated: 11/01/2018