12 SEPTEMBER 1963, Page 9

A Spectator's Notebook

LIKE the present for the man who has every- thing, every fresh honour for Sir Winston Churchill is almost bound to strike a somewhat bizarre note. Anything ordinary he has already received or declined. How, for instance, is the House of Commons to find a fitting compliment to mark the final retirement of its most venerable member when the general election brings this Parliament to an end? Spurred on by the example of the United States and the unique conferment of honorary citizenship on Sir Winston, some members are already cudgelling their brains. One idea which has been proposed to the Prime Minister and is now being seriously examined is that the House should make Sir Winston an honorary life member (on the under- standing, of course, that he never actually appeared). This unprecedented suggestion will outrage strict constitutionalists, no doubt, as 'undermining the elective principle' and so on. But I hope that the Prime Minister will decide to support it. The prestige of Parliament is not so high these days that it can afford to dispense with the lustre brought to it by the continuing reflec- tion of a more golden age.