Richard Ottaway (Croydon, South) (Con): As a yachtsman, I am embarrassed to say that my membership of the Tory party owes as much to Sir Edward's yachting ability as anything else. The fact that a Leader of the Opposition could take a yacht half the way around the world and win the Sydney-Hobart raceone of the great ocean classicswon my admiration and that of a generation. Sponsored by Sir Max Aitken, it remains one of the great sporting feats to this day and it irritated the hell out of Harold Wilson! It did not end there. As Prime Minister and on Morning Cloud, he won the greatest trophy of them all, the Admiral's cup, captaining the English team into the bargain. He continued with yachting success for many years, which showed his talents to the full. He did it because it refreshed his mind. He once said, "You cannot raise a yacht and worry about something else at the same time".
Ted knew that he was good. On one occasion in Cowes, my wife sat next to him at dinnerit was her turnand asked him how he managed to be an accomplished musician, Prime Minister and a winning yachtsman all at the same time. He paused briefly and said: "Pure brilliance". The flags in Cowes will be at half mast today.
Mr. Speaker: Before I put the Question, I would like to pay my own tribute to Sir Edward. As Father of the House, he was always very kind and supportive to me and to Mary, my wife. In recent years, he was a very welcome visitor to Speaker's House and I greatly appreciated his advice. I well remember his masterful and informative speeches on Europe, when I was a Back Bencher. I was always aware that I was in the presence of a man who had volunteered to serve his country when it faced the dangers of fascism. He will be missed by this House.