I have a confession to make – I love Hansard. Furthermore, I enjoy reading maiden speeches.
I found out this lunchtime that it is now possible to go far back as 1950. Before that, it was only possible to go back (online) to 1988.
Naturally, the first speech I went for was the one made by Patrick Ground. I note – having also read the one made by Margaret Thatcher when she was first elected – that MPs seemed to speak far less about their constituency when making their maiden speech as compared to today when new Members enter the House. I get the impression that Patrick was unusual in that he was genuinely very popular with all sides of the house, even amongst those who disagreed with him on most things.
And, here is the maiden speech made by Denzil Davies. He was the MP in the constituency where I grew up and actually did speak about his constituency – I recongised the description too. I looked up to him in a big way when growing up and I still do.