Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 10, Officials of Royal Commissions of Inquiry 1870-1939. Originally published by University of London, London, 1995.
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Committee meetings can be long, and sometimes less than fascinating, which is perhaps why one member of the Irish sub-committee of the Royal Commission on Sugar was inspired to write the following Valedictory verses which he presented to the secretary, a Mr Gladwell. (7 Dec 1918, included in his letter to J. St Loe Strachey: Strachey Papers, S/30/10, Reprinted by kind permission of the House of Lords Record Office.)
Ah what avails the sceptred race?
Ah what the form divine?
Late precedents I now embrace,
Like Wilhelm, I resign.
I lay aside my wreath of bays,
My dream of state I doff,
As Robey succulently says
"In other words - pop off".
No longer shall I make the laws
Or break them in bravado
Or tell a trader he's no cause
For scorning Muscovado.
Who e'er dislikes his sugar brown
Must either "lump" or "lave" it.
I flee from the retailers' frown
To file an affidavit.
The friends I had are in a huff
Because, with zest unswerving,
I gave not one of them enough
Of sugar for preserving.
And now, when I meet Jack or Sam,
And genial warmth elates me,
I see him wondering who I am,
And why on earth he hates me.
Had I but served my God with half
The zeal I served Committees,
My Guinness I might freely quaff
Gratis, in several cities.
Now you alone, who still wade through
The complicated mess that
I've just escaped, may sigh "Adieu!
In pace - requiescat".