Citations and Speeches

Citations

56th Congregation (1961)

Sir Ivor JENNINGS
K.B.E., Q.C., M.A., LL.D., Litt.D., Hon.LL.D., F.B.A.

The Public Orator Professor D. Barker, M.A., D.Phil., wrote and delivered the following citation:

Mr. Chancellor, there stands before you a man who is, in every sense, of good report. In this University, of course, we tend to think of him primarily as co-author of the Jennings-Logan Report of 1953, which has served as the blueprint for much of our post-war development. There can be few paragraphs of this document which have not been quoted or misquoted during the past eight years, for reports, like statistics, can be manipulated to anything. Not one of us, however, would wish to do otherwise than endorse the opinion of Sir Ivor and Sir Douglas when they say "...we feel that the University is on the right lines. What it really needs is more money". We like to hope that the first statement will always remain true; we are quite certain the second will. Viewed against the broad landscape of Sir Ivor's career, his association with this University is but a minor feature. The vista bristles with ivory towers set among mountains of constitutional law. The towers are those of Cambridge, where he was educated at St. Catherine's College, holds the degrees of Master of Arts, Bachelor of Law, and Doctor of Letters, and is the present Master of Trinity Hall; Leeds, where he was Lecturer in Law from 1925 to '29; London, where he was first Lecturer and then Reader in English Law until 1940, and holds the degree of Doctor of Laws; British Columbia, where he was Professor of Political Science for a year in 1938-39, and the Australian National University, where he was Visiting Professor in 1950; and finally, Ceylon, where he was firstly Principal of the University College in 1940-42, and subsequently Vice-Chancellor of the University until 1955. In the mountains of constitutional law, he has discovered and remedied many faults; produced mines of information about governments, parliaments, and local authorities; and helped to create the legal stratification of the new Ceylon, Malaya, and Pakistan. His legal talent and wide university experience have made it natural for other universities besides our own to turn to him for advice. He was thus a Member of the Commission on University Education in Malaya in 1947; President of the Inter-University Board of India in 1949-50; and Chairman of the Royal University of Malta Commission in 1958.

Such a career has deservedly gathered honours national, legal, and academic. He was created a Knight Bachelor in 1948 and a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1955. He took silk in 1949 and was made a Master of the Bench of Gray's Inn in 1958. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, and has received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the Universities of Bristol, Southampton, Ceylon, Leeds, and Belfast. Today, Mr. Chancellor, we are proud to request that you add the University of Hong Kong to this list and confer upon Sir William Ivor Jennings our honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. In so doing we note with considerable pleasure that in his succeeding Professor Butterfield as the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge, the University has the honour of seeing two of its honorary graduates occupy this distinguished office in its Golden Jubilee Year.