HC Deb 16 December 1911 vol 32 cc2847-9

I have also to acquaint the House that the Lord High Chancellor, being one of the High Commissioners, delivered His Majesty's most gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament, in pursuance of His Majesty's command, as follows:—

My Lords, and Gentlemen,

My relations with foreign Powers continue to be friendly.

I am happy to say that the negotiations which have taken place between the Governments of France and Germany in regard to Morocco—a matter in which My Government was concerned by its treaty engagements—have been brought to a conclusion.

In the state of war which unhappily exists between Italy and Turkey I have issued a proclamation declaring the strict neutrality of this country.

The deliberations of the Imperial Conference in May and June bore witness to the harmony of the relations subsisting between the Governments of the. United Kingdom and of the self-governing Dominions beyond the Seas and to the growing consciousness of their common interests, as well as to the spirit of loyalty and kinship which pervades these Dominions and adds lustre to My Crown.

I trust that the labours of the Royal Coin-mission which will shortly be appointed to inquire into the natural resources and the improvement of the trade of the Empire may be fruitful in showing means of ensuring the greater prosperity and promoting the mutual intercourse of My Dominions.

Gentlemen of the House of Commons,

I thank you for the liberality with which you have made provision for the services of the year.

My Lords, and Gentlemen,

The relations between the two Houses of Parliament have been adjusted by the passing of the Parliament Act.

I have given My assent to a Bill which will supplement the policy already sanctioned by Parliament by extending the benefit of Old Age Pensions to persons previously disqualified by reason of the receipt of poor-law relief.

It is with great satisfaction that I have assented to a Bill to provide for the insurance of the industrial population against loss of health and for the prevention and cure of sickness among them and for the insurance against unemployment if those engaged in trades specially liable to it.

I anticipate with confidence that the operation of this measure, while, fortifying existing inducements to thrift and self-reliance, will do much to alleviate misery and to check disease among those whose social conditions it is designed to ameliorate; and to mitigate, the hardships caused, to workmen and their families by those depressions in the labour market which are especially felt in certain precarious trades.

An Act has been passed consolidating and, amending the law relating to Copyright. This measure will enable Me to accede to the International Convention recently signed at Berlin; and when supplemented by corresponding legislation in, My self-governing Dominions will, I trust, provide a comprehensive and equitable code of law regulating this important subject throughout My Empire.

The Act effecting modifications in the land system, and in the agricultural administration of Scotland will, I sincerely hope, confer benefit alike upon the agriculture and crofting population and upon the general community.

The measure for the consolidation and amendment of the Goal Mines Regulation Acts, which marks a great advance on previous legislation for the health and safety of persons employed in the mining industry, met with general acceptance on all sides, and its passage was made the easier by the mutual good-will with which it was received by the representatives of the owners and workmen.

The health and well-being of a large class in the community will be beneficially affected by the Act for securing a universal half-holiday to Shopkeepers and Shop Assistants.

I thank you for the assiduity with which you have discharged your arduous duties, and I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may attend your work.

A Commission for proroguing the Parliament was read in the House of Lords.

After which the Lord Chancellor said:—

MY LORDS, AND GENTLEMEN,—By virtue of His Majesty's Commission, under the Great Seal, to us and other Lords directed, and now read, we do in His Majesty's name, and in obedience to his command, prorogue this Parliament to Wednesday, the Fourteenth day of February, one thousand nine hundred and twelve, to be then here holden, and this Parliament is accordingly prorogued to Wednesday, the Fourteenth day of February, one thousand nine hundred and twelve.

End of the First Session of the Thirtieth Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in the Second year of the Reign of His Majesty King George V.