§ Mr. SPEAKER: I have further to acquaint the House that the Lord High Chancellor, being one of the High Com- 748 missioners, delivered His Majesty's Most Gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament in pursuance of His Majesty's Command, as followeth:
§ My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,
§ My relations with Foreign Powers continue to be of a friendly nature.
§ The acceptance of the Dawes Report by the Powers concerned was confirmed by the Conference held in London in July and August, when practical measures required in order to allow of the recommendations being put into force were unanimously approved. This happy result is due to the broadminded spirit of co-operation with which the very difficult problems involved were approached by the Powers concerned. I believe that this settlement will contribute largely to the restoration of international commerce, on which the material prosperity of this country so largely depends.
§ Following the close understanding reached between the British awl French Delegations at Genece, the fifth Assembly of the League of Nations by formulating proposals for dealing with the problem of general arbitration and security has made an important advance on the road to the reduction of armaments. The issue of its discussions has been embodied in a protocol which will be laid before Parliament as soon as possible, and which it is hoped will lead to the first practical measures for lightening the heavy burdens under which the nations are suffering.
§ My Government have renewed diplomatic relations with the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics and have concluded with the Government of the Union the two Treaties which have been laid before you. These Treaties have for their object the re-establishment of political and commercial ties between Great Britain and Russia as a necessary element in the general pacification and economic reconstruction of Europe.
§ Under the terms of the Treaty the question of the frontier between Turkey 749 and Iraq has been, referred to the Council of the League of Nations, who have decided to appoint a special Commission to report to them on the matter. Pending a final settlement both parties hare undertaken to maintain the status quo on the frontier.
§ I regret that, as explained in a Paper recently laid before you, the informal discussions with the Prime Minister of Egypt did not lead to negotiations which might have resulted in the conclusion of a satisfactory agreement. In the absence of such agreement the position of my Country in relation to Egypt will continue to be governed by the policy adopted when, the Protectorate was withdrawn.
§ Steps have been taken by My Ministers in conjunction with the Governments of My Dominions for the formation of a committee to devise means for the more efficient marketing in this country of various articles of food.
§ Members of the House of Commons,
§ I thank you for the provision you have made for the public service.
§ My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,
§ Though there are, I am glad to say, signs of distinct improvement in some of the principal industries and in certain branches of trade and commerce, severe depression continues. My Ministers have been actively engaged in the development of a constructive policy with, a view to stimulating industry and encouraging trade as the only means of dealing fundamentally with the unemployment from which a large proportion of our fellow-citizens are still suffering. Meanwhile, the measures taken by My Ministers for the provision of increased and continuous unemployment benefit have not only lightened the burden upon the ratepayers in the most necessitous areas, but have also alleviated the sufferings 750 of the innocent victims of industrial depression.
§ The measures taken by My Ministers, with the support of Parliament, to enable Local Authorities and the building industry to engage in a fifteen years' uninterrupted building programme will, I hope, afford an effective remedy for the serious overcrowding which continues to be a source of grievous harm to the character and physique of many hundreds of thousands of My people.
§ Steps have also been taken by My Government to assist agriculture by loans to Farmers' Co-operative Societies and by increasing grants-in-aid of agricultural education and research. An Act has also been passed to regulate the wages of agricultural labourers in England and Wales.
§ The taking of a new Census of Production, together with various other inquiries which have been set on foot, will, I hope, afford valuable indications of the directions in which the industrial and commercial organisation of the country can be improved.
§ The advance of educational development has been freed from the restrictions recently imposed upon it and the lines for further progress have been laid down towards a more universal system of secondary education.
§ In bidding you farewell, I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon your labours.
§ Then a Commission for proroguing the Parliament was read in the House of Lords.
§ After which the LORD CHANCELLOR said:
§ MY LORDS AND MEMBERS,— 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 Majesty's Commands, Prorogue this Parliament to Friday, the thirty-first day of 751 October, One thousand nine hundred and twenty-four, to be then here holden; and this Parliament is accordingly prorogued until Friday, the thirty-first day of October, One thousand nine hundred and twenty-four.752
§ End of the First Session (opened Tuesday, 8th January, 1924) of the Thirty-third Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in the Fifteenth year of the Reign of His Majesty King George the Fifth.