HC Deb 23 November 1939 vol 353 cc1405-54
Mr. Speaker

(standing in the Clerk's place at the Table:) I have to acquaint the House that the House has been to the House of Peers, where a Commission under the Great Seal was read. The LORD CHANCELLOR, being one of the Lords Commissioners, 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:

The shadow of war has once more fallen over Europe.

Despite the efforts of My Government to preserve peace, Germany, in violation of her solemn undertakings, wantonly invaded Poland. This neiv instance of German aggression and bad faith was a challenge which we could not have declined without dishonour to ourselves and without peril to the cause of freedom and the progress of mankind.

We seek no material gain. Liberty and free institutions are our birthright which we, like our forefathers, are resolved to preserve.

Members of the House of Commons:

I thank you for your ready acceptance of the heavy financial burdens rendered necessary as a contribution towards meeting the severe expense of war. So prompt and ungrudging a response has deeply impressed the world and demonstrates the unflinching determination of My people to make every sacrifice necessary for victory.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:

The issue is clear. With united will My peoples here and overseas have dedicated themselves to the struggle. The spontaneous decision of My Dominions to participate in the conflict and the invaluable help which they are giving, and are about to give, to the common cause have been of the greatest encouragement to Me. With the aid of our faithful French and Polish allies we cannot doubt that our cause will prevail.

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 of the House of Commons; 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 Tuesday, the twenty-eighth day of November, one thousand nine hundred and thirty-nine, to be then here holden; and this Parliament is accordingly prorogued until Tuesday, the twenty-eighth day of November, one thousand nine hundred and thirty-nine.

End of the Fourth Session (opened 8th November, 1938) of the Thirty-Seventh Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in the Third year of the Reign of His Majesty King George the Sixth.