HC Deb 04 November 1953 vol 520 cc147-8

THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (at the Bar) acquainted the House that he had a Message from Her Majesty the Queen to this House, signed by Her Majesty's own hand. And he presented the same to the House, and it was read by Mr. SPEAKER (all the Members of the House being uncovered) as follows:

The uncertainty of human life leads me to put you in mind of the possibility that a child of Myself and My dear Husband may accede to the Throne whilst under the age of eighteen years and I would recommend to your consideration whether it be not expedient to provide that, in that event and also in the event of a Regency becoming necessary during My lifetime while there is no child or grandchild of Ours who can be the Regent, My Husband should be the Regent and be charged with the guardianship of the person of the Sovereign. I would also recommend that you should take into consideration the expediency of amending the law so that the heir apparent or heir presumptive to the Throne should be capable of being Regent if he or she has attained the age of eighteen years.

Further, it is My desire to put you in mind that it will not under existing law be competent, on occasion arising hereafter for a delegation of royal functions to Counsellors of State, for My Mother to be of the Counsellors. Consideration of the affection and confidence which you and all my people have evinced for and in Her leads me to recommend that you should take into consideration also the expediency of securing to Her the opportunity of rendering as a Counsellor of State further service to you and to them.

I shall be prepared to concur with you in any provision for amendment of the Regency Acts, 1937 and 1943, or other measures which may appear to you necessary or expedient for securing the purposes to which I have alluded.


The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Sir David Maxwell Fyfe)

I beg to move, That an Humble Address be presented to Her Majesty to return to Her Majesty the thanks of this House for Her Majesty's most gracious message recommending this House to consider certain matters involving amendment of the Regency Acts, 1937 and 1943, and to assure Her Majesty that this House will, with the least possible delay, proceed to the discussion of the important questions which Her Majesty has been pleased to recommend to its consideration, and will proceed to provide such measures as may appear necessary or expedient for securing the purposes to which Her Majesty has alluded. I am sure, Mr. Speaker, that it will be the desire of the House that effect should be given to Her Majesty's wishes, and I propose to present a Bill tomorrow for the purpose. It will be made available to Members later in the week. I might add that Her Majesty's wishes have been considered by the Commonwealth Prime Ministers concerned, who have all agreed with the proposal that effect should be given to them.

Question put, and agreed to.

Address to be presented by Privy Councillors or Members of Her Majesty's Household.