HC Deb 08 November 1965 vol 718 cc1374-8
Mr. Speaker

I have further to acquaint the House that the Lord High Chancellor, being one of the Royal Commissioners, delivered Her Majesty's Most Gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament, in pursuance of Her Majesty's Command as follows:

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:

My Husband and I were glad to welcome to this country the President of Chile and Señora de Frei.

We were touched by the warmth of our reception during our State Visit to the Federal Republic of Germany. We also have vivid memories of our friendly welcome in Ethiopia and the Sudan.

It was with great pleasure that I welcomed in London in June the Heads of Government or their representatives from all the member countries of the Commonwealth. This was the first Meeting of Commonwealth Prime Ministers to be attended by the President of Zambia and the Prime Ministers of Malta and of The Gambia. My Government welcomed the decisions to establish the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth Foundation.

My Government have continued to work for peace and understanding in international relations. They have striven to promote the stability of South-East Asia, in particular, by seeking a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Vietnam. To this end the Commonwealth Prime Ministers at their Meeting in June appointed a Commonwealth Peace Mission.

My Government have taken practical steps to resolve difficulties at the United Nations and to support United Nations peace-keeping and economic and social work.

My Government were much concerned at the recent outbreak of hostilities between our two Commonwealth partners, India and Pakistan. They have throughout given full support to the efforts of the United Nations Secretary-General and the Security Council which, aided by the wise statesmanship of the leaders of both countries, have led to the achievement of a cease-fire.

My Ministers have played their full part in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and our other alliances for collective defence. They have been active in seeking progress towards disarmament and the non-dissemination of nuclear weapons.

My Government have continued to co-operate in strengthening the European Free Trade Association and have made proposals to bring about closer co-operation between the Association and the European Economic Community.

My Government are happy that the new State of Singapore has become a member of the Commonwealth.

My Government have established a new Ministry to administer our technical aid and economic aid to the developing nations. The first Commonwealth Medical Conference has been held in Edinburgh.

My Government have continued their unremitting efforts to bring about through negotiation a peaceful and honourable solution in Rhodesia on a basis acceptable to the people of the country as a whole.

Members of the House of Commons:

I thank you for the provision which you have made for the public services.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:

My Government's first aim has been to restore the balance in our external payments and maintain the strength of sterling. New schemes to help exporters have been introduced. My Ministers have continued to play a full part in the discussions on international liquidity and an Act has been passed to enable the United Kingdom to give effect to the decision to raise members' quotas in the International Monetary Fund.

Important reforms have been effected in the taxation of companies and capital gains, and improvements have been made in the control of public expenditure.

My Government have prepared a National Plan to secure more rapid growth in the economy through the improvement of industrial productivity and a better use of our national resources. Regional Economic Planning Councils and Boards have been established to assist with this work.

In order to promote the development of the economy, the stability of prices and the faster growth of real incomes, My Government have agreed with management and unions a policy on productivity, prices and incomes, and set up the National Board for Prices and Incomes.

The Ministry of Technology has been formed and legislation passed to assist in the promotion of advanced technology: scientific research in universities and elsewhere has been strengthened, and the Science Research Council and Natural Environment Research Council have been established.

My Government have provided more help for small farmers and better facilities for agricultural credit. They have set up a Home Grown Cereals Marketing Authority to promote better marketing.

An Act has been passed to enlarge the Monopolies Commission, to extend its purview to services and mergers, and to strengthen My Government's powers to implement decisions taken after consideration of its reports.

Pensions and other benefits under the national insurance, industrial injuries and war pensions schemes, and the scales of national assistance, have been substantially increased. The earnings rule for widows' benefits has been abolished and local authorities have been given power to provide free or cheap travel on municipal transport for the aged and disabled. A comprehensive review of the social security schemes has begun.

Provision has been made for redundancy payments and the retraining of adult workers has been vigorously extended.

A Royal Commission has been appointed to consider relations between management and employees and the rôle of trade unions and employers' associations in promoting the interests of their members and in accelerating the social and economic advance of the nation. Legislation has been passed to remove an uncertainty in the law affecting persons acting in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute.

Local education authorities have been asked to prepare plans for reorganising their schools on comprehensive lines and measures have been taken to improve the supply of teachers. New machinery has been created for determining teachers' pay in England and Wales, and power has been taken to establish a General Teaching Council for Scotland.

Support for the Arts has been increased and broadened; and a Sports Council has been set up.

A start has been made on my Government's plans for modernising the health and welfare services. Charges for National Health Service prescriptions have been abolished.

Legislation has been passed to restore security of tenure to tenants of decontrolled houses, to provide machinery for fixing fair rents for privately rented accommodation, and to make the harassment of tenants an offence.

My Government have taken steps to promote the integration into the community of immigrants from the Commonwealth. An Act has been passed to prohibit discrimination on racial-grounds in places of public resort and to penalise incitement to racial hatred.

An Act has been passed strengthening the law regarding the possession and use of firearms and ammunition.

My Government have taken powers to control office development.

A Highlands and Islands Development Board has been established for the economic and social development of the area.

Permanent Law Commissions, for England and Wales and for Scotland, have been established for the systematic and continuous review of the law.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:

I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may attend you.

Then a Commission for proroguing the Parliament was read; after which the Lord Chancellor said: My Lords and Members of the House of Commons: By virtue of Her Majesty's Commission under the Great Seal, to us and other Lords directed, we do, in Her Majesty's Name and in obedience to Her Majesty's Commands, prorogue this Parliament to Tuesday, the ninth day of this instant November, to be then here holden; and this Parliament is accordingly prorogued until Tuesday, the ninth day of this instant November.

End of the First Session (opened on 27th October, 1964) of the Forty-third Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in the Fourteenth Year of the Reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second.