HL Deb 23 November 1819 vol 41 cc1-3

This day, at two o'clock, his Royal Highness the Prince Regent came down in the usual state, and, being seated on the Throne, his Royal Highness opened the Session with the following Speech to both Houses:

"My Lords and Gentlemen;

"It is with great concern that I am again obliged to announce to you the continuance of his Majesty's lamented indisposition.

"I regret to have been under the necessity of calling you together at this period of the year; but the seditious practices so long prevalent in some of the manufacturing districts of the country have been continued with increased activity since you were last assembled in parliament.

"They have led to proceedings incompatible with the public tranquillity, and with the peaceful habits of the industrious classes, of the community; and a spirit is now fully manifested, utterly hostile to the constitution of this kingdom, and aiming not only at the change of those political institutions which have hitherto constituted the pride and security of this country, but at, the subversion of the rights of property and of all order in society.

"I have given directions that the necessary information on this subject shall be laid before you; and I feel it to be my indispensable duty, to press on your immediate attention the consideration of such measures as may be requisite for the counteraction and suppression of a system which, if not effectually checked, must bring confusion and ruin on the nation.

"Gentlemen of the House of Commons;

"The estimates for the ensuing year will be laid before you;

"The necessity of affording protection to the lives and property of his Majesty's loyal subjects has compelled me to make some addition to our military force; but I have no doubt you will be of opinion that the arrangements for this purpose have been effected in the manner likely to be the least burthensome to the country.

"Although the revenue has undergone some fluctuation since the close of the last session of parliament, I have the satisfaction of being able to inform you, that it appears to be again in a course of progressive improvement.

"Some depression still continues to exist in certain branches of our manufac- tures, and I deeply lament the distress which is in consequence felt by those who more immediately depend upon them; but this depression is in a great measure to be ascribed to the embarrassed situation of other countries, and I earnestly hope that it will be found to be of a temporary nature.

"My Lords and Gentlemen;

"I continue to receive from foreign powers the strongest assurances of their friendly disposition towards this country.

"It is my most anxious wish, that advantage should be taken of this season of peace to secure and advance our internal prosperity; but the successful prosecution of this object must essentially depend on the preservation of domestic tranquillity.

"Upon the loyalty of the great body of the people I have the most confident reliance; but it will require your utmost vigilance and exertion, collectively and individually, to check the dissemination of the doctrines of treason and impiety, and to impress upon the minds of all classes of his Majesty's subjects, that it is from the cultivation of the principles of religion, and from a just subordination to lawful authority, that we can alone expect the continuance of that Divine favour and protection which have hitherto been so signally experienced in this kingdom."

His Royal Highness then withdrew, and the House adjourned till 5 o'clock.