HL Deb 23 January 1821 vol 4 cc1-3

This day his Majesty came in state to the House of Peers, and being seated on the throne, the gentleman usher of the Black Rod was directed to summon the Commons to attend. The Commons, headed by their Speaker, having presented themselves at the bar, his Majesty delivered the following most gracious Speech to both Houses:

"My Lords and Gentlemen:

"I have the satisfaction of acquainting you, that I continue to receive from foreign powers the strongest assurances of their friendly disposition towards this country.

"It will be a matter of deep regret to me, if the occurrences which have lately taken place in Italy should eventually lead to any interruption of tranquillity in that quarter; but it will, in such case, be my great object to secure to my people the continuance of peace.

"Gentlemen of the House of Commons;

"The measures by which, in the last session of Parliament, you made provision for the expenses of my civil government, and for the honour and dignity of the Crown, demand my warmest acknowledgments.

"I have directed that the Estimates for the current year shall be laid before you; and it is a satisfaction to me to have been enabled to make some reduction in our military establishments.

"You will observe from the Accounts of the Public revenue, that, notwithstanding the receipts in Ireland have proved materially deficient, in consequence of the unfortunate circumstances which have affected the commercial credit of that part of the united kingdom, and although our foreign trade, during the early part of this time, was in a state of depression, the total revenue has, nevertheless, exceeded that of the preceding year.

"A considerable part of this increase must be ascribed to the new taxes; but in some of those branches which are the surest indications of internal wealth, the augmentation has fully realized, any expectation which could have been reasonably formed of it,

"The separate provision which was made for the queen, as princess of Wales, in the year 1814, terminated with the demise of his late majesty.

"I have, in the mean time, directed advances, as authorized by law; and it will, under present circumstances, be for you to consider what new arrangements should be made on this subject.

"My Lords and Gentlemen;

"I have great pleasure in being able to acquaint you, that a considerable improve- ment has taken place within the last half year in several of the most important branches of our Commerce and Manufactures; and that, in many of the manufacturing districts, the distresses which prevailed at the commencement of the last session of Parliament have greatly abated.

"It will be my most anxious desire to concur in every measure which may be considered as calculated to advance our internal prosperity.

"I well know that, notwithstanding the agitations produced by temporary circumstances, and amidst the distress which still presses upon a large portion of my subjects, the firmest reliance may be placed on that affectionate and loyal attachment to my person and government, of which I have recently received so many testimonies from all parts of my kingdom; and which, whilst it is most grateful to the strongest feelings of my heart, I shall ever consider as the best and surest safeguard of my throne.

"In the discharge of the important duties imposed upon you, you will, I am confident, be sensible of the indispensable necessity of promoting and maintaining, to the utmost of your power, a due obedience to the laws, and of instilling into all classes of my subjects a respect for lawful authority, and for those established institutions under which the country has been enabled to overcome so many difficulties, and to which, under Providence, may be ascribed our happiness and renown as a nation."

His Majesty then retired and the Commons returned to their own House.