HL Deb 15 August 1834 vol 25 cc1265-9

His Majesty went this day in state to the House of Peers to prorogue the Parliament.

The Usher of the Black Rod having summoned the Commons, and

The Speaker

having taken his place at the bar, addressed his Majesty to the following effect:—"May it please your Majesty, we, your Majesty's faithful Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, attend your Majesty with our last Bill of Supply.

"Sire, matters of the deepest moment to the country have pressed upon us during this long and laborious Session; and, amongst the most prominent, the Bill 'For the Amendment and better Administration of the laws relating to the Poor in England and Wales,' has almost, from the commencement to the close of the Session, occupied our unwearied attention. Sire, it was impossible for us to approach a subject of such infinite delicacy, and such immense importance, without much of apprehension, and I might say, much of alarm. The measure, in its effects upon the comforts, the industry, the morals, and the general welfare of the largest class of society, has, as it could not fail to do, attracted our most serious and most anxious consideration. And if, Sire, the results of this measure shall be in success proportionate to the laborious investigation it has undergone, both in and out of Parliament, we have to hope that its benefits will be as lasting as they will be grateful to all ranks and classes of society.

"Nor, Sire, have we been unmindful of the pressure of the public burthens. So far as the revenues of the country have allowed us to deal with that matter, we have reduced taxation. We have reduced the annual charge of the Four per Cent Annuities, and we have diminished, as compared with the last year, and as low as the exigencies of the respective services would admit, the several Estimates of the current year.

"Sire, we have laboured in the discharge of our duties with assiduity; and we trust we have discharged those duties with efficiency.

"Sire, the Bill which it is now my duty to present to your Majesty, is entitled, 'An Act to apply certain sums voted out of the Consolidated Fund, to the service of the year 1834, and to appropriate the Supplies granted in this Session of Parliament;' to which, with all humility, we pray your Majesty to give the Royal Assent."

The Royal Assent was given to the Bill; and to the Customs—Church Temporalities (Ireland)—Fines and Recoveries (Ireland)—Courts of Equity—Tithes Stay of Suits—Warrants of Distress (Ireland)—Sale of Beer—Burghs (Scotland)—Royal Burghs (Scotland)—Registration of Voters (Scotland)—Turnpike Road Acts (Ireland) Continuance—General Turnpike Act Amendment—Trading Associations—Letters Patent—and South Australia Bills.

His Majesty then delivered the following Speech.

My Lords and Gentlemen,

"The numerous and important questions which have in the present as in the two preceding years been submitted to your consideration, have imposed upon you the necessity of extraordinary exertions, and it is with a deep sense of the care and labour which you have bestowed upon the public business that I at length close this protracted Session, and release you from your attendance.

"I continue to receive from all Foreign Powers, assurances of their friendly disposition.

"The negotiations, on account of which the conferences in London upon the affairs of the Low Countries were suspended, have not yet been brought to a close, and I have still to lament the continued postponement of a final settlement between Holland and Belgium.

"On the other hand, I have derived the most sincere and lively satisfaction from the termination of the civil war which had so long distracted the Kingdom of Portugal, and I rejoice to think that the treaty which the state of affairs in Spain and in Portugal induced me to conclude with the King of the French, the Queen Regent of Spain, and the Regent of Portugal, and which has already been laid before you, contributed materially to produce this happy result.

"Events have since occurred in Spain to disappoint, for a time, the hopes of tranquillity in that country, which the pacification of Portugal had inspired.

"To these events, so important to Great Britain, I shall give my most serious attention, in concert with France, and with the other Powers who are parties to the treaty of the 22nd of April; and the good understanding which prevails between me and my allies encourages me to expect that our united endeavours will be attended with success.

"The peace of Turkey remains undisturbed, and I trust that no event will happen in that quarter to interrupt the tranquillity of Europe.

"I have not failed to observe with approbation, that you have directed your attention to those domestic questions which more immediately affect the general welfare of the community, and I have had much satisfaction in sanctioning your wise and benevolent intentions by giving my Assent to the Act for the Amendment and better Administration of the Laws relating to the poor in England and Wales. It will be my duty to provide, that the autho- rity necessarily vested in Commissioners nominated by the Crown be exercised with temperance and caution, and I entertain a confident expectation, that its prudent and judicious application, as well as the discreet enforcement of the other Provisions of the Act, will by degrees remedy the evils which at present prevail, and, whilst they elevate the character, will increase the comforts and improve the condition of my people.

"The Amendment of the Law is one of your first and most important duties, and I rejoice to perceive that it has occupied so much of your attention. The establishment of a Central Court for the trial of offences in the metropolis and its neighbourhood, will, I trust, improve the administration of justice within the populous sphere of its jurisdiction, and afford a useful example to every other part of the kingdom.

"To the important subject of our Jurisprudence and of our Municipal Corporations your attention will naturally be directed early in the next Session. You may always rest assured of my disposition to co-operate with you in such useful reformations.

"Gentlemen of the House of Commons,

"I thank you for the readiness with which you have granted the Supplies. The estimates laid before you were somewhat lower than those of former years, although they included several extraordinary charges, which will not again occur. The same course of economy will still be steadily pursued. The continual increase of the Revenue, notwithstanding the repeal of so many taxes, affords the surest proof that the resources of the country are unimpaired, and justifies the expectation, that a perseverance in judicious and well-considered measures will still further promote the industry and augment the wealth of my people.

"My Lords and Gentlemen,

"It gives me great gratification to believe, that on returning to your several counties, you will find a prevalence of general tranquillity and of active industry amongst all classes of society. I humbly hope, that Divine Providence will vouchsafe a continuance and increase of these blessings, and in any circumstances which may arise I shall rely with confidence upon your zeal and fidelity, and I rest satisfied, that you will inculcate and encourage that obedience to the laws, and that observance of the duties of religion and morality, which are the only secure foundations of the power and happiness of empires."

Then the Lord Chancellor, by his Majesty's command, said—

"My Lords and Gentlemen,

"It is his Majesty's Royal will and pleasure, that this Parliament be prorogued to Thursday, the 25th day of September next, to be then here holden; and this Parliament is accordingly prorogued to Thursday, the 25th day of September next."

His Majesty then withdrew, and their Lordships retired.