HL Deb 31 January 1837 vol 36 cc1-4

The Parliament was this day opened by Commission. The Commissioners present were—the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor, the Marquess of Lansdowne, Viscount Duncannon, and Viscount Melbourne.

The Lord Chancellor read the following Speech:— My Lords and Gentlemen, We are commanded by his Majesty to acquaint you that his Majesty continues to receive from all Foreign Powers the strongest assurances of their friendly disposition; and his Majesty trusts that the experience of the blessings which peace confers upon nations, will tend to confirm and secure the present tranquillity. His Majesty laments that the civil contest which has agitated the Spanish Monarchy has not yet been brought to a close; but his Majesty has continued to afford to the Queen of Spain that aid which, by the treaty of quadruple alliance of 1834, his Majesty engaged to give if it should become necessary; and his Majesty rejoices that his co-operating force has rendered useful assistance to the troops of her Catholic Majesty. Events have happened in Portugal which, for a time, threatened to disturb the internal peace of that country. His Majesty ordered, in consequence, a temporary augmentation of his naval force in the Tagus, for the more effectual protection of the persons and property of his subjects resident in Lisbon; and the Admiral commanding his Majesty's squadron was authorised, in case of need, to afford protection to the person of the Queen of Portugal, without, however, interfering in those constitutional questions which divided the conflicting parties. His Majesty has directed the Reports of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the state of the province of Lower Canada to be laid before you, and has ordered us to call your attention to that important subject. We have it also in charge to recommend for your serious deliberation those provisions which will be submitted to you for the improvement of the law and of the administration of justice, assuring you that his Majesty's anxiety for the accomplishment of these objects remains undiminished. We are required to convey to you his Majesty's desire that you should consult upon such further measures as may give increased stability to the Established Church, and produce concord and goodwill. "Gentlemen of the House of Commons, The estimates of the year have been prepared with every desire to meet the exigencies of the public service in the spirit of a wise economy. His Majesty has directed them to be laid before you without delay. The increase of the revenue has hitherto more than justified the expectations created by the receipts of former years. His Majesty recommends an early renewal of your inquiries into the operation of the Act permitting the establishment of joint-stock banks. The best security against mismanagement of banking affairs must ever be found in the capacity and integrity of those who are intrusted with the administration of them, and in the caution and prudence of the public; but no legislative regulation should be omitted, which can increase and insure the stability of establishments upon which commercial credit so much depends. "My Lords and Gentlemen, His Majesty has more especially commanded us to bring under your notice the state of Ireland, and the wisdom of adopting all such measures as may improve the condition of that part of the United Kingdom. His Majesty recommends to your early consideration the present constitution of the municipal corporations of that country, the collection of tithes, and the difficult but pressing question of establishing some legal provision for the poor, guarded by prudent regulations, and by such precautions against abuse as your experience and knowledge of the subject enable you to suggest. His Majesty commits these great interests into your hands, in the confidence that you will be able to frame laws in accordance with the wishes of his Majesty and the expectation of his people. His Majesty is persuaded that, should this hope be fulfilled, you will not only contribute to the welfare of Ireland, but strengthen the law and constitution of these realms, by securing their benefits to all classes of his Majesty's subjects. The House adjourned, and met again at five o'clock.