HL Deb 01 July 1852 vol 122 cc1424-9

This day being appointed for the Prorogation of the Parliament by THE QUEEN in Person, HER MAJESTY entered the House soon after Two o'clock, accompanied by the Prince Albert, and attended by the Great Officers of State.


being seated on the Throne, and the Commons (who were sent for) being come, with their Speaker,


made the following Speech to HER MAJESTY:—


"We, Your Majesty's dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, approach Your Majesty with feelings of unfeigned respect and attachment. We acknowledge with gratitude the uninterrupted tranquillity and prosperity which, by the blessing of Providence, this nation has been permitted to enjoy—affording to us, as it has done, a fitting opportunity of directing our attention to questions of domestic policy, and of effecting various social and sanitary improvements which the interests of the public imperatively required. The difficulty and cost of obtaining patents for inventions has long been a subject of complaint; for these evils we have endeavoured to provide an efficient remedy, which, without imposing undue restrictions upon the public, will secure for ingenuity and talent a just protection and reward. Availing ourselves of the valuable information furnished by the reports of Commissions appointed by Your Majesty, we have made extensive and important changes in the proceedings of the superior courts of law and equity; and we confidently hope that by materially curtailing and simplifying those proceedings, which have caused so much harassing expense and delay, we have removed the reproach which has hitherto attached to the administration of justice in this Kingdom. In obedience to Your Majesty's commands, we have framed a constitution for the colony of New Zealand, and we trust that the same love of freedom, the same loyalty to the Crown, which is so conspicuous in Your Majesty's do- minions at home, will be the guiding principle of Your Majesty's subjects in that remote but important dependency of the Empire. The military defence of this country has received from us the most serious and patient consideration. Fully alive to the extraordinary demand upon the services of the Army in Your Majesty's possessions abroad, we deemed it advisable no longer to suspend the operation of the laws regulating the militia of England and Wales; but so far to modify their provisions, by substituting voluntary for compulsory enlistment, as to make them less onerous to the working classes. This course has been dictated by no unworthy motives of jealousy and distrust towards other Powers; we felt it to be due to a great and generous people to protect them from the possibility of a surprise, and, by adopting such a measure of precaution, and by removing all grounds for alarm arising from a sense of insecurity, we believe that we have done much to insure the continuance of that peace which it has been our anxious desire to maintain with all the world. For these and other objects connected with the service of this extended Empire, it has been the duty as well as the especial privilege of Your Majesty's faithful Commons to make just and ample provision; and the Rill which I have now to present to Your Majesty, entitled, 'The Consolidated Fund Appropriation Bill,' completes the grants for the present year, to which we humbly invite Your Majesty's Royal Assent."

And MR. SPEAKER delivered the Money Bill to the Clerk; and the Royal Assent was then pronounced to several Bills.

HER MAJESTY was then pleased to make a most Gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament, as follows:—

"My Lords, and Gentlemen,

"I AM induced, by Considerations of Public Policy, to release you at an earlier Period than usual from your Legislative Duties.

"THE Zeal and Diligence, however, with which you have applied your- selves to your Parliamentary Labours have enabled Me in this comparatively short Session to give My Assent to many Measures of high Importance, and, I trust, of great and permanent Advantage.

"I RECEIVE from all Foreign Powers Assurances that they are animated by the most friendly Dispositions towards this Country; and I entertain a confident Hope that the amicable Relations happily subsisting between the principal European States may be so firmly established, as, under Divine Providence, to secure to the World a long Continuance of the Blessings of Peace. To this great End My Attention will be unremittingly directed.

"I REJOICE that the final Settlement of the Affairs of Holstein and Schles-wig, by the general Concurrence of the Powers chiefly interested, has removed One Cause of recent Difference and of future Anxiety.

"THE amicable Termination of the Discussions which have taken place between the Sublime Porte and the Pacha of Egypt afford a Guarantee for the Tranquillity of the East, and an Encouragement to the Extension of Commercial Enterprise.

"THE Refusal on the Part of the King of Ava of Redress justly demanded for Insults and Injuries offered to My Subjects at Rangoon has necessarily led to an Interruption of friendly Relations with that Sovereign. The Promptitude and Vigour with which the Governor General of India has taken the Measures thus rendered unavoidable, have merited My entire Approbation; and I am confident that you will participate in the Satisfaction with which I have observed the Conduct of all the Naval and Military Forces, European and Indian, by whose Valour and Discipline the important Captures of Rangoon and Martaban have been accomplished, and in the Hope which I entertain that these signal successes may lead to an early and honourable Peace.

"TREATIES have been concluded by My Naval Commanders with the King of Dahomey and all the African Chiefs whose Rule extends along the Bight of Benin, for the total Abolition of the Slave Trade, which is at present wholly suppressed upon that Coast.

"I HAVE had great Satisfaction in giving My Assent to the Measure which you have wisely adopted for the better Organization of the Militia: a constitutional Force which, being limited to Purposes of internal Defence, can afford no just Ground of Jealousy to neighbouring Powers, but which, in the event of any sudden and unforeseen Disturbance of My Foreign Relations, would at all Times contribute essentially to the Protection and Security of My Dominions.

"Gentlemen of the House of Commons,

"I THANK you for the liberal Provision which you have made for the Exigencies of the Public Service. The Expenditure which you have authorized shall be applied with a due Regard to Economy and Efficiency.

"THE recent Discoveries of extensive Gold Fields have produced in the Australian Colonies a temporary Disturbance of Society requiring prompt Attention; I have taken such Steps as appeared to Me most urgently necessary for the Mitigation of this serious Evil. I shall continue anxiously to watch-the important Results which must follow from these Discoveries. I have willingly concurred with you in an Act, which, by rendering available to the Service of those Colonies the Portion arising within them of the Hereditary Revenue placed at the Disposal of Parliament on My Accession to the Throne, may enable them to meet their necessarily increased Expenditure.

"My Lords, and Gentlemen,

"I HAVE gladly assented to the important Bills which you have passed for effecting Reforms, long and anxiously desired, in the Practice and Proceedings of the Superior Courts of Law and Equity, and generally for improving the Administration of Justice. Every Measure which simplifies the Forms and diminishes the Delay and Expense of Legal Proceedings, without introducing Uncertainty of Decision, impairing the Authority of the Courts, or lowering the high Standard of the Judicial Bench, is a valuable Boon conferred on the Community at large.

"I HOPE that the Measures which you have adopted for promoting Extramural Interment of the Dead, and for improving the Supply of Water, may be found effectual for the Remedy of Evils, the Existence of which has long been a Reproach to this great Metropolis, and may conduce to the Health and Comfort of its Inhabitants.

"THE Extension of Popular Rights and Legislative Powers to my Subjects resident in the Colonies is always to Me an Object of deep Interest; and I trust that the Representative Institutions which, in conceit with you, I have sanctioned for New Zealand may promote the Welfare and Contentment of the Population of that distant, but most interesting, Colony, and confirm their Loyalty and Attachment to My Crown,

"IT is My Intention, without Delay, to dissolve this present Parliament; and it is My earnest Prayer that, in the Exercise of the high Functions which, according to our free Constitution, will devolve upon the several Constituencies, they may be directed by an All-wise Providence to the Selection of Representatives whose Wisdom and Patriotism may aid Me in My unceasing Endeavours to sustain the Honour and Dignity of My Crown, to uphold the Protestant Institutions of the Country, and the Civil and Religious Liberty which is their natural Result to extend and improve the National Education, to develope and encourage Industry, Art, and Science, and to elevate the moral and social Condition, and thereby promote the Welfare and Happiness, of My People."

Then the LORD CHANCELLOR, by HER MAJESTY'S command, said—


"It is Her Majesty's Royal Will and Pleasure, That this Parliament be prorogued to Friday the Twentieth Day of August' next, to be then here holden; and this Parliament is accordingly prorogued to Friday the Twentieth Day of August next."

HER MAJESTY and the Prince Albert, attended by the Officers of State, as before, then retired, and the rest of the assembly immediately dispersed.