HL Deb 10 August 1866 vol 184 cc2155-60

The PARLIAMENT was this day prorogued by Commission.

The LORDS COMMISSIONERS—namely, The LORD CHANCELLOR; The LORD PRIVY SEAL (The Duke of Buckingham); The EARL OF MALMESBIIRY; The EARL OF BRADFORD; and The EARL OF CADOGAN—being in their robes, and seated on a Form between the Throne and the Woolsack; and the COMMONS being come with their Speaker, the ROYAL ASSENT was given to several Bills.

Then THE LORD CHANCELLOR delivered the SPEECH of The LORDS COMMISIONERS as follows:—

"My Lords, and Gentlemen,

"WE are commanded by Her Majesty, in releasing you from the Labours of a protracted Session, to convey to you Her Majesty's Acknowledgments for the Zeal and Assiduity with which you have applied yourselves to your Parliamentary Duties.

"HER Majesty has much Satisfaction in informing you that Her Relations with all Foreign Powers are on the most friendly Footing.

"HER Majesty has watched with anxious Interest the Progress of the War which has recently convulsed a great Portion of the Continent of Europe. Her Majesty cannot have been an indifferent Spectator of Events which have seriously affected the Positions of Sovereigns and Princes with whom Her Majesty is connected by the closest Ties of Relationship and Friendship; but Her Majesty has not deemed it expedient to take part in a Contest in which neither the Honour of Her Crown nor the Interest of Her People demanded any active Intervention on Her Part. Her Majesty can only express an earnest Hope that the Negotiations now in progress between the Belligerent Powers may lead to such an Arrangement as may lay the Foundation of a secure and lasting Peace.

"A WIDE-SPREAD treasonable Conspiracy, having for its Objects the Subversion of Her Majesty's Authority in Ireland, the Confiscation of Property, and the Establishment of a Republic, having its Seat in Ireland, but deriving its principal Support from naturalized Citizens of a foreign and friendly State, compelled Her Majesty at the Commencement of the present Session to assent to a Measure, recommended by Her Representative in Ireland, for the temporary Suspension in that Part of Her Majesty's Dominions of the Habeas Corpus Act. That Measure, firmly but temperately acted on by the Irish Executive, had the Effect of repressing any outward Manifestations of treasonable Intentions, and of causing the Withdrawal from Ireland of the greater Portion of those Foreign Agents by whom the Conspiracy was mainly fostered.

"THE Leaders, however, of this Movement were not deterred from prosecuting their criminal Designs beyond the Limits of Her Majesty's Dominions. They even attempted from the Territories of the United States of America an Inroad upon the peaceful Subjects of Her Majesty in Her North American Provinces. That attempted Inroad, however, only served to manifest in the strongest Manner the Loyalty and Devotion of Her Majesty's Subjects in those Provinces, who, without Exception of Creed or Origin, united in Defence of their Sovereign and their Country. It served also to show the good Faith and scrupulous Attention to international Rights displayed by the Government of the United States, whose active Interference, by checking any attempted Invasion of a friendly State, mainly contributed to protect Her Majesty's Dominions against the Evils of a predatory Inroad.

"HER Majesty would have been rejoiced at the Close of the present Session to be enabled to put an end to the exceptional Legislation which She was compelled to sanction at its Commencement; but the Protection which Her Majesty owes to Her loyal Subjects leaves Her no Alternative but that of assenting to the Advice of Her Parliament to continue till their next Meeting the Provisions of the existing Law. Her Majesty looks anxiously forward to the Time when She may be enabled to revert to the ordinary Provisions of the Law.

"Gentlemen of the House of Commons,

"HER Majesty commands us to thank you for the liberal Provision which you have made for the Public Service, and for the Naval and Military Defences of the Country.

"My Lords, and Gentlemen,

"HER Majesty has seen with great Concern the Monetary Pressure which, for a Period of unprecedented Duration, has weighed upon the Interests of the Country. The consequent Embarrassment appeared at one Moment to be aggravated by so general a Feeling of Distrust and of Alarm that Her Majesty, in order to restore Confidence, authorized Her Ministers to recommend to the Directors of the Bank of England a Course of Proceeding suited to the Emergency.

"THIS, though justifiable under the Circumstances, might have led to an Infringement of the Law, but Her Majesty has the Satisfaction of being able to inform you that no such Infringement has taken place, and that, although the Monetary Pressure is not yet sensibly mitigated, Alarm is subsiding, and the State of Trade being sound, and the Condition of the People generally prosperous, Her Majesty entertains a sanguine Hope that Confidence will soon be restored.

"HER Majesty has observed with Satisfaction and with deep Gratitude to Almighty God that He has so far favoured the Measures which have been adopted for staying the fearful Pestilence which has visited our Herds and Flocks, that its destructive Effects have been in a great measure checked, and that there is Reason to hope for its entire Extinction at no distant Period. In the meantime Her Majesty has given Her willing Assent to a Measure which has been introduced for the Relief of those Districts which have suffered the most severely from its Visitation.

"HER Majesty regrets that this Country has at length been subjected to the fearful Visitation of Cholera which has prevailed in other European Countries, but from which it has hitherto been happily exempt. Her Majesty has directed that a Form of Prayer to Almighty God, suitable to the present Exigency, should be offered up in all the Churches of this Realm; and Her Majesty has given Her cordial Approval to Legislative Measures sanctioning the Adoption, by Local Authorities, of such Steps as Science and Experience have shown to be most effectual for the Check of this fearful Malady.

"Her Majesty hopes that those in whose Hands so large and beneficial an Authority is left will not be slow to execute the Powers entrusted to them, and that they will be seconded in their Endeavours by all who have at Heart the Safety and Well-being of Her People. In connexion with this Subject Her Majesty hopes that a Bill, to which She has given Her ready Assent, for improving the Navigation of the River Thames, may incidentally be conducive to the Public Health.

"HER Majesty has great Satisfaction in congratulating the Country, and the World at large, on the successful Accomplishment of the great Design of connecting Europe and America by the Means of an Electric Telegraph. It is hardly possible to anticipate the full Extent of the Benefits which may be conferred on the Human Race by this signal Triumph of scientific Enterprise; and Her Majesty has Pleasure in expressing Her deep Sense of what is due to the private Energy which, in spite of repeated Failure and Discouragement, has at length, for the Second Time, succeeded in establishing direct Communication between the Two Continents. Her Majesty trusts that no Impediment may occur to interrupt the Success of this great Undertaking, calculated, as it undoubtedly is, to cement yet closer the Ties which bind Her Majesty's North American Colonies to their Mother Country, and to promote the unrestricted Intercourse and friendly Feeling which it is most desirable should subsist between Her Majesty's Dominions and the great Republic of the United States.

"HER Majesty is aware that, in returning to your respective Homes, many of you have Duties to perform hardly less important than those which belong to you in your legislative Capacity. Her Majesty places full Reliance on the Loyalty and Devotion with which you will discharge those Duties; and Her Majesty earnestly prays that your Influence and Efforts may, under the Blessing of Divine Providence, tend to the general Welfare, Prosperity, and Contentment of Her People.

Then a Commission for proroguing the Parliament was read.

After which,


My Lords, and Gentlemen,

By virtue of Her Majesty's Commission, under the Great Seal, to us and other Lords directed, and now read, we do, in Her Majesty's Name, and in obedience to Her Commands, prorogue this Parliament to Thursday the Twenty-fifth Day of October next, to be then here holden; and this Parliament is accordingly prorogued to Thursday the Twenty-fifth Day of October next.

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