HL Deb 06 February 1911 vol 7 cc4-6

THE KING, being seated on the Throne, and the Commons being at the Bar with their SPEAKER, His Majesty made and subscribed the declaration pursuant to the Accession Declaration Act, 1910, and afterwards made a most gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament, and then retired.

His Majesty's Speech was as follows:—

"My Lords, and Gentlemen,

"In opening the first Parliament elected in My reign, the grievous loss which the Empire has sustained by the death of My beloved Father is upper most in My thoughts. When, a year ago, He addressed you from the Throne no one could have foreseen that His life of unceasing and devoted activity in the service of His subjects was so soon to be cut short. Bowing to the inscrutable decree of Providence, I take courage from His example, and I am sustained in My abiding sorrow by the sympathy extended to me by My people in every part of My Dominions.

"I have welcomed back My Uncle, the Duke of Connaught, on the completion of the Mission in South Africa, which I entrusted to him, and it has deeply gratified Me to learn that he was received with demonstrations of the utmost enthusiasm and loyalty in every part of My South African Dominions, and by every class of the community.

"My relations with foreign Powers continue to be friendly.

"The Japanese Government, having given notice of their intention to terminate the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation of 1894, negotiations, which it is hoped will result in a satisfactory arrangement, have been entered upon for the conclusion of a new Treaty.

"Frequent complaints of the injury inflicted on British trade by the continued disorder on the trade routes in Southern Persia led My Government reluctantly to address strong representa- tions to the Persian Government, who have since given attention to the subject. Some improvement has lately been shown in the condition of the routes, and My Ministers propose to await further developments before pressing for the adoption of their own proposals, which, in any case, would have no other object than to see the authority of the Persian Government restored and trade protected.

"I look forward with much interest to the assembling in May next of the Imperial Conference, at which the Chief Ministers of My Self-Governing Dominions and of the Mother Country will unite in counsel regarding matters of importance submitted by My respective Governments.

"It is My intention, when the solemnity of My Coronation has been celebrated, to revisit My Indian Dominions, and there to hold an Assemblage in order to make known in person to My subjects My succession to the imperial Crown of India.

"Gentlemen of the House of Commons,

"The Estimates for the ensuing year will in due course be laid before you.

"My Lord., and Gentlemen,

"Proposals will be submitted to you without delay for settling the relations I between the two Houses of Parliament, with the object of securing the more effective working of the constitution.

"Measures will be presented to you, in pursuance of intentions already declared, for carrying out and extending the policy initiated in previous Parliaments, by securing the permanent provision of Old Age Pensions to persons previously disqualified by reason of the receipt of Poor Relief; and by providing for the insurance of the industrial population against sickness and invalidity, and for the insurance against unemployment of those engaged in trades specially liable to it.

"Bills dealing with other measures of importance will be introduced and proceeded with as time and opportunity allow.

"I pray that Almighty God may bless your labours."

House adjourned during pleasure.

House resumed.

Several Lords—Took the Oath.

The LORD CHANCELLOR acquainted the House that the Clerk of the Parliaments had received (by post) from the Lord Clerk Register of Scotland, and had laid upon the Table minutes of the meeting held on the 15th of December last of the Peers of Scotland for the election of their representatives to sit and vote in the ensuing Parliament of the United Kingdom; and also, return by the Lord Clerk Register of Scotland concerning titles of peerages called at the said meeting in right of which respectively no vote had been received and counted for fifty years last past as at the date of the said meeting: Ordered, that the said minutes of election, &c., be printed. (No. 1.)