HL Deb 12 February 1918 vol 29 cc1-2

THE KING being seated on the Throne, and the Commons being at the Bar with their Speaker, His Majesty was pleased to make a most gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament, and then retired.

His Majesty's Speech was as follows—

"My Lords, and Gentlemen,

"The necessities of War render it imperative for Me, after but a brief interval, to summon you again to your deliberations.

"The aims for which I and My Allies are contending were recently set forth by My Government in a statement which received the emphatic approval of My peoples throughout the Empire, and provided a fair basis for the settlement of the present struggle and the re-establishment of national rights and international peace in the future.

"The German Government has, however, ignored our just demands that it should make restitution for the wrongs it has committed, and furnish guarantees against their unprovoked repetition. Its spokesmen refuse any obligations for themselves, while denying the rightful liberties of others.

"Until a recognition is offered of the only principles on which an honourable peace can be concluded, it is Our duty to prosecute the War with all the vigour that we possess. I have full confidence that My forces in the field, in close cooperation with those of My faithful Allies, will continue to display the same heroic courage and My people at home the same unselfish devotion that have already frustrated so many of the enemy's designs and will ensure the ultimate triumph of a righteous cause.

"I have summoned representatives of My Dominions and of My Indian Empire to a further session of the Imperial War Cabinet, in order that I may again receive their advice on questions of moment affecting the common interests of the Empire.

"Gentlemen of the House of Commons,

"You will be asked to make suitable provision for the requirements of the combatant services and for the stability of Our national finance.

"My Lords, and Gentlemen,

"The struggle on which we are engaged has reached a critical stage, which demands more than ever Our united energies and resources. I confidently commend to your patriotism the measures which will be submitted to You, and I pray that the Almighty may bestow His blessing on your labours."

House adjourned during pleasure.

House resumed.