HL Deb 01 August 1930 vol 78 cc1208-16

The following Bills, and Measures passed according to the provisions of Section 4 of the Church of England (Powers) Act, received the Royal Assent.

House adjourned during pleasure.

House resumed.


And afterwards His Majesty's most gracious Speech was delivered to both Houses of Parliament by the Lord Chancellor (in pursuance of His Majesty's Command) as followeth—

"My Lords and Members of the House of Commons.

"My relations with foreign Powers continue to be friendly.

"It has given Me great pleasure to welcome in My capital Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Takamatsu, and to learn from His Imperial Highness of the gratification which the Emperor of Japan derived from the visit of My son, the Duke of Gloucester, to Japan last year to convey to His Imperial Majesty the insignia of the Order of the Garter.

"At the Conference held at The Hague last January Agreements were concluded for the definite settlement of the reparation liabilities of Germany, Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria. These Agreements, together with that subsequently concluded at Paris, solved a number of difficult and delicate problems which have impeded the political as well as the financial progress of Europe; and their conclusion enabled the evacuation of the Rhineland by the Armies of Occupation to be completed on the 30th June last. The Hague Conference thus marks a decisive stage in the financial reconstruction and political tranquillisation of Europe and its success has given Me profound satisfaction.

"In January it afforded Me great pleasure to open at Westminster an international conference for the limitation and reduction of naval armaments. After three months of deliberation a Treaty embodying many important points of agreement in regard to the principles of naval limitation and achieving effective economies in the sphere of naval armaments was signed by representatives of the United States of America, France, Italy and Japan and of My Governments in the United Kingdom, the Dominions and India. In addition the Treaty embodies an agreement between My Governments and those of the United States of America and Japan fixing for a period a total tonnage limit for certain categories of warships. In this agreement the representatives of France and Italy were unable at the time of the signature of the Treaty to participate. The Conference was accordingly adjourned so as to give further time for negotiations, and these will, I trust, result in a full agreement at no very distant date.

"The Optional Clause of the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice was signed at Geneva in September last in respect of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, My self-governing Dominions and India, and the several instruments of ratification are now completed or nearing completion.

"In October last the Prime Minister visited Washington for the purpose of an informal discussion with the President of the United States upon various questions bearing on the peace of the world and an international agreement regarding reduction and limitation of naval armaments. Subsequently the Prime Minister visited Ottawa. The very cordial manlier in which he was received caused Me the liveliest satisfaction.

"A mission under the Chairmanship of Viscount D'Abernon was appointed in 1929 to consider Anglo-Argentine and Anglo-Brazilian relations, industrial, commercial and financial, with a view to their development to the mutual advantage of the countries respectively concerned.

"The failure of the recent negotiations for an Anglo-Egyptian settlement occasioned Me sincere disappointment, but I hope that a successful conclusion may soon be reached.

"Diplomatic relations with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics were resumed in December last, and placed on a normal basis by the appointment of Ambassadors.

"I am happy to say that the restoration of more settled conditions in Afghanistan has enabled Me to accredit a Minister to His Majesty King Nadir Shah, and to receive a representative of His Majesty in My capital.

"A new Treaty of Alliance between Myself and His Majesty the King of Iraq to regulate the future relations between Our two countries, has been signed by Our respective representatives. The text of this Treaty has been laid before you.

"I am glad that arrangements have been made for a meeting of the Imperial Conference in London at the end of September. I welcome the opportunities afforded by such meetings between the representatives of My several Governments for the pro- motion of mutual understanding and of co-operation in all matters of common concern. The Expert Conference on the Operation of Dominion Legislation which met in London last year presented a Report which will come before the Imperial Conference for consideration.

"In accordance with an Address to Me from the Senate and Commons of Canada, the British North America Act, 1930, has been passed for the purpose of confirming and validating certain agreements entered into between My Government in Canada and the Governments of the Provinces of Manitoba, British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

"A Conference attended by Governors and other senior officials from the Colonies, Protectorates and Mandated Territories assembled in June to discuss matters of common interest to the various territories of the Colonial Empire.

"During the Session the Commission appointed by Me in pursuance of the provisions of the Government of India Act have completed their arduous duty and have submitted to Me their Report, which has been presented to both your Houses. My Government will shortly be approaching the task of framing and submitting for your consideration proposals for the future government of India. For guidance in this matter, it is their intention to summon into conference in London representatives of the wide variety of interests in India. I earnestly pray that a, spirit of mutual trust and friendship may unite all races and creeds in India, and the representatives of both countries, in their discharge of the responsibilities which the Conference will impose upon them; and I am confident that the single purpose of promoting the welfare of My Indian people will be the inspiration of every member of the Conference.

"Members of the House of Commons,

"I thank you for the provision you have made for the public service.

"My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

"The high level to which unemployment has risen during the past year and the world-wide depression in trade is causing Me very grave anxiety. Measures have been passed with the object of promoting works of economic development in this country and in My Overseas Dependencies. It is encouraging to find that schemes have been designed to provide useful employment in works of public utility of a total value of over £100,000,000. This has been made possible by a substantial contribution granted by My Government.

"I have given My assent to a further Measure to facilitate more speedy execution of works of this character by local authorities and other bodies.

"Reports have been received on the enquiries undertaken into the condition of the iron and steel and cotton industries in order to discover means of improving their position in the markets of the world, and discussion of the recommendations made is actively proceeding between all the interests concerned.

"A Bill has been passed which amends the Unemployment Insurance Scheme in several important respects, and other legislative measures have been necessary to provide for the heavy expenditure on unemployment benefit occasioned by the great volume of unemployment.

"I have given My assent to a Measure for ameliorating the conditions of miners by reducing their hours of labour and for effecting an improvement in the organisation of the mining industry.

"A Measure, based generally on the recommendations of My Commission on Land Drainage, has been passed to enable essential comprehensive drainage works to be undertaken for the prevention of flooding and the consequent benefit of agriculture, and the increase of employment in rural areas.

"Acts have also been passed to make further provision with respect to the drainage of agricultural land in Scotland and to provide additional monies for improving medical service in the Highlands and Islands.

"Steps are being taken to appoint an Agricultural Research Council, and with this purpose in view a Committee of the Privy Council has been appointed.

"I have given My assent to Measures to facilitate the clearance and prevention of slums and the provision of better housing accommodation, both in urban and rural areas in Great Britain.

"It is My earnest hope that these Measures will improve the unsatisfactory conditions under which so many of My people dwell.

"I have given My assent to a Bill which modifies the conditions applicable to certain pensions under the Widows', Orphans' and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act, 1925, and brings some new classes of persons within the benefits of the Act; to a Measure designed to improve and extend the facilities for the treatment of mental illness, and also to a Bill amending and consolidating the law relating to the regulation and control of motor vehicles.

"In bidding you farewell, I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon the work which you have completed."

Then a Commission for proroguing the Parliament was read.

After which the LORD CHANCELLOR said:

MY LORDS, AND MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.—By virtue of Him Majesty's Commission, under the Great Seal, to us and other Lords directed, and now read, we do, in His Majesty's name and in obedience to His Commands, prorogue this Parliament to Tuesday, the twenty-eighth day of October, One thousand nine hundred and thirty, to be then here holden; and this Parliament is accordingly prorogued to Tuesday, the twenty-eighth day of October, One thousand nine hundred and thirty.

End of the First Session of the Thirty-fifth Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the twenty-first year of the Reign of His Majesty King George V.