HL Deb 06 November 1985 vol 468 cc1-4


The QUEEN, being seated on the Throne, and attended by Her Officers of State (the Lords being in their robes), commanded the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, through the Lord Great Chamberlain, to let the Commons know, "It is Her Majesty's pleasure they attend Her immediately in this House."

Who being come, with their Speaker:

Her Majesty was pleased to speak as follows:

"My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

"I look forward with great pleasure to receiving His Highness the Amir of Qatar, their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain and the President of the Federal Republic of Germany and Freifrau von Weizaecker on State Visits during the next 12 months.

"I also look forward to paying a State Visit to Nepal in February, followed by visits to New Zealand and Australia and to paying a State Visit to China and visiting Hong Kong in October.

"My Government continue to attach the highest importance to the maintenance of national security and the preservation of peace with freedom and justice. They will continue to play a full and active part in the Atlantic Alliance and to enhance the United Kingdom's own defences. They will make vigorous efforts to combat international terrorism.

"My Government will continue to work for progress in arms control and disarmament negotiations and for greater co-operation and trust between East and West.

"My Government welcome the accession of Spain and Portugal to the European Community and will introduce the necessary legislation. Within the Community, they will work for improved decision taking, strengthened co-operation on foreign policy, early completion of the common market, improvements in world trade rules and reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.

"While honouring their undertakings to the people of the Falkland Islands, my Government will continue to seek more normal relations with Argentina. They will also continue to discharge their obligations to the people of Hong Kong; and will propose provisions to implement the nationality arrangements arising from the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

"My Government will work for peaceful and fundamental change in South Africa with the European Community and the Commonwealth: for the restoration of peace and stability in Lebanon: and for solutions to the conflict between Iraq and Iran and the Arab/Israel dispute. They will seek to restore an independent and non-aligned Afghanistan. They will support United Nations efforts for a settlement in Cyprus, and those of the Contadora Group to resolve the tensions in Central America.

"My Government will give full support to the Commonwealth, and play a constructive role at the United Nations. They will maintain a substantial aid programme; play their part in the relief of famine and of other disasters; and encourage investment in developing countries.

"Members of the House of Commons,

"Estimates for the Public Service will be laid before you.

"My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

"Within the framework of firm monetary and fiscal policies designed to secure a continuing reduction in inflation, my Government will do all in their power to encourage the growth of new jobs. Firm control of public expenditure will be maintained, with a view to diminishing its share of overall national output and facilitating further reductions in the burden of income tax.

"My Government will pursue vigorously their programme of privatisation, as a means both of improving the efficiency of the industries concerned, and of encouraging wider share ownership. Measures will be introduced to permit the transfer of the assets of the British Gas Corporation to the private sector and to enable the Atomic Energy Authority to operate as a trading fund from 1st April 1986 with a capital structure and borrowing powers.

"A Bill will be proposed to introduce private capital into the British Airports Authority, to require larger local authority airports to be formed into companies, and to regulate certain airport activities.

"My Government will bring forward legislation to introduce commercial management to my Naval Dockyards, as a significant contribution to encouraging a commercial approach and securing value for money in spending on defence.

"Legislation will be introduced to facilitate funding by the industry of agricultural research, advice and related services; and to implement European Community arrangements to protect areas of particular environmental sensitivity.

"Measures will be introduced to establish a new regulatory framework for the financial services sector, which will enhance its efficiency and competitiveness whilst providing greater safeguards for the interests of investors, and to modernise and liberalise the law governing Building Societies.

"Measures will be brought forward to reform the operation of Wages Councils, to make provisions concerning the payment of wages and to amend the law on sex discrimination in employment.

"Legislation will be introduced to encourage the sale of public sector flats to their tenants and wider private sector involvement in the ownership and management of council housing, and to improve the planning system.

"For Scotland, Bills will be introduced to extend the rights of public sector tenants and to facilitate the private ownership of public sector housing stock, to improve legal aid arrangements, and to modify and extend the management structure of salmon fisheries, including further measures to combat illegal salmon fishing throughout Great Britain.

"In Northern Ireland my Government will continue to support the security forces in enforcing the law and in working for the eradication of terrorism. They will seek widely acceptable arrangements for the devolution of power. They will seek to improve further their co-operation with the Government of the Irish Republic. Renewed efforts will be made to create and sustain employment, particularly by the encouragement of the private sector.

"A Bill will be introduced to reform social security.

"Legislation will be introduced for England and Wales to improve the management of schools and to promote the professional effectiveness of teachers.

"Measures will be introduced to strengthen the powers of the police in combating disorder, to modernise and codify the common law public order offences in England and Wales and to provide the courts in England and Wales with power to confiscate the proceeds of drug trafficking and to penalise the handling of such proceeds.

"A Bill will be introduced to remove statutory restrictions on shop opening hours.

"A Bill will be brought before you to make new provision for the protection of animals used for experimental or other scientific purposes.

"Other measures will be laid before you.

"My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

"I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon your counsels."

House resumed at half-past three of the clock: The LORD CHANCELLOR on the Woolsack.

PrayersRead by the Lord Bishop of Liverpool.