§ Mr. SPEAKER
A Royal Commission has been appointed for a quarter-past Eleven. I do not propose, therefore, to go through the Orders, but to wait until a Message comes from the other place.
§ Message to attend the Lords Commissioners.
§ The House went; and, having returned,
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I have to acquaint the House that, the House has been to the House of Peers, where a Commission under the Great Seal was read. The Lord High Chancellor, being one of the High Commissioners, delivered His Majesty's Most Gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament, in pursuance of His Majesty's Commands as followeth:
§ MY LORDS AND MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS,
§ To both The Queen and to Myself this—My Silver Jubilee year—will ever remain one of Our happiest memories. The wonderful tributes of affection which We have received from every part of My Empire will be treasured in Our hearts so long as We live.
§ I was happy to welcome in London My Prime Ministers from My Dominions overseas, and the representative of India, who came to take part in the celebrations of My Silver Jubilee.
§ My relations with foreign Powers continue to be friendly.
§ The critical situation which has unhappily arisen between Italy and Abyssinia has aroused My gravest concern. From the moment that a dispute occurred between the two countries as the result of a frontier incident in December of last year My Government have exerted themselves to the utmost, both individually and in co-operation with other States members of the League of Nations, to promote a peaceful settlement. To My regret these persistent endeavours did not avail to prevent a resort to force, and My Government have loyally supported the 494 efforts of the League of Nations with a view to the restoration of peace and the achievement of an equitable settlement in the spirit of the Covenant.
§ I have given My assent to a Bill to make provision for the future government of India and Burma, which, must stand in the records of both your Houses as one of the weightiest and most complex measures with which Parliament has ever dealt. I trust that when the further steps required to bring the Act into operation have been taken its provisions will not only bring contentment and well-being to the people of India and Burma, but draw closer the bonds of amity between them and the rest of My Empire.
§ 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 more confident spirit of industry, the continued growth in the national revenue, and the prudent and successful management of our financial affairs have permitted a further considerable advance towards prosperity. I rejoice that it has been possible for My Government, notwithstanding new and pressing claims from many directions, to remove the greater part of the extra burdens imposed four years ago and, in particular, to grant substantial relief to the small taxpayer.
§ I am gratified to observe a further steady increase in employment among My People during the past year. Despite many adverse conditions in the international trade position, the overseeas trade of this country continues to expand, especially with the other Parts of the Empire and with the foreign countries with which trade agreements have been concluded.
§ The effects of the increase in employment cannot but be felt, to a greater or less degree, in all localities, but in some areas the problem of unemployment continues to present special difficulties. Among other measures 495 an Act passed at the beginning of the Session provided for the appointment of Commissioners for the Special Areas in England and Wales and in Scotland, respectively, who are devoting their attention to improving the conditions of those areas under the powers conferred upon them. Interim Reports made by these Commissioners were laid before Parliament in July. Further progress has since been made, and My Ministers are continuing to give close and anxious attention to the problems of these areas in all their bearings.
§ Regulations relating to unemployment assistance were approved by Parliament in December. Unexpected difficulties were met in the application of these Regulations and an Act passed in February contained temporary provisions for dealing with the situation thus arising.
§ While My Government have not ceased, and will not cease, their continuing efforts to promote the limitation and reduction by international agreement of all forms of armament, it has been found impossible to postpone further the expansion of the Royal Air Force to a strength which will enable it to fulfil its vital duties in National and Imperial Defence; and the programme necessary to give effect to this has now been undertaken.
§ Far-reaching proposals have been announced for the improvement and acceleration of Imperial air communications and plans for their further development are under active consideration.
§ Important postal, telegraph and telephone concessions have been introduced during the year.
§ Highway authorities have been asked to submit their programmes of road improvements on a quinquennial instead of an annual basis. The response augurs well for the scientific planning of our roads to meet modern requirements.
§ My assent has also been given to a Bill which provides, for the first time, for a full survey of overcrowding and equips local authorities with new powers for dealing with the twin evils of slums and overcrowding, while at the same time remedying certain anomalies in the law which pressed unfairly on owners of house property.
§ During the year progress both in the clearance and replacement of slums and in the provision of additional houses has been on an unprecedented scale.
§ Provision has been made for safeguarding insured persons against the loss of their pension rights and certain of their health insurance rights by reason of unemployment.
§ Measures have been enacted providing for further assistance to the agricultural industry, for the reorganisation of the herring industry, for a temporary subsidy to assist tramp shipping and for the grant of loans to shipowners to facilitate the replacing of obsolete with modern cargo vessels.
§ Acts have been passed amending the law relating to the legal position of married women, and to the right to recover damages against joint tortfeasors, to make provision for an increase in the number of Judges attached to the King's Bench Division, and to make improvements in the procedure of the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division.
§ I have given My assent to a Bill providing that persons who have failed to pay fines or other money payments, in pursuance of the order of a Court of Summary Jurisdiction, shall not be committed to prison without a further adjudication by the Court on their circumstances.
§ Among Bills relating to Scotland which have received My assent are measures providing for the better housing of the people, and for the continuation and amendment of legislation relating to the Education Endowments Commissioners.497
§ In bidding you farewell, I earnestly commend you to the merciful protection and guidance of Almighty God.
§ Then a Commission for Proroguing the Parliament was read in the House of Lords.
§ After which the LORD CHANCELLOR said:
§ My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,—By virtue of His 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 Majesty's Commands, prorogue this Parliament to Tuesday, the 498 nineteenth day of November, one thousand nine hundred and thirty-five, to be then here holden; and this Parliament is accordingly prorogued until Tuesday, the nineteenth day of November, one thousand nine hundred and thirty-five.
§ End of the Fourth Session (opened Tuesday, 20th November, 1934) of the Thirty-sixth Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in the Twenty-sixth year of the Reign of His Majesty King George the Fifth.