§ THE PARLIAMENT, which had been prorogued successively from the 4th of September, to the 4th of November, thence to the 15th of January, and thence to the 3rd of February, met this day for despatch of business.
§ The Session of the Parliament was opened by THE QUEEN in Person. Being seated on the Throne, and the Commons being at the Bar, with their Speaker, HER MAJESTY was pleased to make a most Gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament, as follows:—2
§ "My Lords, and Gentlemen,
§ "THE Period has arrived when, according to Usage, I can again avail Myself of your Advice and Assistance in the Preparation and Adoption of Measures which the Welfare of the Country may require.
§ "I CONTINUE to maintain the most friendly Relations with Foreign Powers.
§ "THE complicated Affairs of the Duchies of Holstein and Sleswig have continued to engage My Attention. I have every Reason to expect that the Treaty between Germany and Denmark, which was concluded at Berlin in the Year before last, will in a short Time be fully and completely executed.
§ "I REGRET that the War which 3 unfortunately broke out on the Eastern Frontier of the Cape of Good Hope more than a Year ago still continues. Papers will be laid before you containing full Information as to the Progress of the War, and the Measures which have been taken for bringing it to a Termination.
§ "WHILE I have observed with sincere Satisfaction the Tranquillity which has prevailed throughout the greater Portion of Ireland, it is with much Regret that I have to inform you, that certain Parts of the Counties of Armagh, Monaghan, and Louth have been marked by the Commission of Outrages of the most serious Description. The Powers of the existing Law have been promptly exerted for the Detection of the Offenders, and for the Repression of a System of Crime and Violence fatal to the best Interests of the Country. My Attention will continue to be directed to this important Object.
§ "Gentlemen of the House of Commons,
§ "I HAVE ordered Estimates of the Expenses of the current Year to be laid before you.
§ "I RELY with Confidence on your Loyalty and Zeal to make adequate Provision for the Public Service.
§ "WHERE any Increase has been made in the Estimates of the present over the past Year, such Explanations will be given as will, I trust, satisfy you that such Increase is consistent with a steady Adherence to a pacific Policy and with the Dictates of a wise Economy.
§ "My Lends, and Gentlemen,
§ "THE Improvement of the Administration of Justice in its various De- 4 partments has continued to receive My anxious Attention; and in furtherance of that Object I have directed Bills to be prepared, founded upon the Reports made to Me by the respective Commissions appointed to inquire into the Practice and Proceedings of the Superior Courts of Law and Equity, as nothing tends more to the Peace, Prosperity, and Contentment of a Country than the speedy and impartial Administration of Justice. I earnestly recommend these Measures to your deliberate Attention.
§ "THE Act of 1848 for suspending the Operation of a previous Act conferring Representative Institutions on New Zealand will expire early in the next Year. I am happy to believe that there is no Necessity for its Renewal, and that no Obstacle any longer exists to the Enjoyment of Representative Institutions by New Zealand. The form of these Institutions will, however, require your Consideration; and the additional Information which has been obtained since the passing of the Acts in question will, I trust, enable you to arrive at a Decision beneficial to that important Colony.
§ "IT gives Me great Satisfaction to be able to state to you, that the large Reductions of Taxes which have taken place of late years have not been attended with a proportionate Diminution of the National Income. The Revenue of the past Year has been fully adequate to the Demands of the Public Service, while the Reduction of Taxation has tended greatly to the Relief and Comfort of My Subjects.
§ "IT appears to Me that this is a fitting Time for calmly considering whether it may not be advisable to make such Amendments in the Act of the late Reign relating to the Representation of the Commons in Parliament as may be deemed calculated to carry into more complete Effect the Principles upon which that Law is founded.
§ "I HAVE the fullest Confidence that in any such Consideration you will firmly adhere to the acknowledged Principles of the Constitution by which the Prerogatives of the Crown, the Authority of both Houses of Parliament, and the Rights and Liberties of the People are equally secured."
§ HER MAJESTY then retired.