UK, House of Lords, “Prorogation of the Parliament”, vol 135, cols 1548-1554 (12 August 1854)
By: UK (House of Lords)
Citation: UK, HL, “Prorogation of the Parliament“, vol 135 (1854), cols 1548-1554.
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PROROGATION OF THE PARLIAMENT
This day being appointed for the Prorogation of the PARLIAMENT by THE QUEEN
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in Person, HER MAJESTY entered the House at a quarter after two o’clock, accompanied by the PRINCE ALBERT, and attended by the Great Officers of State.
The Queen being seated on the Throne, and the Commons (who were sent for) being come with their Speaker,
Mr. Speaker made the following speech to HER MAJESTY—
“MOST GRACIOUS SOVEREIGN,
“WE, Your Majesty’s dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, attend Your Majesty with our last Bill of Supply for the service of the present year.
“In reviewing the labours of the past Session, we have humbly to thank Your Majesty for Your gracious permission to bring under our annual revision a large amount of public expenditure connected with the principal revenue departments which have hitherto been exempt from Parliamentary control. It will be our duty in future years, with a just regard to economy, to make ample provision for these important branches of the public service.
“In obedience to Your Majesty’s commands, we have endeavoured to impose an effectual check on bribery and corrupt practices at elections, and we venture to hope that the Act lately passed—which clearly defines these offences, applies to them an adequate punishment, and places election expenses under efficient control —will prove successful in repressing a practice which is alike demoralising to the elector and fatal to the integrity of representative institutions.
“We have given the most attentive consideration to a measure for the good government and extension of the University of Oxford, by which certain oaths now required to be taken by students have been abrogated, provision made for the establishment of private halls, and enlarged powers given both to the University and to its colleges. We have every confidence that these enactments will be received by that
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learned body in the spirit in which they have been framed, and that they will be enabled to extend the benefits of academical education to classes of the community who, from their circumstances or their religious opinions, have hitherto been precluded from the enjoyment of this privilege.
“Various other measures have been submitted to us; but it has been found impossible to mature them during the Session, as the progress of our legislation has been interrupted by the commencement of a war which, notwithstanding Your Majesty’s unremitting endeavours to maintain peace, has been forced upon us by the unwarrantable aggression of Russia on the Turkish empire.
“Deploring most deeply the necessity for such a contest, we recognise the imperative duty of protecting an old and faithful Ally from oppression and of vindicating the rights of nations; and we believe it well becomes the character and honour of this great empire, adhering to the faith of treaties, to frustrate, if possible, the designs of a Monarch whose ambition, if uncontrolled, would endanger the security of every nation in Europe.
“Entertaining these views, Your faithful Commons have cheerfully, and without hesitation, placed at the disposal of Your Majesty whatever supplies have been deemed requisite to carry on this just and unavoidable war, thus enabling Your Majesty to send forth fleets and armies complete beyond all former precedent in discipline and equipment.
“The efforts of Your Majesty to strengthen the arms and aid the cause of Turkey have been cordially seconded by the Emperor of the French, and the joint forces of England and France—their ancient hostility converted into generous emulation—now threaten the coasts and harbours of Russia to the most distant extremity of her vast dominions.
“The issue of this momentous struggle is in the hands of an overruling Providence. Confident in the justice of our cause, we looked forward with hope to its successful
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termination, acknowledging with the deepest gratitude that, while war in all its terrors is raging abroad, Your Majesty’s subjects, under Your Majesty’s well-ordered and beneficent rule, are enjoying the blessings of uninterrupted tranquillity at home.
“I have now to pray Your Majesty’s assent to an Act for appropriating the sums voted for the service of the year—the Consolidated Fund (Appropriation) Bill—to which I humbly pray Your Majesty’s assent.”
And Mr. SPEAKER delivered the Money Bill to the Clerk; and the Royal Assent was then pronounced to several Bills.
HER MAJESTY was then pleased to make a most Gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament, as follows:—
“My Lords, and Gentlemen,
“I AM enabled by the State of Public Business to release you from a longer Attendance in Parliament.
“Gentlemen of the House of Commons,
“IN closing the Session it affords Me great Pleasure to express My Sense of the Zeal and Energy you have shown in providing Means for the vigorous Prosecution of the War, in which, notwithstanding My Efforts to avert it, we are now engaged. This Liberality in granting the Supplies for the Public Service demands My warmest Thanks; and although I lament the increased Burthens of My People, I fully recognise your Wisdom in sacrificing Considerations of present Convenience, and in providing for the immediate Exigencies of the War without an Addition being made to the permanent Debt of the Country.
“My Lords, and Gentlemen,
“IN cordial Co-operation with The Emperor of the French, My Efforts will be directed to the effectual Repression
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of that ambitious and aggressive Spirit on the Part of Russia which has compelled Us to take up Arms in defence of an Ally, and to secure the future Tranquillity of Europe.
“You will join with Me in Admiration of the Courage and Perseverance manifested by the Troops of The Sultan in their Defence of Silistria, and in the various Military Operations on the Danube.
“THE engrossing Interest of Matters connected with the Progress of the War has prevented the due Consideration of some of those Subjects which at the opening of the Session I had recommended to your Attention; but I am happy to acknowledge the Labour and Diligence with which you have perfected various important Measures well calculated to prove of great Public Utility.
“You have not only passed an Act for opening the Coasting Trade of the United Kingdom, and for removing the last legislative Restriction upon the Use of Foreign Vessels, but you have also revised and consolidated the whole Statute Law relating to Merchant Shipping.
“THE Act for establishing the direct Control of the House of Commons over the Charges incurred in the Collection of the Revenue will give more complete Effect to an important Principle of the Constitution, and will promote Simplicity and Regularity in our System of Public Account.
“I REJOICE to perceive that Amendments in the Administration of the Law have continued to occupy your Attention, and I anticipate great Benefit from the Improvements you have made in the Forms of Procedure in the Superior Courts of Common Law.
“THE Means you have adopted for
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the better Government of the University of Oxford, and the Improvement in its Constitution, I trust will tend greatly to increase the Usefulness and to extend the Renown of this great Seminary of Learning.
“I HAVE willingly given My Assent to the Measure you have passed for the Prevention of Bribery and of corrupt Practices at Elections, and I hope that it may prove effectual in the Correction of an Evil which, if unchecked, threatens to fix a deep stain upon our Representative System.
“IT is My earnest Desire that on returning to your respective Counties you may preserve a Spirit of Union and Concord. Deprived of the Blessings of Peace abroad, it is more than ever necessary that we should endeavour to confirm and increase the Advantages of our internal Situation; and it is with the greatest Satisfaction that I regard the Progress of active Industry and the general Prosperity which happily prevails throughout the Country.
“DEEPLY sensible of these Advantages, it is My humble Prayer that we may continue to enjoy the Favour of the Almighty, and that, under His gracious Protection, we may be enabled to bring the present Contest to a just and honourable Termination.”
Then the Lord Chancellor, by HER MAJESTY’S Command, said—
“MY LORDS, AND GENTLEMEN,
“It is Her Majesty’s Royal Will and Pleasure, That this Parliament be prorogued to Thursday the Nineteenth Day of October next, to be then here holden; and this Parliament is accordingly prorogued to Thursday the Nineteenth Day of October next.”
HER MAJESTY and the PRINCE ALBERT, attended by the Great Officers of
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State, then retired; and the rest of the assembly immediately dispersed.