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Volume 478: debated on Thursday 26 October 1950

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(standing in the Clerk's place at the Table): I have further to acquaint the House that The LORD CHANCELLOR, being one of the Royal Commissioners, delivered His Majesty's most Gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament, in pursuance of His Majesty's Command, as follows:

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:

The increase in production, which is vital to the economic progress of the country, is most encouraging. At the same time, there has been continued restraint in claims for increases in personal incomes of all kinds, The efforts which My People have made, not without sacrifices, have enabled us to maintain a healthy internal economy and to achieve a great improvement in the balance of overseas trade, notably with North America. Generous help from the United States of America and Canada has also continued to strengthen the general economic life of the country.

My Government have fully supported the United Nations' measures to combat the unprovoked aggression launched upon the Republic of Korea on 25th June, and My Forces are contributing by land, sea and in the air to the action now being taken in Korea by members of the United Nations in pursuance of the recommendations of the Security Council.

My Government, together with other friendly Powers, have also presented to the United Nations proposals for an ultimate settlement of a unified, independent and democratic Korea. These proposals have been approved by an overwhelming majority of member states gathered together in the General Assembly.

My Government have continued to play a prominent part in the economic and social activities of the United Nations, conscious of the great contribution which higher standards of living can make to the maintenance of peace and order in all parts of the world.

My Government, in association with other Governments signatory to the North Atlantic Treaty, have contributed to the strengthening of the Treaty Organisation by the appointment of a permanent body of Deputies to the Foreign Ministers. Together with these Governments they are initiating an urgent programme of production to ensure the adequate defence of the North Atlantic area. They acknowledge the powerful support which the United States of America are giving to the efforts of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to maintain greater security in this region.

My Government have taken two important steps towards peace and stability in the Middle East. In April they granted de jure recognition to the Government of Israel together with the simultaneous recognition of the union with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan of that part of Palestine which is under Jordan control. In May My Government, with the Governments of France and the United States of America, jointly issued the tripartite statement concerning the stability of the Middle East.

In August this year the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe began its second session. I shall continue to follow with interest this new and important development in international co-operation.

Together with the Governments of France and the United States, My Government have continued to work for the closer association of the German Federal Republic with the Western community of nations. I welcome both the accession of the Federal Republic as an associate member of the Council of Europe and the conclusions regarding Germany which the Foreign Ministers of the three Governments reached at their conference last month in New York.

In the economic field, My Government continue to collaborate to the full in the work of the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation.

I welcome the establishment of the European Payments Union which will enable the Organisation to facilitate trade and payments among its members.

It is gratifying that the countries participating in the international discussions on tariffs and trade have elected to hold their meetings in this country.

My Ministers in the United Kingdom welcomed the invitation of My Ministers in Australia to attend a meeting in Sydney in May to discuss with other Commonwealth Governments plans for the economic development of South and South-East Asia; My Government were hosts to further meetings in London in September at which countries in South-East Asia outside the Commonwealth were represented.

Discussions have also been held in London between My Ministers in the United Kingdom and Ministers from Commonwealth countries overseas, which have afforded a valuable opportunity for an exchange of views on general trade and economic questions.

The visit of the President of the French Republic and Madame Auriol in March was an occasion of great pleasure to The Queen and myself and further strengthened the bonds of friendship between our two Peoples.

My Forces continue to assist the peoples of Malaya and the Civil Administration in their task of restoring law and order.

Important steps have been taken to bring about a rapid improvement in the size and efficiency of My Forces, whose rates of pay have been substantially increased. I have given My Assent to a measure extending to two years the period of whole-time National Service.

My Government in Canada have undertaken to train pilots and navigators of the Royal Air Force in Royal Canadian Air Force establishments. This measure of co-operation, which will materially help to advance training, has been warmly welcomed by My Government in the United Kingdom.

Members of the House of Commons:

I thank you for the provision which you have made for the public services.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:

I have received your Addresses praying for the continuance for a further period of one year of certain emergency powers and will give effect to your wishes.

Over a large part of the country unusually bad weather has robbed farmers and the nation of the full fruits of what had promised to be a bountiful harvest, and they and their workers are to be commended for their unfailing courage and skill in fighting this adversity.

Legislation has been passed to help the provision and use of allotments throughout Great Britain.

Provision has been made for tem porary assistance to the white fish industry pending the introduction of permanent legislation.

A comprehensive development plan for the Highlands and Islands of Scotland has been laid before you.

A Committee has been appointed to enquire into the financial and economic relationships between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

The Council for Wales and Monmouthshire have continued to do useful work and have recently submitted a valuable report.

The Medical Acts have been amended so as to ensure that, from a day to be appointed, medical practitioners shall have had experience in hospitals or other approved institutions before they are finally registered, and so as to improve the constitution and procedure of the General Medical Council.

I have assented to legislation which, by enabling wife maintenance, guardianship of infants and adoption orders to be made and enforced throughout the United Kingdom, will relieve much hardship and give a remedy to many women who have hitherto been barred from the exercise of their just claims.

My Ministers have continued to develop the organisation of the Civil Defence Services.

My Ministers have taken steps to impress upon all industries the need to help men to return to civil employment after service in the Regular Forces and I am gratified at the measure of response so far received.

Legislation has been passed giving further encouragement to transfers of industrial undertakings to the Development Areas.

Measures have been passed to provide a uniform code for regulating the breaking-up of streets by public utility undertakings and to empower highway authorities to place and maintain cattle-grids in highways.

I have assented to a Bill to provide relief from the hardship suffered by some owners and occupiers of small dwelling-houses which are damaged by coal-mining subsidence.

An Act has been passed for further promoting the revision of the Statute Law and the publication of Revised Editions of Statutes; progress has also been made in the consolidation of Statute Law.

I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may attend you.

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 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 Thirty-first day of October, One Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty to be then here holden; and this Parliament is accordingly prorogued until Tuesday, the Thirty-first day of October, One Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty."

End of the First Session (opened 1st March, 1950) of the Thirty-ninth Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in the Fourteenth Year of the Reign of His Majesty King George the Sixth.