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Queen's Speech

Volume 180: debated on Wednesday 7 November 1990

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I have to acquaint the House that this House has this day attended Her Majesty in the House of Peers, and that Her Majesty was pleased to make a Most Gracious Speech from the Throne to both Houses of Parliament, of which I have, for greater accuracy, obtained a copy.

I shall direct that the terms of the Gracious Speech be printed in the Votes and Proceedings. Copies are available in the Vote Office.

The Gracious Speech was as follows:

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons

I look forward to visiting the United States of America in May and being present on the occasion of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Zimbabwe next Autumn.

My Government attach the highest priority to national security, and to the preservation of international peace with freedom and justice. They will give full support to NATO as the basis for collective Western defence, and will maintain adequate and effective nuclear and conventional forces. They will play a full part in adapting NATO strategy and will take forward work on restructuring our forces to reflect the welcome changes in Europe and threats to peace in other parts of the world.

My Government will work for balanced and verifiable measures of arms control. They welcome the prospect of an agreement on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and will be active in further negotiations on this, and in the multilateral negotiations in Geneva on the abolition of chemical weapons.

My Government will continue to uphold the purposes and principles of the United Nations. My Government will work with the utmost determination, together with our Allies and the whole international community, for the unconditional implementation of the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council which require the withdrawal of Iraq from Kuwait, and the restoration of the independence and legitimate government of Kuwait. My Government will maintain their efforts to secure the release of all Britons held hostage or detained in Kuwait, Iraq, Lebanon, and elsewhere in the Middle East. My Government will continue to work for long-term peace in the Middle East including a settlement of the Palestinian problem.

My Government will host the next Economic Summit in London in July.

My Government will work to strengthen still further the good relations between the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, and to buttress the new democracies in Eastern Europe. They will play an active part in the Paris meeting of Heads of State and Government of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe.

My Government welcome the unification of Germany and look forward to working closely with the Government of the United Germany.

My Government will continue to work with our Community partners to complete the Single Market; to reinforce budgetary discipline; to continue reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and to bring about a successful conclusion to the Uruguay round of multilateral trade negotiations. They will contribute constructively to the inter-governmental conferences on Economic and Monetary Union and Community institutions beginning in December. They welcome the new European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to London.

My Government will promote further international co-operation on environmental issues.

My Government will maintain a substantial aid programme aimed at promoting sustainable economic and social progress and good government in developing countries.

My Government will continue their policy of encouragement to all sides in South Africa to enter negotiations to create through peaceful means a democratic non-racial society.

My Government will work vigorously to fulfil their responsibilities for Hong Kong, building on the Sino-British Joint Declaration. They will honour their commitments to the people of the Falkland Islands.

My Government will continue to play a full part in the Commonwealth.

My Government will maintain their fight against terrorism in the United Kingdom and overseas.

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

My Government will maintain firm financial policies, strengthened by the Exchange Rate Mechanism, designed to reduce inflation and foster the conditions necessary for sustained growth. They will continue to promote enterprise and improve the working of the economy.

They will maintain firm control of public expenditure with the aim of keeping its share of national income on a downward trend.

A Bill will be introduced to facilitate contractor operation of the Atomic Weapons Establishment. Legislation will be introduced to provide for the sale of the Insurance Services business of the Export Credits Guarantee Department.

My Government will promote improved efficiency and safety in transport. Legislation will be introduced to encourage privately financed roads; to reform procedures for streetworks; to improve road traffic; to convert trust ports into private companies; and to provide for a second Severn crossing.

Legislation will be introduced to improve arrangements for compensation for compulsory purchase of land and buildings and to make the town and country planning system more efficient.

My Government will continue to work for the regeneration of our cities.

My Government will vigorously pursue their policies in fighting crime. A Bill will be brought forward for England and Wales to deal with sentencing of offenders and to strengthen the parole system.

My Government will work vigorously to combat the trafficking and misuse of drugs nationally and internationally.

My Government are concerned to strengthen parental responsibility for children. Measures will be introduced to improve the assessment, collection and enforcement of maintenance.

A Bill will again be brought before you to give our courts the jurisdiction to try alleged war criminals.

My Government will continue to take action to improve quality in education. A Bill will be introduced to establish new machinery for negotiating the pay and conditions of school teachers in England and Wales.

My Government will continue to work to improve the quality of Health and Social Services.

In Northern Ireland, My Government will be resolute in their efforts to defeat terrorism: a Bill will be introduced to replace existing anti-terrorism legislation. They will sustain their efforts to secure political progress, to strengthen the economy and to promote mutual respect and trust throughout the community. They will maintain positive relations with the Republic of Ireland.

For Scotland, a Bill will be introduced to create a Natural Heritage Agency to achieve an integrated approach to conservation and countryside matters.

Legislation will be introduced to provide new benefits. for disabled people.

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.