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PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT. On Wednesday Parliament was prorogued by Commis- sion. The following is THE QUEEN'S SPEECH. MY LORDS AND GENTLEMEN, I am happy to be enabled to release 'you from the labours of a long and more than usually eventful Session, and to offer you my acknowledgments for the successful diligence with which you have applied yourselves to your Parliamentary duties. My relations with foreign countries continue on a friendly footing. At the commencement of the present year great fears were entertained that differences which had arisen be- tween France and Prussia might have led to a war of which it was impossible to foresee the ultimate result. Happily, the advice tendered by my Government, and by those of the other neutral States, aided by the modera- tion of the two Powers chiefly interested, sufficed to .avert the threatened calamity and I trust that no ground at present exists for apprehending any dis- turbance of the general peace. The communications which I have made to the reign- ing monarch of Abyssinia, with a view to obtain the release of the British subjects whom he detains in his dominions, have, I regret to say, thus far proved inef- fectual. I have, therefore, found it necessary to address to him a peremptory demand for their immediate libera- tion, and to take measures for supporting that demand, should it ultimately be found necessary to resort to force. The treasonable conspiracy in Ireland, to which I have before called your attention, broke out in the early part of the present year in a futile attempt at insur- rection. That it was suppressed, almost without bloodshed, is due not more to the disciplined valour of my troops, and to the admirable conduct of the police, than to the general loyalty of the population and the absence of any token of sympathy with the insurgents on the part of any considerable portion of my subjects. I rejoice that the supremacy of the law was vindicated without imposing on me the painful necessity of sacrificing a single life. The bill for the abolition of certain local exemptions from taxation enabled me to avail myself of a liberal concession made, in anticipation, by the Emperor of the French, whereby several taxes were removed, which pressed heavily upon British shipping. I have concluded a postal convention with the United States of America, whereby the rate of postage between the two countries will be diminished by one-half, and further arrangements are in progress for increasing the intercourse between this country and the continent of North America. The Act for the union of British North American provinces is the final accomplishment of a scheme long contemplated, whereby those colonies, now combined in one dominion, may be expected not only to gain addi- tional strength for the purposes of, defence against ex- ternal aggression, but may be united among themselves by fresh ties of mutual interest and attached to the mother country by the only bonds which can effectually secure such important dependencies-those of loyalty to the Crown and attachment to British connection. GENTLEMEN OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, I thank you for the liberal supplies which you have voted for the public service. My LORDS AND GENTLEMEN, I have had great satisfaction in giving my assent to a bill for amending the representation of the people in Par- liament. I earnestly trust that the extensive and liberal measure which you have passed may effect a durable set- tlement of a question which has long engaged public attention; and that the large number of my sub- jects, who will be for the first time admitted to the exercise of the elective franchise may, in the discharge of the duties thereby devolved upon them, prove themselves worthy of the confidence which Parlia- ment has reposed in them. It is gratifying to me to find that the lengthened consideration which you have necessarily given to this important question has not prevented your entering on many subjects to which your attention was directed at the commencement of the Session, and particularly to such as have immediate reference t<;¡ the well-being of the industrial classes. I have had especial pleasure in giving my assent to bills for extending to various trades, with such modifica- tions as have been found necessary, the provisions of the Factory Acts, the success of which has proved the pos- sibility of combining effectual protection to the labour of women ahd children, with a due consideration for the interests of the trades immediately concerned. I confidently anticipate from the operation of the present Acts the same improvement in the physical, social, and moral condition of the working classes, which has been found to accompany the application of the Acts to those trades to which they have been hitherto confined. The restraints alleged to be imposed on workmen and their employers by trades unions and other associations appear to me to call for inquiry and the revelations derived from the examinations before the Commission, to which you gave your legislative sanction, have dis- closed a state of things which will demand your most earnest attention. The administration of the poor laws, which generally has conferred great benefit on the community, and especially on the poor themselves, requires constant supervision; and I have readily assented to a bill which, applied to the metropolis alone, will 'tend to equalise the pressure of taxation, and improve the treatment of the sick poor, whose condition will be greatly benefited by your well-considered legislation. The bill for the regulation of the merchant shipping contains important provisions calculated to add to the health and comfort of those engaged in the mercantile marine. These and other valuable amendments of the law have been the result of your labours during the present Ses- sion and returning to your homes you will carry with you the gratifying consciousness that your time and pains have not been misapplied, and that they have re- sulted in a series of measures which I hope, and earnestly pray, may contribute to the welfare of the country, and the contentment and happiness of my people. ,=.=,








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