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State Papers.

SPEECH of the Lords Commissioners, on the Opening of the British Parliament.-Westminster, February 6, 1862.

My Lords and Gentlemen,

We are commanded by Her Majesty to assure you that Her Majesty is persuaded that you will deeply participate in the affliction by which Her Majesty has been overwhelmed by the calamitous, untimely, and irreparable loss of Her beloved Consort, who has been Her comfort and support.

It has been, however, soothing to Her Majesty, while suffering most acutely under this awful dispensation of Providence, to receive from all classes of Her subjects the most cordial assurances of their sympathy with Her sorrow, as well as of their appreciation of the noble character of him, the greatness of whose loss to Her Majesty and to the nation is so justly and so universally felt and lamented.

We are commanded by Her Majesty to assure you that she recurs with confidence to your assistance and advice.

Her Majesty's relations with all the European Powers continue to be friendly and satisfactory; and Her Majesty trusts there is no reason to apprehend any disturbance of the peace of Europe.

A question of great importance, and which might have led to very serious consequences, arose between Her Majesty and the Government of the United States of North America, owing to the seizure and forcible removal of 4 passengers from on board a British mail packet by the Commander of a ship of war of The United States; but that question has been satisfactorily settled by the restoration of the passengers to British protection, and by the disavowal by The United States Government of the act of violence committed by their naval officer.

The friendly relations between Her Majesty and the President of The United States have therefore remained unimpaired.

Her Majesty warmly appreciates the loyalty and patriotic spirit which have been manifested on this occasion by Her North American subjects.

The wrongs committed by various parties and by successive Governments in Mexico upon foreigners resident within the Mexican territory, and for which no satisfactory redress could be obtained, have led to the conclusion of a Convention between Her Majesty, the Emperor of the French, and the Queen of Spain, for [1861-62. LII.]


the purpose of regulating a combined operation on the coast of Mexico, with a view to obtain that redress which has hitherto been withheld.

That Convention, and papers relating to that subject, will be laid before you.

The improvement which has taken place in the relations between Her Majesty's Government and that of the Emperor of China, and the good faith with which the Chinese Government have continued to fulfil the engagements of the Treaty of Tien-tsin, have enabled Her Majesty to withdraw Her troops from the city of Canton, and to reduce the amount of Her force on the coast and in the seas of China.

Her Majesty, always anxious to exert Her influence for the preservation of peace, has concluded a Convention with the Sultan of Morocco, by means of which the Sultan has been enabled to raise the amount necessary for the fulfilment of certain Treaty engagements which he had contracted towards Spain, and thus to avoid the risk of a renewal of hostilities with that power. That Convention and papers connected with it, will be laid before you.

Gentlemen of the House of Commons,

Her Majesty commands us to inform you that she has directed the estimates for the ensuing year to be laid before you. They have been framed with a due regard to prudent economy and to the efficiency of the public service.

My Lords and Gentlemen,

Her Majesty commands us to inform you that measures for the improvement of the law will be laid before you, and among them will be a Bill for rendering the title to land more simple, and its transfer more easy.

Other measures of public usefulness relating to Great Britain and to Ireland will be submitted for your consideration.

Her Majesty regrets that in some parts of the United Kingdom, and in certain branches of industry, temporary causes have produced considerable pressure and privation; but Her Majesty has reason to believe that the general condition of the country is sound and satisfactory.

Her Majesty confidently recommends the general interests of the nation to your wisdom and your care; and she fervently prays that the blessing of Almighty God may attend your deliberations; and may guide them to the promotion of the welfare and happiness of Her people.

SPEECH of the Lords Commissioners, on the Closing of the British Parliament.-Westminster, August 7, 1862.

My Lords and Gentlemen,

WE are commanded by Her Majesty to release you from further attendance in Parliament, and at the same time to convey to you Her Majesty's acknowledgments for the zeal and assiduity with which you have applied yourselves to the performance of your duties during the session now brought to a close.

Her Majesty commands us to inform you that Her relations with Foreign Powers are friendly and satisfactory, and that Her Majesty trusts there is no danger of any disturbance of the peace of Europe.

The Civil War which has for some time been raging among the States of the North American Union has, unfortunately, continued in unabated intensity and the evils with which it has been attended have not been confined to the American Continent; but Her Majesty, having from the outset determined to take no part in that contest, has seen no reason to depart from the neutrality to which she has steadily adhered.

Disturbances have taken place in some of the Frontier Provinces of the Turkish Empire, and Her Majesty has instructed Her Ambassador at Constantinople to attend a Conference to be held in that City by the Representatives of the Powers who were Parties to the Treaty of Paris of 1856. Her Majesty trusts that the questions to be dealt with in that Conference will be settled in a manner consistent with the Treaty engagements of the Allies, and in accordance with the just rights of the Sultan and the welfare of the Christian inhabitants of His dominions.

Her Majesty's forces in China, together with those of the Emperor of the French, have lately been employed in co-operation with those of the Emperor of China in protecting some of the chief seats of British commerce in China from injury by the Civil War which is laying waste portions of that vast Empire.

Her Majesty commands us to inform you that She has concluded a Commercial Treaty with the King of the Belgians, by which the trade of Her Majesty's subjects in Belgium will be placed generally on the footing of the most favoured nation.

Gentlemen of the House of Commons,

Her you

warm acknow

Her Majesty commands us to convey to ledgments for the liberal supplies which you have granted for the service of the present year; and Her Majesty thanks you for having also made provision towards placing Her Majesty's dockyards and arsenals in a permanent state of defence.

My Lords and Gentlemen,

Her Majesty commands us to express to you the admiration with which she has witnessed the undiminished zeal and the patriotic spirit which continue to animate Her volunteer forces, as well as the military efficiency which they have attained.

Her Majesty has observed with satisfaction the kindly intercourse which has subsisted between Her Majesty's subjects and the numerous foreigners who have been attracted this year to the United Kingdom, and Her Majesty trusts that the interchange of mutual courtesies will strengthen the foundations of international friendship and goodwill.

Her Majesty has given Her ready assent to an Act for carrying into effect the Treaty which Her Majesty has concluded with the President of The United States for the Suppression of the Slave Trade, and Her Majesty trusts that the co-operation of The United States Navy with Her own may go far to extinguish the desolating crime against which that Treaty is directed.

Her Majesty earnestly hopes that the steps which have been taken for rendering more effectual the aid provided by Parliament for the extension of education among the poorer classes of Her subjects will tend to promote an object of great national importance.

Her Majesty has given Her willing assent to many measures of public utility which you have submitted to Her during this session.

The severe distress which prevails in some of the manufacturing districts has inspired Her Majesty with deep concern and warm sympathy, mingled with admiration of the manly bearing and exemplary fortitude with which the pressure has been endured. Her Majesty trusts that the Act for enabling boards of guardians to provide additional means of relief will mitigate that distress.

The Act for rendering more easy the transfer of land will add to the value of real property, will make titles more simple and secure, and will diminish the expense attending purchases and sales.

The Act for the better regulation of parochial assessments will tend to a more equal distribution of local taxation; while the Act for the better administration of the highways will, Her Majesty trusts, improve the means of communication in many parts of the country.

The Act for establishing uniformity of weights and measures in Ireland will apply a remedy to inconveniences which have been much felt and complained of, as affecting the trading transactions in that part of the United Kingdom; and the Act for amending the law relating to the poor will extend to the poorer classes of Her Majesty's subjects in Ireland better means of obtaining relief and medical attendance.

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