THE PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES

(HANSARD)

in the third session of the fifty-first parliament of the united kingdom of great britain and northern ireland commencing on the twenty-seventh day of april in the forty-first year of the reign of

HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II

FIFTH SERIES

VOLUME DLIX

FIRST VOLUME OF SESSION 1994—95


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House of Lords

Wednesday, 16th November 1994.

THE QUEEN'S SPEECH

The QUEEN, being seated on the Throne, and attended by Her Officers of State (the Lords being in their robes), commanded the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, through the Lord Great Chamberlain, to let the Commons know, "It is Her Majesty's pleasure they attend Her immediately in this House".

Who being come, with their Speaker:

Her Majesty was pleased to speak as follows:

"My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

"The Duke of Edinburgh and I look forward to receiving the state visit of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait in May and His Excellency the President of Finland in October next year.

"The Duke of Edinburgh and I look forward to our state visit to South Africa in March. We also look forward to our visit to New Zealand and to the Commonwealth heads of government meeting there in November next year.

"My Government attach the highest importance to national security. They will work to continue the process of NATO's adaptation to the changing security environment to allow it to play a wider role in protecting stability throughout Europe. At the Budapest Summit in December they will seek to enhance the role of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe in conflict prevention and resolution. They will also work for full implementation of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty. The United Kingdom's nuclear deterrent will be maintained.

"My Government will continue their efforts to promote a peaceful settlement in the former Yugoslavia.

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"Preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction remains an important priority. My Government will work to promote the indefinite and unconditional extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and will pursue energetically negotiations for a verifiable and comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty.

"The fight against terrorism in the United Kingdom and elsewhere will be maintained.

"My Government look forward to the enlargement of the European Union in January. They will work with our partners to give greater substance to the Europe agreements between the Union and countries of Central Europe with the aim of preparing these countries for eventual membership of the Union.

"My Government will work for early implementation of the agreements concluding the GATT trade negotiations, and for early establishment of the World Trade Organisation.

"They will seek to ensure that the principle of subsidiarity is applied to European legislation. They will promote budgetary discipline in the Union and combat fraud. They will participate in the study group which from June 1995 will prepare for the 1996 inter-governmental conference.

"My Government will continue to promote respect for human rights.

"They will maintain a substantial aid programme to promote sustainable development and good government.

"The United Nations will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary in 1995. My Government will continue efforts to enhance the capabilities of the United Nations, particularly in peacekeeping and preventive diplomacy.

"My Government will play an active part in tackling drug misuse, drug trafficking and organised crime at home and abroad.

"Support for consolidation of a peaceful and stable democracy in South Africa will remain a priority.

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"My Government will continue to work for the long-term stability and prosperity of Hong Kong. They will seek to develop co-operation with China to implement the Sino-British Joint Declaration in the best interests of the Hong Kong people and a smooth transition in 1997.

"Support for political and economic reform in the former communist countries of Europe and Asia will continue.

"My Government will maintain support for the Middle East peace process.

"They will work for yet stronger ties with the countries of the Asia Pacific region.

"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,

"Legislation will be introduced to give force to the changes in the European Community's system of own resources following the agreement at the Edinburgh European Council.

"My Government will continue with firm financial policies designed to support continuing economic growth and rising employment, based on permanently low inflation.

"Fiscal policy will continue to be set to bring the budget deficit back towards balance over the medium term. My Government will reduce the share of national income taken by the public sector.

"My Government will continue to promote enterprise, to improve the working of the labour market, and to strengthen the supply performance of the economy. They will bring forward legislation to promote increased competition in the gas industry and to reform the agricultural tenancy laws in England and Wales. A Bill will be introduced to create a Jobseeker's Allowance, reforming benefits for unemployed people and giving them better help into work.

"Legislation will be introduced to equalise the state pension age between men and women and to improve security, equality and choice in non-state pensions.

"My Government will continue to implement policies and programmes responsive to the needs of the individual citizen in line with the principles of the Citizen's Charter.

"They will introduce a Bill to tackle discrimination against disabled people.

"My Government will bring forward legislation to make further improvements to the management of the National Health Service; and to provide for people with a serious mental disorder discharged from hospital to be cared for under supervision.

"Legislation will be introduced to transfer the Crown Agents and the commercial activities of the Atomic Energy Authority to the private sector; and to authorise the construction and operation by the private sector of a high speed rail link between London and the Channel Tunnel.

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"The delivery of environment policies will be strengthened by legislation to establish environment agencies for England and Wales, and for Scotland.

"Legislation will be introduced to reform the Scottish criminal justice system.

"In Northern Ireland my Government will build on the progress already made to secure peace and a comprehensive political accommodation founded on the principles of democracy and consent. They will uphold law and order and strive to strengthen the economy and create equality of opportunity for all sections of the community. They will seek to maintain close and constructive relations with the Republic of Ireland.

"My Government will promote further measures of law reform.

"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."

House adjourned during pleasure.

House resumed at half-past three of the clock: The LORD CHANCELLOR on the Woolsack.

Prayers—Read by

the Lord Bishop of Chichester.

Roll of the Lords

Prepared by the Clerk of the Parliaments: Ordered to lie on the Table, and to be printed.

Select Vestries

Bill, pro forma, read a first time.

ADDRESS IN REPLY TO HER MAJESTY'S MOST GRACIOUS SPEECH

The Queen's Speech reported by the LORD CHANCELLOR.

3.46 p.m.

Lord Wade of Chorlton: My Lords, I beg to move, That a humble Address be presented to Her Majesty as follows:


    "Most Gracious Sovereign—We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, beg leave to thank Your Majesty for the most gracious Speech which Your Majesty has addressed to both Houses of Parliament."

It is an enormous privilege for me to have the opportunity, on behalf of the whole House of Lords, to thank Her Majesty and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales for being present with us today. The whole nation admires our Sovereign and appreciates the great honour which Her Majesty brings to Britain.

We are delighted that Her Majesty will be receiving visits from the Amir of Kuwait and the President of Finland. I am sure that all noble Lords are pleased that Britain was able to play such an important role in driving the Iraqi forces from Kuwait, thus enabling the

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Amir to visit Britain as the leader of a free country. I have visited Finland on many occasions and have a great affection for those most friendly and able people. I wish the President a most happy stay in Britain.

It is very pleasing to know that Her Majesty will be visiting South Africa in the coming year. I know that we all have tremendous admiration for the leaders of that country who have led it through very difficult times with great success and who will, we hope, move it forward to become one of the great countries of the world. It is right that Britain should support it in every possible way as it develops in the future.

We know that Her Majesty will have a great welcome in New Zealand and that there will be a most successful Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting there in November.

I am one of the few Members of your Lordships' House from the North-West of England who has had the privilege of moving the humble Address—and I am a cheesemaker to boot. I am most grateful to my noble friends the Leader of the House and the Chief Whip for asking me to move the humble Address on this occasion, which is their first opening of Parliament in their new roles. I congratulate them on their appointments and wish them great success.

However, I must advise your Lordships that this is a nerve-racking experience. Indeed, had I realised the stress that I would feel, I might not have accepted my noble friends' invitation quite so readily. It caused me to remember an occasion when I was selling cheese in the United States—English cheese, I might add. I was asked by a lady from Cleveland Television to explain the various merits of English cheese. I thought that I did so rather successfully, but her last question was, "Doesn't English cheese contain a lot of cholesterol and isn't that very bad for you?", to which I replied, "I have been eating English cheese all my life and look at me". She said, "Sir Wade, you must understand that there are an awful lot of people in America who don't want to look like you". That always made me very conscious of the fact that what I say may not necessarily be accepted by others.

However, I am particularly pleased that, on this occasion, my proposals should be seconded by my very good and noble friend Lord Lindsay. I know that he will deal most excellently with the matters that I miss and will no doubt do so in a very much more erudite way. It is a Northern team, and none the worse for it.

I have no connection with the Armed Forces, but place enormous importance on our national security. I believe that, through our continuing involvement with NATO, we shall be able to secure ongoing peace in Europe. However, it is on the strength of Britain's own Armed Forces that we all depend. I am grateful for this opportunity to thank them for all that they do and trust that they will continue to have the full and positive support of the British Government and of the British people.

Clearly there is much to be done to draw together the Armed Forces of all the countries within Europe to work for a common goal. We wish the Government every success during the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe and as regards the full

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implementation of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty. The Government are also to be congratulated on the tremendous efforts that they have put into trying to find a peaceful settlement in what was formerly Yugoslavia. I am sure that we all wish them well in their continuing efforts, as we must also wish them every success in dealing with the problems of weapons of mass destruction which could now so easily fall into the wrong hands.

Terrorism everywhere in the world seeks to destroy democracy. Democratic nations must do all that they can to fight it. I believe that we should all congratulate this Government, and particularly our Prime Minister, on negotiating a peace in Northern Ireland.


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