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----_------_-----THE KING'S…

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THE KING'S SPEECH. The King, accompanied by the Queen, went in state from Buckingham Palace to West- minster on Tuesday and opened the second Session of the second Parliament of his reign. The House of Commons having been sum- moned to the House of Lords, his Majesty delivered from the Throne the following speech: My LORDS axd Gentlemen-— I am happy to say that my relations with foreign Powers continue to be friendly, and I have no occasion to add to the full state- ment which was laid before you id December reciting a number of satisfactory Agreements recently concluded. The earthquake at Kingston adds one more to the series of calamities which Jamaica and my other Colonies in the West Indies- have experienced. I regret the deplorable loss of life and destruction of property in an impor- tant city, and I have seen with satisfaction' that the emergency has been met by the Governor and his officers with courage I and devotion, and by the people with self-controls The occasion has called forth many proofs of practical goodwill from all parts of my Empire and I recognise with sincere gratitude the' sympathy shown by the people of the Unitedi States of America, and the assistance promptly offered by the naval authorities. The first visit of an Amir of Afghanistan to' my Indian dominions for more than twenty years, and his active survey of leading features in Indian life, have been to me, and, as I under- stand, to the Amir himself, a source of much gratification, as tending to promote that right feeling which is even more important than formal compacts. I In India, while firmly guarding the strength and unity of executive power unimpaired, I look forward to a steadfast effort to provide means of widening the base of peace, order, and good government among the vast populations committed to my charge. Gkktlevek OF THE House OF COMMOWS- Estimates of the National Expenditure for the forthcoming financial year will in due course be laid before yon. They have been framed with the object of effecting economies consistent with the efficient maintenance of the public llenice. My LORDS AND GBNTLBHBN- Serious questions affecting the working- of our parliamentary system have arisen from un- fortunate differences between the two Houses. My Ministers have this important subject under consideration with a view to a solution of the difficulty. A measure of licensing reform will be intro- duced, with the object of effectively diminishing the evils which result from the sale and use of intoxicating liquors under present conditions. Proposals will be laid before you for more clearly defining the functions -of the military forces of the Crown, both regular and auxiliary, and for the improvement of their organisation. Bills will be introduced dealing with the holding and valuation of land in Scotland. Your attention will be called to measures for further associating the people of Ireland with the management of their domestic affairs, and for otherwise improving the system of govern- ment in its administrative and financial aspects. Proposals will also be submitted for effecting a reform of University education in Ireland, whereby I trust that the difficulties which have so long retarded the development of higher education in that countrv may be removed. You will also be invited to consider proposals for the establishment of a Court of Criminal Appeal, for Regulating the Hours of Labour in Mines, for the Amendment of the Patent Laws, for improving the Law relating to the Valuation of Property in England and Wales, for enabling Women to serve on Local Bodies, for Amending the Law affecting Small Holdings in England and Wales, and for the Better Housing of the People. I commend all your arduous labours to the continued hles^in" (r Alnm-htv (;(")(1. It is èifficult to imagine a more beautiful spectacle than the House of Lords presents on the occasions when Parliament is opened by the King in person with full State ceremonial. A year ago the ceremony was shorn of much of its beauty by the absence of the Queen and by the continuance of the Court mourning. On Tuesday everyone was in gala costume, and white frocks immensely preponderated over the black. There were one or two coloured dresses as well, which hardly harmonised with the strong scarlet of the peers' robes, but the general impression pf the bright toilettes, the flashing diamonds and the waving white plumes of the peeresses contrasted with the vivid red worn by the peers made a picture not easily to be surpassed. The first members of the Royal party to enter the House were the Prince and Princess of Wales, who took their places one on either side of the two thrones. After a short pause the Royal procession appeared, and just as the King and Queen themselves entered the House the lights, which had been somewhat dim, were turned on full, adding a blaze of brilliance to the striking scene. Leading the Queen by the hand, the King conducted her to her throne and took his place beside her, while the high officers of Court and State grouped I themselves around. During the interval in which Black Rod summoned the faithful Commons," the King requested the assembly to be seated, and, the Speaker having taken his place at the Bar, the King proceeded to read his Speech in a clear voice that could easily be heard in the farthest corner of the Chamber. The reading ended, the Court rose, and the stately procession was again re-formed and slowly swept out of the House, the Prince and Princess of Wales following the King and Queen. Despite the bad weather, large crowds assembled in the streets to watch the proces- sion. His Majesty, who was wearing a heavy military cloak over his field-marshal's uniform, was untiring throughout in his acknowledg- ments of the acclamations of the crowd, and her Majesty's recognition of the loyal salute tions was equally gracious.

PREMIER AND THE LORDS.

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PREMIER AND THE LORDS.