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Her Majesty's cordial acknowledgments for the zeal and assiduity with which you have performed your important duties during a session which, though shorter than usual, has nevertheless been unusually laborious.

Her Majesty commands us to express to you her satisfaction that the present state of affairs in Europe inspires a well-grounded confidence in the continuance of peace.

The arrangements connected with the full execution of the stipulations of the Treaty of Paris have, from various causes, not yet been completed; but Her Majesty trusts that by the earnest efforts of the Contracting Parties to that Treaty, all that remains to be done with reference to its stipulations may, ere long, be satisfactorily settled.


Her Majesty commands us to inform you that the extensive mutinies which have broken out among the native troops of the Army of Bengal, followed by serious disturbances in many parts of that Presidency, have occasioned to Her Majesty extreme conand the barbarities which have been inflicted upon many of Her Majesty's subjects in India, and the sufferings which they have endured, have filled Her Majesty's heart with the deepest grief; while the conduct of many civil and military officers, who have been placed in circumstances of much difficulty, and have been exposed to great danger, has excited Her Majesty's warmest admiration.

Her Majesty commands us to inform you, that she will omit no measure calculated to quell these grave disorders; and Her Majesty is confident that, with the blessing of Providence, the powerful means at her disposal will enable her to accomplish that end.

Gentlemen of the House of Commons,

Her Majesty commands us to thank you for the liberal supplies which you have voted for the service of the present year, and for the assurances which you have given her of your readiness to afford Her Majesty whatever support may be necessary for the restoration of tranquillity in India.

Her Majesty has been gratified to find that you have been enabled to provide the amount required to be paid to Denmark for the redemption of the Sound dues, without on that account adding to the National Debt.

My Lords and Gentlemen,

Her Majesty commands us to convey to you her heartfelt acknowledgments for the provision which you have made for her beloved daughter, the Princess Royal, on her approaching marriage with His Royal Highness Prince Frederick William of Prussia.

Her Majesty commands us to inform you that she has seen with satisfaction that, although the present session has been short, you have been able to pass many Acts of great importance, and to which Her Majesty has given her cordial assent.

The Acts for establishing a more efficient jurisdiction for the proving of wills in England and Ireland, correct defects which have for many years been complained of.

The Act for amending the law relating to Divorce and to Matrimonial Causes will remedy evils which have long been felt.

The several Acts for the punishment of fraudulent breaches of trust;

For amending the law relating to secondary punishments;
For amending the law concerning Joint Stock Banks;

For consolidating and amending the law relating to bankruptcy and insolvency in Ireland;

For the better care and treatment of pauper lunatics in Scotland; For improving the organization of the County Police in Scotland; Together with other Acts of less importance, but likewise tending to the progressive improvement of the law, have met with Her Majesty's ready assent.

We are commanded by Her Majesty to express to you Her confidence that, on your return to your several counties, you will employ that influence which so justly belongs to you, to promote the welfare and happiness of her loyal and faithful people; and she prays that the blessing of Almighty God may attend and prosper your endeavours.

SPEECH of The Queen, on the Opening of the British Parliament.-Westminster, December 3, 1857.

My Lords and Gentlemen,

CIRCUMSTANCES have recently arisen, connected with the commercial interests of the country, which have induced me to call Parliament together before the usual time.

The failure of certain Joint Stock Banks and of some commercial firms, produced such an extent of distrust as led me to authorize my Ministers to recommend to the Directors of the Bank of England the adoption of a course of proceedings which appeared necessary for allaying the prevalent alarm. As that course has involved a departure from the existing law, a Bill for indemnifying

those who advised and those who adopted it will be submitted for your consideration.

I have observed with great regret that the disturbed state of commercial transactions in general, has occasioned a diminution of employment in the manufacturing districts, which, I fear, cannot fail to be attended with much local distress. I trust, however, that this evil may not be of long duration; and the abundant harvest with which it has graciously pleased Divine Providence to bless this land will, I hope, in some degree mitigate the sufferings which this state of things must unavoidably produce.

While I deeply deplore the severe suffering to which many of my subjects in India have been exposed, and while I grieve for the extensive bereavements and sorrow which it has caused, I have derived the greatest satisfaction from the distinguished successes which have attended the heroic exertions of the comparatively small forces which have been opposed to greatly superior numbers, without the aid of the powerful reinforcements despatched from this country to their assistance. The arrival of those reinforcements will, I trust, speedily complete the suppression of this widelyspread revolt.

The gallantry of the troops employed against the mutineers, their courage in action, their endurance under privation, fatigue, and the effects of climate, the high spirit and self-devotion of the officers, the ability, skill, and persevering energy of the commanders, have excited my warmest admiration; and I have observed with equal gratification that many civilians placed in extreme difficulty and danger have displayed the highest qualities, including, in some instances, those that would do honour to veteran soldiers.

It is satisfactory to know that the general mass of the population of India have taken no part in the rebellion, while the most considerable of the native Princes have acted in the most friendly manner, and have rendered important services.

I have given directions that papers relating to these matters shall be laid before you.

The affairs of my East Indian dominions will require your serious consideration, and I recommend them to your earnest attention.

The nations of Europe are in the enjoyment of the blessings of peace, which nothing seems likely to disturb.

The stipulations of the Treaty which I concluded with the Shah of Persia have been faithfully carried into execution, and the Persian forces have evacuated the territory of Herat.

Gentlemen of the House of Commons,

I have given directions that the estimates for the next year shall be prepared, for the purpose of being laid before you.

They will be framed with a careful regard to the exigencies of the public service.

My Lords and Gentlemen,

Your attention will be called to the laws which regulate the representation of the people in Parliament, with a view to consider what amendments may be safely and beneficially made therein.

Measures will be submitted for your consideration for simplify. ing and amending the laws relating to real property, and also for consolidating and amending several important branches of the criminal law.

I confidently commit to your wisdom the great interests of my empire; and I fervently pray that the blessing of Almighty God may attend your counsels, and may guide your deliberations to those ends which are dearest to my heart-the happiness and prosperity of my loyal and faithful people.

CONVENTION between Great Britain and Belgium, enabling their respective Post Offices to make Postal Arrangements. -Signed at Brussels, January 8, 1857.

[Ratifications exchanged at Brussels, January 27, 1857.]

HER Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and His Majesty the King of the Belgians, being desirous of facilitating the means by which a reduction may be effected in the rates of postage chargeable upon letters and printed papers exchanged between the United Kingdom and Belgium, and other alterations may be made in the postal arrangements existing between the 2 countries, have agreed to regulate this matter by a special Convention, and have named as their Plenipotentiaries for this purpose, viz.:

Her Majesty the Queen of the

SA Majesté la Reine du Royaume Uni de la Grande Bretagne et d'Irlande, et Sa Majesté le Roi des Belges, désirant faciliter les moyens de réduire les prix de port des lettres et des imprimés échangés entre le Royaume Uni et la Belgique, et d'introduire d'autres modifications dans les arrangements postaux existant entre les 2 pays, sont convenus de régler cet objet par une Convention spéciale, et ont nommé pour leurs Plénipotentiaires à cet effet, savoir:

Sa Majesté la Reine du Roy

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Charles Augustus Lord Howard de Walden and Seaford, a Peer of the United Kingdom, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Her Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at the Court of His Belgian Majesty;

And His Majesty the King of the Belgians, Viscount Charles Vilain XIIII, his Minister for Foreign Affairs, Member of the Chamber of Representatives, Officer of the Order of Leopold, decorated with the Iron Cross, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Januarius of the 2 Sicilies, Grand Cross of the Order of our Lady of the Conception of Villa Viçosa, of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, of the Imperial Order of Medjidić, of the Imperial Order of the White Eagle, of the Imperial Order of the Polar Star, &c.

Who, after having communicated to each other their respective full powers, found to be in good and due form, have agreed upon the following Articles:

ART. I. The power granted to the 2 Post Offices by Article XLI of the Convention of the 19th of October, 1844,* between Great Britain and Belgium, to settle the measures of detail which were to be arranged by mutual consent for ensuring the execution of the said Convention, shall henceforth extend to other objects; and the 2 Offices shall have full authority to agree upon

aume Uni de la Grande Bretagne et et d'Irlande, Charles Auguste Lord Howard de Walden et Seaford, Pair du Royaume Uni de la Grande Bretagne et d'Irlande, Chevalier Grand-Croix du Très Honorable Ordre du Bain, Son Envoyé Extraordinaire et Ministre Plénipotentiaire près la Cour de Sa Majesté Belge;

Et Sa Majesté le Roi des Belges, le Vicomte Charles Vilain XIIII, Son Ministre des Affaires Etrangères, Membre de la Chambre des Représentants, Officier de l'Ordre de Léopold, décoré de la Croix de Fer, Chevalier GrandCroix de l'Ordre de St. Janvier des 2 Siciles, Grand-Croix de l'Ordre de Notre Dame de la Conception de Villa Viçosa, de l'Ordre des Saints Maurice et Lazare, de l'Ordre Impérial du Medjidié, de l'Ordre Impérial de l'Aigle Blanc, de l'Ordre de l'Etoile Polaire, &c. ;

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* Vol. XXXII. Page 66.

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