Queen Elizabeth II – 1987 Queen’s Speech

The speech made by HM Queen Elizabeth II in the House of Lords on 25 June 1987.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

I look forward with great pleasure to receiving His Majesty King Hassan II of Morocco, and His Excellency President Cossiga of Italy on State visits this year. I also look forward to being present on the occasion of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Canada in October and to visiting Australia in connection with the bicentenary next year.

My Government will stand fully by their obligations to the NATO Alliance. They will sustain Britain’s contribution to Western defence by modernising the independent nuclear deterrent through the introduction of the Trident submarine programme and by increasing the effectiveness of the nation’s conventional forces.

My Government will strive for balanced and verifiable measures of arms control. They strongly support the United States’ proposals for the elimination of intermediate range nuclear missiles, and 50 per cent. reductions in American and Soviet strategic nuclear weapons. They will strive for a worldwide ban on chemical weapons. They will seek balanced reductions leading to lower levels of conventional forces throughout Europe and the elimination of disparities which threaten Western security.

My Government will work for greater trust and confidence between East and West and for progress, especially on human rights, at the Vienna Review Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe.

My Government will play a leading role in the development of the European Community while safeguarding Britain’s essential national interests. They will work for reform of the common agricultural policy. They will press for strict controls on Community spending and the opening of the market in financial and other services. They will work with our European partners to defend our trading interests and to press for freer trade among all nations.

My Government will sustain the fight against international terrorism and trafficking in drugs. They will stand by their pledges to the people of the Falkland Islands, while seeking more normal relations with Argentina. They will fulfil their responsibilities to the people of Hong Kong and will continue to co-operate with the Chinese Government to carry out the Sino-British Joint Declaration. They will play their full part in the United Nations and the Commonwealth. They will seek peaceful and lasting solutions to the most difficult international problems, including those of the middle east and southern Africa. They will work for the restoration of an independent and non-aligned Afghanistan.

My Government will maintain their substantial aid programme. They will pursue proposals for international action on debt to help some of the poorest countries of sub-Saharan Africa.

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,

My Government will continue to pursue policies of sound financial management designed further to reduce inflation and to promote enterprise and increased employment. They will maintain firm control of public expenditure so that it continues to fall as a proportion of national income and permits further reductions in the burden of taxation. Legislation will be brought forward shortly to implement the tax changes proposed in the last Budget but not yet enacted.

My Government will consult the Manpower Services Commission with a view to providing a comprehensive employment service for unemployed people. There will be guaranteed places on the youth training scheme for school leavers under 18 who do not go into employment. Legislation will be introduced to enable benefit to be withheld from those who refuse a place.

My Government will take action to raise standards throughout education and to extend parental choice. Legislation will be introduced to provide for a national curriculum for schools, delegation of school budgets and greater autonomy for schools. It will also reform the structure of education in inner London, give greater independence to polytechnics and certain other colleges and support the establishment of city technology colleges.

Measures will be brought before you to effect a major reform of housing legislation in England and Wales.

In all these policies, my Government will have special regard to the needs of inner cities. Action will he taken to encourage investment and to increase enterprise and employment in those areas.

A Bill will be introduced to abolish domestic rates in England and Wales and to make new arrangements fir the finance of local government.

Measures will he introduced to promote further competition in the provision of local authorities’ services.

Legislation will be introduced to enable the water and sewerage functions of the water authorities in England and Wales to he privatised.

My Government remain determined to tackle the problems of crime. They will carry out their plans to increase the resources available to the police, and will establish a national organisation to promote crime prevention. A Bill will he introduced to improve the working of criminal justice.

A Bill will be introduced to reinforce the system of firm but fair immigration control.

Legislation will be introduced to give greater flexibility in licensing hours.

Legislation will be introduced to improve the rights of individual members with respect to their trade unions and to provide further protection against trade union enforcement of closed shops.

A Bill will be introduced to reform the law of copyright and intellectual property.

My Government will maintain and improve the health and social services and will complete the introduction of the reformed social security system.

My Government will continue to support farming. They will help farmers to diversify, and will introduce legislation to encourage the planting of farm woodlands.

Legislation will be introduced to improve the provision of rented housing in Scotland. Measures will be introduced to strengthen schools councils in Scotland and to improve the management of Scottish education.

In Northern Ireland, my Government will seek an agreed basis on which greater responsibility can be devolved to representatives of the people. They will work unremittingly for the defeat of terrorism. They will build upon the constructive relations established with the Republic of Ireland in security and other matters.

Measures will be introduced to assist the merchant shipping industry.

My Government will bring forward legislation to improve the arrangements for legal aid.

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.