King George VI – 1947 King’s Speech

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Below is the text of the speech made by King George VI in the House of Lords on 21 October 1947.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

In the Session which opens to-day the nation is faced with grave economic difficulties affecting almost the entire world. Upon their successful solution depends the well-being of My people. My Government are determined to use every means in their power to overcome these difficulties.

I am confident that in these times of hardship My people will demonstrate once again to the world their qualities of resolution and energy. With sustained effort this nation will continue to play its full part in leading the world back to prosperity and freedom.

The first aim of My Ministers will be to redress the adverse balance of payments, particularly by expanding exports. This will demand increased production and the sale abroad of a larger share of output. The task to be performed by each industry has been set out and, in conjunction with all those engaged in industry, My Government will do their best to provide the means to carry out these tasks.

My Ministers will give all possible help to those who work on the land, in order to increase still more the home production of food. Legislation will be introduced to provide for the improvement and development of Scottish agriculture so that Scotland may play its full part in the campaign for higher production.

With a view to increasing exports and saving imports which can be replaced by home products, steps will be taken to ensure that man-power is used to the best national advantage, and, in particular, to expand the numbers employed in the coal-mining, agricultural and textile industries. The working of the reimposed labour controls will be watched closely and My Government will take measures to bring into essential work those who are making no contribution to the national well-being. They will also encourage in every way the close joint consultation in industry which is necessary if the greatest volume of production is to be secured.

My Government will continue to devote their earnest attention to securing from overseas the essential foodstuffs and raw materials for My people. They will do all in their power to find new sources of supply and they will seek to enter into further long-term agreements with overseas countries. A measure will be laid before you designed to promote the expansion of production of all kinds within the Empire.

My Government will continue to participate in the work of European reconstruction put in hand in the recent conference in Paris and will do their utmost to forward the projects formulated at that meeting for the benefit of Europe and of the world as a whole.

The present obstacles to co-operation and understanding between the peoples of the world have strengthened the determination of My Government to support the United Nations and to seek by that means to promote the mutual trust and tolerance on which peaceful progress depends.

It is My earnest hope that the forthcoming conference of Foreign Ministers will result in a measure of agreement leading towards a democratic and self-supporting Germany which will not threaten world security, and to the satisfactory settlement of the international status of Austria.

I trust that a Treaty of Peace with Japan, which will contribute to the welfare of all countries in the Far East, may be concluded at an early date.

A measure will be laid before you to enable the future governance of Burma to be in accordance with the free decision of the elected representatives of its people.

I hope that the discussions now in progress will enable legislation to be laid before you to confer on Ceylon fully responsible status within the British Commonwealth.

Members of the House of Commons,

Estimates for the public services will be laid before you in due course, and you will be asked to approve supplementary financial measures at an early stage of the Session.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

My Ministers will accelerate the release of men and women from the Armed Forces to the maximum extent consistent with the adequate fulfilment of the tasks falling to the Forces.

They will press on with the reorganisation of the Forces on their peace-time basis and with the task of obtaining the necessary voluntary recruits to build up the Regular Forces and the Auxiliary Services.

Legislation will be introduced to amend the Parliament Act, 1911.

A Bill will be laid before you to reform the administration of criminal justice in England and Wales.

You will be asked to approve legislation to abolish the Poor Law and to provide a comprehensive system of assistance for all in need. This will complete the all-embracing scheme of social security, the main lines of which have been, laid down in measures already enacted.

A Bill will be laid before you to bring the gas industry under public ownership in completion of the plan for the co-ordination of the fuel and power industries.

A measure will be laid before you to extend the scope of public care of children deprived of a normal home life and to secure improved standards of care for such children.

Legislation will be introduced to provide a new and more equitable basis for the distribution of general Exchequer grants to local authorities. Provision will also be made for centralizing the machinery of valuation for rating purposes and amending the law as to the valuation of small dwelling-houses in England and Wales.

You will be asked to approve a measure to reform the franchise and electoral procedure and to give appropriate effect to recommendations of the Commissions appointed to consider the distribution of Parliamentary seats.

A Bill will be laid before you to enable a common national status to be maintained throughout the Commonwealth and to amend the existing law governing the national status of married women.

You will be asked to approve a measure for the establishment of river boards to take over from existing authorities certain responsibilities for land drainage, fisheries, and the prevention of pollution.

You will also be invited to pass a Bill to amend the present scheme for securing the exhibition of a fair proportion of British films.

A measure will be laid before you to reform the law relating to actions for personal injuries.

It is hoped that various measures consolidating important branches of the law will be introduced during the Session; and other measures will be laid before you if time permits.

I pray that Almighty God may give His blessing to your counsels.

King George VI – 1946 King’s Speech

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Below is the text of the speech made by King George VI in the House of Lords on 12 November 1946.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

During the Session that lies before you my Government will seek by all means in their power to promote the well-being of my people and to enable the nation, by its example and leadership, to play a worthy part in the advance of all nations of the world towards greater freedom and prosperity.

My Ministers will shortly meet representatives of the United States, Russia and France to discuss the future of Germany. It will be their aim to establish in Germany conditions which will foster true democracy, will guarantee the world against further attempts at world domination, and will remove the financial burden which the occupation has laid on my people.

I trust that at an early date a treaty will be concluded with Austria which will enable all forces of occupation to be withdrawn from that country.

The control of Japan and the measures taken to bring about a stable and just settlement in the Far East will remain the concern of my Ministers.

The General Assembly of the United Nations has resumed in New York the session begun in London last January. It will be the policy of my Government to share fully both in these discussions and in the meetings of those other international bodies which have been created to foster mutual help and understanding among the nations of the world.

I earnestly hope that the preparatory work for an International Conference on Trade and Employment which is now proceeding in London will lay the foundations for an increase in international trade over a wide area and for the maintenance of a high and stable level of employment in all the countries of the world. My Government will use every endeavour to bring these and wider international discussions to a successful conclusion.

My Ministers will continue to develop the existing intimate understanding and close working relations between this country and the self-governing members of the British Commonwealth.

My Government will forward by every means at their disposal the policy with regard to the governance of India laid down in the statements made by them and by the Mission of my Ministers which recently visited India.

Steps are being taken to hold elections in Burma early next year, as the necessary preliminary to further constitutional progress.

In the territories for which my Government are responsible they will seek actively to promote the welfare of my peoples, to develop the economic life of the territories and to give my peoples all practical guidance in their march to self-government.

The Queen and I are looking forward with the greatest pleasure to the visit which we propose to pay to South Africa early next year.

Members of the House of Commons,

Estimates for the public services will be laid before you in due course.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

My Government will press on with the conversion of the national economy from war to peace and will endeavour to ensure that the resources of the nation are effectively employed for the common good.

It will be an urgent task of my Ministers to encourage an increase in the productivity of industry and so to secure the greatly increased flow of both consumer and capital goods needed for the raising of the standard of living of my people and the expansion of the export trade. In particular, my Ministers will, in fostering the growth of industry, continue to pay special attention to the needs of the development areas.

My Ministers recognize the urgent need for securing an adequate flow of volunteers for the Regular Forces, and their efforts to stimulate recruitment will be intensified. The reconstitution of the Territorial and Reserve Forces will be begun at an early date and my Government will bring forward a measure providing for the continuation of national service from the date when the present transitional scheme comes to an end.

My Ministers will do all in their power to increase the supply and variety of food and to see that it is efficiently and equitably distributed. They will also prosecute with the utmost vigour the task of providing suitable homes for my people, and will seek to ensure that those most in need of it have first claim on new accommodation. They recognize that the housewives of the nation have had to bear a specially heavy burden owing to the shortages of houses, of food-stuffs and of other consumer goods. It will be their constant endeavour to alleviate the hardships and inconveniences caused by this legacy from the years of war.

All necessary action is being taken to enable the school-leaving age to be raised in April of next year.

A measure will be laid before you to bring inland transport services under national ownership and control; and you will be asked to approve proposals to deal with compensation and betterment in relation to town and country planing and otherwise to improve the machinery of planning.

A Bill will also be submitted to you to bring into national ownership the electricity supply industry as a further part of a concerted plan for the co-ordination of the fuel and power industries.

Valuable reports have already been received from working parties appointed to make recommendations for the better organization of a number of important industries, and you will be asked to approve legislation to enable effect to be given to their recommendations.

A measure dealing with exchange control will be placed before you, and you will be asked to approve legislation to provide for the amendment of the Companies Act and for the establishment of a commission to purchase, import and distribute raw cotton.

Proposals will be laid before you to give effect to the plans prepared by my Ministers for the efficient development of agriculture in this country, based on the system of guaranteed prices and assured markets for the principal farm products, and to give permanent effect to the transfer of wage-fixing powers from the local agricultural wages committees to the central Wages Boards.

Legislation will be submitted to you to provide for the establishment of a comprehensive health service in Scotland, and to consolidate, with amendments, the local government law of Scotland.

You will be asked to approve a Bill to provide for the establishment of a Ministry of Defence.

Measures will be laid before you providing for the arrangements consequent upon the termination of the National Fire Service and for empowering local authorities to operate civic restaurants.

A Bill will be introduced to give effect to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, signed at Chicago on the 7th December, 1944.

Other measures will be laid before you if time permits.

I pray that Almighty God may give His blessing to your counsels.

King George VI – 1945 King’s Speech

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Below is the text of the speech made by King George VI in the House of Lords on 15 August 1945.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

The surrender of Japan has brought to an end six years of warfare which have caused untold loss and misery to the world. In this hour of deliverance, it is fitting that we should give humble and solemn thanks to God by whose grace we have been brought to final victory. My Armed Forces from every part of my Commonwealth and Empire have fought with steady courage and endurance. To them as well as to all others who have borne their share in bringing about this great victory and to all our Allies our gratitude is due. We remember especially at this time those who have laid down their lives in the fight for freedom.

It is the firm purpose of my Government to work in the closest cooperation with the Governments of my Dominions and in concert with all peace-loving peoples to attain a world of freedom, peace and social justice so that the sacrifices of the war shall not have been in vain. To this end they are determined to promote throughout the world conditions under which all countries may face with confidence the urgent tasks of reconstruction, and to carry out in this country those policies which have received the approval of my people.

At Berlin my Ministers, in conference with the President of the United States and Premier Stalin, have laid the foundations on which the peoples of Europe, after the long nightmare of war, may restore their shattered lands. I welcome the establishment of the Council of Foreign Ministers which will shortly hold its first meeting in London and will continue the work begun at Berlin in preparation for a final peace settlement.

My Ministers will submit to you the Charter of the United Nations which has now been signed without reservation by the representatives of all the fifty States who took part in the Conference at San Francisco and which expresses the determination of the United Nations to maintain peace in accordance with justice and respect for human rights and to promote the welfare of all peoples by international co-operation. The devastating new weapon which science has now placed in the hands of humanity should bring home to all the lesson that the nations of the world must abolish recourse to war or perish by mutual destruction.

It has given me special pleasure to meet the President of the United States on his brief visit to my country after the Conference at Berlin. I have also been glad to express the gratitude of this country to the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force for his inspiring leadership in the campaign for the liberation of Europe.

My Forces in Europe continue to discharge the duties entailed in the occupation of enemy countries and the, repatriation of the many thousands of persons who were deported from their homes by the enemy. My Navy, aided by the Navies of my Allies, is clearing the seas of mines so that merchant ships and fishing fleets may once more sail in safety.

In the Far East my Ministers will make it their most immediate concern to ensure that all prisoners in Japanese hands are cared for and returned to their homes with all speed. The bringing of relief to those who have suffered under Japanese tyranny and the disarmament and control of the enemy will continue to impose heavy demands on my Forces.

Members of the House of Commons,

You will be asked to make further financial provision, not, happily, for the continuance of the war, but for expenditure on reconstruction and other essential services.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

My Government will continue the orderly release of men and women from the Armed Forces on the basis of the plans announced in the autumn of last year and will take every step to secure that these plans are carried out with the greatest speed consistent with our military commitments and fair treatment to serving men and women. The arrangements already in operation for the resettlement in civil life of men and women released from the Forces and from war work, including those who have been disabled during their service, will be continued and, where necessary, expanded.

The continuing shortages in the supply of many necessaries, especially houses, food, clothing and fuel, will call for the same spirit of tolerance and understanding which the nation has displayed during the past six years of war.

It will be the aim of my Ministers to see that the national resources in labour and material are employed with the fullest efficiency in the interests of all and that the standard of living is progressively improved. In the pursuit of this aim the special problems of Scotland and Wales will have the attention of my Ministers.

My Government will take up with energy the tasks of reconverting industry from the purposes of war to those of peace, of expanding our export trade, and of securing by suitable control or by an extension of public ownership that our industries and services shall make their maximum contribution to the national well-being. The orderly solution of these difficult problems will require from all my people efforts corn-parable in intensity and public spirit to those which have brought us victory in war.

In order to promote employment and national development machinery will be set up to provide for the effective planning of investment and a measure will be laid before you to bring the Bank of England under public ownership. A Bill will also be laid before you to nationalize the coalmining industry as part of a concerted plan for the co-ordination of the fuel and power industries.

Legislation will be submitted to you to ensure that during the period of transition from war to peace there are available such powers as are necessary to secure the right use of our commercial and industrial resources and the distribution at fair prices of essential supplies and services.

An urgent and vital task of my Ministers will be to increase by all practicable means the number of homes available both in town and country. Accordingly they will organize the resources of the building and manufacturing industries in the most effective way to meet the housing and other essential building requirements of the nation. They will also lay before you proposals to deal with the problems of compensation and betterment in relation to town and country planning, to improve the procedure for the acquisition of land for public purposes, and otherwise to promote the best use of land in the national interest.

You will be asked to approve measures to provide a comprehensive scheme of insurance against industrial injuries, to extend and improve the existing scheme of social insurance and to establish a national health service. Legislation will be introduced to repeal the Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Act.

My Ministers will develop to the fullest possible extent the home production of good food. To this end they will continue, with suitable adaptations, those war-time policies under which food production has been organized and the efficiency of agriculture improved, and will take all necessary steps to promote a healthy fishing industry. The ravages of war have made world food supplies insufficient to meet demands, but my Ministers will do all in their power to provide and distribute food to my peoples at prices which they can afford to pay; and they will keep in being and extend the new food services for the workers and for mothers and children which have been established during the war.

A measure will be laid before you for the reorganization of air transport.

It will be the aim of my Ministers to bring into practical effect at the earliest possible date the educational reforms which have already been approved.

My Government will continue to work in close consultation with the other members of my Commonwealth on all matters of mutual concern.

In accordance with the promises already made to my Indian peoples, my Government will do their utmost to promote in conjunction with the leaders of Indian opinion the early realization of full self-government in India.

They will also press on with the development of my Colonial Empire and the welfare of its peoples.

I pray that Almighty God may give His blessing to your counsels.

King George VI – 1944 King’s Speech

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Below is the text of the speech made by King George VI in the House of Lords on 29 November 1944.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:

The United Nations look back on a year of resounding achievement. They now look forward with greater confidence than ever to those final victories which will give to the peoples of the world the just peace which is our chief desire. In Western Europe My Forces from, the United Kingdom and Canada and their comrades from the United States, with the valuable aid of the Armed Forces of My European Allies and of the peoples who have risen to meet them, have routed the enemy in a series of decisive battles and are now pressing him on the borders of his own country. In Italy the Forces of the United Nations have advanced to the northern plains and in Greece and Yugoslavia the Germans are being driven from the countries which they have oppressed for three bitter years. In the East the massive achievements of My Russian Ally have deprived the Germans of vast stretches of territory which they hoped would feed their armies and provide an impassable barrier to prevent the soil of Germany from becoming a battle-ground. Both in the East and in the West, Germany is invaded. The plight in which her armies now find themselves is a measure of the success which by God’s grace has crowned our arms.

In the war against Japan the enemy has been thrown back from India and My American Ally continues to reduce the shrinking area still under Japanese control in the Pacific. We intend to reinforce as rapidly and powerfully as possible the United Kingdom Forces who are now sharing with their comrades from all parts of the British Commonwealth and Empire and from the United States, China, the Netherlands and France the burden of the struggle against Japan.

My Navies everywhere have maintained their mastery over the enemy and have achieved great successes, in which My Air Forces have fully shared, in driving his surface and submarine forces from the seas. My Air Forces, in concert with the Air Forces of the United States, have delivered increasingly heavy blows against Germany and have maintained their support of military and naval operations in all theatres.

The successes of My Armed Forces would not have been achieved but for the devoted labours of those throughout the Commonwealth and Empire who have striven ceaselessly to arm and equip them. It is over five years now since My peoples first took up the struggle to free the world from aggression and the contribution of the civil population is beyond all praise.

The United Nations await with sober confidence the unrolling of future events. Joined in an unbreakable alliance and fortified by constant collaboration between the Governments concerned and by frequent personal meetings between their leaders, they look forward to that day on which the aggressor is finally defeated and the whole world can turn to the rebuilding of prosperity and the maintenance of an unassailable peace.

Members of the House of Commons:

You will be asked to make further financial provision for the conduct of the war and for the other necessary services.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:

Victory remains our supreme aim and to this end you will be invited to pass such further legislation as may be required for the effective prosecution of the war.

Once, however, the war in Europe is over, the transition from war to peace will begin; and My Ministers are actively preparing plans to ensure that, without in any way prejudicing the active prosecution of the war against Japan, an increasing part of our resources is made available for civilian production. They will try to create conditions favourable to the expansion of our export trade and the re-equipment of our industry and to maintain a high level of food production at home. They are considering the methods by which the policy for the maintenance of a high level of employment can be implemented, especially with regard to the distribution of industry in the Development Areas. Progress will be made in fulfilling the urgent tasks of providing additional housing accommodation and of increasing supplies of civilian goods. My Ministers will continue their policy of ensuring a fair distribution of the necessaries of life so long as there is any scarcity.

My Government intend that, as opportunity serves, progress should be made with legislation arising out of the proposals already made public for a comprehensive health service, an enlarged and unified scheme of national insurance, a new scheme of industrial injury insurance and a system of family allowances. They will also invite you to approve measures embodying proposals for a national water policy which have already been presented to you.

A Bill will be laid before you dealing with electoral reform based on the recommendations of Mr. Speaker’s Conference, and a Bill providing for the resumption of local elections at the appropriate time. You will be invited to pass measures relating to the provision of finance for the capital expenditure which local authorities will incur after the end of hostilities in Europe and proposals for the adjustment of local government areas in England and Wales will also be laid before you.

You will be asked to approve legislation designed to extend export credit facilities and to conserve, subject to appropriate safeguards, the use or value of assets created at the public expense on requisitioned and other land.

Measures will also be laid before you making further provision for the regulation of wages and conditions of employment and for the development of the public educational system in Scotland.

There will be presented to you legislation making further provision for assistance towards the development of the Colonial Empire both by prolonging the period covered by the Colonial Development and Welfare Act of 1940 and by substantially increasing the provision of funds authorised to be made under that Act.

I pray that the Almighty may give His blessing to your counsels.

King George VI – 1943 King’s Speech

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Below is the text of the speech made by King George VI in the House of Lords on 24 November 1943.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

In the fourth year of war the Forces of the United Nations assumed the offensive in all theatres of war. The enemy has been cast out of Africa; freedom has been brought to Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica; and in Italy my Forces and those of my American Ally are now engaging the enemy on the mainland of Europe. On his eastern front the enemy has given ground before the massive and unrelenting advance of the Russian Armies, whose magnificent achievements we have watched with ever-deepening admiration. The captive peoples of Europe are everywhere preparing to throw off the yoke of the oppressor; and we shall continue to afford them such help and encouragement as lies in our power. On the frontier of India and in the Pacific, Japanese aggression has been halted, and the Forces of the United Nations are now moving to the offensive. At sea my Navies and those of our Allies continue to maintain their mastery over the enemy, and important successes have been won in the struggle against the enemy’s U-boats. The Air Forces of the United Nations have maintained their ascendancy in all theatres of war, and have increased the weight of their blows at the enemy’s heart.

The mounting scale of our offensive is the fruit of the devoted and untiring efforts of my peoples throughout the Commonwealth and Empire; and in the coming year we shall, with God’s help, be able to bring to bear upon the enemy a still greater weight of attack. With the growing help of our great American Ally, and together with the other United Nations, we shall go forward with confidence in our cause until we have delivered the peoples of the world from the fear of the aggressor.

My Government, taking counsel with my Allies and building upon the foundations laid at the recent Conference in Moscow, will devote continuous attention to the study of plans for the future settlement of Europe.

Members of the House of Commons,

You will be asked to make further financial provision for the conduct of the war and for the other necessary services.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

My Government will continue to concentrate their powers and energies upon the prosecution of the war; and, until final victory is won, that will be their primary task. You will be invited to pass such further legislation as may be necessary to provide for the needs of the war and to meet abnormal conditions arising from the war.

At the same time my Ministers are resolved that, so far as the future can be foreseen, they shall be ready to meet the different tasks that await them when victory has been won. They have undertaken a special review of the problems which are likely to arise as hostilities in Europe come to an end and of the adjustments which will have to be made when we turn to prosecute with fresh vigour the war against Japan; and in the months to come my Ministers will complete their provisional plans for the period of transition through which we must pass before the troubled times of war give place to settled conditions of peace. It will be the primary aim of my Government to ensure that in this period food, homes and employment are provided for my people, that good progress is made with the rebuilding of our damaged cities, and that in industry, mining and agriculture a smooth transition is made from war to peace. For some of these purposes fresh powers will be needed; and, as the preparations proceed, proposals for the necessary legislation will be laid before you. You will, in the immediate future, be asked to make provision for the training and employment of disabled persons, and to amend the law regarding the reinstatement in their civil employment of persons discharged from the Armed Forces.

In certain fields it is already possible to look beyond the transitional period and to frame proposals for social reforms designed to confer lasting benefits on my people.

A measure embodying my Government’s proposals for the reconstruction of the national system of education in England and Wales will be laid before you. An Advisory Council is now preparing reports which are expected to form the basis for educational developments in Scotland.

My Ministers will present to you their views and proposals regarding an enlarged and unified system of social insurance, a comprehensive health service and a new scheme of workmen’s compensation; and they will decide, in the light of your discussions, what specific proposals for legislation on these matters can be brought forward at this stage.

You will be invited to pass legislation conferring special powers for the redevelopment of areas which, by reason of enemy action, overcrowding or otherwise, need to be replanned as a whole.

My Government will lay before you the results of their examination of the Reports which have been made recommending the assumption of further powers to control and direct the use of the land of Great Britain.

It is the desire of my Government that full consideration should be given to various proposals which have been put forward for changes in the existing franchise law, and you will be invited to give your early attention to this question.

My Ministers will maintain and develop the measures for promoting the health and well-being of my people which, by God’s providence, have been so successful during the past four years of war.

I pray that the Almighty may give His blessing to your counsels.

King George VI – 1942 King’s Speech

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Below is the text of the speech made by King George VI in the House of Lords on 11 November 1942.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

In this fourth year of war My Peoples look forward with unshakable courage. They are determined to fight on to complete victory, with no thought of parley. Whatever the future may hold, I know that they will respond wholeheartedly to every new demand made upon them.

I look with gratitude and pride upon the great and ever-growing war effort of my loyal subjects throughout the Empire. Their comradeship and unity in war will be an inspiration and source of power in the years to come.

In the last few days Providence has blessed our arms and those of our American Allies. The brilliant victory in the Western Desert and the great operation forestalling the attack of our enemies upon the French territories in Northern Africa, are notable steps towards final victory.

My Forces by sea, land and air continue to meet with courage and devotion the calls which the extension of the war has made upon their resources. Aided by the powerful support of the Armed Forces of My Allies and sustained by the growing output of our munition factories, they are now bringing an increasing weight of attack against the enemy.

The declaration of the United Nations endorsing the principles of the Atlantic Charter provides a foundation on which international society can be rebuilt after the war. As a first step My Government have entered into consultation with the Governments of the United Nations in preparation for the urgent needs which will arise when the victims of oppression regain their freedom. When the time comes, these tasks will, I am confident, be faced with the same spirit of comradeship and resolution as has been shown in the war.

My Government desire to do their utmost to raise the standards and to improve the conditions of My Peoples in the Colonies, who are playing their full part in the united war effort.

Members of the House of Commons,

You will be asked to make further financial provision for the conduct of the war and for the other necessary services.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

My Government’s first concern must be to seek and secure the means of achieving complete and speedy victory; and they will put before you such proposals for emergency legislation as may be necessary for the effective prosecution of the war or for meeting conditions arising out of the war. You will be asked to pass legislation with respect to war damage suffered by public utility undertakings.

A start has, however, been made in working out the measures which will be necessary when peace comes. My Government have already received and are examining Reports upon compensation and betterment in respect of public control of the use of land and upon land utilization in rural areas. Renewed consideration will be given to the position of old age and widowed pensioners and further measures will be laid before you.

Conversations are taking place between My Ministers and others concerned with the provision and conduct of education in England and Wales with a view to reaching an understanding upon the improvements necessary. My Ministers hope that these discussions will result in such a wide measure of agreement being reached that further progress can be made with plans for the better education of My people. The system of education in Scotland is also under review.

My Ministers will continue to take all measures open to them to promote the health and well-being of My people in war-time by securing the better care of young children, by the prevention of disease, by the treatment of the sick and by the alleviation wherever possible of the housing difficulties consequent upon the war.

Our enemies yet remain powerful and we can look forward to no easy task. All our fortitude and all our determination will be needed to win through to victory. But I know that nothing will shake your purpose or cause your steps to falter on the way.

I pray that the Almighty may give His blessing to your counsels.

King George VI – 1941 King’s Speech

kinggeorge6

Below is the text of the speech made by King George VI in the House of Lords on 12 November 1941.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

The developments of the past year have strengthened the resolution of My Peoples and of My Allies to prosecute this war against aggression until final victory. Meanwhile, My Government, in consultation with the Allied Governments, and with the good will of the Government of the United States of America, are considering the urgent problems which will face them when the nations now enduring the tyranny of the oppressor have regained their freedom.

I well know that My People will continue to respond whole-heartedly to the great demands made upon them to furnish My Forces with the instruments of victory, and that they are determined to meet, to the utmost of their power, the needs of the Soviet Union in its heroic conflict.

The United States are furnishing My Peoples and My Allies with war supplies of all kinds on a scale unexampled in history.

My relations with Turkey with whom I have a valued treaty of alliance, remain firmly based on trust and friendship.

I welcome the restoration to his Throne of His Majesty the Emperor of Ethiopia. Thus, the first country which fell a victim to aggression has been the first to be liberated and re-established.

My loyal subjects in Malta continue to face air attack with a fortitude that commands My deepest admiration.

Members of the House of Commons,

You will be asked to make further financial provision for the conduct of the war.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

The fulfilment of the task to which we are committed will call for the unsparing effort of every one of us. I am confident that My People will answer this call with the courage and devotion which our forefathers never failed to show when our country was in danger.

My Government will continue to take all practical steps to sustain the health and well-being of My People under the stress of war.

And I pray that Almighty God may give His blessing to your counsels.

King George VI – 1940 King’s Speech

kinggeorge6

Below is the text of the speech made by King George VI in the House of Lords on 21 November 1940.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

My peoples and My Allies are united in their resolve to continue the fight against the aggressor nations until freedom is made secure. Then only can the nations, released from oppression and violence, again work together on a basis of ordered liberty and social justice.

I am confident that victory is assured, not only by the prowess of the Armed Forces of My Empire and of those of My Allies, but also by the devotion of the Civil Defence Forces and the tenacity and industry of My peoples. These are now enduring, where they live and labour, the perils as well as the hardships of war.

The staunchness of the men of the Merchant and Fishing Fleets has added lustre to the ancient traditions of the sea.

The resistance of My people has won the admiration of other friendly Powers. The relations of My Government with that of the United States of America could not be more cordial, and I learn, with the utmost satisfaction, of the ever-increasing volume of munitions of war which is arriving from that country. It is good to know in these fateful times how widely shared are the ideals of ordered freedom, of justice and security.

Members of the House of Commons,

You will be asked to make further financial provision for the conduct of the war.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons,

Measures will be submitted to you for compensating those whose home or business property has, at any time since the outbreak of hostilities, been destroyed or damaged by enemy attack, and for extending insurance against the risk of such damage to all forms of movable property which are not at present protected.

Further proposals for legislation will also be made to improve the conditions of those who may now or in the future require assistance from public funds.

Apart from these and such other measures as may be required for the effective prosecution of the war, My Government will take every possible step to sustain the health and well-being of My people in their ordeal.

I pray that the Almighty may give His blessing to your counsels.