Queen Elizabeth II – 1977 Queen’s Speech


Below is the text of the speech made by HM Queen Elizabeth II in the House of Lords on 3 November 1977.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:

My husband and I look back with delight and gratitude on the events which marked My Silver Jubilee at home and overseas, and the visits which we made to many parts of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. I look forward to paying a State Visit to the Federal Republic of Germany next May and to opening the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton in August.

In pursuit of peace and collective security, the United Kingdom remains committed to the aims of detente, disarmament and the prevention of the spread of nuclear weapons. My Government reaffirm their policies in international relations and defence, and will contribute fully to the work of the United Nations, the Commonwealth and the North Atlantic Alliance.

While working for policies which fully reflect the interests of the United Kingdom, My Government will play a full and co-operative part in the activities, the development and the enlargement of the European Economic Community.

They will continue to contribute modern and effective forces to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and to play their full part in the current Alliance studies of East/West relations and of the Alliance’s defence programmes. They are participating constructively in the important meeting in Belgrade which is being held as part of the follow-up to the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe; they will abide by the provisions of the Final Act, and continue to seek fulfilment of all its provisions by other signatories. They remain committed to the pursuit of detente in their relations with the Soviet Union and the countries of Eastern Europe.

My Government will continue to take part in international efforts to combat recession and promote a more stable world economic order, and a fairer distribution, within an expanding world economy, of the world’s wealth between rich and poor nations; they will maintain their special efforts to help the poorest countries and the poorest people.

They will work for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, and the further improvement of relations between the United Kingdom and all the countries in the area. They will continue to co-operate with all concerned in the search for a lasting settlement in Cyprus, where they welcome the resumption of inter-communal talks.

Efforts will be maintained to achieve a negotiated settlement in Rhodesia, on the basis of My Government’s proposals published in September this year, which are designed to provide a secure future for people of all races. My Government will be ready during the current Session to introduce legislation to enable Rhodesia to proceed to independence on this basis.

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: The strengthening of the country’s financial position and balance of payments opens the prospect for a continuing improvement in the economy and the maintenance of financial stability. My Government’s main objectives are the speediest possible return to full employment and a sustained growth of output. In order to achieve these objectives they will give the highest priority to further reductions in the rate of inflation.

My Government will continue to take action to reduce high unemployment through manpower measures and to promote industrial training.

They will ensure that the benefits of North Sea oil are used to achieve a lasting improvement in our industrial performance and therefore to provide more jobs, higher real incomes and improved public services.

My Ministers will continue to work in close co-operation with the Trades Union Congress and the Confederation of British Industry.

Internationally My Government will continue to urge that the stronger economies should take the lead in promoting a substantial growth in the world and that adequate official finance should be made available on appropriate terms to countries with continuing deficits in the balance of payments.

My Government remain firmly committed to establishing directly elected Assemblies for Scotland and Wales. Separate Bills will be introduced for this purpose.

In Northern Ireland My Government will maintain their aims of establishing a devolved Government acceptable to both parts of the community and eradicating terrorism by the prosecution through the courts of those responsible for violence and by continuing to develop the effectiveness of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, supported by My Armed Forces. My Government attach special importance to co-operation on matters of security with the Government of the Republic of Ireland. They will continue to seek measures to strengthen the economy of Northern Ireland and improve its social environment.

Legislation providing for the election of United Kingdom Members of the European Assembly will be re-introduced.

Further consultations will be held on industrial democracy, with a view to producing proposals which should command general support, and My Ministers will continue directly to encourage the development of industrial democracy in the nationalised industries.

There will be a review of the legislation and institutions governing competition policy, to see that this makes its maximum contribution to improving industrial efficiency.

My Ministers are considering further measures to assist small firms.

They will also hold consultations about encouraging profit-sharing through the tax system.

Legislation will be brought forward to amend company law.

A Bill will be introduced to provide public funds to finance payments to redundant shipbuilding workers in the public sector.

Legislation will be introduced providing for changes in the structure of the electricity industry and other matters affecting the industry.

Continued encouragement will be given to the efficient production, processing and distribution of food with the aim of meeting a greater proportion of our national needs from United Kingdom agriculture. My Ministers will seek improvements in the operation of the common agricultural policy.

My Government will continue to seek major reform of the common fisheries policy. They will aim to secure conditions which will meet the needs of the British fishing industry, conserve fishing stocks, and ensure adequate supplies to the consumer.

A Bill will be laid before you to increase the borrowing powers of the Civil Aviation Authority and British Airways, to provide for a levy to finance aviation security and to amend the civil aviation Acts.

Legislation will be introduced for the further development of transport policy to meet economic and social needs, including those of rural areas.

Legislation will be brought before you to provide assistance for first-time home buyers.

A Bill will be introduced to renew and revive the inner urban areas.

Legislation will be introduced on the composition and certain functions of the General Medical Council.

In addition to My Government’s full programme of constitutional and other reforms for the present Session, they remain committed to bringing forward at the earliest opportunity a number of further highly desirable measures of reform. These measures include improvements in safety and discipline at sea and other aspects of merchant shipping, and the right of Post Office staff to take industrial action.

Legislative proposals will be brought forward for the reform of Section 2 of the Official Secrets Act 1911.

Following the Report of the Committee on the Future of Broadcasting, My Government will bring forward proposals on the constitution, structure and organisation of broadcasting in the United Kingdom.

An increase in the limit on public funds for the National Film Finance Corporation will be proposed before the present limit expires.

Measures will he brought before you to reform public sector housing subsidies in Scotland; to improve criminal procedure and reform the criminal justice system in Scotland ; and to extend the powers of Scottish local authorities in relation to their direct labour organisations.

Further progress will be made with My Government’s programme 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.