I have to acquaint the House that this House has this day attended Her Majesty in the House of Peers, and that Her Majesty was pleased to make a most Gracious Speech from the Throne to both Houses of Parliament, of which I have, for greater accuracy, obtained a copy. I shall direct that the terms of the Gracious Speech be printed at the appropriate place in the Votes and Proceedings. Copies are available in the Vote Office.
My Government, in co-operation with the United Kingdom's allies, will work vigorously for balanced and verifiable measures of arms control. They strongly support the United States' proposals for reductions in nuclear forces. They stand by the NATO decision to counter existing Soviet systems and to begin the deployment of cruise and Pershing II missiles by the end of 1983. The numbers finally deployed will depend upon the outcome of the Geneva talks.
My Government will continue fully to discharge their obligations to the people of the Falkland Islands. They reaffirm their commitment to the people of Gibraltar. They will continue talks with China on the future of Hong Kong, with the aim of reaching a solution acceptable to this Parliament, to China and to the people of Hong Kong.
My Government will continue their full support for the Commonwealth. They will play an active and constructive role at the United Nations. They will promote increased co-operation and trade with developing nations. They will maintain a substantial aid programme directed especially at the poorer countries and will encourage the flow of British private investment.
My Government will pursue policies designed to increase economic prosperity and to reduce unemployment. They will seek a further reduction in inflation. Theywill continue to maintain firm control of public expenditure and a responsible financial strategy based upon sound money and lower public borrowing.
My Government will promote growth in output and opportunities for employment by encouraging industry to be adaptable and efficient, and to compete successfully. Continued attention will be paid to the development and application of new technology. The improvement in training will be sustained. The special employment measures will continue to assist those out of work.
Legislation will be brought forward to provide a selective scheme to curb excessive rate increases by individual local authorities, and to provide a general power, to be used if necessary, for the limitation of rate increases for all authorities. Measures to improve the rating system will also be laid before you.
My Government will remain steadfast in their support for the services which maintain law and order. A Bill will be introduced to replace the existing law on the prevention of terrorism. For England and Wales, legislation will be brought forward to modernise the law on police powers and to amend the law of criminal evidence and on police complaints procedures. Proposals will be prepared for the establishment of an independent prosecution service.
My Government will pursue policies for improving standards of education and widening parental choice and influence in relation to schools. Legislation will beintroduced to enable grants to be paid to local education authorities in England and Wales for innovations and improvements in the curriculum.
In Northern Ireland, my Government will continue to give the highest priority to upholding law and order. Through the Northern Ireland Assembly, the people of Northern Ireland will continue to be offered a framework for participation in local democracy and political progress on the basis of widespread acceptance throughout the community.