to Mr. Fish.
London , March 7, 1874. (Received March 20.)
Sir: The first session of the ninth Parliament of Queen Victoria was opened on the 5th instant by commissioners, consisting of the Lord Chancellor, the Duke of Richmond, Earl Beauchamp, the Marquis of Hertford, and the Earl of Bradford. The principal business transacted was the election of the speaker of the House of Commons, and the swearing in of members of both houses of Parliament. The Right Honorable Henry Brand was re-elected to the speaker’s chair without opposition, his proposer being Mr. H. Chaplin, the conservative member for Mid-Lincolnshire, and his seconder Lord George Cavendish, the liberal member for North Derbyshire. The proceedings were conducted with great dignity, and the speeches (copies of which I inclose, taken from the Times of the 6th instant) were much to the point.
Yesterday this election was formally approved and confirmed in the House of Peers by the lords commissioners on behalf of the Queen, and the organization of both branches of the legislature was completed. But it is understood that Her Majesty’s speech will not be delivered for a fortnight, as the necessary re-elections of the members of the government in the House of Commons cannot all take place at an earlier period. The new writs will not be issued till Monday or Tuesday next, the 9th or 10th instant, and the actual business of Parliament will probably not commence before the 19th or 20th of this month.
The absence at the election of the speaker of Mr. Disraeli, Sir Stafford Northcote, Mr. Ward Hunt, Mr. Gathorne Hardy, and others who will be the new occupants of the treasury benches in the House of Commons, was noticeable 5 but their non-presence was owing to the fact that they cannot take their places until they shall have been re-elected.
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I have, &c.,