HC Deb 08 June 1832 vol 13 cc561-2

On the Motion of Mr. John Campbell, the House went into Committee on this Bill.

Mr. Blamire

wished to know, whether the hon. and learned member for Stafford intended to persevere in introducing a clause to enable a husband to take away his wife's dower by will? If so, he thought it very unjust, and he should oppose it.

Mr. John Campbell

believed, that the Bill had been more favourable to the ladies than the hon. Member seemed to suppose, for it had given them a right of dower out of the husband's equitable, as well as out of his legal estate; and the disadvantage, if any (which he much doubted), of the other clause, was more than compensated by this benefit.

Mr. Blamire

was not at all of that opinion, and he should therefore move that the words "or by will," now forming a part of the fourth Clause, be omitted.

Mr. Goulburn

complained that the Bill would work injustice, in cases where marriages had taken place with a view to the rights secured by the existing law.

Mr. O'Connell

recommended that the law should not be made ex post facto, or apply to any woman now married.

Mr. John Campbell

expressed his willingness to adopt the suggestion of the hon. member for Kerry, to make the Bill operate prospectively only.

Sir James Scarlett

suggested that it might be made to depend upon the consent of the wife.

Mr. Sheil

supported some alteration of the Clause, as it gave the husband a power to the injury of the wife.

Mr. Fysche Palmer

thought that the Bill did not sufficiently protect the rights of married women. At present, a woman could not surrender her jointure to her husband without the consent of trustees; but, under this Bill, her assent alone would be necessary. A wife might be induced to sacrifice her interests, on the solicitation of a profligate husband, when trustees would interfere to protect her. So far, therefore, from being a boon to wives, he thought it placed them in a worse situation than that in which they stood under the existing law.

Sir James Scarlett

, being anxious to consider more maturely the details of the measure, moved that the Chairman do report progress, and ask leave to sit again.

Upon this motion the Committee divided—Ayes 43; Noes 18;—Majority 25.

The House resumed.