HC Deb 16 December 1878 vol 243 c853

asked Mr. Attorney General, If he has received any further information in regard to the case of Mrs. M'Carthy, whose husband having taken away in her absence certain property belonging to her (she having a protection order as well as a decree of judicial separation, and all her property having been upon her marriage settled upon her for her absolute use), Mr. Headlam, stipendiary magistrate for Manchester, has decided adversely to her upon the ground that he "did not believe that section" (section 11 of "The Married Women's Property Act, 1870") "was intended to enable a woman to prosecute her husband for stealing her goods;" and, if he can now state whether the Government intend to propose any amendment of the Law?


in reply, said, he believed the facts were correctly stated in the Question of the hon. Gentleman. It was not for him to pronounce any opinion on the correctness of the decision of the stipendiary magistrate for Manchester, because if it were incorrect it would, no doubt, be reviewed by a Court of Law. The section referred to, providing that a married woman should have in her own name the same remedies, civil and criminal, against all persons whomsoever, for the protection of such wages, earnings, property, and chattels as are hers for her own use, as if they belonged to her as an unmarried woman, was very plain and intelligible in its provisions, and no amendment of the Law was necessary.