HC Deb 10 March 1881 vol 259 c776

said, he moved for leave to introduce a Bill to amend the Law relating to Maintenance. It might be necessary to inform hon. Members who did not belong to the Legal Profession what sort of "maintenance" was here referred to—namely, a very old but a very absurd and oppressive doctrine, of law which for nearly a century our Judges had inveighed against, even while they felt compelled to recognize and apply it. According to that doctrine if a benevolent person gave a poor woman a £5 note to enable her to obtain justice in a Court of Law, the kindly act was illegal—was, in fact, the crime of what is called "maintenance." Barely a few weeks ago Mr. Justice Lindley expressed his repugnance to this monstrous doctrine; and he (Mr. A. M. Sullivan), in this effort to sweep it away, was promised the co-operation and sympathy of legal men on both sides of the House.

Motion agreed to. Bill to amend the Law relating to Maintenance, ordered to be brought in by Mr. A. M. SULLIVAN and Mr. Serjeant SIMON. Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 110.]

Forward to