HC Deb 03 May 1886 vol 305 cc248-9

Bill, as amended, considered.

Clause 2 (On death of father, mother to be guardian alone, or jointly with others).

MR. INCE (Islington, E.)

, in moving an Amendment to leave out in the clause certain words, in order to insert— And in such case any appointment by the father, by will or otherwise, under the Act 12th Charles II., cap. 24, or, in Ireland, under the Act of the Irish Parliament, 14th and 15th Charles II., cap. 19, or otherwise, shall be of no effect, said, the object of the Amendment was that the mother of a child should be in respect to guardianship in the same position as the father.

Amendment proposed, In page 1, line 10, to leave out from the word "infant," to the end of the Clause, in order to insert the words "and in such case any appointment by the father, by will or otherwise, under the Act twelfth Charles the Second, chapter twenty-four, or in Ireland under the Act of the Irish Parliament fourteenth and fifteenth Charles the Second, chapter nineteen, or otherwise, shall be of no effect,"—(Mr. Ince,) —instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That the words 'either alone when no guardian' stand part of the Bill."

MR. GREGORY (Sussex, East Grinstead)

said, he would oppose the Amendment.


said, that the Amendment had been put and negatived before, receiving very little support. The scheme of the Bill, as settled in that House in 1884, was that, on the death of the father, the mother should be guardian; but that the father should have power to appoint a person to act with her after his death as joint guardian. Cases might occur—and frequently did occur—in which a father died, leaving a wife surviving from whom he had not been divorced, but whom, nevertheless, he knew to be an unfit person to have the custody of the children; and it would be a great hardship if he was not to be able to secure better protection for his children by appointing someone to act conjointly with her. He knew nothing which would more embitter the last moments of a father than to feel that he was unable to do this. This Amendment was really against the interest of the mother; because it was more important for her to have the right of appointing a guardian to act conjointly with the husband after her death, subject to ratification by the Court, than to be the sole guardian, if she survived her husband. They could not, therefore, accept the Amendment.

Question put, and agreed to.

Amendments made.

Bill to be read the third time To-morrow.