HC Deb 08 July 1887 vol 317 cc212-3
MR. J. G. HUBBARD (London)

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether he has been correctly understood, when Secretary of State for the Colonies, to have directed the Acting High Commissioner at the Cape to enact for Bechuanaland an Act to legalize marriage with a deceased wife's sister?

THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. E. STANHOPE) (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)

No, Sir; I neither directed nor suggested legislation for legalizing marriage with a deceased wife's sister in Bechuanaland. What I did suggest was that in a general Proclamation for validating marriages contracted before annexation there should be inserted a clause, which has often been introduced into other laws of the kind, providing that where either of the parties has validly married someone else in the meantime the second marriage, and not the first, shall prevail. For the purpose of giving an example of such a clause I sent out a Queensland law which contained a similar Proviso. It happened to be a Deceased Wife's Sister Bill, and this gave rise to the misconception to which my right hon. Friend calls attention.