§ MR. SUMMERS (Huddersfield)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, with reference to the declaration of his Holiness the Pope that marriages celebrated in Malta by all Catholics, whether both or either of the contracting parties be Catholics, are not valid if they are not celebrated according to the form established by the Council of Trent, and to the statement on 18th January, 1890, by Sir Lintorn Simmons to Cardinal Rampolla that Her Britannic Majesty's Government would cause a Project of Law to be introduced in the Council of Government in Malta in accordance with this declaration, whether such a Project of Law has been introduced into the Council of Government in Malta; and, if not, whether he is able to account for the delay that has occurred in the matter; and whether Her Britannia Majesty's Government have abandoned the intention of causing such a Project of Law to be introduced in the Council of Government in Malta?
§ *MR. W. H. SMITH
A Project of Law on the subject of marriage has not yet been introduced into the Council of Government at Malta. In consequence of representations which have been made on behalf of members of the Church of England and other Protestant religious bodies impugning the correctness of the view of the existing marriage law in Malta held by the Law Officers of the Crown in the colony, Her Majesty's Government think it desirable to obtain an authoritative declaration of the law by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council before the Council of Government are asked to legislate on the subject, and they are taking steps for that purpose. Her Majesty's Government 37 have not abandoned the intention of causing a Project of Law to be introduced.
§ MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)
May I ask what is the method by which it is proposed to obtain the opinion of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council?
§ *MR. W. H. SMITH
I am not learned as to the processes of law; but I hope that the hon. Gentleman will take it from me that a method will be found of obtaining the opinion of the Judicial Committee.