HC Deb 25 March 1897 vol 47 cc1300-1
MR. CARVELL WILLIAMS (Notts,) Mansfield

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate (1) whether he is aware that, notwithstanding that Section 6 of the Marriage Notice (Scotland) Act, 1878, provides that a registrar's certificate of the publication of a notice of marriage shall for all purposes of law be of the same force as a certificate by a session clerk of the proclamation of banns, the Registrar General for Scotland has instructed his registrars that the operation of the Act is limited to parties married and resident in Scotland, and that a session clerk's certificate is still required for a marriage in England; and, (2) whether that construction of the Act has received the sanction of the Law Officers of the Crown; and, if not, whether, as the practice of English registrars in regard to the acceptance of Scotch registrar's certificates differs, their opinion on the point will be taken?


Immediately after the passing of the Act in question, statutory regulations were issued by the then Registrar General in communication with the Law Officers, and with the approval of the Home Secretary. These regulations instructed the registrars in Scotland that the Act could not properly be applied where both or either of the parties to an intended marriage were resident in England, or elsewhere out of Scotland. With regard to the second part of the Question, there is no difference of view between the register offices of England and Scotland as to the acceptance of Scottish registrar's certificates. I think it would be unwise in a matter possibly affecting the validity of marriages, to endeavour to disturb the view of the law and the practice following thereon, which have obtained the sanction of universal acceptance for so long a time.