HC Deb 05 August 1907 vol 179 c1518
MR. SLOAN (Belfast, S.)

To ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies if his attention has been called to the heavy fees that are exacted in the case of marriages between Protestants and Roman Catholics in Malta; that where British soldiers have married Maltese girls the fees have amounted to as much as five pounds; and whether, seeing that civil marriages are now established in nearly all European countries and throughout the British Empire, he can explain why they are impossible in Malta.

(Answered by Mr. Churchill.) The information before me shows that the Government fee on a marriage licence is one penny only. Some ministers of religion, I understand, collect fees for acting on behalf of the parties in procuring the licence, but I am not aware that the fees have ever amounted to so large an amount as five pounds. I will, however, inquire. I am not aware that there is any serious or urgent case for establishing civil marriage in Malta, and the Secretary of State has no intention of doing so in the absence of strong necessity for it.