HC Deb 08 March 1915 vol 70 cc1193-4

Order for Second Heading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."

Mr. GEORGE LAMBERT (Civil Lord of the Admiralty)

This is a Bill which has been rendered necessary by the War, and its duration I may say is limited to the duration of the War. At the present time the banns for naval marriages are published on board ship, and the marriage therefore just takes place in a parish where a marriage can be solemnised. While the Fleets are at sea men cannot be spared so long as to go down to some parish in the country, and therefore the proposal of this Bill is that a marriage may take place in any legal place where marriages may be solemnised in the United Kingdom—that is to say, if the Fleet may be coming into Hull or some other port sailors may go there to be married. In other words; if Jack cannot go to Jill, Jill may come to Jack, and if the formalities have been duly complied with the marriage may be solemnised in any place of worship licensed for that purpose. There is another provision in the Bill—the extension of the time for the validity of banns. Now a marriage must be solemnised within three months of the publication of the banns. Sometimes sailors cannot get away for that time. We propose in this Bill that the period over which the banns may remain valid should be twelve months instead of three. This is a war emergency Bill, and I hope the House will give it a Second Reading.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read a second time, and committed to Committee of the Whole House for To-morrow.