§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Rhys Davies)
I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."
I might be allowed to explain that prior to 1905, when it was found that an error had been made in solemnising the marriage of any party, it was customary, I understand, to correct that technical error by passing an Act of Parliament in each case. In 1905 however, it was found expedient to pass a Measure so that the Secretary of State for Home Affairs might issue Orders to make such marriages valid. For 18 years these Orders were issued without complaint, but the right hon. Gentleman who was Home Secretary in the last Administration found himself in a difficulty when a Member of the other place pointed out that the Act of 1905 did not provide for the last two paragraphs that appeared in the Orders. It was found necessary, therefore, to introduce in the other place this short Bill, which is merely a technical matter, in order that when the Order of the Secretary of State is issued it shall cover every relative point in connection with the solemnisation of marriages where an error has been made. The Order that will be issued in future will lie on the Table of the House in the same way as the Orders issued hitherto have done. All we are trying to do now is to bring the Orders issued by the Home Secretary into line with the law as intended by the provisions of the Act of 1905.
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
I beg to move, "That the Debate be now adjourned."
I did not realise that a Bill of this nature was going to be brought on to-night. I have given the best attention to the explanation of the hon. Member and, frankly, I have some difficulty in understanding him. The validity of marriages is always a difficult question, and it is rather a pity to let the Bill go through without anybody in the House understanding it. As very considerable progress has been made with the other Bill to-night, I submit to the Government that it will be better if the Bill were brought up on some other occasion and explained by somebody who understands more about it.
§ Question, "That the Debate be now adjourned," put, and agreed to.
§ Debate to be resumed To-morrow.