HC Deb 07 March 1927 vol 203 cc826-7
24. Mr. SNELL

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he is aware that many British-born women who married soldiers from the Dominions during the War have been deserted by their husbands and, with their children, are dependent upon relatives or the public funds; that no machinery exists whereby these absconding husbands can be traced and compelled to maintain their families; and that the High Commissioners of the Dominions are unable to assist such deserted wives to find their husbands; and will he consider whether any arrangement can be made with the Dominion Governments whereby the grievances of these women and children can be redressed?

23. Lieut.-Colonel A. McDONNELL

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs if he will make repre- sentations to the Dominion Governments in connection with the enforcement of orders for maintenance against husbands resident in the Dominions who have deserted their wives and families in England?


As regards the general question of the enforcement of maintenance orders made in this country against persons resident in the Dominions, I would refer to the answer given to the hon. Member for East Woolwich (Mr. Snell) by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department on the 24th February. I should, perhaps, add that I understand that the various Dominion Authorities both in this country and overseas have accorded their assistance, and have been successful in a great number of cases in tracing husbands who have deserted their wives in this country, and gone to the Dominions.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many of these unfortunate women are quite unable to take any personal part in tracing their husbands?


I know, but under the Measure that has been passed a considerable measure of assistance has been effected, and the Dominion authorities here and overseas have done their best to help in these cases.