HC Deb 08 March 1938 vol 332 c1690
13. Mr. Kirkwood

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware of the strong public opinion in Scotland in favour of legislation to prohibit the commercialisation of marriages at Gretna Green and other irregular centres; and if it is the Government's intention to give effect to the recommendations of the Lord Morrison Committee which would make it compulsory for all marriages to be registered at State offices and thereby end the scandal of profiteering in these marriages?

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Elliot)

I hope shortly to introduce a Bill which gives effect to certain recommendations made in the report of the Committee on the Marriage Law of Scotland to which the hon. Member refers.

Mr. Kirkwood

Will the right hon. Gentleman let it be known throughout the length and breadth of the land that these marriages are not legal until they are registered in Dumfries?

Mr. Mathers

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that the Scottish law in regard to the offspring of these irregular marriages is much more humane than the corresponding English law?

Mr. Macquisten

Will my right hon. Friend say that the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) is quite wrong, and that these marriages are legal, even though they are not registered? If they are registered in the sheriff court, they preserve the evidence of the marriage.

Mr. Kirkwood

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there are certain individuals who have gone through the regular forms of marriage who are not very happily married?

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