HC Deb 03 July 1939 vol 349 cc1071-2

Order for Consideration, as amended (in the Standing Committee,) read.

10.34 p.m.

Mr. Robert Gibson

I beg to move, "That the Bill be recommitted to a Committee of the Whole House."

I make this Motion because there is on the Order Paper at the present time no Motion proposing a new Clause. As the Bill left the Committee there was in the minds of most hon. Members of the Committee the view that considerable Amendments would be placed on the Order Paper for the Report stage. That view arose necessarily from the statement of the right hon. Gentleman, the Secretary of State for Scotland, that he would look into several matters that had been the cause of complaint and which had impressed him in the Committee stage. Some of us waited to see whether any Amendment would be forthcoming from the Secretary of State and would appear on the Order Paper in his name. We waited in vain, and this morning for the first time we find that the Bill appears on the Order Paper. In these circumstances I had in hand the formation of a new Clause but that new Clause, according to the Standing Orders, cannot be moved at this stage, and it is for that reason that I move the recommital of the Bill.

10.36 p.m.

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Colville)

May I reply to the points put by the hon. and learned Member? During the course of our proceedings in Committee I gave one undertaking, and I will read it in the words which I used. The matter under discussion at the time was the question of marriage in the case of emergency, owing to accident or sudden illness. I stated that I was surprised that the criticism on Clause 2 had been deferred until then and was not raised on the Clause itself. I went on to say: In devising the Clause the Government had fully in mind the terms of the Morrison Report and the general views which have been expressed on the subject, and they thought the machinery was satisfactory, but in view of the discussion that has taken place my right hon. and learned Friend and I will review what had been said and the machinery that has been devised to see whether any change is desirable."—[OFFICIAL REPORT (Standing Committee on Scottish Bills,) 6th June, 1939, Col. 57.] That was the undertaking; and in the time which has intervened between the Bill leaving the Committee and appearing in the House my right hon. and learned Friend the Lord Advocate and I have reviewed carefully the machinery of the Clause. We have also consulted members of the Opposition. During last week my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General for Scotland conducted a searching inquiry to see whether any change was desirable. We have come to the conclusion that in our view the present machinery is satisfactory to meet the purposes of an emergency marriage. I think that the undertaking I gave has been completely implemented, and the inquiries which we have made have convinced us that the machinery in the Bill is satisfactory and should not be altered.

Mr. R. Gibson

In view of the statement of the Secretary of State, although I personally had no knowledge of the position, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Motion

Mr. Speaker

The hon. and learned Member cannot withdraw the Motion.

Question, "That the Bill be recommitted to a Committee of the Whole House," put, and negatived.

Bill, as amended (in the Standing Committee), considered.

  1. CLAUSE 1.—(Marriage before registrar.) 2,570 words, 1 division
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