HC Deb 12 April 1948 vol 449 cc623-4
46. Miss Bacon

asked the Attorney-General if he proposes to make any alteration in the law to enable a British citizen, whose wife is detained in a foreign country, to obtain a divorce.

The Solicitor-General (Sir Frank Soskice)

No, Sir. I do not think that it would be right to alter the general law so as to make detention in a foreign country a ground for divorce.

Miss Bacon

Is my hon. and learned Friend aware that a husband of one of the Russian wives wishes to obtain a divorce, and does that mean that there will be no way in the future in which he can do so?

The Solicitor-General

As my hon. Friend has said, one of the husbands—my information is that there are two—of the Russian wives has expressed a desire to obtain a divorce. The position of the wives themselves must be considered. It is not their fault that they cannot rejoin their husbands. In any case, it would be a dangerous precedent to amend the general law to make provision for individual cases of hardship.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Will my hon. and learned Friend say whether in the event of one of these husbands going through a form of marriage with a woman in this country, he would be likely to be prosecuted for bigamy?

The Solicitor-General

The ordinary consequences of an infringement of criminal law would follow.