HC Deb 18 March 1952 vol 497 cc2098-9
45. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Prime Minister if he will recommend the appointment of a Royal Commission to consider and report on the law relating to illegitimate children and the mothers of illegitimate children and also on the means whereby a Scottish, English or Welsh wife deserted by her husband can obtain, in this island, a maintenance order enforceable in British Dominions, Colonies and foreign countries.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Winston Churchill)

As regards illegitimacy, I have nothing to add to the reply given by my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department on 21st February.

Maintenance orders made in England and Wales can be enforced throughout most of the Commonwealth. Arrangements for enforcement in foreign countries are under consideration. As regards orders made in Scotland, I would refer the hon. and learned Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland on 11th March.

Mr. Hughes

Is the Prime Minister aware that the two previous replies to which he referred offer no help and no hope in this regard, that great suffering and injustice is being done by the present law and that a change is urgently needed? Will he devise some means of doing it?

The Prime Minister

I have not felt that a case has been made out to establish at this juncture a Royal Commission.

Mr. Wheatley

Will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to initiate negotiations with a view to seeing that the arrangements between Scotland and the other Commonwealth countries are properly in force?

The Prime Minister

I think I might venture to ask for notice of that question.

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