HC Deb 10 November 1971 vol 825 cc1011-2
19. Mr. James Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will introduce legislation to determine the minimum amount which shall be paid to a wife and her family without resort always to a court order.

Mr. Monro

The Scottish Law Commission and the Finer Committee are presently considering aspects of the difficult problem which the hon. Member has in mind. Consideration of possible legislation must await their recommendations.

Mr. Hamilton

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that reply. Is he aware that in far too many cases irresponsible husbands who are making reasonably good money give their wives as little as £3 a week to keep themselves and, perhaps, three children, and that under the present legislation the wives have no recourse enabling them to do anything about it? I am happy, therefore, that the Government intend, after receiving the report, to examine it and, perhaps, introduce legislation.

Mr. Monro

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his approach to this difficult problem. As soon as the Commission has reported we shall examine the matter as quickly as possible.