HL Deb 09 June 1820 vol 1 cc1007-8
Lord Holland

rose to solicit their lordships attention to a notice which he wished to give for Monday next. It was his intention on that day to introduce a bill for the repeal of the 12th of George 3rd, commonly called the Royal Marriage act. He was aware that it was very irregular, in the mere notice of a motion, for him to state the reasons which induced him to bring forward the subject; but he hoped their lordships would indulge him while he briefly explained the grounds on which he thought it necessary to name so early a day as Monday for the consideration of so important a subject He chose that day because, exclusively of the many and forcible general reasons which induced him to wish to see that act expunged from the Statute-book, he hoped it might now be possible, that when the subject came to be considered in all its bearings, particularly with reference to the unfortunate difficulty in which the royal family was placed, it might suggest, to those better qualified than he was for such a task, some means by which a legislative measure divested of all penalties, and calculated to remove that difficulty, could be adopted, If such a proceeding should appear practicable, their lordships would be spared the necessity of directing the committee they had appointed to proceed with its painful duty on Tuesday, because, in the view he had taken of the subject, if a measure of the kind he had alluded to could be adopted, it would be one capable of relieving two illustrious persons from the painful situation in which they are placed, and would do so without any disparagement to the character or reputation of either. He therefore intended to bring the question under their lordships consideration next Monday. But in the mean time, should any thing occur which might render the necessity of his motion for the repeal of the Marriage act less pressing, he would think it right to post pone any deliberation upon it until another occasion. He wished further to ob; serve, that in adopting this course of proceeding he acted entirely on his own opinion. He would not say that he took that step altogether without the knowledge of others, because the habits of his life led him to communicate all he did to his friends; but he had acted without the concert of any persons who enjoyed in any degree the confidence of either of the illustrious parties.