HL Deb 08 May 1907 vol 174 c199


Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, this Bill, which has already passed through your Lordships House, was first introduced by the late Ministry, and therefore stands well accredited. Its object is to amend the Matrimonial Causes Acts, 1857 and 1866, by extending the powers of the Court in relation to maintenance and alimony, and it gives leave to intervene to persons whose conduct is in question in the Divorce Court, but who are not now able to intervene. I have no doubt these provisions will commend themselves to your Lordships, and I beg to move that the Bill be read a Second time.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a."—(The Lord Chancellor).


My Lords, I hope your Lordships will assent to the Motion which has just been moved by my noble and learned friend. The Bill was originally introduced by myself in its present form, and I think no one will doubt the propriety of its provisions; but the drafting of the measure is open to improvement. I make that criticism the more freely because I have been responsible for the Bill in its present form, but I think it is inconvenient not to be able to see on the face of the Bill what it does. I hope that when the Bill gets into Committee my noble and learned friend on the Woolsack will permit its original author to amend the drafting.


Nothing will give me greater pleasure than to accept any Amendment the noble and learned Earl may move with the object of improving the drafting of the Bill. I agree with him that it is important to introduce into statutes the plainest and simplest language, and that we should as much as possible avoid legislation by reference.

On Question, Bill read 2a and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Tuesday next.