HL Deb 25 March 1924 vol 56 cc1024-5

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, your Lordships will doubtless recall the speech of the noble Earl, the Chairman of Committees, last Session. From time to time, as your Lordships are aware, certain marriages have proved to be invalid for some purely technical reason. Until 1905 this situation was dealt with by introducing special legalisation. In 1905, however, an Act was passed which gave power to the Home Secretary to deal with the question by issuing Provisional Orders. These Provisional Orders were subject to confirmation by Parliament. Last year when a Bill confirming one of these Provisional Orders was introduced, the noble Earl, Lord Donoughmore, drew the attention of the House to the fact that part of the Order was ultra vires, because of the introduction into it of certain clauses which had no foundation in the Act of 1905. These clauses made the marriage registers of these invalid marriages able, to be used as evidence in court, as if the marriages had been validly solemnised, and indemnified the clergymen who took part in these invalid marriages. But the Act of l905 only permits the Home Secretary to validate the marriages. It does not give these powers which arc in the other clauses. This Bill, therefore, proposes to put the matter right and to regularise what has hitherto been done in an irregular manner. I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a—(Earl De La Warr)

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