§ THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY moved to resolve, That in accordance with the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act, 1919, this House do direct that the Marriage (Licensing of Chapels) Measure, 1938, be presented to His Majesty for the Royal Assent. The most reverend Primate said: My Lords I do not think that the two modest Motions in my name will take many minutes of your Lordships' time. I will first move that the Marriage (Licensing of Chapels) Measure, 1938, be presented to His Majesty for the Royal Assent. The object of the Measure is to remove certain doubts which have arisen as to the regularity of certain marriages. By the Marriage Act, 1836, in order to meet the convenience of persons living in populous districts some distance from a parish church, the Bishop had power to licence a chapel for the solemnization of the marriages of persons living in districts specified in the licence. It became customary for this power to be extended to cases of licensing of chapels for districts which did not wholly lie within the parish in which the chapel was situated. Doubts arose as to the exact legality of marriages 675 contracted in such chapels, and consequently there were conferences between the Legal Board of the Church Assembly and the Home Office.
§ It was at first thought that the point would be sufficiently dealt with by a Provisional Order Bill under the Marriages Provisional Order Confirmation Acts, but the Home Office came to the conclusion that it would be difficult to do so, because it would be far from easy to obtain exhaustive lists of the chapels affected. Accordingly it was recommended that a Measure should be introduced. The object of the Measure is to remove any doubts as to the power of the Bishops in the future to continue the practice of licensing chapels for the solemnization of marriages in chapels of persons residing within a district which does not lie wholly within the parish in which such chapels are situated. There is no controversy whatever in the matter. It has been recommended by the Ecclesiastical Committee of Parliament, it has already been passed in another place, and I beg to move the Motion.
§ Moved to resolve, That in accordance with the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act, 1919, this House do direct that the Marriage (Licensing of Chapels) Measure, 1938, be presented to His Majesty for the Royal Assent.—(The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.