My Lords, I beg to ask the question of which I have given private notice, namely, to ask His Majesty's Government whether they have any statement to make as to allowing the marriage of British soldiers with German and Austrian nationals.
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (LORD NATHAN)
My Lords, when answering a question put to me on July 18 by the noble Lord, Lord Calverley, whose absence through illness I know your Lordships will join me in regretting, I stated that this was a matter which was under examination by His Majesty's Government, and that when that examination was concluded I should hope to be in a position to make a statement to your Lordships' House. That examination has now been concluded. Consequently I am able to state that it has been decided that local military Commanders should be authorized to relax the present ban on marriage between British Servicemen and alien women, other than Japanese, in cases where the reasons for marriage are good and there is no security objection.
1148 The authority to Commanders-in-Chief thus granted is in wide terms. My right honourable friend is confident that it will be exercised at all times in the best interest of the men themselves and that no closer definition of their discretion in this matter is required. This removal of restrictions on marriages with German and Austrian women and with women of other ex-enemy countries will, it is felt, be in accord with the general sense of members of this House and of public opinion generally.
I should like to thank the noble Lord very much indeed for his reply, which I believe will give great satisfaction, both in this country and to members of the Forces abroad.