HL Deb 18 February 1960 vol 221 cc156-8

Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.

Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(Lord Mancroft.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly.

[The LORD MERTHYR in the Chair]

Clause 1 [Certain marriages not to be void as civil contracts]:

LORD MANCROFT moved to leave out Clause 1 and to insert the following new clause:

Certain marriages not to be void

".—(1) No marriage hereafter contracted (whether in or out of Great Britain) between a man and a woman who is the sister, aunt or niece of a former wife of his (whether living or not), or was formerly the wife of his brother, uncle or nephew (whether living or not), shall by reason of that relationship be void or voidable under any enactment or rule of law applying in Great Britain as a marriage between persons within the prohibited degrees of affinity.

(2) In the foregoing subsection words of kinship apply equally to kin of the whole and of the half blood.

(3) This section does not validate a marriage, if either party to it is at the time of the marriage domiciled in a country outside Great Britain, and under the law of that country there cannot be a valid marriage between the parties.

(4) The enactments mentioned in the Schedule to this Act are hereby repealed to the extent specified in the third column of the Schedule."

The noble Lord said: On January 26 last, when your Lordships had this Bill under consideration for Second Reading, my noble and learned friend the Lord Chancellor advised your Lordships to give this Bill your support, and I am happy to say that your Lordships followed his advice in some strength. Since that day my noble and learned friend has been good enough to put at my disposal the services of the Parliamentary draftsman, and I should like to thank both my noble and learned friend and the draftsman for the most invaluable help I have received. I realise, of course, that this does not mean that the Government have taken over my Bill—not yet, anyhow.

The draftsman has wielded his pen with a vengeance on my rather bungling and amateur efforts. Looking at the Amendments now compared with my original Bill, it seems, at first appearance, that about all that is left of my Bill is my name on the back and the price, fourpence. But I am happy to say that this is not so. These are only drafting Amendments, and the substance of my Bill remains completely unchanged. I think, therefore, there is no need for me to weary your Lordships by explaining the very technical points of drafting—even if I could do it, which I very much doubt. I will simply ask your Lordships to accept my assurance that these Amendments make no change upon the substance of the Bill which your Lordships were good enough to accept. I beg to move the first Amendment in my name.

Amendment moved— Leave out Clause 1 and insert the said new clause.—(Lord Mancroft.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 2 agreed to.


I beg to move the Second Amendment.

Amendment moved—

After Clause 2, insert the following Schedule:


Session and Chapter Short Title Extent of Repeal
7 Edw. 7. c. 47. The Deceased Wife's Sister's Marriage Act, 1907. The whole Act.
11 & 12 Geo. 5. c.24. The Deceased Brother's Widow's Marriage Act, 1921. The whole Act.
21 & 22 Geo. 5. c.31. The Marriage (Prohibited Degrees of Relationship) Act, 1931. The whole Act.
12,13 & 14 Geo. 6. c. 76. The Marriage Act, 1949. Subsections (2) and (3) of section one; Part II of the First Schedule")

—(Lord Mancroft.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.


I beg to move the third Amendment.

Amendment moved— In the Title, leave out ("the spouse whom such person has divorced"), and insert ("a former spouse").—(Lord Mancroft.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to

House resumed.

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