§ Mr. Crausby
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many marriages suspected to be solely for immigration purposes were reported by registrars to the Registrar General in(a) 1996, (b) 1997, (c) 1998 and (d) 1999, separated by registration area; and how many of these marriages were reported to the Home Office in (i) 1996, (ii) 1997, (iii) 1998 and (iv) 1999; 
(2) how long it has been the practice of the Registrar General to report to the Home Office marriages suspected to be solely for immigration purposes; on what authority the practice was commenced; and what is its purpose. 
§ Miss Melanie Johnson
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Registrar General. I have asked him to reply.
Letter from Len Cook to Mr. David Crausby, dated 30 November 2000:
As Registrar General I have been asked to reply to your recent questions on the practice of reporting marriages to the Home Office suspected to be solely for immigration purposes and the numbers of these marriages reported between 1996 and 1999. (134761, 134762)
Arrangements for the reporting of suspected marriages of convenience by the Registrar General were introduced in 1925 at the request of the Home Secretary. The purpose of these reports is to identify marriages suspected to have been arranged for the sole purpose of evading statutory immigration controls. The reporting is on a non-statutory basis.
During 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 Superintendent Registrars reported 607, 421, 467 and 315 cases to the Registrar General. Of this number, information in respect of 519, 294, 344 and 267 reports respectively were passed to the Home Office.
Details of the reports received by registration district are shown in the attached tables. These tables are too large to be reproduced in Hansard and I have therefore made arrangements for them to be placed in the House of Commons Library. Figures for 1996 marriages reported to the Home Office are not available by registration district.