§ Where, during the continuance of the present War, one of the parties to an intended marriage is an officer, seaman, or marine borne on the books of one of His Majesty's ships, and the parties to the intended marriage have duly fulfilled all the conditions required by law for enabling them to be married in any particular place of worship or in any particular district in the United Kingdom, then, if the officer, seaman, or marine obtains from the officer commanding the ship on whose books he is borne a certificate that owing to the exigencies of the public service the officer, seaman, or marine cannot be 1916 allowed to proceed to that place of worship or to that district, the marriage may be lawfully solemnised or contracted in any other building in the United Kingdom in which marriages may be lawfully solemnised or contracted as though the parties thereto had duly fulfilled all the conditions required by law for enabling them to be married at that building.
§ Lords Amendment: At the end of the Clause, add the words,
§ "Provided that in England no marriage after banns published or an episcopal licence granted in England shall be solemnised elsewhere than in a church or chapel of the Church of England in which marriages may lawfully be solemnised."
§ Question again proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."
§ Debate resumed.
§ The CIVIL LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. G. Lambert)
I think that we shall be able to arrive at a form of words which will satisfy all parties in this matter. I suggest that we negative the Amendment inserted in the Lords, and that the following words should be inserted, "Provided that where, apart from the above provision, the marriage would not have been solemnised elsewhere than in a place of worship of a particular denomination, nothing in such provision shall be construed as authorising the solemnisation of the marriage elsewhere than in such place of worship." That leaves the law exactly as it stands so far as the church or place where the marriage is solemnised is concerned. We do not wish to alter the law at all. All we wish to do is to change the venue of the marriage for the convenience of the sailor. I am informed, in fact I have taken means to ascertain, that this Amendment will commend itself to the hon. Gentleman the Member for Sheffield (Mr. James Hope), to the Church of England, and also to my hon. Friend the Member for Somerset (Mr. King). That being so, I hope that we shall be able to proceed with this Bill with unanimity.
§ Mr. JAMES HOPE
I should like to say that the suggestion of the Civil Lord of the Admiralty undoubtedly meets the objections I held yesterday, and I am very 1917 glad to find myself in such remarkable and unprecedented agreement with the hon. Member for North Somerset (Mr. King).
§ Mr. HOGGE
May I ask my right hon. Friend whether in any case this does not apply to marriage under the Scotch law? In Scotland it does not matter whether anybody is married in a church or not. We marry people in Scotland in a businesslike fashion. I want to be perfectly clear that neither the original nor the substituted words affect Scotland.
§ Mr. LAMBERT
No, I think my hon. Friend can rest assured that we do not intend to interfere with the business arrangements of marriage in Scotland.
§ Question, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment," put, and negatived.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That, in lieu of the Lords Amendment, the words, 'Provided that where, apart from the above provision, the marriage would not have been solemnised elsewhere than in a place of worship of a particular denomination nothing in such provision shall be construed as authorising the solemnisation of the marriage elsewhere than in such place of worship,' be there inserted."—[Mr. Lambert.]
§ Question put, and agreed to.