HC Deb 20 June 1958 vol 589 cc1480-1

Lords Amendment: In page 9, line 46, at end insert new Clause A: Any order for maintenance or other payments made by virtue of this Act or any corresponding enactment of the Parliament of Northern Ireland shall be included among the orders to which section sixteen of the Maintenance Orders Act, 1950, applies (which section specifies the maintenance orders which are enforceable under Part II of that Act) and, in the case of an order made by virtue of Part I of this Act, shall be a maintenance order within the meaning of the Maintenance Orders Act, 1958.

Mr. Moyle

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

This new Clause provides that maintenance orders made by the court in respect of any child of the broken marriage shall have validity throughout the United Kingdom and shall also be capable of being registered throughout the United Kingdom, including, of course, registration in a magistrates' court, and that includes Northern Ireland.

Mr. Ede (South Shields)

Can my hon. Friend tell me exactly what the words: or any corresponding enactment of the Parliament of Northern Ireland mean? Do they mean that an Act of the Northern Ireland Parliament which does not normally have operation in this country will, under this Clause, be operated and enforced by the courts in Great Britain, or is it only in England?

11.15 a.m.

Mr. Moyle

The Bill does not apply to Northern Ireland except in this particular. It means that any maintenance order made by the court shall, as a result of this new Clause, be enforced and registrable throughout the whole of the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland. In other words, the order has validity and force throughout the whole of the United Kingdom.

Mr. Ede

I do not think that my hon. Friend has quite grasped the point I put to him. As I read the Amendment, an order made under Northern Ireland law, which does not operate in this country and which applies only to Northern Ireland, is now enforceable in this country by the machinery of law of Great Britain and has the same effect here as if it had been passed under United Kingdom law.

Mr. Moyle

I do not want to read into the Clause more than what is there. Perhaps the Solicitor-General might have a word to say on this point.

The Solicitor-General (Sir Harry Hylton-Foster)

I think that the right hon. Gentleman is right. We are dealing, as far as this Bill is concerned, with Divorce Court orders. The corresponding enactment in the context would, I think, be an enactment of the Northern Ireland Parliament providing for the registration and enforcement of the Divorce Court order only.

Mr. Ede

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman advising us that it is quite safe to pass these words without the addition of the words which he has just put to the House?

The Solicitor-General

Yes, I believe that to be so.

Question put and agreed to.