§ [SECOND READING.]
§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ * LORD STRATHCONA AND MOUNT ROYAL
My Lords, it is my privilege to again ask your Lordships to give a Second Reading to a Bill to amend the law as to marriage contracted in the colonies with a deceased wife's sister. Two years ago, your Lordships had under consideration a measure with similar objects in view. It was read a second time by a very large majority, and practi- 1435 cally passed its remaining stages with the unanimous approval of your Lordships.✶ I am, therefore, encouraged to hope that on this occasion the Second Heading will be agreed to unanimously, and I venture to urge this view upon the most reverend and right reverend Prelates in this House, to whom I may repeat that the clergy both of the Established, or Episcopal Church, and the other Protestant denominations and of the Roman Catholic Church in Canada, and I believe also in the other colonies, have accepted this Bill, and unquestionably many of them approve of it. In the first place, I crave your Lordships' permission to make what may appear to be a personal explanation. By an unfortunate mistake, the Bill which has been printed, and is now before the House, is a precise copy of the Bill as it was introduced in 1898. My intention was that the Bill should have been an exact copy of the Bill of 1898 as amended in Committee and as it left this House. By an inadvertence this has not been done, but I shall be prepared to accept the Amendment in Committee notice of which has been given by Lord James of Hereford, which will make the Bill exactly similar, word for word, to the measure which your Lordships approved on a former occasion. It is hardly necessary for me to again enter at length into the merits of this measure, as the Bill was discussed so fully in 1898; and I shall not, therefore, detain your Lordships very long. The object of the Bill is to remove certain disabilities affecting, in this country, the children of marriages between a man and his deceased wife's sister in those parts of the Empire where such marriages have, by statute, approved by Her Majesty, been rendered legal. The Legislatures of all, or nearly all, the self-governing colonies have passed statutes legalising such marriages, and the Home Government has in every instance sanctioned the legislation. It is intended that the Bill should apply only to marriages between persons domiciled at the time of the marriages in those parts of the Empire where marriage with a deceased wife's sister has been rendered legal. In the absence of express legal decisions, the position of the children of such marriages in this country cannot be positively stated, but✶ See The Parliamentary Debates [Fourth Series]; Second Reading debate, 8th July, 1898, Vol. lxi., page 283; Committee, page 891 (no debate on other stages).1436 the authoritatively expressed opinion appears to be that a marriage with a deceased wife's sister, when the parties to it are domiciled in a colony where such marriages have been rendered legal, is for some purposes binding here. But in respect of the succession to real property, the children of such marriages are in this country regarded as illegitimate, and cannot take such property by descent. It is also thought that the same disqualification exists in relation to the succession to honours. In this connection I may refer to the remarks of my noble friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, when the Bill was formerly under discussion. He pointed out that while under the existing laws the children of such marriages could succeed to leasehold property which had a tenure of 999 years, they were debarred from succession to real property; and I ask, with his Lordship, "Where is the justice of such a state of things?" It is to remove the stain of illegitimacy from children who have been born in wedlock rendered lawful by laws passed by colonial legislatures and approved of by the responsible advisers of the Crown at home that this Bill has been introduced. It has not been sprung upon Parliament suddenly, and is in no sense a movement of impulse. For twenty-four years the colonies have been pressing the matter upon the attention of the Home authorities. Twenty-three years ago the Bill was passed in the House of Commons by a large majority.✶ Since that date, the request for legislation has been frequently preferred, and the request has not been made by individuals alone, but has had the support of the Governments of the different parts of the Empire. The measure affects the most important and sacred of all contracts, and affects communities not less attached to the Christian religion than those of the mother country. The present evil which the Bill seeks to remedy is an injustice which is defended by no organ of public opinion throughout the Empire, and its removal can by no possibility do harm to anyone. The question is not one of forcing colonial legislation upon the Mother Country, and it is really a surprise to me that any suggestion of the kind was ever made. It is simply a question of giving practical force✶ See The Parliamentary Debates [Third Series], Vol. ccxxxviii., page 406. (Division: for Second Reading 182; against 161.)1437 to what is already law in many parts of the Empire, although in England it is ignored in such a manner as to inflict upon the colonies, for no adequate purpose, a peculiarly irritating and irrational class of social disabilities constituting a grave wrong to the outlying portions of the Empire, and wholly antagonistic to Imperial sentiment. It is not proposed in this Bill to deal in any way with the question of marriage with a deceased wife's sister within the United Kingdom. It would be out of place for the colonies to take any initiative in that direction, and I shall not raise the issue at all. It is not proposed that the Bill should apply to the marriage of transients in the colonies. It will only affect marriages in the colonies of legally domiciled residents, and this will be made abundantly dear when the Bill is amended in Committee, as I have suggested. I believe I have considerable authority for stating that such marriages, legally contracted in the British colonies, would be held as valid for the succession of real property in almost any country in the world except the United Kingdom. It has been stated on previous occasions that the desire for this legislation does not proceed from the colonies, but I do not think that this opinion prevails at the present time. I may repeat what I stated in 1898, that the Bill has the approval of the Government of Canada and of all the Australasian and South African colonies. Further, that the representatives of these colonies in London have been instructed by their Governments to support the Bill. It is also supported by the delegates from Australia who are now in this country to promote the Bill for the federation of Australasia, a measure which we all hope shortly to see passed into law. What the measure really represents, what, in effect, the desire of the colonies represents, is a constitutional endeavour on the part of Her Majesty's subjects outside the United Kingdom to secure for themselves and their children proper treatment when they come to their motherland, and to remove the disabilities to which they are now subjected, and which I cannot think the people of this country or the Parliament which makes the laws for the good government of the country and of the Empire wish to perpetuate. It has been said that to pass the law would be invidious, as it would make the 1438 marriages contracted in the colonies legal in the United Kingdom, the principle of such marriages not having been accepted in this country. In my judgment there is no parallel between the two cases, and the argument is not sound. Such marriages are not legal in the United Kingdom, and the question does not, therefore, arise in the same way. But such marriages are legal in the colonies, with the assent of the Crown, and why should the children of such marriages when they come to the motherland—to the homes of their ancestors—bear the mark of disgrace? Why should they be legitimate in one part of the Empire and illegitimate in another, when the marriage is perfectly legal under laws passed by local Parliaments and assented to by the Queen? It is a surprise generally in the outlying portions of the Empire that the present state of things has been allowed to continue so long. I will not weary your Lordships by reading extracts from the press of this country, which seems to be almost unananimous in favour of the measure. The evil which it seeks to remedy has been called a blunder, if not a crime, and I cannot but think, if your Lordships will pass this measure with unanimity, that it will have considerable weight in another place, and that it may also lead to the Government taking the measure in hand, as I think they ought to do, and giving it such facilities as will ensure its becoming the law of the land during the present session of Parliament. The present time appears to be a singularly appropriate one for such action on the part of your Lordships as I have ventured to recommend. For the last few years there has-been a great awakening of the Imperial sentiment. The different parts of the Empire have vied with one another in demonstrating their loyalty to the Crown and to the Empire. They have shown not only the desire but the determination to share both in its joys and in its troubles, and we have at the present time in South Africa an object lesson to the world of the practical unity of the different parts of the British Empire, which has awakened an enthusiasm, both in the motherland and in every part of the world where the British flag flies, never witnessed before. Let me appeal to your Lordships, therefore, to pass this measure unanimously, and to show in that way your feeling of 1439 the justice of the request that has been made by the colonies, and further, that we are determined, so far as the House of Lords is concerned, that we will not recognise for a moment longer than is absolutely necessary the evil which for so many years the colonies have been patiently urging Parliament to redress. Such a decision on the part of this House, followed by action on the part of the Government, such as I have ventured to suggest, and by the rapid passage of the Bill through the House of Commons, would be regarded in every part of the Empire as a message of goodwill to our fellow-subjects who are so closely connected with us by common ancestry, by common patriotism, by common love for the Empire to which we are all proud to belong, and by common loyalty and veneration for our gracious Sovereign.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read a second time.—(The Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal.)
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (The Earl of HALSBURY)
My Lords, I so far agree with my noble friend that I think this subject is one with which it is hardly possible to deal without repeating former arguments, as the noble and learned Lord the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster stated when this Bill was before your Lordships in 1898. My opinions on the question are fixed, and it will be impossible for me to assent to the Second Reading of the Bill without a division. I am afraid I must ask your Lordships to divide. I think a little too much has been made of the suggestion that in the present state of the world the loyalty of the colonies to us is an additional argument in favour of the Bill. We, both the mother country and the colonies, have peculiarities of our own. What lies at the root of this question is marriage with a deceased wife's sister, and the difficulty with which my noble friend seeks to deal is one that arises from the fact that the law of the mother country and of the colonies is different. We must accept that fact, and until the law is altered the consequences of that law ought to be confined in each case to the country where the law belongs. There is no reason in common sense why you should insist upon applying the law of the colonies to this country. The law of in-heritance in this country has lasted for 1440 many centuries, and many attempts have been made in vain to alter it. If the noble Lord would begin at the other end, and endeavour to make marriage with a deceased wife's sister lawful in this country, his action would be intelligible. The sole question is that of the inheritance of land in England. I protest, as I have protested before, against the title of this Bill. It is not a Bill having relation to colonial marriages. If the true title were given to the Bill, it would be "A Bill to alter the Law of Inheritance in Respect of Real Property in England." The Bill at present assumes a title to which it has no claim. I must say that when I first read this Bill I was under the impression that good faith towards your Lordships had not been observed, but I quite accept the explanation of the noble Lord that the intention was to introduce the Bill as amended by your Lordships in 1898. I would like to call noble Lords' attention to the fact that the consequence of making marriage with a deceased wife's sister legal in the colonies was foreseen at the time and accepted by the colonies through several of their delegates. That consequence was that the children of such marriages would not inherit real property in England. Through the mouths of their delegates several of the colonies expressed their complete content with that condition of things. Sir Alexander Campbell, of Canada, said—We altered our law to suit our position in conformity with the desire of the people, and we are quite willing that the people of England should retain their laws until they see the necessity for changing them.Canada, Newfoundland, the Cape, Western Australia, and New Zealand dissociated themselves from any desire to press for a change of the law relating to real property in this country, and the following was an observation made by Sir Thomas Upington, then Attorney General for the Cape—Speaking generally, because the colonies had been allowed to legislate on this subject of marriage, it did not well become them to turn round and say, 'You sanctioned the law, and therefore now you must alter your law to suit us.'It appears to me that this question is argued on an entirely false basis. It is not a question which affects the colonies at all. For their purpose the law is as they would have it. It has been suggested 1441 on their behalf that they want to come and alter the law of this country, but I do not think that that demand is justified. On a former occasion I challenged my noble friend to say whether there had been a single instance of hardship under the application of this law. My noble friend did not answer me then, and he has not mentioned the matter now. So it is only an abstract resolution which be wants to put on the Statute-book. Whatever the definition of domicile may be, it is to be assumed that if a person leaves this country for another it is with the object of acquiring a domicile in that other country. It seems to me that this is an attempt by a side wind to deal, not with an existing grievance, but to deal with something which may perchance facilitate another alteration in the law.
§ LORD DAVEY
My Lords, I agree with my noble and learned friend on the Woolsack that the subject was so very fully debated two years ago that it is difficult to throw any new light upon it; but I cannot agree with my noble and learned friend as to the misnomer of this Bill. It is a Bill to relieve persons domiciled in the colonies of this Empire of a grievance which it cannot be doubted exists. I believe every one of your Lordships who has had the honour of acting as Governor of any of the colonies endorses what has been said by the noble Lord who moved the Second Heading of the Bill—that it is a grievance which is seriously felt in the colonies. It may be a sentimental grievance at the present time, but it may at any time become a practical grievance. Even if it remained a sentimental one, I contend that it could be removed without any sacrifice of principle on the part of this country. There are three cardinal facts which we must bear in mind in approaching the consideration of this Bill. The first is that every one of Her Majesty's colonies, except one, has passed a Bill legalising marriage between a man and his deceased wife's sister. It is not even confined to the colonies, because so recently as 1896 a Bill for the same purpose was passed by the States of Jersey, and, under the advice of Her Majesty's present Ministers, received the Royal assent. The second cardinal fact which we would do well to bear in mind is that the people who are affected by this anomaly in the law are not strangers 1442 or foreigner's, either in race or religion, but are, not only in a metaphorical and general sense, but frequently in a very true and literal sense, our own brothers, sisters, and cousins. The third fact which I think we have to bear in mind is that it is conceded on all hands that these marriages are legal marriages in this country on general principles of international law. For example, the offspring of such marriages would have a right to succeed to the intestate succession in personal estate, and to personal estate be queathed by an English will under the description of a child of the legatee. Personal estate in this country includes leaseholds. A man might own a leasehold estate of 999 years at a nominal rental, which is practically equivalent to a freehold, and the offspring of one of these marriages would be entitled to succeed to leasehold property, and yet would be denied the right to succeed to freehold. A person becoming domiciled in Canada and Australia, leaving behind him relatives in this country, may or may not die intestate, and he may have made conditions under which children of such marriages would be able to succeed if not debarred in this way. If the rule which excludes the offspring of these marriages from succeeding to real estate by succession did not exist, no man in possession of his senses would think of passing such a rule and of making this trumpery distinction, which rests on no sound principle whatever. The late Lord Esher, in the debate in 1898, expressed his opinion that the offspring of such marriages as those we are discussing would not be excluded from succession to real property. I am bound to say I do not agree with him. I think it would be difficult to maintain the position which Lord Esher took up, but it is worth while considering for a moment why Lord Esher arrived at that opinion. He said the person entitled to succeed to the intestate succession, or as an heir in tail of real estate in this country, is by common law the eldest son of the last owner born in lawful wedlock, and that the son of one of these marriages does fulfil those conditions. I entirely agree with the Litter statement, but my conscience as a lawyer will not allow me to concur in the conclusion to which Lord Esher arrived. But the reasons which Lord Esher gave are strong reasons for no longer retaining the exclusion which 1443 my noble and learned friend on the Woolsack desires to perpetuate. It is sometimes said that it is no real grievance, because the man who has made one of these marriages may make a will and thereby pass any of his real estate in England to his son, although the latter would not succeed him if he died intestate. But it is not a question of the father making a will. More frequently the succession would come either through a grandfather or uncle or some collateral relation. It may be that a man has died intestate and the relation has to be traced through the parent of one of these marriages. You would stop there, and not allow the son to succeed. That cannot be cured by any will made by either of the parents. I am sure it must be within the knowledge of many of your Lordships—I, myself, know more than one instance—that younger sons of some of your Lordships' families emigrate and settle in the colonies and marry there, possibly without any expectation that they will one day be called upon to succeed to the family honours or the family estate. It strikes mo as a very great injustice that if a man who has settled, say, in Canada, and has married there in a manner which is allowed by the laws of that country, which brings no reprobation or stigma with it, should be called upon by an accidental series of deaths or failure of issue to return to England and assume a position as an owner of property in this country, the estate at his death should not go to his son as the heir in tail, but should pass to some collateral branch of the family whom he probably never knew. I submit that that is not an impossible case. We have not had sufficient experience of these marriages to know that it is an actual case, but it is a case which may well be contemplated. I did not understand the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack to say that Her Majesty's consent was given to the Bills which were passed by the Colonies for the purpose of legalising these marriages under any condition. I understand that my noble friend quoted words from a speech of Lord Knutsford in the debate of 1898—words which were used by certain persons who for some purposes represented the colonies on that occasion.
§ THE EARL OF HALSBURY
What I said was that this was contemplated at 1444 the time by the delegates who represented the colonies.
§ LORD DAVEY
I did not think that any statement would proceed from the noble and learned Lord to the effect that the Queen's consent was given conditionally, and I think I said that I did not understand the noble and learned Lord to have said that. Nor do I understand that the delegates who have been referred to had any authority whatever to pledge the colonies even for the time being, and they certainly had none to pledge their successors. There is no authority whatever for saying that the colonies at the present day are in the least debarred from pursuing what they conceive to be justice by anything which took place when the colonial Bills were passed. I remember that in the previous debate the famous old sentence was recited, when the barons with one voice said, "Nolumus leges Angliœ mutari." But I would remind your Lordships that at the time when the assembled barons shouted those words in opposition to the Episcopal Bench of the day, Anglœ meant a very different thing from what we understand by the British Empire of the present day. They were legislating for England alone. England alone and not the whole of Great Britain was the subject of the monarchy of this kingdom, but to-day we are confronted by wholly different circumstances. We have now to deal with what is the law of an integral portion of the British Empire. It is a law affecting the status of our fellow-subjects in a large portion of the Empire. Are we, in regard to fellow-subjects who are legitimate by every principle of law, to keep up a solitary shred of what I do not hesitate to call an obsolete law, framed under totally different conditions from those now pre vailing, in order to exclude them from succeeding to the intestate succession of real estate?
THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF YORK
My Lords, the noble Lord who moved the Second Beading of this Bill made a special appeal to the occupants of this Bench, and I feel bound in courtesy to him to say that, so far as I am concerned, and I believe I speak for a large number of my brother Bishops, we do not see any reason why we should alter our opinion on this subject. Nor was there 1445 anything in the speech of the noble Lord that would induce us to do so. The truth is, we believe that no real grievance exists at all. It has never appeared. It is an imaginary grievance. But allowing for the moment that it does exist, it is a grievance caused by the acts of the colonists themselves. It has not originated in England, but in the colonies. On the other hand, it can be removed in the easiest way by the execution of a testament. The noble and learned Lord who has just spoken from the other side of the House has referred in terms of disparagement to the opinion given some years ago by the delegates who have been referred to. But if the testimony of the delegates of some years ago is to be disregarded, why should not the same treatment be accorded to the evidence and claims of the delegates of to-day? The noble and learned Lord pointed out the grave anomaly, as it is considered by many, in the law of inheritance in England which distinguished between a 999 years lease and real property. But that is an anomaly affecting everyone of your Lordships, and everyone throughout the kingdom. It is not a matter connected simply with marriage in the colonies with a deceased wife's sister. The case of Jersey was also cited by the noble and learned Lord, but recently an attempt was made to bring about the same state of things in the neighbouring Island of Guernsey. This attempt absolutely failed. The experience they had had of what was done by their neighbours in Jersey led them to take this step. The fact is, this Bill betrays its spirit and its purpose by its preamble, which runs—Whereas it is expedient to amend the law as to marriage with a deceased wife's sister.That is the real meaning of the Bill, and everything that has been said in this debate might have been urged in favour of the alteration in our own law. But as we are not, I trust, prepared to make that alteration, I do not see that any sufficient reason has been adduced by the noble Lord who introduced the Bill, or by his supporters, to win assent to a Bill which would have a very far-reaching effect, and would inevitably be made use of as a reason for going still further when the time came to discuss again marriage with a deceased wife's sister in England. 1446 The assent of Her Majesty's Government to the measures passed by the colonies has been pleaded as a reason for passing this Bill, and if this Bill is passed it will in its turn be quoted in support of a measure to permit such marriages in England. I trust that in view of these considerations, and in the absence of any real grievance on the part of the colonies —or, at any rate, any real grievance not caused by themselves—the House will decline to give its sanction to this Bill.
§ * EARL CARRINGTON
My Lords, it was with regret that I heard the speech of the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack. We who are in favour of this Bill had hopes that some arrangement might have been come to by which the Bill would be allowed to pass its Second Reading without a division. But that is not to be, and therefore we must do the best we can to fight for the principles which we maintain. I would ask your Lordships to imagine the case —quite a possible one—of a rich Australian squatter who had made two or three millions in New South Wales and had come over to England to spend the remainder of his life. Let it be supposed that he had married his deceased wife's sister. He might be a man of great respectability and honoured in his own country. He might even be the man who is made the first Australian peer, and he might be sitting next to my noble friend Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal, of the Dominion of Canada. Naturally, he would want a house, and he might take one in Curzon Street on a 999 years lease. It may not be large enough, and he may acquire some freehold land at the back in order to add to it a ball-room or a billiard-room. An accident may happen to him, either owing to the rigour of the climate, or to his being knocked down by a hansom cab, and he may die intestate. Then what would be the position of his son? He would send for a lawyer, who would tell him: "You are neither fish, flesh, fowl, nor good red herring, but a mixture of all four. So long as you are in your leasehold house in Curzon Street you are legitimate, and that house belongs to you because it is leasehold; but if you go into your ballroom at the back of your house, that part of the house does not belong to you, because you are a bastard." Then the son would say, "What is my position 1447 in the House of Lords?" The reply might be: "No doubt your father was a peer, but whether your mother would have been admitted into the Peeress's Gallery is a question of great difficulty, which only Lord Ancaster, the Lord Great Chamberlain, could determine. But one thing is absolutely certain. You cannot inherit a freehold estate, and a peerage is freehold, and therefore you cannot be a peer. Your father bought a shooting estate in the county of Norfolk. That also is freehold; and although you can inherit his vast riches in his own country you cannot inherit that estate in the county of Norfolk. There are no relations that we can lay our hands upon, and that property must revert to the Crown." That is to say, it would be annexed by the mother country just in the same manner as the Transvaal and the Orange Free State are going to be annexed. My Lords, can you conceive such a position for an individual to be in? This is not a fancy picture. It represents an actual state of things and one which, I submit, ought not to be allowed to continue. Of course, we all bow with the greatest respect to religious opinion, but I would respectfully ask the most rev. Prelate who has just addressed the House if he honestly thinks that the views he has expressed are really the best in the long run for the Church of England—of which his Grace is so distinguished an ornament—in the colonies and all over the world? The most rev. and right rev. bench must know, from the opportunities they have had of seeing the colonial bishops, what the opinion of the English bishops in the colonies on this great question is. In fact, it was only at the end of the last year that a clergyman of the Church of England in Victoria, the Rev. G. Poynder, married his deceased wife's sister. Having done this, he sent information to his bishop. The Bishop of Melbourne, Bishop Goe, was not at all pleased with what his clergyman had done, and as a punishment he suspended him for twelve months. That, my Lords, I should be inclined to think was rather too prolonged a honeymoon. But at the end of six months he wrote to the clergyman to say that, at the expiration of this period, as he had resigned, he could appoint him to another charge. I am given to understand that that will be done, and that, at the end of twelve calendar months, the 1448 clergyman will be reinstated in another charge. I again express my disappointment that your Lordships cannot come to an agreement on this question. I should have hoped that just at this moment the House of Lords would, with a good grace, have come to a decision which it could not be denied would be in accordance with the wishes of the colonies at large. What I would have asked the House of Lords to do with reference to this Bill would have been to say, "Give the colonies what they want, even if you give it as if you were getting something in return." Why should not the House of Lords follow the very wise precedent set by Mr. Chamberlain in relation to the Australian Commonwealth Bill? Alter the clauses as you like, turn them upside down as Mr. Chamberlain did in the Commonwealth Bill, but give the colonies what they ask for, just as the House of Commons granted Australia all it insisted on.
THE EARL OF KIMBERLEY
My Lords, I shall not detain the House for more than a few minutes, but I wish to notice an argument used by the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack. I was very much surprised to hear it suggested by the Lord Chancellor that there was any understanding in relation to these Colonial Bills. Of course, there have been a great many of these Bills. If my memory does not deceive me, I advised Her Majesty to assent to the first Bill that was made for amending the law in one of the Australian colonies, and certainly I have not the smallest remembrance of any condition or any kind of understanding in regard to the law of real property in this country. We had, I know, very considerable doubt on the matter. Personally, I was always in favour of a change in the law of this country. We recognised that there was considerable inconvenience in having a different marriage law in the colonies than in the mother country. That was the only ground on which there was any hesitation. I strongly maintain that the last argument that ought to be used in this connection is, "Take care, for if you let this Bill pass you will have a Bill to alter the marriage law in this country." I do not think that is a fair argument to use towards the colonies. If we in this country do not wish to make marriages with a deceased wife's sister legal it is. entirely in our power to refuse to, 1449 do so. There is no reason why we should put particular persons in the colonies under a very galling and very unpleasant disability, especially after we have consented deliberately to Bill after Bill making these marriages legal in the colonies. It seems to me totally inconsistent with our previous action. What possible harm can there be in altering the law as regards persons domiciled—I agree that that word is necessary to prevent people going to the colonies to evade the English law—in the colonies? It is not a wise policy, in my opinion it is not a sound policy, that because you have not made this change in the law here—although I believe the present law is not by any means acceptable to the majority of the people of this country—therefore you are
§ to refuse to colonists and their children who are legitimate there all the privileges of legitimate children here, because, forsooth, you are afraid that the passing of this Bill may increase the power of those who wish to make this great change in the marriage law of this country. I do not believe, indeed, the Bill will have much effect. This is a Colonial question, not an English question. I take the Bill on its merits; and on Its own merits, apart altogether from what opinion there may be here with regard to the best marriage law, I contend that in the interests of the Empire and of justice to our fellow-subjects in the colonies this Bill ought to pass into law.
§ Their Lordships divided:—Contents, 116; Not Contents, 31.1451
|Wales, H. R. H. Prince of||Falkland, V.||Headley, L.|
|Connaught, H. R. H. D.||Falmouth, V.||Heneage, L.|
|York, H. R. H. D.||Portman, V.||Hothfield, L.|
|Devonshire, D. (L. President.)||Powerscourt, V.||Hylton, L.|
|Templetown, V.||Kelvin, L.|
|Grafton, D.||Kilmaine, L.|
|Portland, D.||Hopetoun, L. (E. Hopetoun.)||Kintore, L. (E. Kintore.)|
|Sutherland, D.||(L. Chamberlain.)||Lawrence, L.|
|Aberdare, L.||Leigh, L.|
|Ailsa, M.||Ampthill, L.||Lister, L.|
|Breadalbane, M.||Avebury, L.||Ludlow, L.|
|Hertford, M.||Bagot, L.||Manners of Haddon, L. (M.)|
|Lansdowne, M.||Barnard, L.||(Granby.)|
|Northampton, M.||Belper, L.||Monk Bretton, L.|
|Boyle, L. (E. Cork and)||Monkswell, L.|
|Camperdown, E.||(Orrery.)||Mostyn, L.|
|Carlisle, E.||Brampton, L.||Mount Stephen, L.|
|Carrington, E.||Brougham and Vaux, L.||Napier, L.|
|Catheart, E.||Burghclere, L.||Newlands, L.|
|Chesterfield, E.||Burton, L.||Newton, L.|
|Clarendon, E.||Carew, L.||Norton, L.|
|Cowper, E.||Cheylesmore, L.||Penrhyn, L.|
|Crewe, E.||Churchill, L.||Pirbright, L.|
|Dartmouth, E.||Coleridge, L.||Rathmore, L.|
|Derby, E.||Colville of Culross, L.||Reay, L.|
|Effingham, E.||Cranworth, L.||Rowton, L.|
|Ellesmere, E.||Crawshaw, L.||Sackville, L.|
|Fortescue, E.||Davey, L.||St. Levan, L.|
|Grey, E.||de Vesci, L. (V. de Vesci.)||Sandhurst, L.|
|Harewood, E.||Digby, L.||Saye and Sele, L.|
|Ilchester, E.||Dinevor, L.||Shand, L.|
|Jersey, E.||Elgin, L. (E. Elgin and Kin-)||Somerhill, L. (M. Clanricarde.)|
|Kimberley, E.||cardine.)||Strathcona and Mount Royal,|
|Lichfield, E.||Erskine, L.||L. [Teller.]|
|Lonsdale, E.||Farquhar, L.||Sudley, L. (E. Arran.)|
|Morley, E.||Farrer, L.||Suffield, L.|
|Northbrook, E.||Foley, L.||Tweeddale, L. (M. Tweeddale.)|
|Onslow, E.||Glenesk, L.||Wandsworth, L.|
|Saint Germans, E.||Greville, L.||Welby, L.|
|Sandwich, E.||Hare, L. (E. Listowel.)||Wenlock, L.|
|Spencer, E.||Hawkesbury, L. [Teller.]||Wrottesley, L|
|Wharncliffe, E.||Hay, L. (E. Kinnoul.)|
|Halsbury, E. [L. Chancellor.)||Northumberland, D. [Teller.]||Salisbury, M.|
|York, L. Abp.|
|Cross, V. (L. Privy Seal.)||Abercorn, M. (D. Abercorn.)||de Montalt, E.|
|Feversham, E.||St. Albans, L. Bp.||Clinton, L.|
|Lauderdale, E.||Winchester, L. Bp.||Colchester, L.|
|Mansfield, E.||Fairlie, L. (E. Glasgow.)|
|Waldegrave, E.||Addington, L.||Gage, L. (V. Gage.)|
|Halifax, V.||Aldenham, L||Glanusk, L.|
|Landaff, V.||Balfour, L.||Hatherton, L. [Teller.]|
|Carysfort, L. (E. Carysfort.)||Meldrum, L. (M. Huntly.)|
|Ely, L. Bp.||Clanwilliam, L. (E. Clanwil-||Raglan, L.|
|Manchester, L. Bp.||liam.)||Robertson, L.|
On Question, agreed to.
§ Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the whole House.