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Marriage Law

Volume 244: debated on Tuesday 11 November 1930

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether it is the intention of the Government to introduce a Bill to prohibit weddings in the blacksmith's shop at Gretna Green?

The question of legislation to amend the law of marriage in Scotland, which involves also consideration whether it is desirable that some form of authoritative inquiry should precede any such legislative proposals, is now having the attention of my right hon. Friend, and he is not in a position to make any pronouncement as to the introduction of a Bill.

Is it not the case that a. Bill to deal with this matter is in draft, and may we not be informed of the nature of the provisions contemplated? Is it the intention of the Government to make the marriage laws of Scotland conform to those of England?

The practice of irregular marriage is very widespread in Scotland, and while there may be a strong and, indeed, overwhelming case for its alteration, this ought not to be done without careful inquiry into the form the legislation ought to take and as to the consequences that might follow. There may be a Bill in draft, but certainly nothing has been settled as to the form the legislation ought to take.

Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us whether he has had any complaints from the people who have been married at Gretna Green?