Clause 2 — (Amendment of Section 7 of principal Act.)

Orders of the Day — Summary Jurisdiction (Separation and Maintenance) Bill. – in the House of Commons on 8th April 1925.

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Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Middlesbrough East

I beg to move, in page 2, lines 27 and 28, to leave out the words such payments as in the opinion of the Court he was able, and to insert instead thereof the words any payments which he was required This is intended to deal with a case in which the man could plead that he was not able to serd the money and the woman might be driven desperate because the money did not come for herself and her children, and might thereby lose her rights for ever afterwards. The Amendment which I suggest was actually in the original Rill, and I would appeal to the hon. Gentleman to accept it on the Present occasion.

Mr. LOCKER-LAMPSON:

I am afraid we cannot accept this Amendment. If the husband does his best to support the wife, I think you have gone as far as you ought to go. The man might be thrown out of work or the payments might lapse from some other cause of that kind, and I do not think we ought to penalise the husband if he did not pay owing, possibly, to the fact that he was ill or crippled or thrown out of work. I think the hon. Member will see that on reconsideration, and perhaps she has forgotten that although it was in the original Bill this Amendment was turned clown by the House.

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Middlesbrough East

Of course, we cannot discuss the matter properly, as there is not time to go into all the reasons in support of the Amendment.

Amendment negatived.

Further Amendment made: In page 2, line 32, after the word "children," to insert the words "of the marriage."—[Mr. Locker-Lampson.]

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Middlesbrough East

I beg to move, in page 2, line 35, to leave out the word "ten" and to insert the word "twenty."

This, again, is a complicated matter, and it would require a long time to explain the purpose of and the reasons for this Amendment, but if we are going to have it dealt with in the same way as the last one, rather than go into the matter I should prefer to withdraw the Amendment.

Mr. LOCKER-LAMPSON:

I will explain why we cannot accept it.

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Middlesbrough East

I will formally move, but I am sorry that we cannot discuss it at greater length.

Mr. LOCKER-LAMPSON:

The reason against this Amendment is that by it you are doubling the sum payable to tin children and it seems to me that if 10s. is sufficient, when the wife receives 40s., it should be sufficient for the children when the rest of the order is discharged and she is not receiving anything for herself. The children are still, so to speak, on the same plane and I do not think there is any reason why you should double the amount.

Amendment negatived.

Further Amendments made:

In page 2, line 36, after the word "each," insert the word "such."—[Mr. Locker-Lampson.]

In page 2, line 39, at the end insert the words: Provided further that if any married woman upon whose application an Order shall have been made under this Act or the principal Act, or either of them, shall voluntarily resume cohabitation with her husband, such Order shall be deemed to be discharged from the date of such cohabitation and the last sentence of Section seven of the principal Act so far as it relates to proof of resumption of cohabitation is hereby repealed. A discharge of such an Order shall not operate so as to confer any right in the husband to recover any moneys paid or purporting to be paid under such Order either before or after such discharge."—[Miss Wilkinson.]