Oral Answers to Questions — Armed Forces (Divorce Proceedings).

– in the House of Commons on 18th June 1942.

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Photo of Mr George Griffiths Mr George Griffiths , Hemsworth

asked the Attorney-General the number of applications submitted by non-commissioned officers and other ranks of the Army to the Poor Persons Committee of the Law Society for leave to sue for dissolution of marriage under the Poor Persons Rules between the period 3rd September, 1939, and 31st May, 1942; the number of cases in which such leave has been granted; and whether he will also furnish a progress Report showing the present position of these cases?

Photo of Mr Donald Somervell Mr Donald Somervell , Crewe

I regret that the information asked for is not available, and it would not be possible to obtain it except at the expenditure of an amount of labour which would not I think be justified. I may, however, state that while during the earlier part of the period specified there was great delay and difficulty owing to the dislocation caused by the war, in recent months the situation has been distinctly improved, largely through the labours of the Law Society, and it is hoped at an early date to make still further improvements in the procedure in relation to these cases.

Photo of Mr George Muff Mr George Muff , Kingston upon Hull East

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that an Army Council Instruction has been issued which is very helpful on this very important matter, and which enables commanding officers to help those of their men who have matrimonial troubles?

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

What is the average time which elapses between an application being made and the case being heard?

Photo of Mr Donald Somervell Mr Donald Somervell , Crewe

I could not say; it may not be very long.