United States Military Personnel (Marriages)

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Health – in the House of Commons on 15th October 1942.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Edward Wickham Lieut-Colonel Edward Wickham , Taunton

asked the Minister of Health (1) whether he is aware that no American military personnel on duty in any foreign country may marry without written permission issued under the authority of the United States Army commander and that an American soldier who marries without such approval will be liable to trial by court-martial; and whether he will make sure that all registrars of marriages are aware of these facts;

(2) whether he will inform registrars of marriage and women's organisations that in the event of an American soldier on foreign service in this country being given permission to marry no special living arrangements will be made; no marriage allowance will be payable or privileges granted in lieu thereof; and the wife will not become a United States citizen by virtue of her marriage nor will she be allowed to accompany her husband on change of station or on his return to the United States of America?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

I am aware of the facts stated. Superintendent registrars and registrars of marriages have already received instuctions as to the necessity for the permission of the United States military authorities to the marriage of United States military personnel in this country. Notice is being given to those officers of the disabilities attaching to the wife of a United States soldier who marries, even by permission, while on service in this country, particulars of which became available after the issue of the instructions referred to. It is, however, far more important that the public should be widely informed of the nature of these disabilities; and I have no doubt that the hon. and gallant Member's Questions and this reply will contribute materially to this object.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Edward Wickham Lieut-Colonel Edward Wickham , Taunton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I put down these Questions in all good will to our gallant Allies and solely to ensure that our girls should know exactly what the position was before embarking on a course which would affect the whole of their future lives?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

I am sure that that will be understood, and I think my answer shows that I fully understand it.

Photo of Professor Douglas Savory Professor Douglas Savory , Queen's University of Belfast

Is the Minister aware that girls marrying American soldiers do not become American citizens, and will not be eligible for marriage and other allowances, and that they will not be allowed to enter the United States, but will be held up at Ellis Island as aliens?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

My hon. Friend is simply repeating the Question which I have already answered.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Will these instructions invalidate the marriages?