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Mr. Leigh: I am grateful to all those who have spoken so movingly in this debate. I remind the Committee of the words of my right hon. Friend the Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale (Mr. Jopling). He reminded us that, whatever the agonies of the participants in divorce, nothing can compare with the agonies of children of divorced parents.

Of course we want to lessen acrimony, but, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Mitcham and Morden (Dame A. Rumbold) said, what message are we sending out to young people? If we do not pass the amendment, we would send the message of which my right hon. Friend the Member for Oxford, West and Abingdon (Mr. Patten) reminded us--that the contract of marriage will be a uniquely empty one.

If I may, I shall end by paraphrasing Benjamin Jowett. It is of course true that you cannot make people moral by Act of Parliament; yet the laws and institutions of a country do make it, to a degree which it is difficult to exaggerate, either easier or harder for men and women to walk in the right way.

As we vote today, we should ask ourselves, are we really ensuring that it has sunk into the thinking of all people that, in the wonderfully telling words of the Book of Common Prayer, marriage

Question put, That the amendment be made:--

The Committee divided: Ayes 137, Noes 267.

Division No. 105
[18.59 pm


Alison, Rt Hon Michael (Selby)
Alton, David
Amess, David
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)
Atkins, Rt Hon Robert
Banks, Matthew (Southport)
Bates, Michael
Beggs, Roy
Benton, Joe
Booth, Hartley
Bowis, John
Bray, Dr Jeremy
Bright, Sir Graham
Bruce, Ian (South Dorset)
Budgen, Nicholas
Burns, Simon
Butcher, John
Carlisle, John (Luton North)
Carttiss, Michael
Cash, William
Clappison, James
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Congdon, David
Conway, Derek
Coombs, Anthony (Wyre For'st)
Coombs, Simon (Swindon)
Davies, Quentin (Stamford)
Davis, David (Boothferry)
Day, Stephen
Deva, Nirj Joseph
Dixon, Don
Duncan Smith, Iain
Dunn, Bob
Eastham, Ken
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatfield)
Evans, Nigel (Ribble Valley)
Evennett, David
Faber, David
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)
Fishburn, Dudley
Forsythe, Clifford (S Antrim)
Fox, Dr Liam (Woodspring)
Fox, Rt Hon Sir Marcus (Shipley)
Fry, Sir Peter
Gale, Roger
Gallie, Phil
Gardiner, Sir George
Gill, Christopher
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles
Grant, Sir A (SW Cambs)
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)
Greenway, John (Ryedale)
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth, N)
Grylls, Sir Michael
Hargreaves, Andrew
Hendry, Charles
Horam, John
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford)
Jessel, Toby
Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine
Kirkhope, Timothy
Knight, Dame Jill (Bir'm E'st'n)
Lamont, Rt Hon Norman
Leigh, Edward
Lennox-Boyd, Sir Mark
Lidington, David
Lord, Michael
McAvoy, Thomas
Macdonald, Calum
McGrady, Eddie
Maclean, Rt Hon David
McLoughlin, Patrick
McNamara, Kevin
Maginnis, Ken
Maitland, Lady Olga
Marland, Paul
Mates, Michael
Merchant, Piers
Mills, Iain
Molyneaux, Rt Hon Sir James
Monro, Rt Hon Sir Hector
Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Murphy, Paul
Neubert, Sir Michael
Nicholson, David (Taunton)
O'Brien, William (Normanton)
Onslow, Rt Hon Sir Cranley
Paisley, The Reverend Ian
Parry, Robert
Patten, Rt Hon John
Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Porter, David (Waveney)
Powell, Ray (Ogmore)
Powell, William (Corby)
Purchase, Ken
Redwood, Rt Hon John
Robathan, Andrew
Robinson, Mark (Somerton)
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Roe, Mrs Marion (Broxbourne)
Rogers, Allan
Ross, William (E Londonderry)
Rumbold, Rt Hon Dame Angela
Sackville, Tom
Shaw, David (Dover)
Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Shersby, Sir Michael
Skeet, Sir Trevor
Spellar, John
Spicer, Sir James (W Dorset)
Spicer, Sir Michael (S Worcs)
Spink, Dr Robert
Sproat, Iain
Steinberg, Gerry
Sumberg, David
Sweeney, Walter
Taylor, Rt Hon John D (Strgfd)
Taylor, Sir Teddy (Southend, E)
Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)
Thornton, Sir Malcolm
Tracey, Richard
Trend, Michael
Trimble, David
Twinn, Dr Ian
Walker, A Cecil (Belfast N)
Walker, Bill (N Tayside)
Waterson, Nigel
Watts, John
Widdecombe, Ann
Willetts, David
Wilshire, David
Winterton, Mrs Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Nicholas (Macc'f'ld)
Wolfson, Mark
Yeo, Tim

Tellers for the Ayes:

Rev. Martin Smyth and
Mr. Robert Hughes.


Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainsworth, Peter (East Surrey)
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)
Allen, Graham
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)
Anderson, Ms Janet (Ros'dale)
Armstrong, Hilary
Ashby, David
Baker, Nicholas (North Dorset)
Banks, Robert (Harrogate)
Banks, Tony (Newham NW)
Barnes, Harry
Barron, Kevin
Batiste, Spencer
Bayley, Hugh
Beckett, Rt Hon Margaret
Beith, Rt Hon A J
Benn, Rt Hon Tony
Bermingham, Gerald
Berry, Roger
Betts, Clive
Biffen, Rt Hon John
Blair, Rt Hon Tony
Blunkett, David
Boateng, Paul
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Rt Hon Virginia
Brandreth, Gyles
Brown, M (Brigg & Cl'thorpes)
Brown, N (N'c'tle upon Tyne E)
Burden, Richard
Burt, Alistair
Butler, Peter
Butterfill, John
Byers, Stephen
Caborn, Richard
Callaghan, Jim
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Carlisle, Sir Kenneth (Lincoln)
Carrington, Matthew
Channon, Rt Hon Paul
Chapman, Sir Sydney
Chisholm, Malcolm
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Dr David (South Shields)
Clarke, Eric (Midlothian)
Clarke, Rt Hon Kenneth (Ru'clif)
Clwyd, Mrs Ann
Coe, Sebastian
Coffey, Ann
Corbyn, Jeremy
Corston, Jean
Couchman, James
Cousins, Jim
Cran, James
Cunningham, Jim (Covy SE)
Currie, Mrs Edwina (S D'by'ire)
Curry, David (Skipton & Ripon)
Dafis, Cynog
Darling, Alistair
Davidson, Ian
Denham, John
Devlin, Tim
Dewar, Donald
Dorrell, Rt Hon Stephen
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James
Dover, Den
Dowd, Jim
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Ms Angela
Eggar, Rt Hon Tim
Evans, Jonathan (Brecon)
Fatchett, Derek
Fisher, Mark
Flynn, Paul
Forman, Nigel
Forth, Eric
Foster, Rt Hon Derek
Foster, Don (Bath)
Foulkes, George
Fowler, Rt Hon Sir Norman
Freeman, Rt Hon Roger
French, Douglas
Fyfe, Maria
Galbraith, Sam
Garel-Jones, Rt Hon Tristan
Garnier, Edward
Gerrard, Neil
Gillan, Cheryl
Godman, Dr Norman A
Godsiff, Roger
Golding, Mrs Llin
Goodlad, Rt Hon Alastair
Gorman, Mrs Teresa
Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grocott, Bruce
Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn
Hall, Mike
Hamilton, Rt Hon Sir Archibald
Hampson, Dr Keith
Hannam, Sir John
Hanson, David
Harman, Ms Harriet
Harris, David
Harvey, Nick
Hawksley, Warren
Hayes, Jerry
Heald, Oliver
Heath, Rt Hon Sir Edward
Heppell, John
Heseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Hicks, Robert
Higgins, Rt Hon Sir Terence
Hill, James (Southampton Test)
Hill, Keith (Streatham)
Hodge, Margaret
Hogg, Rt Hon Douglas (G'tham)
Hogg, Norman (Cumbernauld)
Hoon, Geoffrey
Hordern, Rt Hon Sir Peter
Howard, Rt Hon Michael
Howarth, Alan (Strat'rd-on-A)
Howarth, George (Knowsley North)
Hoyle, Doug
Hunt, Rt Hon David (Wirral W)
Hunter, Andrew
Hutton, John
Illsley, Eric
Jack, Michael
Jackson, Glenda (H'stead)
Jackson, Helen (Shef'ld, H)
Janner, Greville
Jenkin, Bernard
Jenkins, Brian (S.E. Staffs)
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Jones, Barry (Alyn and D'side)
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Jones, Ieuan Wyn (Ynys Mon)
Jones, Lynne (B'ham S O)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd, SW)
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Jones, Robert B (W Hertfdshr)
Jowell, Tessa
Kennedy, Jane (L'pool Br'dg'n)
Khabra, Piara S
Kilfoyle, Peter
King, Rt Hon Tom
Kirkwood, Archy
Knight, Mrs Angela (Erewash)
Knight, Rt Hon Greg (Derby N)
Knox, Sir David
Kynoch, George (Kincardine)
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lang, Rt Hon Ian
Lawrence, Sir Ivan
Lestor, Joan (Eccles)
Liddell, Mrs Helen
Livingstone, Ken
Lloyd, Rt Hon Sir Peter (Fareham)
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)
Llwyd, Elfyn
Loyden, Eddie
Luff, Peter
Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Lynne, Ms Liz
McFall, John
MacGregor, Rt Hon John
MacKay, Andrew
Mackinlay, Andrew
Maclennan, Robert
MacShane, Denis
Madden, Max
Mahon, Alice
Major, Rt Hon John
Malone, Gerald
Mandelson, Peter
Marlow, Tony
Marshall, Jim (Leicester, S)
Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Mawhinney, Rt Hon Dr Brian
Maxton, John
Mayhew, Rt Hon Sir Patrick
Meacher, Michael
Michael, Alun
Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Mitchell, Sir David (NW Hants)
Morgan, Rhodri
Morley, Elliot
Morris, Estelle (B'ham Yardley)
Morris, Rt Hon John (Aberavon)
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Needham, Rt Hon Richard
Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Nicholls, Patrick
O'Brien, Mike (N W'kshire)
Oppenheim, Phillip
Ottaway, Richard
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Pawsey, James
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter L
Pope, Greg
Prentice, Bridget (Lew'm E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Primarolo, Dawn
Quin, Ms Joyce
Radice, Giles
Raynsford, Nick
Reid, Dr John
Rendel, David
Renton, Rt Hon Tim
Roberts, Rt Hon Sir Wyn
Robertson, George (Hamilton)
Roche, Mrs Barbara
Rowe, Andrew (Mid Kent)
Sainsbury, Rt Hon Sir Timothy
Scott, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Sheerman, Barry
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert
Shephard, Rt Hon Gillian
Short, Clare
Simpson, Alan
Sims, Roger
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Chris (Isl'ton S & F'sbury)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Snape, Peter
Soley, Clive
Spring, Richard
Squire, Robin (Hornchurch)
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John
Steen, Anthony
Stern, Michael
Stevenson, George
Stott, Roger
Streeter, Gary
Taylor, John M (Solihull)
Temple-Morris, Peter
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Townsend, Cyril D (Bexl'yh'th)
Tredinnick, David
Turner, Dennis
Tyler, Paul
Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Walden, George
Wallace, James
Ward, John
Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Wareing, Robert N
Whitney, Ray
Whittingdale, John
Wicks, Malcolm
Wiggin, Sir Jerry
Wigley, Dafydd
Williams, Alan W (Carmarthen)
Wood, Timothy
Young, David (Bolton SE)
Young, Rt Hon Sir George

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Peter Bottomley and
Sir Jim Lester.

Question accordingly negatived.

24 Apr 1996 : Column 491

It being after Seven o'clock, The Chairman, pursuant to Orders [25 March and 17 April], put the Question, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Question agreed to.

Clause 5 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

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