Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Bill, 1972: First Stage.

I move:

That leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to amend and extend the Births and Deaths Registration Acts, 1863 to 1952, and to provide for certain amendments to enactments relating to the registration of marriages.

From what the Taoiseach said a fortnight ago I was under the impression that it was proposed to take this Bill, which must be non-contentious, before the recess. Surely there should be no difficulty in getting it through in 15 minutes.

The Deputy will appreciate that there are other marriages, or suggested marriages, which require legislation for ratification also. It was thought that it would be invidious to isolate Lourdes marriages when marriages of other denominations need attention. There will only be a short delay and there is a comprehensive Bill which we hope to introduce during the next session.

I accept that, but the Taoiseach knows that this Bill was drafted partially ten years ago.

There have been tremendous drafting and Constitutional problems associated with it.

The point is that it was ready to come before the House ten years ago. I understood that a short Bill was being introduced to deal with this particular problem. However, I shall not quarrel on the question.

We thought it better to include it in an omnibus marriage Bill.

Second Stage ordered for first sitting day after summer recess.