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Report No. 82

3.6. Speech of Mr. Hobhouse.-

While on this point, we would like to quote a passage from the speech of Mr. Hobhouse on the Married Women's Property Bill1 ( which led to the Act of 1874)-

"We must remember that a wife's contribution to the family wealth did not usually consist in payments of money. She may bring to her husband no money at all and yet may be a very treasure to him even if measured by a mere pecuniary standard. If the wife kept the household together, brought up the children, governed his servants, conducted all his petty dealings with tradesman, and performed other similar domestic duties, the husband might be a far richer man for her services, although he might provide all the actual money that come into the family.

Then, if he chose that his wife should take every year so much out of the common stock, or out of his stock, and spend it in an insurance for herself or her children, why should she not do so. If the husband chose that, that should to done with his property from time to time. Mr. Hobhouse will not see it as a matter for legal question, or that there should be any legal difficulty placed in the way of the wife's enforcing the contracts. It might be the most prudent, the most wise, and the most beneficial arrangement for the whole family, the very best mode of making a provision for them, and it also might be, and often was, a matter of absolute justice, as between husband and wife, which he or his creditors ought not to dispute at any future time.

Effect of Nomination under Section 39 of the Insurance Act, 1938 Back

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