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Wednesday, 22 March 1961

Sir GARFIELD BARWICK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Attorney-General) . - These provisions are really a replacement of the repeal provisions of the Marriage (Overseas) Act 1955 and the Marriage (Overseas) Act 1958, which acts are repealed by clause 4 of the bill now before us. The portion of the legislation now being considered provides for a procedure similar to the existing system which enables diplomatic and consular officers to marry people abroad in proclaimed countries. Clause 54 provides limitations with regard to the particular countries that may be proclaimed. It says -

Where the Governor-General is satisfied . . . that (a) the law or custom of that country authorizes the solemnization by or in the presence of diplomatic officers of that country, or consular officers of that country, or both, of marriages outside that country. . . .

That is to say, there must be reciprocity. If the officers of country A are allowed by the law of that country to marry people in Australia according to the laws of country A, then we will allow our consular officers similar powers in country A.

Mr Haylen - It is a kind of reciprocal arrangement?

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