Will the Honourable gentlemen give way to the Lord of Lords ?
“But I should like to ask the Government a further question, and that is whether the Government will recognise that there is an obligation which overrides all that; something that overrides the context in which any Prime Minister takes office and forms a Cabinet at the hands of Her Majesty. That is done in the light of Her Majesty’s anointing, consecration and coronation as Head of State after she has taken a series of oaths. If those oaths are binding on Her Majesty, I submit that they are binding on her Governments. One of the oaths to which I should like to draw attention is this one. She swears: To maintain the laws of God and the profession of the Gospel “. My Lords, it is difficult to find anything more categorical than that, and I repeat it. She swears at her Coronation: To maintain the laws of God and the profession of the Gospel “. Now, whatever else may be comprehended in that, certainly Christian marriage can by no conceivable argument be thought to be excluded. Its protection and its defence are mandatory. It is in the context of that oath that Governments take office. So no matter what Governments take office, no matter what their ideas may be, no matter how Governments are composed, surely they will admit that they take office within the context of that oath and therefore in support of it. It is an oath solemnly given and solemnly subscribed by the Queen, at the instance, ultimately, of the State. It is binding, it is mandatory, it is categorical; and I ask the Government to affirm that that is so”.
This question above was asked in the House of Lords by The Earl of LAUDERDALE in a debate entitled ‘THE FAMILY IN BRITAIN TODAY’ on Wednesday June 16th 1976. The Motion on the Order paper was in the name of the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Donald Coggan. The reply for the Government to the question was given later in that evening debate by Lord WELLS-PESTELL the then Lord-in-Waiting to the Queen.
“I come to the noble Earl, Lord Lauderdale. I have dealt with the question of a Minister for the Family. He asked about the obligation of the Government. I think the answer to that is that what applies to the Monarch and the Constitution as a whole applies no less to the Government. I think one must follow the other.”
In his book ‘The Trumpet sounds for Britain’ Volume 3, David E. Gardner uses this example as he plots the departure from God by the British Nation, its leaders and consequently the people.
To read the full transcript of the House of Lords Debate click here. The sections mentioned above are on pages 1329-30 and page 1361 of the transcript.
Click here for the full text of the Coronation Oath.