June 4, 1925

CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON (West York):

I would like to ask the government whether the order in council has yet been passed remitting in the cases of municipalities the tax on power exported under the term contract for 60,090 horse-power?

Hon. GEORGE P. GRAHAM (Minister of Railways and Canals): That order in council has not yet been passed.

Topic:   EXPORT OF POWER
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CON

CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS

CHINA CLAY BRANCH


Hon. GEORGE P. GRAHAM (Minister of Railways and Canals) moved the .second reading of Bill No. 169, respecting the construction of a Canadian National Railways line from the end of the China Clay branch to St. Remi d'Amherst, in the province of Quebec. Motion agreed to, bill read the second time, and the House went into committee thereon, Mr. Gordon in the chair. On section 1-Commencement of construction subject to certain conditions.


CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

Does this matter stand just as we left it the other day?

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   CHINA CLAY BRANCH
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LIB

George Perry Graham (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

Just as we left it in

committee.

Topic:   CANADIAN NATIONAL RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   CHINA CLAY BRANCH
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Section agreed to. BiH reported, read the third time and passed.


BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE


Hon. GEORGE P. GRAHAM (Minister of Railways and Canals): I think perhaps it would be wise at this juncture to carry out the arrangement made some weeks ago with the hon. member for West Calgary (Mr, Shaw) to allow him to move the third reading of his bill on divorce. If the House will agree, I would move that we now take up order No. 44, under Public Bills and Orders. Motion agreed to.


DIVORCE

EQUALITY OF GROUNDS FOR RELIEF AS BETWEEN THE SEXES


Mr. JOS. T. SHAW (West Calgary) moved the third reading of Bill No. 4, respecting divorce.


LIB

Thomas Vien

Liberal

Mr. THOMAS VIEN (Lotbiniere):

Mr. Speaker, on the 23rd day of March I gave notice that on the motion for .the third reading of this bill I would move-which I do now-the following amendment:

That the said order be discharged and the bill be

referred back to the committee of the Whole House with instructions that they have power to amend the same by adding thereto the following section:

"In no case where a divorce is granted by any act of parliament or by the decision of any court in Canada or elsewhere, shall either of the divorced parties domiciled in Canada have the right to marry again."

[Sir Henry Drayton.)

Mr. Speaker, the amendment that I have now proposed is unpalatable to many hon. members of this House for whose opinion I have the greatest respect. It is also distasteful to more than a few people outside of this chamber. I have been, and shall be, accused of bigotry and narrow mindedness. It has been and will be alleged that I am trying to impose upon others, religious beliefs that they do not share with me. I do not wish to be disagreeable or to appear intransigent, and yet on this occasion I hope that if I cannot dispel these false impressions in the course of my remarks, I shall at least establish my sincerity of purpose in trying, as I do, faithfully to discharge my duty as a member of this House and as a citizen of this country.

There is at present no divorce law on our statute books. This bill, if enacted, would be the first one; and I believe that it is my duty to resist the enactment by this parliament of a general law of divorce at the present time. Each bill of divorce that was presented to us has been a law of exception dealing with special cases. The purport of this bill is to facilitate divorce by increasing the number of cases in which divorce can be granted, and that is the reason why I feel in duty bound to resist it.

My amendment is not as sweeping as I would have liked to make it. Had I

my own way I would stamp out divorce altogether from this country. But, the House having already expressed its opinion on the second reading of this bill, it would be futile at this moment to move the six months' hoist. My amendment, however. in changing divorce into a mere separation, will eliminate one of the great incentives that cause many people to ask for a divorce, and so will have the effect of greatly reducing the number of cases in which divorce is sought.

In my opinion, Mr. Speaker, divorce is unchristian in that it is opposed to the teachings of the New Testament. Divorce is also immoral because it is opposed to natural law. In considering for a moment the Scriptural arguments I shall quote only from the revised version, or the King James version, so as to avoid the reproach of trying to impose upon others my own religious beliefs. It was Blaekstone, I think, who said that Christianity is part and parcel of the common law of England. If I succeed in proving that divorce is unchristian, let us remove it from our statute books, or else cease to contend that we are a Christian parliament. If Christ legislated on this subject, those who profess to be his disciples-whether they be voters or legis-

Divorce

lators-must be governed by his laws, and cannot do otherwise but accept his teaching. Let us turn to St. Mark's gospel, the first to be written. St. Mark's gospel, chapter 10, verses 2 to 12, gives the following:

And there came upon Him Pharisees and asked Him, "Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife"? tempting Him.

And He answered and said unto them; "What did Moses command you?" and they said; "Moses suffered us to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away."

But Jesus said unto them; "For your hardness of heart he wrote you this commapdment. But from the beginning of the creation, male and female made he them. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and the twain shall become one flesh; so that they are no more twain but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." And in the house the disciples asked him again on this matter. And he said unto them; "Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another committeth adultery against her, and if she herself shall put away her husband, and marry another, she committeth adultery."

By these words Christ legislated on this question. He tells us that re-marriage subsequent to divorce is adultery. Divorce-[DOT] permitted to the Jews a thousand years before, owing to their imperfect civilization and the hardness of their hearts-is now abolished as unworthy of a Christian people. The unity and indissolubility of marriage is reaffirmed, reinstated, and restored for all mankind. A principle is laid down which annuls in advance any legislation concerning divorce:

What therefore God hath joined together let not man put asunder.

No exception is made; the paragraph is clear and conclusive. Now let me quote from St. Luke's gospel chapter 16:

Everyone that putteth away his wife, and marrieth another committeth adultery; and he that marrieth one that is put away from a husband committeth adultery.

Are these words ambiguous? St. Matthew treats this question twice. In chapter 5 he gives new details showing conclusively that divorce is not part of Christianity. The first reference to divorce is in the Sermon on the Mount. In that masterly outline of a moral code Christ shows us how his doctrine differed from that of the Old Testament on divorce. He declared:

"It was said also: whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement; but I say to you that everyone that putteth away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, maketh her an adultress; and whosoever shall marry her when she is put away committeth adultery."

Divorce was permitted by Moses; it is not permitted by Christ. Unfaithfulness on the part of his wife justifies a man in claiming separation, but even after dismissal the marriage bond remains, and he who marries her

that is put away commits adultery. If the marriage bond remains for the guilty party it must remain also for the party who is innocent.

Topic:   DIVORCE
Subtopic:   EQUALITY OF GROUNDS FOR RELIEF AS BETWEEN THE SEXES
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LIB

Lewis Herbert Martell

Liberal

Mr. MARTELL:

May I ask my hon. friend a question?

Topic:   DIVORCE
Subtopic:   EQUALITY OF GROUNDS FOR RELIEF AS BETWEEN THE SEXES
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LIB

Thomas Vien

Liberal

Mr. VIEN:

If my hon. friend will hold his soul in patience I will answer, I think, in the course of my remarks anything that occurs to his mind.

Topic:   DIVORCE
Subtopic:   EQUALITY OF GROUNDS FOR RELIEF AS BETWEEN THE SEXES
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LIB
LIB

Thomas Vien

Liberal

Mr. VIEN:

Will my hon. friend wait a

minute please? I do not want to be uncourteous to my hon. friend, but I think the course of this debate will be shortened if he will allow me to continue. I shall be quite ready to answer any question that he may put to me at the conclusion of my speech.

If the marriage bond remains for the guilty party, it must remain also for the innocent party; it is the same marriage bond that binds them together. St. Matthew's second reference to divorce is at chapter 19 verses 3 to 12:

And there came unto Him Pharisees tempting Him and saying, "Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?" and He answered and said: "Have you not read that He which made them from the beginning made them male and female and said: 'For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, and the twain shall become one flesh,' so that they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together let not man put asunder."

Topic:   DIVORCE
Subtopic:   EQUALITY OF GROUNDS FOR RELIEF AS BETWEEN THE SEXES
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PRO

John Evans

Progressive

Mr. EVANS:

Mr. Speaker, I rise to a point of order. The amendment is not relevant to the bill.

Topic:   DIVORCE
Subtopic:   EQUALITY OF GROUNDS FOR RELIEF AS BETWEEN THE SEXES
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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I should like to hear from some other hon. members on this point of order, or perhaps the hon. member himself will state his reasons for raising the point. The bill is intituled "An Act respecting Divorce," and the amendment thereto, which also deals with the same subject, is in my opinion relevant.

Topic:   DIVORCE
Subtopic:   EQUALITY OF GROUNDS FOR RELIEF AS BETWEEN THE SEXES
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June 4, 1925