Hon. Stuart S. Garson (Minister of Justice):
Mr. Speaker, when I made a statement concerning Dr. James G. Endicott in this house on Wednesday last I was under the impression-as I think most people are-that he was an ordained minister of the gospel; and I referred to him as such. I have now received a communication from the Reverend J. A. C. Kell, M.A., secretary of the Toronto conference of the United Church of Canada, stating that:
. . . James G. Endicott has not been a minister of the United Church of Canada since his resignation from our ministry under date of May 5, 1946, and has not appeared on our rolls since that time. The degree which he received prior to his break with the church carries with it no legal status and hence it has never been the custom of the church to withdraw such degrees except in the case of extreme moral disgrace.
The Reverend Mr. Kell also informs me that Dr. Endicott's letter of resignation was written from Chengtu, Szechwan, China, May 5, 1946, to the president of the Toronto conference of the United Church of Canada, Toronto, and reads as follows:
Dear Mr. President and Brethren,
I regret very much that I feel it is now necessary for me to resign from the ministry of the United Church of Canada. I will not attempt to go into any detailed explanation of how I gradually arrived at the necessity for making this decision. It has come after long and painful deliberations and travail of spirit. It is due primarily, of course, to a change in my own experience, understanding and explanation in regard to such matters as creeds, sacraments, especially orders and ordinations. It is also due to the fact that I now feel called to take an active part in the struggle for human betterment in the field of social and political movement, areas of life that are considered unsuitable for ministers to be active in unless possibly they happen to be on the "right" side.
I hope it will be possible for my resignation to take place without any undue publicity, especially of such a nature as would discourage people in their support of the overseas work of the church. It is not necessary for me to assure you that this decision on my part has been arrived at only after long and painful deliberations.
Yours very sincerely,
James G. Endicott
Subtopic: DR. ENDICOTT STATEMENT RE RESIGNATION FROM UNITED CHURCH