Bill (No. 154) to amend the Naturalization Act, Chapter 113 of the Revised Statutes.-Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Bill (No. 153) respecting the St. Lawrence and Adirondack Railway Company.-Mr. Pringle.
SELECT STANDING COMMITTEES.
Motion agreed to.
OFFICIAL REPORT OF DEBATES.
Mr. L. N. CHAMPAGNE (Wright).
With your permission, Mr. Speaker, and that of the House, I would like to move, seconded by Mr. LaRivi&re, that the fourth report of the Select Standing Committee appointed to revise the official reports of debates of this House be adopted.
If my hon. friend (Mr. Champagne) will permit me, I would suggest as the House is very thin this morning, that this matter should be deferred until to-morrow.
RELIEF OF JAMES BROWN.
Bill (No. 118) for the relief of James Brown considered in committee and reported.
CLARKE (West Toronto) moved the third reading of the Bill.
Mr. JOHN CHARLTON (North Norfolk).
Before this Bill is read the third time, Mr. Speaker, I desire, for more than the third time, to renew my protest against the method pursued by this parliament with regard to the granting of divorces. The system is one which, I believe, cannot be justified upon any principle of law or good sense. If a divorce is to be granted at all, it is, of course, to be granted for reasons- for reasons which the law will define. I do not believe that the parliament of Can-ana is the body that can properly deal with these reasons and render a decision upon them. The case before this House is one that I know nothing about; it is one that, I venture to say, not one member of this
House in ten has taken the trouble to examine. We are called upon to pass judgment in a case of the very greatest importance to the parties interested, and we do this, Sir, in a way that is nothing less than a travesty upon justice. If divorces are to be granted in this country, they should be granted by a properly constituted court, a court which shall take evidence and examine into the facts bearing upon the case, a court that shall render its judgment in accordance with the evidence. I repeat that, however it may be in the other branch of the Dominion legislature-where these cases may receive the consideration which they should receive-this case and cases of this character have not received and do not receive that degree of consideration here. The evidence is not published, The investigation is a sort of Star Chamber investigation; and I protest again, as I have often protested, that, if we are to grant divorces in Canada at all, if we are to recognize any cause as sufficient for granting a divorce, it is time that these matters should be placed in the hands of a proper legal tribunal.
ROSS (Victoria, N.S.) When the representatives from Nova Scotia first came to Ottawa after confederation, among the things that they found in existence were dual representation and the holding of elections in different parts of the country at times selected by the government. We had that changed. By the influence and example, I think, of the representatives from Nova Scotia, we had dual representation abolished and simultaneous polling adopted. But we found also a system of granting divorces which has continued to this day. a system which, in my opinion is a perfect disgrace to our legislation and practice. In Nova Scotia, divorce cases are referred to a judge of the Supreme Court. Each case is decided in a day, and not an item of the evidence in either side is published in the newspapers. But here a lot of low, nasty literature finds its way to the public. I remember one case which arose in a former parliament of which I was a member. A man from Hamilton sought a divorce and his Bill was passed in the Senate. The Bill came before this House in due course. But the wife was a relative of a member of this House, and this member commanded such influence with the vote of the people who are opposed to divorce altogether and others that the Bill was defeated in this House. The petitioner had to come back to parliament a second year, and this he did. I remember his name perfectly, but I do not care about mentioning it. Before the Bill , was presented a second time the man whose influence had secured its defeat died. On the second application, the Bill was passed. This is all very well where a man has enough money to bear the heavy expense of securing such legislation. But a poor man or a poor woman, as the ease may be, must
be subject to all the trouble attending an application, and yet never be able to get a divorce. People have often referred to the small number of divorces granted in Canada, but that is owing to the fact that a poor man or a poor woman cannot obtain one under the present system. I think there is perhaps nothing in the annals of our legislation in the Senate or the House of Commons that requires amending as much as the present system of granting divorce.
Motion agreed to ; Bill read the third time, and passed. ,
Mr. CLARKE moved :
That a message be sent to the Senate to return to that House the evidence, &c., taken before the Standing Committee ot the Senate, to whom was referred the Bill (D) No. 118, intitled : ' An Act for the relief of James Brown.'
Motion agreed to.
THE DYMENT BANKING COMPANY.
House in Committee on Bill (No. 151) to incorporate the Dyment Banking, Loan anu Savings Company.-Mr. McCarthy. On the preamble. Mr. LaRIYIEEE. I would call the attention of the Minister of Finance to this word ' banking.' Is it usual to allow a private company other than a bank to use the words ' bank ' or ' banking ' ?
My bon. friend's remark is quite pertinent. I drew attention to that in the committee and objected to it, and it was agreed that the date should be changed. But, the Committee on Banking and Commerce lias no power to make the change, we can only do it here.
Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER.
Shall I report the Bill ?
This Bill, when before the committee on Banking and Commerce, was tlie subject of considerable discussion which touched not merely the Bill itself but the whole question of the restrictions and limitations which should be placed upon the operations of loan companies. There was some difference of opinion in the committee and it was thought that it might be necessary on another occasion to make some amendments to the general Act. and it was deemed wise that we should say that by consenting to the passage of this Bill through the House we would not in any way prejudice our right to deal with this question under the general Act, if it shall be deemed necessary to do so a year hence, or at any future time.* There are one or two questions relating to the power of investment of loan companies about which there