It is no discredit to Canada ; on the contrary it is to the credit of Canada that there are so few demands for divorce. In Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and British Columbia there are divorce courts which have existed prior to confederation, and so far as I am aware, the applications for divorce are so few and far between, that the judges of these courts have much of a sinecure. In the remaining provinces divorce must be sought by a private Bill originating in the Senate, and even in that case, I am glad to say, there has been no increase in the number of applications from year to year. The records from confederation to the present day show that the number of applications for divorce has not increased, although the country, I am glad to say, has increased in population and in many other ways. It is a testimony to the good morals of Canada that we are so free from the causes which generally lead to divorce. Public opinion as a rule has not expressed itself in favour of such a reform in our system, if reform it can be called, and I think my hon. friend (Mr. Charlton) ought to be satisfied to let well enough alone. If the time comes-which I would deplore sincerely, and which I believe will never come-when public opinion will move in this matter, and the morals of this country instead of improving would degrade to an extent so as to make the number of applications for divorce more numerous than they are now ; then my hon. friend (Mr. Charlton), holding the views which he does, might be justified in coming before parliament I speak with some diffidence on this question, because I belong to a persuasion which does not permit of divorce ; but putting aside that feature of the case altogether, and appealing to those whose views are different upon the ques-
tion ; appealing to those who believe that under certain circumstances divorce ought to be allowed, it seems to me that the argument is overwhelming that there is no necessity for the establishment of such a court, and I hope that will be the view taken by this House.
At sis o'clock, House took recess.
House resumed at eight o'clock.
Subtopic: A DIVORCE COURT.