January 23, 1917

SELECT STANDING COMMITTEES.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN moved:

That the name of the Hon. P. E. Blondin be added to the standing committee appointed to prepare and report with all convenient speed lists of members to compose the Select Standing Committees of this House under Rule 10.

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Motion agreed to.


INTERNAL ECONOMY COMMISSION.


Sir ROBERT BORDEN presented a message from His Excellency the Governor General approving minute of Council appointing the Hon. . William James Roche, Minister of the Interior and Superintendent General of Indian Affairs; the Hon. John Dowsley Reid, Minister of Customs; the Hon. Albert E. Kemp, Minister of Militia and Defence, and the Hon. Pierre Edouard Blondin, Postmaster General, to act with the Speaker of the House of Commons as a Commission under the provisions of the Eleventh Chapter of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1906, intituled, " An Act respecting the House of Commons."


REPORTS AND PAPERS.


Copies of Orders in Council relating to National Service-Sir Robert Borden. Eleventh Report of the Board of Railway Commissioners.-Hon. Mr. Cochrane. Report of War Purchasing Commission.- Hon. Mt. Kemp. Shipping List for Canada for the year ended December 31, 1915; also Report of the Department of Marine and Fisheries for fiscal year 1915-16.-Hon. Mr. Hazen. ABOLITION OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT BILL. ' Bill No. 3 to amend the Criminal Code and to abolish Capital Punishment-Mr. Bickerdike.-Read the first time.


CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT-REMARRIAGE OF DIVORCED PERSONS.


Hon. WM. PUGSLEY (St. John, N.B.): moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 4, to amend the Criminal Code.


CON
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

This Bill is the same as that introduced at the last session by Mr. Martin of Regina. It stood for the second reading, and I, and I think Mr. Martin as well, had conversations with the Hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. Doherty) and the Hon. the Solicitor General (Mr. Meighen) in reference to it being considered by a committee to which it was proposed there would be submitted certain other amendments to the Criminal Code.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

What is the

nature of the Bill?

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

It adds to the provisions of the Criminal Code, section 307, in reference to criminal prosecutions for bigamy and other similar offences. Section 307 of the Act is rather peculiar in some respects and quite deficient in its provision to prevent cases of injustice arising. Sub-section 3 provides:

No one commits 'bigamy by going through a form of marriage if he or she has been divorced from the bond of first marriage.

The courts of this, country have held that *that means a divorce obtained in Canada, and that it would not apply to the case of a divorce obtained in a foreign country.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

In Canada alone or within the Empire?

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I am not sure as to that. The decisions, I think, are limited to countries which are foreign to the Em-

[Sir Robert Borden.I

pire. I do not know about divorces obtained in countries forming part of the Empire, but not in Canada. Paragraph 4 provides:

No person shall be liable to be convicted of bigamy in respect of having gone through a form of marriage in a place not in Canada, unless such persbn, being a British subject resident in Canada, leaves Canada with intent to go through such form of marriage.

Under the law as it now is, if a divorce were obtained in .a foreign country and a marriage were to take place in that country the party would not be liable for bigamy unless he or she actually went there with the intention of getting married. My hon. friend will see what opportunities for evasion that would present. The Bill which I propose provides for the case of a bona fide divorce obtained from a court having competent jurisdiction and obtained by a party who has become, although previously a resident of Canada, a bona fide resident of such foreign country, residence to be continued at least for a period of one year before divorce proceedings have been instituted. Then there must be notice given to *the husband or wife, as the case may be. The divorce must be obtained on a full statement of facts and the marriage must not take place until the expiration of two years from the time of obtaining the divorce. In cases of that kind the Bill provides that there shall be no-criminal proceedings instituted by reason of the subsequent marriage. I think it is desirable that proper safeguards should be thrown around cases of this nature in order to prevent scandals which sometimes arise, but instances have come to my knowledge, and they had also come to the knowledge of the then hon. member for Regina, where, when divorces have been obtained bona fide by residents of a foreign country and the parties deciding to return to Canada, criminal proceedings might have been taken both for bigamy and for adultery. When the Bill has passed its second reading it might be referred to a special committee, who might consider it in reference to the whole of the law bearing on the subject.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

Is it merely residence that my hon. friend contemplates, or actual domicile? '

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Bona fide residence for a period of two years. It might be made to cover only the case of domicile if it be thought desirable.

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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


PRIVILEGE.

CORRECTION OF STATEMENT IN TORONTO GLOBE.

January 23, 1917