June 14, 1929

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I move that

the house proceed to the order "private bills."

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILES
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LIB

THIRD READING


Bill No. 357, for the relief of Isabella Henderson.-Mr. Heaps.


CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE-THIRD READINGS


Bill No. 316, for the relief of Catherine McRae Beattie McRae.-Mr. Casselman. Bill No. 337, for the relief of Ediward Ernest True.-Mr. Garland (Carleton). Bill No. 338, for the relief of Glennville Wesley Potter.-Mr. Boys. Bill No. 339, for the relief of Elizabeth Mitchell.-Mr. Boys. Bill No. 340, for the relief of Edith May Enfield.-Mr. Howden. Bill No. 341, for the relief of Lillian Elizabeth Barton.-Mr. Boys. Bill No. 360, for the relief of Ruth Oretta Taaffe.-Mr. Donnelly. Bill No. 361, for the relief of Frank William Benson.-Mr. Garland (Carleton). Bill No. 362, for the relief of Hilda Rebecca Allison.-Mr. jelliff. Bill No. 363, for the relief of Sydney James Black.-Mr. Hay. Bill No. 364, for the relief of Llewellyn John Chubb-Mr. Anderson (Toronto-High Park).


LOUIS COIT DARGAVEL


The house in committee on Bill No. 348, for the relief of Louis Coit Dargavel-Mr. Casselman-Mr. Johnston in the chair.


LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

This bill, Mr. Chairman, provoked considerable discussion last Tuesday evening, and by a majority vote it was referred 'back to the private bills committee.

I think it hardly fair under the circumstances that- the measure should be brought up at this late hour; it is not right, because there is so much involved in it. Certain evidence was supposed to be submitted to the senate committee but they claim they had not time to go into the matter. I do not think we should rush these bills through the house with undue haste without giving the parties concerned an opportunity for a proper hearing. This undue haste leaves a bad impression, and for the sake of the house itself I think we should adopt a better method of dealing with these cases. I do not want to move an amendment, but in view of the fact that the bill was referred back to the special committee for the purpose of taking further evidence I think we should have an explanation from the chairman of the committee as to why the matter is now before us without having been properly inquired into.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   LOUIS COIT DARGAVEL
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LIB

John Frederick Johnston (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Shall section 1 carry?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   LOUIS COIT DARGAVEL
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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

No. Is the chairman of the private bills committee present?

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Subtopic:   LOUIS COIT DARGAVEL
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LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

I was prepared to speak in opposition to this bill and to give reasons why it should not carry. When the bill was before the house a few evenings ago I was not then familiar with the evidence and therefore I did not vote on the question, at that time; I was entirely ignorant of the circumstances.

Procedure Respecting Divorce

Afterwards I reviewed the evidence to the best of my ability and I wish now to place before the committee as well as I can the situation as it appears to me.

The petitioners in this case seemed to rest all their evidence, in the first place, upon the alleged fact that the respondent and the corespondent had been living together as man and wife in a certain block in the city of Rochester. A witness was brought before the senate committee to prove that. The janitress testified that these people had been living there under the assumed name of Rugg. The name of the co-respondent is Kottmeir. The janitress, as I say swore that these people had been living there under this assumed name. She was brought here evidently at the earnest solicitation of a private detective named Wilcox. If you read the evidence you will see that it required a good deal of persuasion on the part of the private detective to get that woman to come; but finally she was persuaded to appear and give evidence. Later evidence was brought that entirely rebutted that testimony. It was shown that Rugg was not a fictitious name but the real name of a man who had been living with his wife in these apartments at the time in question. There was at least suspicion that perjury had been committed in the case. It was shown that the woman who was living in these apartments did not in any way resemble the respondent.; the respondent is, I understand, a woman of medium size while the wife of Rugg was a large, tall woman. So that this at least gives countenance to the belief that there had been perjury in the matter. At any rate, the evidence was completely overthrown by the testimony of the former janitor, a man named Shaw, and of his wife, who proved that Rugg and his wife had occupied the apartment at the time the respondent and the co-respondent were alleged to have occupied it. The testimony on that point seemed absolutely conclusive, and the whole case rested in the first place upon that allegation. But when that, was overthrown they sought to bring in evidence on another point. 'This private detective Wilcox accordingly swore that he had seen the respondent and the co-respondent going into another apartment or apartment block-for there seemed to be some confusion on that point-on three different occasions. On two of these occasions, he said, he watched them going into the apartment but he did not see them coming out, and on the third occasion he saw them going in at a certain time early in the afternoon and coming out about five o'clock. This is an entirely uncorroborated statement on the part of the

fMr. Brown.]

private detective, who w,e have reason to believe was guilty of bringing forward false testimony in regard to the other apartments. His testimony is entirely unsupported. At the very best it would be only negative evidence; he says he saw them going in but did not see them coming out. On the third occasion however, as I say, he saw them coming out a ferw hours later but he did not follow them further than to the door of the apartment house. When the case was brought before the senate committee counsel for the respondent wished to bring forward further evidence; at least, he sought a delay in order that he might submit additional testimony. And to support his request for an adjournment he produced certain affidavits. He did not produce them by way of evidence, because the senate committee does not admit affidavits as evidence; he produced them to support his plea for a further adjournment. He was not granted the length of adjournment he wished; he was given a short adjournment which did not afford him an opportunity to bring the evidence he wanted. The affidavits produced are here and I believe they are in proper order. I am not accustomed to dealing with these matters, but so far as I can see they are. in perfectly proper order. And the affidavits are to the effect that during the time covering the dates on which the respondent and the co-respondent are said to have been seen going into the apartment house, the man was sick in bed and therefore could noit possibly be seen by the private detective as alleged. There is, it is true, another incident that took place in the Oliver apartments, but even in respect to that incident nothing more than an inference can be drawn, and both the respondent and the co-respondent give what seems to be a reasonable explanation of what happened there.

Remember, then, these facts: The statement upon which the whole case was based turned out to be false; it was absolutely dis-proven. Then there was the private detective, who, we have reason to believe, induced the janitress to come here and commit perjury. I saw her affidavit in which she withdrew the statements she had made. What weight, then, can be given to the testimony of that private detective?-because after all it is on his evidence we -must depend. I have reviewed the case very hastily and only as a layman, but it seems to me that the charges against the woman have not been proven, and I think this committee, should throw out the bill.

Procedure Respecting Divorce

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   LOUIS COIT DARGAVEL
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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

I move that the committee

rise and report progress.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   LOUIS COIT DARGAVEL
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   LOUIS COIT DARGAVEL
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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

I am rather in doubt as to

what would be the effect if we rise arid report progress now. I am under the impression that if the committee rises and reports progress we will have to proceed with the third readings of the other bills which have been reported. If that is the case I would like the motion to stand, otherwise I would withdraw it.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   LOUIS COIT DARGAVEL
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LIB

John Frederick Johnston (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Do I understand that

the hon. gentleman is moving that the committee rise and report progress on this bill?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   LOUIS COIT DARGAVEL
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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

No, on all the bills; but

before the motion is put I would like to know whether it would mean that the other bills will receive third reading now. I do not want to prevent them from being read the third time, but I am opposed to this bill

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   LOUIS COIT DARGAVEL
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LIB

John Frederick Johnston (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Bill 348 is now before the committee and it will be necessary for the committee to decide if this bill should stand while we report progress on the other bills. Is it the desire of the committee that the proceedings in connection with Bill 348 and Bill 296 should stand for the moment while progress is reported on the other bills?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   LOUIS COIT DARGAVEL
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Motion agreed to.


CHARLES EDWIN WALKER

June 14, 1929