April 18, 1962

NDP

William Arnold Peters

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peters:

I thank the minister for that information. I was aware that they could carry their Canadian citizenship. I am only suggesting that their foster father, as a citizen of the United States, would no doubt exercise a great deal of influence on the children

during years when they are not of an age to formulate opinions for themselves. It could come down to the same argument as is used in Ontario at the present time with regard to adopted children and religious considerations. It is felt unwise and not necessarily in the public interest to allow children to be placed in families having a religion other than that of the natural parent. I think by similar reasoning this would also apply to the question of citizenship in this particular case. This may not be a major problem, because I agree that children born in Canada, even if they are ten or eleven years old, would probably want to continue their Canadian citizenship. Nevertheless a man who was keeping such children only because he had volunteered to do so would have considerable influence over them and the result would not necessarily be in the interest of Canada in general.

I am sure that the adultery charge itself is of great concern to the house and that the arguments which have been advanced on several previous occasions with relation to other cases should be examined again, because the courts are always warned, and rightly so, that in cases where a paid investigator is used only a limited amount of credence should be given to his evidence. Obviously this is so because on many occasions the paid investigator has been hired by the lawyer for the plaintiff and has, therefore, a special interest in the case. Let me refer to the questioning by the committee when this matter was discussed. The evidence will be found on page 13 of the third report from the other place.

Q. What is your full name?-A. George Roland Foucher.

Q. What is your age?-A. 45.

Q. Where do you live?-A. Montreal.

Q. What is your occupation?-A. Investigator.

I believe that in all fairness we have the right to ask ourselves and the house to give consideration to a number of further questions which should have been asked. One of them is whether this investigator-

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PC

Paul Raymond Martineau (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

I regret to interrupt the hon. member but his time has expired.

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NDP

Frank Howard

New Democratic Party

Mr. Howard:

The last point mentioned by my hon. friend from Timiskaming is an important one because it concerns the weight which should be attached to the evidence which was given before the committee of the other place.

Before I get into that, I might perhaps say that I do not particularly want to engage in debating this particular bill. I do not wish to engage in reading through the evidence to discover whether something is right or wrong. We do not particularly think this should be a function of parliament. If I may be allowed to make a general comment or suggestion

Divorce Bills

along that line, I should like to do so. Before the committee sat, a suggestion was made by the Prime Minister that we might lump all these bills into one and deal with them by a process of automation, I suppose. To that suggestion we could not agree at that time. We then propose that there is still a way out of this impasse and we would hope that it might be taken. We still have a few minutes left before we reach the hour of recess or adjournment or whatever we are going to reach. Perhaps the members of the government could reflect upon what course of action they might suggest or might wish to suggest in this regard and, before the hour of six o'clock-I am not sure whether that would be 5.36 by the time of the clock or whether it will be six o'clock by the time of the clock -or in any event before the committee rises, we might be in a position to hear a positive pronouncement by the government on the course of action they wish to undertake to deal with these things. Perhaps we could easily at that time follow the course of meeting the requests of the petitioners themselves. I say this only in a general way. There is a good half hour or three quarters of an hour perhaps left. I would hope that the Prime Minister who earlier expressed concern about this matter-with which concern I agree- and some of his colleagues in the cabinet who are interested in this matter might be thinking about some proposal to make and we could consider it on its merits at that time. We do not wish to be obstinate. We feel that this is something with which parliament should not be dealing. I am sure all members of the House of Commons would like to see these divorce bills taken out of parliament and dealt with in some other way so that we should not be obliged annually to go through this same sort of tortuous process. We hope that perhaps we could find some common ground of agreement there. If the cabinet or the Prime Minister on their behalf would later on care to make some suggestions, either publicly or amongst the house leaders including the hon. member for Kootenay West, we may be able to reach some agreement on what course we should follow.

Apart from that however, if I may I should like to get back to the question raised by the hon. member for Timiskaming with regard to the value we should place upon evidence given by private investigators. You will recall, Mr. Chairman, that I placed on record yesterday some quotations from a decision by Mr. Justice Spence in Ontario with respect to a particular case and in which he said we should look very carefully into the evidence given by people who classified themselves as investigators or as private detectives but who are in fact not licensed to carry on that

Divorce Bills

activity under whatever the provincial law happens to be; that if they are people who are not licensed to practice they are in the same class or nothing more than a paid witness on behalf of whoever they happen to be giving evidence about; and that such evidence-I am paraphrasing Mr. Justice Spence's remarks-given by these people requires careful scrutiny, corroboration and substantiation by others.

We drew this matter to the attention of Senator Roebuck who is chairman of the Senate divorce committee. Yesterday I read extracts from that letter. The answer we received was "Thank you very much. The contents of your letter have been noted". In this instance, as to the people who classified themselves as investigators, namely George Roland Foucher and Jean Vinet, in neither case in the evidence that is before us is there any query made of them as to whether or not they are in fact licensed as private detectives or licensed investigators under the private detectives act of Quebec. I look beyond the information contained in the printed evidence. I have the official papers and documents which go along with this bill and which retain all of the originals, including the original petition, the original transcript of evidence, the notice of application, copies of the advertisements and the like. Nowhere in any of the official documents or papers relating to this particular case is there any indication that anyone was the least bit interested in whether or not Mr. Foucher and Mr. Vinet were licensed as private detectives under the private detectives act of Quebec. I, of course, do not think we are entitled thereby automatically, because there is no indication that they are not so licensed, to come to the conclusion that they are in fact not licensed. It might well be that they are licensed. However, the point is that even after this matter was drawn to the attention of the chairman of the committee of the other place, and even after it had been drawn to his attention that it would be helpful if this information was obtained, there was obviously no desire to do so or no effort made in that direction, thus indicating perhaps that this is something which the committee of the other place or at least its chairman did not consider was a practical or worth while matter. In fact, I remember in one instance reading the evidence given by a lady who classified herself as an investigator and gave her age as 82. She perhaps was licensed as a private investigator, but it seems highly unlikely. From following the evidence that she gave, we learned that she did not go out of her way to discover the circumstances which happened to exist in a rooming house in which she lived. However, she classified herself as an

investigator. In that instance I think she would have been nothing more than a paid agent.

With that approach or that background, perhaps we should see just what these two gentlemen, these private investigators, discovered in their search for adultery upon which this petition is founded.

Mr. Foucher who is one of the investigators, and is apparently the major one, gave certain evidence shown on pages 12 and 13 of the record. Certain preliminary questions are asked. Then towards the bottom of the page Mr. Gomery who is the counsel for the petitioner clearly asks as follows:

Q. Were you asked to conduct a divorce investigation on Mrs.-

That is the respondent.

-by myself? A. Yes, on the 30th August, 1961.

Q. Could you tell the committee the result of that investigation?

Then it continues on at some length as follows:

A. On Friday, September 15, and Saturday, September 16, 1961, I followed Mrs.-

He gave there the name of the respondent.

-during the day. On Friday, the 15th, from approximately 1.30 p.m. until approximately 5.30 p.m. when she left from the corner of St. Antoine and Green and entered a black Renault car with a gentleman in it, I followed her. They drove around town stopping off quite some time at the Camillien Houde observatory at the mountain and returning home at approximately 5.30 p.m. I followed the car.

Q. By returning home what do you mean?

A. On returning close to her residence on Selby street, which is just around the corner from St. Antoine street.

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PC
NDP
PC

Terence James (Terry) Nugent

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nugent:

It has become obvious that this large group of divorce bills is not going to go through. I can understand what the hon. members are striving to do and I have a suggestion which I hope they will consider. The result of their present course of action is that this large number of divorce bills will not go through and I suggest to them that even if half of the total number were allowed to go through they would still achieve their objective by blocking passage of the rest and would still be bringing pressure to bear as they hope to do.

It can be argued, of course, that we would be discriminating against the other half that we did not pass, but I simply suggest that for the purpose they wish to achieve they are now discriminating against all these people who are unfortunate enough to have divorce bills on the order paper. In effect what I am suggesting is that we do not discriminate

against half of them, that we give relief to half of them because otherwise all of them are going to suffer disappointment.

I understand that the hon. members who have been speaking have given considerable study to this subject. It may be that there are certain cases about which they have graver doubts than they do about others. Possibly they might be willing to let every second bill go through or the first half of the list or the last half of the list. I am merely suggesting that the hon. members can achieve the same objective even if we give relief to half of these people, and I would ask them to consider that suggestion.

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NDP

Frank Howard

New Democratic Party

Mr. Howard:

If I may answer the hon. member, Mr. Chairman, it would appear to me that he was not asking a question but rather making a suggestion as to how we might approach this matter, but either way I will deal with it. Unfortunately, I think we would be picking and choosing among the various cases that appear on the order paper and if we did that we would in fact be saying that simply because the bills involving certain people are in a particular position on the order paper we would grant their petitions but would not deal with those bills that happen to be in another position on the order paper.

I do not think parliament should be put in the position of attempting to pick and choose on the basis of drawing a line halfway down the list or a quarter of the way down or picking out certain ones and not picking others because we have doubts about them. If we accepted this suggestion I think it would cause a great deal more consternation than is being caused at the moment and we would be laying ourselves open to charges against which we could not defend ourselves.

Parliament drew a distinction last year between the types of bills before the house. I have been told by someone who has kept track of the matter in the other place that perhaps two of these bills-I do not know their numbers-involve annulment rather than dissolution of marriage. In other words, a marriage did not exist in the first place because of some peculiarities with regard to the marital relationships of the couples involved. Last session we treated annulments in an entirely different way because a marriage did not exist in the first place. If the sponsor or anybody else wants to pick out the bills of that type on the order paper we can proceed with them and pass them as was done last session. That would be quite agreeable but in our view that is the only distinction we can draw with regard to the bills now before us. We do not think it should be done on the basis of tossing a coin or saying that

Divorce Bills

the first 50 bills will pass but the next 50 will not, or by drawing numbers out of a hat.

I do not think we can engage in a lottery in this regard. I would prefer to have some announcement made by the government of an approach that would meet the situation. I do not think there would be any hesitation then in letting them all pass. Failing that, I am afraid we would be inviting trouble if we followed the suggestion of the hon. member.

Prior to the question being asked I was dealing with what had been ascertained by Mr. Foucher, the investigator, in the course of following the respondent. I do not know where I was when the hon. member asked his question but I will read again the words of the investigator near the top of page 13.

A. On returning close to her residence on Selby street, which is just around the corner from St. Antoine street. I followed the car after that. I returned to the Mount Royal hotel and from there I was able to establish that he had gone up to the sixth floor and I had the name given to me before through the hotel registry-

He gives the name of the person who is recited in the petition as being the corespondent.

He had room-

He gives the room number.

Throughout that night I failed to notice anything happening. Mr. Dewing was not in his room, I lost him, and it was not until the following day, Saturday the 16th, that I was able to take up again after-

He gives the name of the respondent.

-at approximately 7.30 p.m. left in her car and drove and parked it on the northwest side of Atwater avenue near St. Catherine street, and a few minutes later was picked up by the same car and the same man and they went across to the Clover cafe where they remained inside for approximately an hour. They came out again and drove directly to the Mount Royal hotel. I noted that the woman was carrying besides her purse something that looked like a paper bag. The car was left at the hotel, the attendant looked after it, and they went into the Picadilly lounge on the ground floor of the hotel where they remained until approximately 9.15 p.m. Then they both made their way to the elevator, went to the sixth floor. In the meantime I called Mr. Vinet to join me at the hotel. He did so about 9.30 p.m. and from there on I made periodical checks on the room, I heard voices inside until about 11.10 p.m. when Jean Vinet and myself went up to the room and I knocked on the door. It was opened by Mr.-

He gives the name of the corespondent.

I addressed him by his name and asked him to go in and as he was standing inside the door we entered and I asked to speak to-

He gives the name of the respondent.

-who at that time was just on the edge of the bed partly sitting up and wearing a light blue nightgown.

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PC

Paul Raymond Martineau (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

I regret to interrupt the hon. member but his time has expired.

Divorce Bills

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NDP
NDP

William Arnold Peters

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peters:

Mr. Chairman, it is unfortunate that the hon. member for Skeena was interrupted because of the rule of the committee. He was raising a very important point and I only want to refer to one part of the evidence. There are a couple of amusing passages I might mention. I am always interested when these questions are asked about how so and so was dressed. We find the answer here is that he was wearing cream coloured, solid coloured pajamas.

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?

An hon. Member:

What colour do you wear?

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NDP

William Arnold Peters

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peters:

Here, we have a budding investigator in our midst, and we did not know it. After the events of the next few months, perhaps he will be appearing before us regularly as one who has entered this very lucrative field.

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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

I rise on a point of order, which is not really a point of order. On other occasions when evidence such as this was being read into the record, contrary to what was the practice in this chamber in days gone by, may the page boys be relieved of their duties in the chamber.

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NDP
PC

Paul Raymond Martineau (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

The committee is in agreement with the suggestion made by the minister, and the page boys are therefore relieved from further attendance at this time.

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NDP

William Arnold Peters

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peters:

We are not going to embark on that type of discussion, anyway. I only wanted to point out one thing that was said. There was a question asked by Mr. Gomery, who was the lawyer for the plaintiff, I am told. The question was asked, I presume, of the first detective, Mr. Foucher, and I quote from his answer:

I explained the purpose of our presence in the room and I would say they took it philosophically, there were no acrimonious comments made when we left. We retired downstairs and stayed there for about half an hour and then left.

Now, Mr. Chairman, this would not be surprising if it were not for the fact that this couple were seeking a divorce. This is one of the problems with which we are always faced in connection with these matters, connivance and arrangements that are quite often made. We should refer again to the questioning by the lawyer for the plaintiff, and I quote:

Q. What prompted you to leave? Start from the beginning.

A. Well, things had not been going too well within the family for several years. My wife, for the last two years insisted on taking her holidays on her own, without me, and she came home late one night last summer, very early in the

[The Chairman.]

morning and I gave her a severe reprimand and this time she said she wanted a divorce. I thought this over a couple of weeks.

It would be very interesting to know what a severe reprimand is from a husband to his wife.

Q. Why did she say she wanted a divorce? A. She told me she was in love with another man and wanted to marry him.

Q. Did she say who he was? A. No, but the following day she told me.

Q. Who was he? A. Mr. Arthur Dewing of Stamford Connecticut, United States of America.

Q. Do you know Mr. Dewing? A. Both my wife and I knew Mr. Dewing in England.

Q. He is an Englishman? A. Yes.

Q. What is he doing in Stamford, Connecticut? A. He emigrated to Canada first then he went to join his sister in the States.

Q. What did you do as a result of this conversation with your wife? A. I thought a couple of weeks about it and finally I decided to secure legal advice.

Q. What did you instruct your attorney to do? A. I thought they should start a divorce investigation at least.

Now, Mr. Chairman, this is the point of the remark that was made at the scene of the alleged offence when the investigator said they took it philosophically and there were no recriminations, as there sometimes are in these cases. The reason for this treatment was that they had decided to get a divorce. She wanted a divorce and he wanted a divorce. He went to a lawyer and asked how to get it. Obviously, this is one of those cases were the corespondent may or may not be guilty of the offence. There is reason to believe that this divorce was obtained by what I would consider to be other than the regular legal procedures.

I return to the evidence, and I find that this question was asked.

Q. As a result of this consultation with your attorneys, did you learn anything which made you think you should move out? A. Yes.

Q. What did the attorneys report to you?

I am surprised this testimony was allowed to continue this far, but the chairman finally intervened and said:

We cannot allow that.

I would think that not only could the chairman not allow it but I would be very surprised if the lawyer could follow this type of question because it would be inevitable that he would become implicated if this line of questioning were continued. The lawyer then said:

Mr. Chairman, I merely want to establish the reasons for his moving out.

By The Chairman:

Q. As a result of the investigation which your attorneys made you moved out?

A. Yes.

It is surprising that in this evidence the chairman did not ask about the date he

3121 moved out of the house which he was sharing with his wife and children. He did not ask for the simple reason, I would imagine, that this would also have indicated that the whole procedure had been instigated by the two people who were interested in obtaining this divorce. If these allegations are true, Mr. Chairman, then since this is a quasi court and since collusion has been indicated, we should act as a court.

Now, we note that in this particular case the respondent appeared before the Senate committee and the chairman of the committee spoke to her as follows:

Mrs. Campbell, I want you to listen to me for a moment. You have gone in the box to give evidence-

This certainly sounds like court procedure.

-and I have to make it quite clear to you that you are under no obligation whatever to give any evidence that will tend to show that you have been guilty of adultery. You can give that evidence if you like, but you can refuse to give it. If you want to give evidence, of course, it will be taken down in the ordinary way. Now, with that caution on my part do you still wish to give evidence?

Well, this divorce was very important not only to the respondent but to the petitioner as well. This was the questioning by the clerk of the committee:

Q. What is your name?

She gives her name.

Q. What is your age?

She gives her age.

Q. Where do you live?

She says where she lives.

Q. What is your occupation? A. Clerk typist.

By Mr. Gomery:

Q. Are you the wife of Bruce Reid Campbell, sitting on my left? A. Yes.

Q. And the respondent in this case? A. Yes.

Q. Were you issued with a subpoena requiring you to be present today? A. Yes.

Q. Did you commit adultery with one Arthur Dewing on September 16, 1961 at the Mount Royal Hotel? A. Yes.

Well, Mr. Chairman, there are two surprising facts here. One is that this lady could get up and make this declaration which has certain social as well as legal restrictions to it, and the other is that this is the type of evidence that can only be given when the respondents themselves wish to make this type of information available. It cannot be forced from someone. Certainly the chairman of the committee fulfilled his duty in informing this person that she had the right to refuse to do this.

The second surprising feature, and the most important one involved in this particular case, is that when this respondent was before the other place no question was asked about what would happen the children. Yet we have seen from the evidence that the children were

Divorce Bills

going to be the sole responsibility of the respondent and that the plaintiff had already declared he was waiving his right to the custody of the children. No questions were asked about the children and no consideration was given to them. It is surprising that this woman appears to have so little maternal affection that she did not ask for the indulgence of the committee for the establishment of her maternal rights to the custody of the children and the formalizing of an agreement which was indicated by the plaintiff as being agreeable to him.

The third point is probably not so important, but it is something I have not often noted in these cases. In this particular case the lawyer for the plaintiff asked whether a subpoena had been issued requiring attendance that day. I may have overlooked this in other cases, but I am under the impression that this is very seldom done. It is very seldom anyone ever subpoenas the respondent, that is, obtains a court order, and I cannot see how such an order could be obtained from the other place. I do not know if the other place has authority to give such an order but I do know that in the House of Commons miscellaneous private bills committee there is no power to subpoena private witnesses.

The Senate may have some legal machinery whereby it can do that, but I do not believe that is so. I shall be very interested in this matter and would like to know if a subpoena was issued through a provincial court.

Mr. Chairman, it has been brought to my attention it is now six o'clock.

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PC
NDP
PC

John Andrew W. Drysdale

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drysdale:

I realize the hon. member and his party have clearly indicated they are opposed to the fundamental principles in the bill of rights, but I wonder if he could indicate to the house whether that party, which used to stand for the freedom of the individual as proclaimed by Mr. Woodsworth and other members of the party, intends to perpetuate this violation against individual freedoms contrary to the principles in the bill of rights, or whether that party will give consideration to having these individual freedoms and principles upheld at this time?

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NDP

William Arnold Peters

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peiers:

That is a beautiful question but it is unfortunate that the time has arrived for the ending of this hour. I wonder if the hon. member who asks this question has in mind the rights of the individual under the bill of rights-is he interested in only one individual in these cases and not in the other

Divorce Bills

four individuals who are concerned? There are the rights of four other individuals to be concerned and three of them are innocent. They have nothing whatsoever to do with this, even though they are going to be very fundamentally affected. With regard to what the Prime Minister said about this matter-

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April 18, 1962