Mr. Chairman, I have remained remarkably silent, to the extent that my hon. friends around here are commending me for all kinds of prizes. Perhaps it is because I hold here the Polynesian goddess of justice and she has comforted me in these somewhat bleak moments. I would like to answer the hon. member for Timiskaming on this point. In these cases which I have on the desk there are a number in which unless we grant divorces today children will be born illegitimate. I think it would be a shame if any one of us went forth from here having put that stigma on children.
I would also draw this to the attention of the hon. member for Timiskaming and the hon. member for Skeena. If a child is born illegitimate of an adulterous union, subsequent marriage does not cure that illegitimacy. I make that point. Finally, as I said yesterday, I do not want to enter into recriminations, but I do appeal to the heart of the House of Commons. If ever that heart
was to show itself collectively-and it is only as strong as any one individual's heart-it must be shown at this point.
Mr. Chairman, a few moments ago we were raising this matter of collusion that quite often appears in these cases. I refer to the arrangement between the parties to a divorce. I was reading certain information that I think gives some indication that this was the case in this particular petition. I would be happy to have information as to why this respondent came before the committee on a subpoena which I would suggest does not exist. There is no machinery to provide it. I presume a subpoena could not be given by parliament and I do not believe it could be given by a committee. We have tried this. Hon. members may recall the case of Eccles v. Eccles a year or two ago. It was the intention of the committee to subpoena the corespondent in that case and also some of the other people concerned. This proved to be impossible. I refer again to the evidence in this case:
Q. Were you issued with a subpoena requiring you to be present today?-A. Yes.
Mr. Chairman, the royal assent is to be given and I suggest that you, sir, report progress. Then we shall continue, after royal assent has been given, so there will still be an opportunity to get this matter cleared away.
If not, I shall then move that the house do adjourn and dissolution will become official, I hope, tomorrow.
I had expected that there would have been a degree of give and take on this. It is apparent there is not going to be. These people who have taken proceedings-the only proceedings that they can take-are going to be denied what parliament provides as a remedy because one political party is determined that unless it gets its way they should be denied their rights.
I would suggest that you report progress and that we proceed to the other place as soon as the Gentleman Usher reports that the Chief Justice as deputy of His Excellency the Governor General of Canada is ready to give the royal assent.
The Prime Minister did not sneak out the back door. He went to perform the duty of the Prime Minister in relation to receiving the deputy of the Governor General who is coming to give royal assent, and it ill behoves the hon. member to cast a slur of that baseless kind on the Prime Minister. I suggest that if he values his honour as a member of this house he should immediately withdraw that baseless imputation.