I will agree to that. Mr. Chairman, what the hon. member just said is a reflection on the members of the miscellaneous private bills committee, that they do not look into matters carefully enough. The members of the miscellaneous private bills committee get a transcript of evidence and that is all they get. There is nothing in the transcript of evidence to give us any indication-
Mr. Chairman, may I respectfully suggest that the hon. member is not making a point of order, and he should not, under the guise of a point of order, be making a speech in the middle of another hon. member's speech. I respectfully ask him, if he has a defence to make, to make it after the hon. member for Timiskaming has finished.
I think the hon. member for York South is right, and that the hon. member for Marquette is trying to argue the remarks made by the hon. member for Timiskaming. When the hon. member who has the floor has finished his remarks, the hon. member for Marquette can have the floor if the Chair recognizes him. I should like to ask the hon. member for Timiskaming to address his remarks to the Chair.
Mr. Chairman, I rise on a point of order directed to the remarks of the hon. member for Timiskaming when he suggested that hon. members of this house are incompetent. That clearly offends standing order 35, and the long established practice that we come here and discuss our affairs as gentlemen.
I do not even know who the members of the committee are, Mr. Chairman. If you will check the evidence, you will find that this gentleman was born in Warsaw, Poland; that he came to Canada when he was three years of age. If you check any competent authority on domicile, you will find that the domicile of origin is the domicile in which you are born, and can be changed only by doing certain things to change it. It is also
true-the hon. member laughs. He is responsible for the committee, but obviously he has not read this bill. The law on this question says:
To everyone at birth the law ascribes a domicil of origin. This domicil clings to one through life and cannot be cast off. It may be submerged by the acquisition of a domicil of choice but it will revive upon the relinquishment of such domicil if a new domicil of choice is not immediately acquired.
Even if he had taken Canadian domicile, when he went to the United States in 1956 he would have had to take either American domicile in the state of New York or revert to his Polish domicile of birth.
Now, Mr. Chairman, knowing this, and having before them this statement presented by the solicitor for Hankowski, the Senate admitted another statement which was presented on June 13, 1961, signed by Mr. Hankowski, which is as follows:
The respondent declares that he withdraws his opposition herein and gives notice thereof to Mr. John M. Schlesinger, attorney for petitioner. The respondent moreover agrees that the domicile of the parties is in the city and district of Montreal.
Mr. Chairman, does it take much intelligence to wonder why in one month he changed his mind? He was a man who had no money and no job. He was a man considered by his wife to be a shiftless character. Why should he come back to Canada? Why should he go to his wife's lawyer's office-not his own, but his wife's-and sign a document saying that he withdrew his objection to the divorce and declared himself to have his domicile in Canada so that his wife might also have a domicile in Canada? Mr. Chairman, this could not happen in any competent court in Canada. No judge would allow it. And to make things worse, let me tell you that when the original petition was presented by the petitioner, and the secretary of the attorney for the petitioner signed this second document in Montreal on May 2, 1961, she happened to sign it "Shirley R. Taviss, commissioner of the superior court for the district of Montreal." It is a fundamental fact that no employee of one lawyer can sign a document that his employer is in all conscience interested in. Why I said that the senators should know better is that three of the four senators have had some legal training. One of them is a Q.C., which is an honour to uphold. I suggest that it is a fundamental matter when a secretary, who might have the right to commission oaths, signs a document submitted by the respondent in this case, without the lawyer for the petitioner notifying the respondent's lawyer that there is some change in instructions which was given to the secretary who administered the oath. Any court would make
this invalid. I think that every lawyer knows that, and I would ask the hon. member for Halifax and the hon. member for Marquette, who are both lawyers, whether they disagree with this principle. They have the training which I have not had, but I would suggest that here is a flagrant case in which I can do nothing but assume from the evidence that there has been a pay-off.
I suggest that the miscellaneous private bills committee of this house have the responsibility upon them of calling this back into committee, calling in the officials and all the people connected with it, and that charges should be laid by this house in this case. Mr. Chairman, I phoned the lawyer handling the case for the respondent today, and asked him what arrangement had been made when he dropped the case. He told me that today was the first time he knew that the case had not been dropped. He said that he knew that this question of domicile was definite, and he pointed out that the Senate obviously would not handle it, and he was shocked when he found that the case had been presented to that house, had passed the Senate, and that no questions had been asked about domicile or this intervention. He did not know and was not notified that this case was coming up before the Senate.
Mr. Chairman, we are asked in another bill which is before this house to give the Senate the full responsibility for divorce. I say that not only has the Senate not the ability to handle divorce, but that this house and the Senate together have not the ability to do so. In this case-