January 29, 1963 (25th Parliament, 1st Session)

NDP

Frank Howard

New Democratic Party

Mr. Howard:

That is two above par, 20 being the quorum. Of course, while reading the evidence here I cannot count at the same time. Perhaps one of these days people will be so disinterested that there will be less than that number present.
The next exchange which is of interest to the committee is as follows:
By Mr. Masse:
Q. Are there any children living that house? A. One girl.
Q. How old is she? A. Five or six; I don't know.
One would have assumed that this would be reason for eliciting additional evidence to show that this child was the child of the respondent and the corespondent, because they had lived together as man and wife for seven years. We shall go on to see whether this particular point is covered, and used as additional proof that adultery had taken place during the seven year period. But the chairman interposes to ask this:
Q. Are you going to prove June 13 through this witness?
To which Mr. Masse replies:
No, I have another witness.
This seems to indicate that the chairman is concerned overmuch about whether adultery

Divorce Bills
took place on the night of June 13. Otherwise he would not have interrupted at a point where evidence was being given about a child five or six years of age living in the same house and whether or not this child had been born to the respondent and the corespondent who, according to the evidence, were living together as man and wife. The chairman goes on to ask whether the witness knows that Mr. Bagry had lived in the city of Montreal for the last six or seven years and gets the answer: "Oh, yes, naturally". I wonder if the chairman was there when the earlier evidence was given or, if he was there, whether he was paying much attention to it. He goes on to ask: "And he is still there now?" Witness replies, yes. Then one of the senators asked:
Did you ever visit him in his rooms?
A. No.
Q. You never went up there?
A. No.
By the Chairman:
Q. I suppose he buys groceries from you?
A. Yes, but they take it themselves up. I may have been up once a long time ago at the beginning.
In so far as any knowledge on the part of this grocer is concerned with regard to adultery having taken place, he has not the foggiest idea. All he knows is that there is a couple living next door "upstairs some place" who take groceries upstairs. He has no knowledge of beds and the other accoutrements which go along with married life. He may have had some knowledge about the child, whether or not he thought her to be the child of this couple, but he gives no evidence about that. As far as the grocer is concerned we can completely discount his evidence as to adultery, unless we take it that he knew them together in the area for some seven years as one selling groceries to them. He said that they perhaps represented themselves as man and wife.
I suggest that this is what the committee in the other place did, and this is what was particularly in the mind of the chairman and the other members of the committee: they had convinced themselves early enough in the proceedings before that committee that there was a so-called common law relationship, and that was good enough for them. They were merely trying to get some little bit of information to prove adultery. That is why they persisted in inquiring about the night of June 13. We now find two witnesses have appeared, neither one of whom knows anything about the night of June 13 and the allegation that adultery was committed there. In each case when he was asked the lawyer representing the petitioner said: "No,

I am not going to prove this by either of these two witnesses; I have another witness coming".

Topic:   SONJA BAGRY
Full View