Not by any means. I am quoting the law, and the intention of the law. is that the husband shall be the head of the family. If we give the wife the same rights as her husband it might separate the family and' array the wife against her husband. We have seen by Article 175 that the wife is obliged to live with her husband and follow him wherever he thinks fit to reside. If we refer to Article 1292 we find the same principle laid down; in fact, we find this principle all through the Civil Code of Quebec. It is a basic principle of our civil law now in existence that the husband shall be the leader, and that the
rights of the wife, or woman, shall be confined to the family council.
Before taking my seat I sihould like to summarize any objections to this Bill. I say that the Holy Scriptures, -theology, ancient philosophy, Christian philosophy, history, anatomy, physiology, political economy, and feminine psychology, all seem to indicate th-at the place of women in this world is not -amid the strife of the political arena, -but in- her home. Let me give one or two facts. In the United States the right- to vote has been granted to women. This -right to vote necessarily entails the right to become a candidate in the elections for Congress or for Parliament. At the last, election in the United States, Miss Jeanette Rankin was elected to Congress from the state of Montana, the first woman ever elected to the Congress of that country. When she first entered the House o-f Representatives -her name was freely mentioned in the newspapers, and -many people had thei-r eyes on her to see what she would do. The first important -measure that cam-e up in Congress after this lady had taken her 6eat was the question of declaring war against Germany. After the question had been discussed at length Miss Rankin was called on to vote, but she would not speak; she was called the second time, and still she would not speak; when called the -third time she wept, and at last she said- in a voice scarcely audible that she -was n-ot willing to throw her country into war, and she voted with the very small minority against the declaration of war. In the opinion of a great number of hon. members in this House, Miss Rankin certainly did not prove that it was a considerable asset to have women in parliament, -nor I do not think it will be an asset to have them in public life. The experiences of Miss Eva Zaintz, in the Russian " Battalion of Death," have been published in this country. Miss Zaintz was a soldier in the ranks of that battalion. Nothing could be more pathetic than the case of these "'omen who enrolled voluntarily to defend their country when the men of Russia would no longer defend it. I will not take up the time of the House to give details. These women have shown to the world, if ever it will be shown, that they were heroes equal to the best that this wonderful war has produced. They had their hair cut. They donned soldiers' uniforms. They went through their training. They swore they Would fight until death for their country, and that if every soldier in Russia ran away from the Huns, they would stand
their ground. And what happened? They fought the exterior enemies of their country and many of them were killed. Then they fought the interior enemies, the Bol-sheviki, and many others of these women were killed, and at the conclusion the premier, Kerensky, was so horrified that he ordered the disbandment of the .Battalion of Death. All those that remained returned to their homes, and Miss Zaintz adds that after that she made her way with her aged father across Siberia and came to America. Her action reminds one of the Trojan hero of yore, fleeing from Troy, carrying his aged father upon his shoulders, to avoid the vengeance of the Greeks. And yet this woman writes to-day that there is a place for men and women, and it was not their place to go and form this Battalion of Death because they were altogether out of their sphere. The case which I am citing to this House might seem to be an exceptional one. I might relate at length facts in regard to it, but I am simply mentioning this to show, that from my point of view, there is a place for man and a place for woman in this world. Consequently, I say it is a social question, a moral question, a question of education, a question of local tendencies, a question or family traditions a question of race traditions, and a question of personal aspirations and feelings. And for all those considerations I think that this central power of Canada should not interfere in this matter, but should leave it to be decided .by each province in Canada. That, Sir, is my conclusion. We do not want to interfere with the rights of the Anglo-Saxon ladies of Ontario or elsewhere, nor to interfere with their aspirations and traditions. We shall be very happy if they find happiness in getting the right to vote. Let every race, let every family and every province-which is, perhaps, to a certain extent, a large family-decide as to their needs and settle this question for themselves. I have every admiration for the fair sex, but I would be very sorry to think that this admiration went to the extent of sacrificing all the traditions that we have known ever since this world has existed. I say very humbly that I have not been convinced that I should give my support to this Bill.
Topic: WOMAN SUFFRAGE.