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					242                                   SENATE DEBATES                                    May 4, 1868

              THE SENATE                           that he had received a design of a medal that
                                                   was now being cast at a cost of £500, to
                                                   commemorate Confederation.
                      Monday, May 4, 1868.
                                                      WHITEAVES' RELIEF BILL—THIRD
  The Speaker took the chair at three o'clock.                  READING
  After routine,                                      Hon. Mr. Bureau said the bill came before
  The Speaker reported that the period for         this House in an irregular way. No witnesses
receiving petitions for Private Bills had ex-      were produced before this House, nor the par-
pired to-day.                                      ties themselves to convince them that all was
   On motion of Hon. Mr. Campbell, seconded        right, or that no collusion or deception was
by Hon. Mr. Hamilton, the period for receiv-       attempted to be practised on this Branch of
ing petitions for Private Bills was extended to    the Legislature. It was their duty to be jealous
the 11th inst.                                     of the rights and prerogatives of this House,
                                                   and also to guard carefully against the possi-
  Hon. Mr. Reesor enquired,                        bility of doing any wrong. A reconciliation
   Whether it is the intention of the Govern-      may have been effected between the parties.
ment to adopt any particular route for the         The courts could grant him (the husband) a
Intercolonial Railway, without first submit-       judgment of séparation de corps et de biens,
ting the same for the approval of Parliament?      but divorces were dangerous modes of
   Whether it is the intention of the Govern-      redress. The more facilities are given for pro-
ment to let the contract for building the said     curing them, the more frequent will be the
railway without first submitting such contract     demand on this House. This case will be in-
to Parliament for its approval, or whether it is   voked as a precedent, and a dangerous one it
the intention of the Government to grant a         will be. He would ask the hon. mover to delay
subsidy to aid a responsible company in build-     a few days until further information might be
ing said road, and, if so, upon what conditions    offered, and so justify, in some measure, the
the subsidy will be granted?                       undue haste with which the majority of this
                                                   House hurried on this measure. This was the
  Hon. Mr. Reesor said that he might state in      province of a Superior Court of Justice, which
connection with this enquiry, that a bill was      this House was arrogating to itself, and he yet
passed during the first part of the Session        hoped they would delay the final passage of
giving the Government power to adopt any           the bill for a few days for these reasons, and
particular line of railway which they might        so avoid the great danger of hasty legislation
find upon due enquiry to be the most suitable.     in a case of this complicated and delicate
He had noticed in the newspapers that a can-       character. The following are the authorities
vass had been going on as to the proper line to    cited by Hon. Mr. Bureau, in support of his
be adopted, and he had also learned that some      proposition:
time was likely to elapse before the surveys          "The law of divorce and marriage in the
now being made were likely to be completed,        Divorce Court, and in the House of Lords—By
therefore he made the inquiry in order to          Macqueen."
obtain information as to what course would
be adopted by the Government.                         1st. Page 46-47, "With reference to these
                                                   eleven bars, a heavy responsibility is created
  Hon. Mr. Campbell said nothing had oc-           by sections 29, 30 and 31 of the Divorce Act,
curred since the passing of the Act in the first    1857, for the full court is "to satisfy itself," so
part of the Session to induce any change in        far as it reasonably can, not only as to the
the intentions of the Government. It was the       facts alleged by the complainant, but also
intention of the Government to adopt a route
                                                   whether or no he or she is subject to any of
having first submitted the same for the ap-
proval of the Imperial Government. He would        the bars. Suppose a suit is undefended—it is
state in reference to the latter part of the       certain, generally, that in such case, both par-
inquiry that it was the intention to let the       ties are willing—nay, anxious, that the
work by contract in pursuance of the Act of        remedy should be granted. The Legislature
Parliament, and therefore it was not the in-       intended that ex parte suits be inspected with
tention of Government to grant any subsidy to      a jealous eye. The court, therefore, is not to
aid a company in building this railroad.           decide simply on the evidence adduced. The
  In answer to an enquiry by Hon. Mr.              Act requires the Judges to sift the proofs, and
Sleeves, it was stated by Hon. Mr. Campbell,       call for more, until they are satisfied, not only
May 4, 1868                            SENATE D EBATES                                          243

that the respondent's delinquency is estab-         Bureau), who had taken such an active part
lished, but also that the petitioner is shown to    against this measure, and he (Mr. McCully)
be meritorious. This the House of Lords al-         agreed with him that there was nothing more
ways did".                                          undesirable than to have these matters
   "Why? Because marriage was an holy               brought before this Senate. He hoped the ac-
estate, emblematical of the mystical union          tion of this Senate in taking the functions of
of Christ with his church; because, to use the      a court of law in relation to divorce would
language of a Judge distinguished in this           never be repeated in this Legislature, as there
branch of learning, `the genius and tendency        could be no tribunal so unfitted to enquire
of the law is in favour of the permanence           into those delicate subjects relating to hus-
of marriage; it encourages the duration of          band and wife, especially where the appeal
marriage union, and discourages the disso-          for divorce is on the ground of adultery. He
lution of it. In certain circumstances the dis-     hoped the Government would take the matter
solution of the marriage contracts is, indeed,      into consideration, and bring in a bill to es-
permitted, but the law of divorce is barely         tablish a court to deal with those cases. He
permissive, not imperative. It tolerates what it    would feel that the House was degraded if
neither commands nor approves. The remedy           they were obliged to listen to such testimony
of divorce, is, in truth, but a mournful            as was sometimes brought forward in these
remedy, and it is one which the law dispenses       cases. As a general rule the evidence that is
with an unwilling hand. This is manifest from       required in order to justify the court to deal
the principle which runs through the whole          with cases of this character is of such a nature
proceedings. Hence, every obstacle that pre-        that no tribunal like this ought to hear it. He
sents itself, is eagerly laid hold of, to support   was not speaking of this case, because it was
the marriage and prevent its dissolution, as        not of that revolting character that many
condonation, collusion, connivance, and all         cases are, but he hoped this would be the last
other personal bars."                               application of this kind, and that the Gov-
                                                    ernment would provide as in other countries,
  Hon. Mr. Allan said he would be one of the        a tribunal to hear these indelicate matters,
last to agree to increasing the facilities for      which must of necessity be investigated
annulling the matrimonial bond, in order            before a tribunal of justice. The testimony in
to enable married persons more easily to ob-        this case was not taken under oath, as we had
tain a divorce, but in this present case the        not the power to administer an oath, but as
principal objection of his hon. friend (Mr.         the Union Act had conferred upon this Le-
Bureau) would have been done away with if           gislature the power to deal with these sub-
the matter had come before the House, in the        jects, and it having been referred to a com-
same manner as those cases had formerly             mittee we dealt with it as best we could, and
been taken before the Legislature of Canada.        we came unanimously to the conclusion that
This evidence has been taken before the             the evidence was ample to justify the pro-
courts of Lower Canada, and he had no hesi-         ceedings that have been taken. If there had
tation in saying that they needed no stronger       been seen any sign of collusion or condonation
proof than they had elicited from the wit-          between the parties to justify us in withhold-
nesses; to induce them to recommend the             ing our approval of this bill, he (Mr. McCully)
House to grant the petition. If they deferred       would have been one of the first to have
this matter until power was given to the            resisted it.
House to examine witnesses under oath, it was
more than probable that some of these wit-            Hon. Mr. Letellier de St. Just expressed
nesses who were now here would not then be          himself decidedly opposed to this hurried
in the country. In regard to any arrangement        mode of dealing with the question. If it must
taking place between the parties, there was         be passed into law, why do so with so much
not the slightest grounds to suppose any such       haste before hon. members have time to read
reconciliation would take place. Under these        over the evidence taken before another tribu-
circumstances, he could not see that anything       nal. He thought the parties and their wit-
would be gained by postponing this matter for       nesses ought to have been properly produced
three days, as had been suggested. If his hon.      before this House, so that we would feel in
friend would show any advantage to be               conscience we were doing our duty, and not
gained by postponing it he (Mr. Allan) would
                                                    hold out such unheard of facilities to all oth-
consent to it.
                                                    ers to come before this Dominion Parliament
 Hon. Mr. McCully said he had listened with         and accomplish their purposes with little or
much interest to the hon. gentleman (Mr.            no trouble. This House was bound in honour
    99267-17i
244                                   SENATE DEBATES                                 May 4, 1868

and duty to protect the interests of society,                    CURRENCY BILL
and he felt satisfied that this was only the
commencement of many other similar applica-          The House went into Committee of the
tions and this case would be cited as prece-       Whole on the Bill intituled "An Act respecting
dent.                                              the Currency,"

  Hon. Mr. Campbell said the evidence in the         Hon. Mr. McCrea in the chair.
case went to show that the husband and wife          Hon. Mr. Sleeves said the provisions of the
had had no personal intercourse whatever           bill did not carry out its object, as stated in
since the wife had left her husband's house,       the preamble, that there should be a uniform
and it had been shown that from the time the       currency throughout the Dominion.
evidence was taken up to the time the Com-
mittee were sitting she was absent from him,         Hon. Mr. Campbell said that to prevent
and the letter she had written to to him had       making changes in the currency too often it
been unanswered. There had been no inter-          was thought desirable to submit to present
course between them, either personal or by         evils, and wait until they ascertained whether
correspondence, in any way, from the time the      the monetary arrangement agreed to by the
wife had left her husband's house. The evi-        Conference at Paris would be adopted by the
dence of guilt had been produced before the        United States.
Committee in the most clear and distinct way
in which it could be taken until this Senate          Hon. Mr. Wilmot said if the recommenda-
has the power to examine witnesses under           tion of the Conference at Paris was not adopt-
oath. The House indicated its wish not to have     ed, we should adopt the Nova Scotia system,
this matter brought before them, and they          and one advantage to be derived from it
deputed their power to a committee, who hav-       would be, it would relieve the silver nuisance
ing heard the evidence which had been taken        by reducing its value compared with the sove-
under oath, and having heard the witnesses,        reign.
they have intimated there was no collusion            Hon. Mr. Tessier said legal tender notes
between the parties, and report in favour of       were legal tender in Nova Scotia, as well as in
the bill. He did not quite agree with his hon.     other parts of the Dominion, therefore a per-
friend, (Mr. McCully) that they should create      son in Montreal with £1,000 in gold could get
a court to deal with cases of marriage and         one thousand pounds in legal tender notes for
divorce, because he thought the establishment      it at the rate of 21, but if he went to Halifax
of such a court would create too great a facili-   he cold buy up legal tender notes with his
ty for the dissolution of the matrimonial bond,    gold and reap a profit. It this was carried on
and would tend to increase the number of           to any extent the Province of Nova Scotia
app li cations for divorce, while the present      would certainly lose by it.
course tended to check these applications.
These were the opinions he had formed for            Hon. Mr. McCully said there would be no
the moment on the subject. The bill now            advantage gained in that way as the notes
before the Legislature, so far as he had           would not be of the same value in Montreal as
formed an opinion, had been established by         in Halifax.
such evidence as he thought justified the
                                                     Hon. Mr. Campbell said this bi ll would pro-
House in adopting the report of the Com-
mittee and passing the bill.                       vide a remedy for this difference of currency,
                                                   in case Congress agrees with the rec-
  Hon. Mr. Locke gave notice of enquiry for        ommendation of the Conference held at
Wednesday next, relating to filling up the         Paris, because then the bill would introduce a
vacancy caused by the death of the late            uniform currency with the United States and
Senator Wier.                                      some of the principal powers of Europe, but in
  The first report of the Joint Committee on       case Congress does not accede to that recom-
the Library was read and accepted.                 mendation, then some other bill will have to
                                                   be presented for the consideration of Parlia-
  The House then resolved itself into Com-
                                                   ment, having for its object the assimilation of
mittee of the Whole on the Bi ll from the
                                                   the currency of the Dominion alone. In the
House of Commons, intituled: "Stationery
                                                   prospect of Congress adopting that bi ll it was
office establishment Bi ll ,"
                                                   thought best not to make any change in the
  Hon. Mr. Dickson in the Chair,                   meantime. Correspondence has been going on
  The said bill was reported without an            between the chairman of the Committee hav-
amendment.                                         ing that subject under consideration in Con-
May 4, 1868                          SENATE DEBATES                                           245

gress, and the gentleman who is at the head of    was an advantage in favour of Nova Scotia
the Finance Department here, and there is         which, taken in connection with other conces-
every reason to think that Congress will adopt    sions to that Province, would, he was afraid,
that measure, and we will have a uniform          stir up something like dissatisfaction in the
currency which will be the same all over the      far west.
Continent and in the United States. In refer-
ence to the objection made by his hon. friend       Hon. Mr. Mitchell explained that the ques-
(Mr. Tessier) he did not think anything would     tion of the value of the sovereign and bank
occur to interfere with the value of Dominion     notes had been worked out in business con-
notes; those notes so far as issued in the        nections for years past. The bank notes of St.
Lower Provinces were marked redeemable            John had always commanded a premium in
there, and those issued here are redeemed         Nova Scotia equal to the difference between
here. They did not purpose to take sovereigns     $5 and $4.861.
for more than they were worth.                      Hon. Mr. Wilmot said his experience in re-
   His Hon. The Speaker said they were mixing     gard to the conference held at Paris was, that
up the question of currency with the question     they should establish a coin to pay the bal-
of gold. If they took gold as the standard they   ances between nation and nation; bills of ex-
might divide it into seven parts in one place,    change were often sold in St. John, and in
and into four parts in another, and call these    Quebec, at four or five per cent. less than the
four parts as good as the seven, but still the    value of the sovereign; then the gold went out
gold would always remain of one value. The        and the banks lessened their accommodation.
sovereign at $5 in Nova Scotia was worth no       This measure recommended by the conference
more than $4.861 here, and the same rule
would apply to the legal tenders which were       was not so much for the internal trade of
as good as gold.                                  these countries as the external trade.
                                                    The bill was then agreed to, read a third
  Hon. Mr. Reesor said though duties on cus-      time, and passed.
toms had to be paid in gold, it was not so in
regard to duties paid as internal revenue; this     The House then adjourned.