Province of Canada, Legislative Assembly, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 2nd Sess, (13 June 1864)
By: Province of Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Province of Canada, Parliament, Scrapbook Debates, 8th Parl, 2nd Sess, 1864 at 191-193.
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MONDAY, June 13, 1864
Official Reports of the Debates.
Thomas Ferguson [Simcoe South], from the select committee appointed to consider the expediency of having the Parliamentary debates reported and published at the public expense, reported that they had come to the conclusion to recommend the publication of a Mirror of Parliament, after the manner of “Hansard’s Parliamentary Debates”. With a view to ascertain the probable cost of the work, the Committee recommended that reporters be asked, for three months in the newspapers for the performance of the work, as follows: First, for reporting, after the manner of
- (p. 192 in the primary document)
“Hansard,” the debates in Parliament upon all questions, the speeches to be reported in the language in which they are delivered, and in the order in which they are spoken; then, for furnishing 500 copies of this report of the debates for the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, by half-past seven of the evening following the day whose proceedings are reported; for sending a copy of the report to every paper in Canada, by the first post after publication. Tenders to embrace the entire amount of the work mentioned. The committee recommended that authority be given them to receive a contract for five years, provided the cost do not exceed $10,000 per annum.
On the motion of Thomas Ferguson [Simcoe South] it was ordered
That the report be printed for the use of members.
The Benning Divorce Bill
While the second readings of private bills were being called—
John Scoble [Elgin West] moved
The second reading of the bill for the relief of James Benning.
Paul Denis [Beauharnois] moved the six months hoist.
Thomas D’Arcy McGee [Montreal West, Minister of Agriculture and Statistics] spoke in opposition to the bill. When he was asked to sanction a bill intended to restore the petitioner and his wife to the state of singleness, after their having lived for years in the married state, hew as asked to do something against which his reason, judgement and feelings revolted. This bill, if passed, would create outside a confusion of ideas with regard to legal and moral responsibility, and he therefore was opposed to it on moral, religious and social views. It was precisely at this stage of our material progress that the Legislature should, in dealing with such cases, conform to the public law and the great general principles of morality which had for 1800 years distinguished Europe from Asia, and raised it in the scale of civilization and morality so immeasurably above the latter. He had no way of dealing with this subject except by leaving the House and shirking the vote, or staying in an opposing the bill, which was the honester and manlier course, and, consequently, the one he intended to pursue at this time.
Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.
George Brown [Oxford South] spoke briefly in favor of the bill.
George-Étienne Cartier [Montreal East, Attorney-General East] expressed himself hostile to the bill, on principle, and would vote against it. If this application for a divorce were sanctioned by the Legislature, the evil would increase instead of diminishing. After paying a warm complement to the morality of the Protestant population of Upper Canada, the hon. gentleman went on to explain that by the vote he and other Roman Catholics intended giving they did not intend to tyrannise over the Protestants of Upper Canada. So that all the cries in the past to the effect that those Protestants could not have fair play from Lower Canada amounted to nothing at all.
Some Hon. Members—Hear, hear.
John Cameron [Peel] argued in favor of the bill.
Hector-Louis Langevin [Dorchester, Solicitor General East] opposed the bill—not because he believed that the party making the application was not aggrieved, but because it was in direct contradiction of his principles on this subject; and because he held, moreover, that this House had no right to dissolve the marriage between these parties, and allow them to re-marry. He would have had no objection to grant any relief which could possibly be granted in the way of civil rights, but without touching the marriages.
The vote was then taken on the motion for the six months hoist, which was lost on the following division:—
Dorion (Drummond & Arthabaska)
Ferguson (Simcoe South)
Mackenzie (Oxford North)
Ross (Prince Edward)
Smith (Toronto East)
Smith (Durham East)
Wallbridge (Hastings North)
Wright (Ottawa County)
Wright (York East)—49.
The second reading was then carried, on the same division reversed; and the bill was referred to committee.