Sir A. Conan Doyle on the Divorce Laws
From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
Farewell Dinner to Conan Doyle is an article published in The Times on 9 february 1914.
- in The Times (9 february 1914 [UK]) as Sir A. Conan Doyle on the Divorce Laws
- in The New-York Times (9 february 1914 [US]) as Doyle for Freer Divorce
Sir A. Conan Doyle on the Divorce Laws (The Times)
SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE, the president of the Divorce Law Reform Union, delivered an address on the subject of divorce law reform at the Ethical Church, Queen's-road, Baywater, yesterday.
He characterized the Separation Act of 1895 as "the most ingenious Bill for producing immorality that could ever have been devised." Compulsory celibacy could not enforce morality. He was told by police magistrates that the lower classes were rotten through and through owing to this law. The recommendations of the recent Commission had entirely endorsed every plank in the Union's platform. If they were made law they need not be compulsory ; but if they could be adopted en bloc he did not think it would be possible to conceive any law which would alleviate so much misery and so many latent sorrows. The divorce laws were the shame of the country. People said that in Germany they had 30 divorces in 1,000 marriages, while in England we had only two-and-a-half. In Germany they were treating the evil, here we did not. If the divorce and separation statistics of England were added together the average would come to more than 30 in 1,000. Divorce was only a cure. It was a deplorable cure for a deplorable state of things. He had no doubt that if the proposed reforms were passed there would be a deluge of divorces. But it would only be the opening of an ulcer. It was there, and it had got to be opened.
Doyle for Freer Divorce (The New-York Times)
Novelist Calls British Laws a Shame to the Nation.
By Marconi Transatlantic Wireless Telegraph to The New York Times.
LONDON, Feb. 8. — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, speaking in London to-day on divorce reform, said that there were 200,000 married men and women in this country who were separated. Compulsory celibacy, in his opinion, was not the method to be adopted to encourage morality. He had been told by Magistrates that the lower classes were rotted through and through by that law.
The ingenuity of man, he said, could not possibly have been used to invent a more demoralizing thing than the acts of separation had been. British divorce laws were the shame of the country. Englishmen congratulated themselves on the fact that their divorce statistics were not so great as those of Germany, but if they added their separation statistics they would find themselves worse than Germany. Divorce was not an evil, but a cure — a deplorable cure for a deplorable state of affairs. He had no doubt if all the reforms suggested were brought about, there would be a deluge of divorces for some little time, and every one would held up his hands. It would he opening an ulcer which had to he opened and after opening it, it would be possible to see what was beneath the surface.