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22 May 1859, Edinburgh M.D., Kt, D.L., LL.D., Sportsman, Writer, Poet, Politician, Justicer, Spiritualist Crowborough, 7 July 1930

The Divorce Law

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The Divorce Law is a letter written by Arthur Conan Doyle published in The Yorkshire Post on 11 december 1917.


The Divorce Law

The Yorkshire Post (11 december 1917)

To the editor of The Yorkshire Post.

Sir, — In answer to the letter of the Rev. Walter B. Graham in your columns, may I explain that nothing unreasonable is suggested in the coming legislation, but that it is an attempt partly retrospective to level up our law to that which exists in our Australian Colonies and in every Protestant country in Europe? The changes have in the main been recommended by the Majority Report of the Royal Commission which eat for two years upon the subject and took exhaustive evidence. If any name should be coupled with the Act it is certainly not mine, but that of the Lord Gorell, who was Chairman of that Commission and the greatest living authority upon divorce, having for many years been President of that Court.

As to the assertion made by so many clerics that mere reparation with no judicial procedure will under this Act entitle people to divorce, it is a proof that the spirit of prophecy has not yet forsaken the Church. As a fact, the details of the Bill have not been finally settled but it is certain that a judicial judgment upon adequate cause will be required at some stage. This has already been given in those who have a judicial separation, and could be given post factum in the case of those who have been apart for years, and can prove to the satisfaction of the Judge that there was good cause for their separation. Our object is not to weaken marriage, but to restore its dignity and utility, which are now much impaired.

A similar clamour broke out in 1857 when divorce was first made legal in England, but who would return to the state of things which existed in this country before that date? - Yours etc.

ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE.
Windlesham, Crowborough, Sussex, December 8, 1917.





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