Nothing objectionable !

The “Morand-Morrison” divorce case should give pause to more than one critic of Socialism. In this case a man and woman were, on the authority of Mr. Justice Deane, perfectly happily married. Along comes a rich man—a millionaire—with, of course, a rich man’s appreciation of that sanctity of the home and the marriage tie which Socialists (we are told) are bent upon destroying. He takes a fancy to the woman, having worn the novelty off his own wife, and being a very rich man, used to having his own way in everything, he soon removed all obstacles from his path.

Now the husband brings a case in court, not, of course, as a part of any pre-arranged scheme to provide Captain Morrison with a “free” woman.

What we desire to put on record, however, is the remarkable utterance of the judge in hia direction to the jury, as indicating the position of the law when dealing with the buying and selling of women by rich men.

According to the “Daily Chronicle.” of March. 14, Mr. Priestley, K.C., “for the wife, in answer to Mr. Justice Deane, said it was a question of damages only, and the sum of £5,500 had been agreed upon subject to the approval of his lordship and the jury.”

“Mr. Justice Deane” the “Chronicle” continues, “said there might be cases in which, when the parties lived a cat and dog life, it would be rather a blessing than otherwise that the parties should part. But there was nothing of that sort in this case. Petitioner and his wife were perfectly happy till this trouble began with Captain Morrison giving presents to the lady.”

Having thus established the “glad, beautful, and pure” English home in accordance with the accepted canons of orthodoxy, the judge proceeded to show how obliging and helpful the law is in matters of prostitution and the “White Slave” business when money elevates them from crime to virtue.

“Tne parties themselves had agreed to the sum of £5,500, and they knew the facts better than anyone else. . ‘As far as they could see, there was nothing of an objectionable character behind petitioner and the other parties. Captain Morrison was a rich man, and he had practically bought this woman for £5,500.”

On the judge’s direction the jury found for the petitioner.

It is a great pity that this will not serve as a peg for the Suffragettes to hang their tale upon. It is a great pity that the power of wealth, which shows its ugly head so obtrusively, cannot be obscured, and that all too visible class line rubbed out. They might then be able to show that this is another instance of the line of cleavage between the sexes, and to prove therefrom that the extension of the franchise to propertied women would be the salvation of society. Alas ! however, the facts of this case, at all events, are too glaring to be obliterated by their specific “dark brown fluid,” or to be obscured by the “Votes for Women” label. It needs no discerning eye to observe that not only a woman, but a man also, has in this case been bought to serve the purpose of the idle rich. So it is as clear as claret that the buying and selling of women does not indicate a sex inequality, calling for the Suffragette, but a class dominance, calling for the Socialist.


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