September 15, 1903

CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I gather from the explanation of the Minister of Finance that the duty of the Auditor General is to examine the accounts after the money is spent. Clause 30 provides that the expenditure Shall be subject to examination and audit by the Auditor General in the same manner as is provided by the Consolidated Revenue and Audit Act, with respect to the accounts mentioned in section 50 of that Act. That section says :

Besides the appropriation accounts of the grants of .parliament, the Auditor General shall examine and audit, if required so to do by the Minister of Finance and Receiver General, the accounts of all receipts of revenue, &c.

If he audits the accounts of this railway on the same principle, he must see that the expenditure of money is in compliance with the Act, because that is one of the elements of the audit. Therefore the audit must be made before the money is paid. It would be of little value otherwise. We might have the same result as in the bridge case, when the auditor did the work after the money was spent and the over expenditure of money could not be got back. Is this to be another case of that kind ? Will the rsame lax business methods be allowed to prevail, and the commissioners be given the opportunity of spending the money, perhaps improperly, and then have the auditor go over the accounts when it will be too late to record anything ?

Topic:   $500,000.000 V
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

We will have to consider my hon. friend's suggestion. This clause is allowed to stand.

Progress reported.

Topic:   $500,000.000 V
Permalink

JUDGES OF PROVINCIAL COURTS- SALARIES.


House again in Committee on Bill (No. 250) to amend the Act respecting the judges of provincial courts.-The Minister of Justice. On section 1.


CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I was not in the House when the resolution was discussed. What increase in salaries is effected by this Bill ?

Topic:   JUDGES OF PROVINCIAL COURTS- SALARIES.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

The object is to create an exchequer division of the High Court of Justice. There will be a new chief justice for that particular division, to whom will be paid a salary of $6,000,

and the puisne judges will receive $5,000. There is no provision for any increase in salary, but only for the payment of two additional judges.

Topic:   JUDGES OF PROVINCIAL COURTS- SALARIES.
Permalink
CON

William Barton Northrup

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NORTHRUP.

I should be very sorry to let this clause go through without entering a protest regarding the item of salaries, and I trust that the Minister of Justice, since be has taken a step in the direction of dealing with judicial salaries will consider one among many questions in connection with that subject. I have no hesitation whatever in saying that if the Minister of Justice had brought down a Bill to increase the salaries of all the judges of the Superior Court in Ontario, I would have given him my support without the slightest hesitation, but he has not seen fit to do so, and I have no desire to oppose the salaries being put at the figures mentioned. There is one item which the government should consider, and if they did they would see that it stands on a different footing to the others.

I refer to the item of the four judges of Appeal at $5,000 each. If the matter were understood by members of this House, there is not one, whether lawyer or layman, who would not say that there is something illogical and absurd in having the judges of the Ontario Court of Appeals less than the judges of the division below, on whose decisions they sit in appeal.

Topic:   JUDGES OF PROVINCIAL COURTS- SALARIES.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

I think, perhaps, the position would be better understood, if the hon. gentlemen were to say that they receive less money because of certain allowances.

Topic:   JUDGES OF PROVINCIAL COURTS- SALARIES.
Permalink
CON

William Barton Northrup

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NORTHRUP.

I was about to explain how this condition arose. It does seem to me that, in this parliament, the* highest court of Canada, we ought to be able to take a common sense view of matters, and to observe what is the practicable result of the arrangements that have been made. I quite agree with the Minister of Justice that, so far as this House is concerned. the judges of the Court of Appeal are paid the same salary as judges of the divisions of the High Court of Justice. But we in Ontario all know that the judges who hold circuits are given a certain allowance for holding circuits. And, as a matter of fact and of experience, the judges are able to save something by economy, not living as they did in the old days, when every judge who held circuit in a country town gave a bar dinner. By dispensing with' such luxuries, the judges are able to save something out of the circuit allowances. The result is that, if a lawyer takes a position in a high court of justice, he is in receipt of a higher salary than if he were promoted to the Court of Appeal. It is true that the nominal salaries are the same ; but it is idle to ignore the fact that the judges of one court go on circuit while the judges of the other court do not ; and, as a matter of fact the judges of the lower court Hon. Mr. FITZPATRICK.

are in receipt of a higher salary than judges of the higher court. I am sure that no one can advocate that state of affairs. On the question as to whether the salaries are right as they are, I think the salaries are too low; but I am not discussing that point now. But I would appeal to the Minister of Justice, and the Prime Minister to see to it that the dignity of the bench and the standard we wish to see maintained in our Court of Appeal is maintained. And any person must see that the inevitable result of the present condition of affairs must be that, if our judges in appeal are left in receipt of lower salaries than are given to the judges of the inferior courts, the day will come-I do not pretend to say that it has been reached as yet-when the Court of Appeal will be inferior to the other courts whose judges are better paid.

Topic:   JUDGES OF PROVINCIAL COURTS- SALARIES.
Permalink
?

The PRIME MINISTER.

What would my hon. friend (Mr. Northrup) suggest '!

Topic:   JUDGES OF PROVINCIAL COURTS- SALARIES.
Permalink
CON

William Barton Northrup

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NORTHRUP.

Instead of having this $5,000, I would make it $6,000.

Topic:   JUDGES OF PROVINCIAL COURTS- SALARIES.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

All round,

or just for the Court of Appeal ?

Topic:   JUDGES OF PROVINCIAL COURTS- SALARIES.
Permalink
CON

William Barton Northrup

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NORTHRUP.

The question has been asked. As I said in the beginning, I think personally that the salaries should be raised

but that is a different question.

Topic:   JUDGES OF PROVINCIAL COURTS- SALARIES.
Permalink
?

The PRIME MINISTER.

But it is a question on which we would like to have the views of my hon. friend, because it is a question to which we must apply ourselves at an early day.

Topic:   JUDGES OF PROVINCIAL COURTS- SALARIES.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

The hon. gentleman (Mr. Northrup) was not here the other day.

Topic:   JUDGES OF PROVINCIAL COURTS- SALARIES.
Permalink
CON

William Barton Northrup

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. NORTHRUP.

I am sorry that I was not here. My own opinion is that, if one compares the incomes of the leaders of the bar of the province of Ontario with the salaries paid to the judges, he must see that the salaries paid to the judges are sadly inadequate. And I believe-speaking now not as a lawyer, but as a representative of the people, and believing that I understand something of this question-that the truest economy, the greatest possible saving to the people will be found in getting the best men we can on the bench of this country. I think that no one will dispute that the honour of the bench in our country has been a source of pride to every man, lawyer or layman, for many years. At the same time, I must admit, without casting any aspersion upon the bench to-day-and I hope I shall not be understood as casting the slightest reflection-the day will come when, if the income of the lawyers at the bar are to be so grossly greater than the incomes of the judges on the bench, we shall not have a bench that will maintain the dignity that has attached to the bench in days gone by. I wish all these salaries to be raised. Yet, I understand the difficulty of

the government. I think it would he unfair for a member of the opposition, recognizing the feeling of the country, recognizing the difficulties that the government has to meet in passing this salary Bill, to bring in an amendment which the government might be compelled to vote down, though individually every member of the government might wish, if possible, to carry out the proposal made in such amendment. I am not now, therefore, proposing an increase of any salaries except those of the Court of judges of Appeals. As I say in answer to the right hon. the Premia-, if I have the honour to be a member of this House at any subsequent time, and the government bring down a measure to increase the salaries of the judges, I have no hesitation in pledging myself to support it to the best of my humble ability. The point I make is the one single point : Assuming that the salaries of the high court of justice are as high as the government, under the circumstances, feel justified in proposing, I would ask the Minister of Justice and the Prime Minister to consider whether it is fair, or just, or in the interest of the country, whether it is likely to promote economy and prevent appeals, to have judges of the higher court in receipt of lower emoluments -I will not use the word ' salary '-than the judges of the lower court. We who

have had experience at the bar all know perfectly well that a very few appeals in the course of the* year would cost the people of this country vastly more than the additions I have suggested to the salaries of these judges. We all know perfectly well that the higher the reputation of the judges, the less probability there is of appeals from their judgments. In the province of Ontario, we Have an appeal to the Supreme Court and to the Privy Council. It is quite within the understanding of every member of the House that, if we had a Court of Appeal which possessed absolutely the confidence of the people of the province, there would be practically no appeals. The greater the confidence in the court, the fewer the appeals. In other words, the higher the court the less expense on account of appeals. I put it, then, on the two grounds : First, that the chief justice and judges sitting in the high court should be paid at least as much as judges of the lower court ; and, second, I would have no hesitation in defending it before the people, apart altogether from the standpoint of the judges-in the interest of the people of this country, it would be true economy, it would be a saving of money, to pay the judges of the Court of Appeal such salaries that we could, in the long run- and I am casting no aspersion upon the present court-have always at least as good judges in the Court of Appeal as in the lower courts. There is no member of this House who can be unaware that, if the judges of the Court of Appeal are paid

$1,000 less than the judges of the lower court, the day is not far distant when the standard of the judges of the Court of Appeal will be lower than that of the judges of the lower court. I appeal to the Minister of Justice and the Prime Minister- without approving the salaries paid to other judges, but recognizing the circumstances which, I can quite understand, surround the case-I ask them to consider the exceptional case of the judges of the Court of Appeals.

Topic:   JUDGES OF PROVINCIAL COURTS- SALARIES.
Permalink
IND

Leighton Goldie McCarthy

Independent

Mr. MCCARTHY.

Has the hon. gentleman considered the meaning of the word ' salary ' ? If it were ' considered as in the way the hon. member for Hastings commenced his speech this evening, it might cause difficulty. The justices of these three divisions receive an actual salary of SO,000 specified and additional emoluments in the form of an allowance of $1,000 for circuit. If you add $1,000 for circuit, and call it salary, you make it $7,000. If they should be promoted to the Court of Appeals they would draw as puisne higher than the chief justices, and so an anomaly would be created which should not exist. I shall not now burden the House with any more in regal'd to the increase of judges' salaries than to say that I reiterate and endorse all that the hon. gentleman has said. I said it the other day. But, under this section, reading the word 1 salary ' in the limited sense in which we all understand it, you would have a Court of Appeals composed of the chief justices, drawing $6,000, three puisnes, drawing $7,000 each, and one puisne drawing $5,000, which would be an anomaly which should not be created or allowed to exist. If, on the other hand, you say that ' salary ' simply means an allowance of $6,000 provided in this Bill, then, you might have a court consisting of a chief justice at $6,000 and three puisnes at $6,000 and one puisne at $5,000, an anomaly which does not exist in any other court, and which. I submit, should not be permitted in this court.

Topic:   JUDGES OF PROVINCIAL COURTS- SALARIES.
Permalink
CON

Samuel Barker

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARKER.

I have very great pleasure indeed in endorsing every word that has been said by the hon. member for East Hastings. I will only take up the time of the committee, to point out that if his suggestion is adopted, it will do away with what I consider a very objectionable clausa in the Bill, subclause 2 of clause 3. That is a provision made especially for the appointment of a chief justice of the high court, and the Court of Appeal, the clause as it stands being required by the very fact to which the hon. member for East Hastings (Mr. Nortlirup) called attention, that a chief justice of the high court actually receives a higher salary than the chief justice of the Court of Appeal. So the Minister of Justice has found himself compelled to provide in this clause that if he promotes a chief justice of the high court to the Court

of Appeal, lie must allow him to continue the higher salary that he has been already enjoying. Now, if he gets the increase of $1,000 suggested by my hon. friend, there would be no necessity for that clause at all.

Topic:   JUDGES OF PROVINCIAL COURTS- SALARIES.
Permalink
?

The MINISTER OF JUSTICE.

I make a distinction between the salary paid to a judge and the allowance which is given him by way of gratuity, in order to enable him to meet the expenses he must incur when he goes on circuit. I do not think it is possible to confound a salary with a circuit allowance. The intention of the law is that the judge who goes on circuit shall receive an amount sufficient to enable him to meet all his expenses as he goes along, and to keep him free from any additional expenditure as a result of going on circuit.

I do not think the law ever contemplated that a judge should derive any particular benefit out of the fact that he is In receipt of this circuit allowance. To continue on that line, I would like to draw attention to the fact that in our province those judges who are obliged to travel about are paid actual moving expenses. We have no circuit allowance with us, because under our law, the judges are not supposed to reside in his district, but it may sometimes happen, when a judge is disqualified for any reason that it may be necessary for the judge in the adjoining district to take his duties, and in that case travelling expenses are allowed, but it is merely the moving-expenses that he is allowed.

I do not see how it would be possible to increase the salaries of the judges of the Court of Appeal without increasing the salaries of all the high court judges. My views on the subject are well known, I make no secret of them. I have not this session made any particular statement of the view I hold with respect to the salaries of judges, because I feel that, not being in a position to give effect to what I believe to be necessary in the interest of the public and in the interest of the bar, I ought not unnecessarily to discuss the question. I am convinced that an increase in the salaries of the judges is called for, is an absolute necessity. I would have been pleased if the hon. member for Hastings, who is a prominent member of the bar of Ontario, had been here when this question was up the other day, because he would realize that if there is a class of mem in this country who do not appear, so far as I could judge-expressing the opinions that I gathered the other day from the discussion-if there is a class of men in this country who do not appear to enjoy the favour of the public, that class of men is the lawyers and the judges. I may say that I did not take any part in the debate merely because I did not think 1 could do it with that sense of restraint that one ought to exercise in discussing matters of that sort. I think it is time that the bar should assert itself, and the time is not far Mr. BARKER.

distant when it will be necessary for us to take hold of this question seriously. I agree with what my hon. friend from Hastings has said, and it is the experience of every man who has had any practice at the bar, that the leaders of the bar at the present time, we can count them in great numbers, are in receipt of incomes far in excess of what the judges are getting. There are men practising at the bar to-day-I make this statement in the hearing of men who know what I say is correct-who receive for one single case a fee equal to the salary paid to a judge for a whole year. Now, what is the result of that ? That the leaders of the bar will go on as they have been going on in the past, practising until they get beyond the position to do really good service, and they are put on the bench when they have got beyond the time when they can really do good service to the country. Now, there is no practical use in discussing the mattter just now. The government cannot entertain the idea of increasing the salaries of the judges at this session, that matter is settled. But I agree that it is a matter which must necessarily be considered in the near future, and when it is considered I shall be prepared to present some figures, for the consideration of this House, in fact I have some figures that I intended to use when this question arose, unfortunately I have not got them with me. But on a future occasion I intend to make some observations, and I hope to be able to corroborate my statements by giving soma figures that will enlighten us as to the position the members of the bar occupy.

Topic:   JUDGES OF PROVINCIAL COURTS- SALARIES.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

One of the difficulties in connection with the salaries of the judges arises from the fact that while the government and parliament of Canada fix the salaries of the judges, we have no control over the number that may be appointed in the different provinces. I think that difficulty was realized by the Prime Minister years ago when the government of which the late Sir John Thompson was Prime Minister, undertook to introduce a measure increasing the salaries of the judges. If I am not mistaken, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Trade and Commerce and the late Hon. David Mills stated, either publicly or privately, that they would not be prepared to sustain the government of the day in that measure.

Topic:   JUDGES OF PROVINCIAL COURTS- SALARIES.
Permalink

September 15, 1903