March 28, 1922

MILITARY SERVICE ACT REPEAL


Mr. JAMES S. WOODSWORTH (Winnipeg Centre) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 18, to repeal the Military Service Act. Motion agreed to and Bill read the first time.


AUDITOR GENERAL'S REPORT


On the Orders of the Day:


LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Before the Orders of the Day are called I would like to put my hon. friend the ex-Minister of Finance (Sir Henry Drayton) right respecting a matter

that was referred to yesterday. In the course of my remarks I mentioned that the Auditor General's report had been laid in full on the table of the House on one of the early days of the session. My right hon. friend stated that he thought I was incorrect in that statement.

Topic:   AUDITOR GENERAL'S REPORT
Permalink
CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

I thought the fourth volume was not down.

Topic:   AUDITOR GENERAL'S REPORT
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

He said the

fourth volume was the most important. I desire to let him know that the entire report is contained in three volumes. Last year the fourth volume contained the war expenditures separately. This year they have been included in the last of the three volumes.

Topic:   AUDITOR GENERAL'S REPORT
Permalink

JUDGES' ACT AMENDMENT

ADDITIONAL JUDGE, SASKATCHEWAN COURT OF APPEAL

LIB

Lomer Gouin (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Sir LOMER GOUIN (Minister of Justice) moved:

That it is expedient that an additional Judge of the Court of Appeal for the Province of Saskatchewan be appointed at an annual salary of nine thousand dollars.

He said: His Excellency the Governor General has been informed of the subject matter of this resolution and commends it to the consideration of the House.

Motion agreed to and the House went into Committee on the Resolution, Mr. Gordon in the Chair.

Topic:   JUDGES' ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   ADDITIONAL JUDGE, SASKATCHEWAN COURT OF APPEAL
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Before this resolution is adopted, we ought to have some information under several heads. We should know, first of all, what the present composition of the Court of Appeal of Saskatchewan is in point of numbers, the composition of the Court of King's Bench, and secondly what reasons there are for the conclusion that an additional judge of the Court of Appeal is necessary. Are there any arrears of business? Has there been a demand from the people of the province, or what is the real purpose of the addition to the Court of Appeal? We should know, as well, how the number of judges in the Court of Appeal in that province compares with the number on the Court of Appeal of provinces of corresponding size. Our chief concern is to ascertain whether there is any real need for an additional judge. Under our constitution, of course, we all know, the province itself constitutes courts, and declares the number to compose the court so constituted. The Dominion Government, on the other hand, makes the appointment and

Judges' Act

the Dominion treasury pays the salaries and all expenses. Under that procedure which the British North America Act lays down, there is always a temptation on the part of the provinces not to exercise the utmost care to avoid, in the first place, overconstituting the courts and in the next place, over-composing them. We ought to be very careful in this and in every case, to see that the province, inasmuch as it is in no way responsible for the extra expense involved, is animated only by a desire to have the number of judges which is absolutely essential, and no greater number, to constitute the court.

Topic:   JUDGES' ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   ADDITIONAL JUDGE, SASKATCHEWAN COURT OF APPEAL
Permalink
LIB

Lomer Gouin (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Sir LOMER GOUIN:

In answer to the right hon. leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen) I may say that the Court of Ap* peal of Saskatchewan now consists of four judges, one chief justice and three puisne judges. As to the necessity of adding to the number of judges we find it in the legislation which was passed by the province of Saskatchewan. As it was said, and rightly said by the right hon. gentleman, the courts primarily are created by the provinces under section 92 of the British North America Act. The judges are appointed by the federal authorities. It has been the rule, I understand, in the Department of Justice, to always supplement the legislation which was adopted by the provincial government. Sometimes it would take six months and sometimes it would take three or four years, but always the appointments which were asked by the local governments were made by the federal government. In this case a statute was passed at the last session of the legislature of Saskatchewan adding another judge to the Court of Appeal for that province. We have received the statute, and we propose the present bill to carry out the purpose of that legislation. The right hon. gentleman says that we should make sure that there is real necessity for the increase in the number of judges. I am not certain that we should go that far, unless we are of opinion that the provinces are negligent in the administration of justice. Unless we have good ground to suspect their motives in legislating as they do, I do not see that we should insist on a special report on such questions. At any rate, in this case we have that statute. It was sent to our department, and we ask the House now to supplement that statute. If my right hon. friend desires further information that I do not possess now, and insists on an adjournment of the consideration of this resolution, I would be

willing to try to give him all the information he desires.

Topic:   JUDGES' ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   ADDITIONAL JUDGE, SASKATCHEWAN COURT OF APPEAL
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

It is not quite correct to say that vacancies that exist by reason of provincial legislation are filled merely automatically or as a matter of course by this parliament. I remember well when I was Acting Minister of Justice declining to fill such in the province of Ontario and effecting an arrangement with the Attorney General of that province, that, in the event of vacancies in county courts being created or caused by death, those vacancies would be filled by appointment of junior judges out of other counties where there was not only a senior but a junior judge and insufficient work for the two. In that way a very considerable saving was made. I am afraid, though, the Government now in office has not followed up that good precedent. I can recall cases even now in which to meet political exigencies, they have filled vacancies from the outside, instead of filling them by appointment of junior judges who are virtually out of work in different counties of the province, which would mean a saving to the country of several thousand dollars. It is with the idea of saving, and nothing else, that I ask in this case whether inquiry has been made to ascertain if there is real need; Whether the demand comes because of the need of an extra judge, or for some other reason.

Topic:   JUDGES' ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   ADDITIONAL JUDGE, SASKATCHEWAN COURT OF APPEAL
Permalink
LIB

Lomer Gouin (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Sir LOMER GOUIN:

I must say that I was told by the Attorney General of Saskatchewan that there is need of such an appointment. As to the position my hon. friend takes with respect to Ontario, it is quite different in this respect: in that instance there was no discussion between the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice, or between the provincial government and the federal government. Both agreed that there were too many judges and that no more should be appointed, but in this case we have a request from the provincial government that an additional judge be appointed for the Court of Appeal. Unless we are to say to the Saskatchewan government that we cannot accept their representation as to the need for such judge we have to make the appointment.

Topic:   JUDGES' ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   ADDITIONAL JUDGE, SASKATCHEWAN COURT OF APPEAL
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

The hon. gentleman is mistaken in regard to Ontario. No request at all came from the Attorney General of Ontario to the effect that a stay be made in the appointment of judges. The action was taken wholly at Ottawa, by the Justice Department,-by myself

Judges' Act

when I was acting Minister of Justice. The Attorney General of Ontario had acquiesced in the movement on the part of members of the Bar for the increase of salaries. I refused to consider the matter of increases, until I obtained his acquiescence in the policy of appointing no more members of the Bench and of providing, by legislation in Ontario, to fit in with our policy that new appointments would not be made, but that junior judges would be appointed to fill vacancies, and the position of junior judge in the county from which such a judge was appointed would be done away with.

Topic:   JUDGES' ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   ADDITIONAL JUDGE, SASKATCHEWAN COURT OF APPEAL
Permalink
LIB

Lomer Gouin (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Sir LOMER GOUIN:

And he agreed.

Topic:   JUDGES' ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   ADDITIONAL JUDGE, SASKATCHEWAN COURT OF APPEAL
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

But the initiative was taken here. I ask now merely whether a similar initiative has been taken in this case by the Attorney General's Department.

Topic:   JUDGES' ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   ADDITIONAL JUDGE, SASKATCHEWAN COURT OF APPEAL
Permalink
LIB

Lomer Gouin (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Sir LOMER GOUIN:

If we were merely asked to fill a vacancy in Saskatchewan or any other province, we would probably act in a similar manner; but, in this instance, we have a statute passed by the Saskatchewan legislature providing for the appointment of an additional judge for a court in that province, and we are now implementing that legislation. I do not see how we can refuse to do so.

Topic:   JUDGES' ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   ADDITIONAL JUDGE, SASKATCHEWAN COURT OF APPEAL
Permalink
PRO

Thomas Alexander Crerar

Progressive

Mr. CRERAR:

How many judges constitute the Court of Appeal in Alberta, and how many the Court of Appeal in Manitoba?

Topic:   JUDGES' ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   ADDITIONAL JUDGE, SASKATCHEWAN COURT OF APPEAL
Permalink
LIB

Lomer Gouin (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Sir LOMER GOUIN:

There are five judges in Alberta and five also in Manitoba.

Topic:   JUDGES' ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   ADDITIONAL JUDGE, SASKATCHEWAN COURT OF APPEAL
Permalink

March 28, 1922