oppose this (bill, but I wish to point out that there has been a great deal of dissatisfaction throughout the country with regard to judges of the High Court leaving their judicial duties for the purpose of serving on provincial commissions. The matter has been the subject of discussion by the Bar Associations of some of the provinces. The judiciary of Canada have always been on a high plane and have commanded the respect of everybody, and it would be well if the minister would lay down a policy under which judges of the High Court might not serve on these political commissions. In fact, an act was passed a few years ago prohibiting them
from doing so. It is not in the interests of the Bench; it is not in the interests of the judicial business of the province. The practice to which I refer has prevailed not only in Ontario but in various parts of the West and the East. In Ontario three judges of the High Court have been leaving their judicial duties during several months in the year to serve on these commissions. Before we pass this bill the minister should give us an assurance that without the addition proposed the number of judges in Saskatchewan would be insufficient. If three judges in Ontario can leave their judicial duties for four or five months in the year, it means that there are too many High Court judges in that province, and the same thing may apply to Saskatchewan and other parts of the country. This practice must stop if the confidence of the people in the judiciary is to be maintained. I trust that the minister will see that the act passed a few years ago with regard to the matter is enforced.
When this matter was before the Committee the other day I expressed the view that there was some disparity between the members of the judiciary in Saskatchewan and those in the other western provinces. On looking up the number of judges provided for in the Estimates I find that I was quite right. In Manitoba, which is very populous and wealthy and must have more legal business than some of the other provinces, there are eleven judges in all,-the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal and four judges; the Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench and five judges. In British Columbia there is a Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal and four judges; a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and five judges, a total of eleven. In Alberta there is a Chief Justice and four justices of the peace; a Chief Justice of the Trial Division and five justices, a total of eleven. At present in Saskatchewan there is a Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal and three judges; a Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench and six judges, a total of eleven. Now, the western provinces have each the same number of judges, though they are not distributed in the same way as between the Court of Appeal and the Trial Division. It is now sought to add another judge in Saskatchewan; and I would like to ask the
Government and the House how long it will be before Saskatchewan will be taken as the measure and a judge added to each of the other western provinces. It seems to me that it is making in that direction. I suggested the other day that it was only necessary for Saskatchewan, if the division was not satisfactory, to increase the number of its Appellate Division, and reduce that of the Trial Division, by one. They would thus be able to adjust the present judiciary to the actual work of the province. I had investigated the reports very cursorily, but I examined them with a little more attention later, and I found that I had greatly overestimated the number of cases coming before the Court of Appeal in Saskatchewan. In fact, ninety was the total in one volume of the reports, covering a year,-much less than I had thought. The Trial Division reports are put in with those of the Appeal Division and it makes it look like quite a large volume. I assume, however, that the excuse for this legislation is to be found in the newspaper reports, which indicate that the appointment of a gentleman as judge in that province has already been decided upon. In view of the political outlook in Saskatchewan, I suppose it is extremely ' necessary to provide for some one; therefore the country must pay an additional $9,000 each year for something that is not needed, except to support an appointee of the Government who might not be as politically fortunate, as his friends in this House have been.
Well, I do not read all of them. The hon. member must himself admit that a tribunal consisting of four judges is not sufficient to carry on the work in that province. No additional judges in the Trial Division are needed. As I stated the other day when the resolution was before the Committee, we are merely supplementing the legislation of Saskatchewan. We have been advised by hon. members of this House that the cases before the Court of Appeal in that province are so numerous that a large number are in arrears. I think this is a sufficient answer to my hon. friend's representations.
I rise to a point of order in regard to this bill. I sumbit that this is a bill which seeks to impose a public charge -it certainly does by clause 5-and that it should therefore come before the House in the usual way by resolution after the assent of His Excellency has been obtained. I think it is Rule 77 that covers the case. The practice we have always followed should be followed now, I submit.
I think my hon. friend will find that the purpose of this bill is to reduce the public charge. So far from the bill proposing any extra charge on the country, its effect will be to reduce very considerably the present charge.
My point is this: This bill proposes a charge upon the people of this country. It is in regard to pensions, and gives the Governor in Council power to increase the pensions now allowed by law by adding from one to three years in the computation of the time, thereby largely increasing the amount the country will have to pay. That charge is being imposed for the first time, and I therefore submit that the bill comes within Rule 77 and should be preceded by a resolution.
Hon. GEORGE P. GRAHAM (Minister of Militia): As a matter of fact, I imagine, this bill will not impose any additional financial burdens on the country, but will rather lessen those burdens, although they may be carried under another name. This bill was submitted to the Parliamentary Counsel and declared not to be a money bill. He was strong on that point, before I introduced the bill in this way. However, if the hon. gentleman wishes to delay the bill, I am willing to bring down a resolution, but, of course, it will delay the beginning of the reorganization that much longer.
My hon. friend will appreciate that I have postponed this bill for a good many days at his request, and now he is the first to object to our going on with it. I maintain that this is not a money bill, but in order that there may be no question I will withdraw my motion for the second reading, and proceed by way of resolution.
On the motion of Mr. Graham, the Order was discharged.
The House again in Committee of Supply, Mr. Gordon in the Chair.
Civil Government-Department of Labour-* Salaries, $258,755 ; contingencies, $45,500.