March 20, 1928

LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

The suggestion was made that it was beneath the dignity of the

judges to have this matter submitted to a committee. I think that was the point in the objection taken by the leader of the opposition, and I was quite sincere in questioning that position; I do not think that we ought to allow that contention to go unchallenged.

I notice that we as private members are, not infrequently, solicited by candidates who want to be appointed to judgeships. I do not know whether that is quite in keeping with the high honour of the bench or not.

Topic:   JUDGES' SALARIES
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER QUESTION
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

It is not.

Topic:   JUDGES' SALARIES
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER QUESTION
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I notice further

that a memorandum has been sent to private members with regard to this matter of salary increases, and that those who sent it, some of them judges, go into the cost of living; in fact, they make the increased cost of living the basis for the appeal for higher salaries. I do not quite see that there is anything that is beneath the dignity even of judges in having this matter judged on its merit. I know that it is very common to take the word of the bar association in such matters, but I hope that I am not offending the members of the bar when I remind them the bar association is a professional organization akin to a trades union organization, and I do not see why the members of one particular trades union should be permitted to decide just what salaries the graduates from that union should receive.

Topic:   JUDGES' SALARIES
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER QUESTION
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LIB

Ewen Alexander McPherson

Liberal

Mr. McPHERSON:

Do not the trades

unions fix the salaries of the labour men?

Topic:   JUDGES' SALARIES
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER QUESTION
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Sometimes they do, but I would suggest they have never had the assurance to come to parliament and lay that down as a principle.

Topic:   JUDGES' SALARIES
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER QUESTION
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

What about the fair

wage scale?

Topic:   JUDGES' SALARIES
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER QUESTION
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

It is said the discussion before the committee would degenerate into a discussion of the high cost of living. Personally I should rejoice if some of the discussions in this house did centre upon the high cost of living, and that we got down to business methods in this matter. I would say that a good many of us are not prejudging this matter at all. If the cost of living has gone up I presume that the salaries of the judges should go up, just as the salaries of the civil servants should go up, and the wages of people outside the government service should go up. I was very glad the Minister of Justice drew attention to what has happened in the United States where the officials of the American Federation of Labour were among those who were advocating in-

Judges' Salaries

creased salaries for the judges. That is in keeping with the general policy of labour organizations with regard to wages.

I would, however, add this: It seems to me that when the committee is appointed it should have on it not merely members of the bar who are keenly interested in such matters, a great many of them having a vague idea they may some time be elevated to the bench

Topic:   JUDGES' SALARIES
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER QUESTION
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Order.

Topic:   JUDGES' SALARIES
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER QUESTION
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

-but should have on it representatives of all groups and of the other professions and callings. Personally I am very glad that the government has seen fit to appoint a committee and to take the house into its confidence to that extent.

Topic:   JUDGES' SALARIES
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER QUESTION
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Is the hon. member "ot

acquainted with the fact that most judges are not as well paid as the high officials of labour organizations?

Topic:   JUDGES' SALARIES
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER QUESTION
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

I do not quite see what that has to do with the matter under consideration. I have not been comparing the salaries paid to high officials of labour organizations with those paid to judges. As far as Canadian officials are concerned the statement is not true. I am not particularly concerned in defending high salaries to officials; I am considering the matter before us on its merits. I would simply urge that this is a subject for the consideration of the public at large, and not one to be decided merely by a special group in the house.

Topic:   JUDGES' SALARIES
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER QUESTION
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LIB

Roch Lanctôt

Liberal

Mr. ROCH LANCTOT (Laprairie-Napier-ville):

I should like to know if I gathered

a wrong impression in understanding the hon. member for South Wellington (Mr. Guthrie) to say a little while ago that all hon. members on this side were in favour of an increase in the salary of judges?

Topic:   JUDGES' SALARIES
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER QUESTION
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CON

Hugh Guthrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

What I meant to say was that there were differences of opinion among hon. gentlemen opposite.

Topic:   JUDGES' SALARIES
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER QUESTION
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LIB

Roch Lanctôt

Liberal

Mr. LANCTOT:

I will not undertake to

speak for other members on this side; I shall only speak for myself. Judging from what I have seen since I have been in the house a great many members seem to be in politics with the hope ultimately of going on the bench. In that respect there is the same feeling prevalent as there was twenty-four years ago when I first entered the house. If we undertake to discuss the cost of living here why not consider how the cost of living affects the poor people of the country? It has been urged in this house that we should increase the salaries of the judges because

they are suffering actual hardship by reason of their present salaries. But why not consider the plight of the common people many of whom are confronted with actual starvation? I hope it will not cause any surprise when I say that I am entirely against increasing the salaries of the judges.

Topic:   JUDGES' SALARIES
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER QUESTION
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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Hon. CHARLES MARCIL (Bonaventure):

I have had the opportunity of hearing this question discussed on many occasions, and I agree with what has been said that no more important question could be considered here than that of the administration of justice. It forms the basis of our institutions, and is all important to the people of Canada. When previous increases were granted to judges they were not always granted unanimously; there were dissenting voices on both sides of the house. I think, however, that in the interests of the judges themselves, above all the interests of the administration of justice, and in the interests of the public at large, this question should be dealt with openly and no suspicion Should be aroused that we are doing a favour to any particular class. I agree that no man works harder or more conscientiously than the man occupying the exalted position of a judge.

Topic:   JUDGES' SALARIES
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER QUESTION
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LIB

Joseph-Charles-Théodore Gervais

Liberal

Mr. GERVAIS:

Are we debating the

appointment of a committee or the merits of the question?

Topic:   JUDGES' SALARIES
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER QUESTION
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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

The house is discussing

the question raised by the motion itself.

Topic:   JUDGES' SALARIES
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER QUESTION
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LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

I understand, Mr. Speaker, that the judges would be free to go before the committee or not, just as they please. I am sure that the committee after investigating the situation-

Topic:   JUDGES' SALARIES
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER QUESTION
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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

If the hon. member will

pardon me. The motion is:

That a special committee consisting of fifteen members to be selected at a later date be appointed to consider the question of the adequacy of the remuneration paid to the judges-

And so on.

Topic:   JUDGES' SALARIES
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER QUESTION
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LIB

Joseph-Charles-Théodore Gervais

Liberal

Mr. GERVAIS:

By committee not by the house.

Topic:   JUDGES' SALARIES
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER QUESTION
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March 20, 1928