I have already explained that, but I know my hon. friend was busy elsewhere. It is proposed to pay to the members of the pension appeal court, which will be defunct after July 1, eighteen months' salary by way of compensation.
Are all the members of the appeal court in the same position? I understand some of them have only a year and a half of their terms still to run, while others have a far longer time. It may be that the payment of eighteen months' salary to those whose terms expire in a year and a half is quite proper, but it does seem that some better provision should be made for those whose terms have several years to run. After all, these men have given up their other occupations to come here, and are now faced with the necessity of starting over again, so I think some consideration should be given to the length of time their terms have to run.
I did not say that. The minister is going too far in making a statement of that kind. I thought the court should be done away with, but I made no personal attack of any kind on the members of the court.
I did not hear a good word for this court spoken by anyone in this house. The reason why I would not abolish it last year, and I so declared, was that I wanted to find some way of providing compensation for these men before turning them out on the street. Hardly a member of this house who spoke on the matter did not have something to say about me because I would not immediately, without regard to the consequences, abolish this court. They did not care what I did in the way of giving these people justice.
With respect to the one man to whom my hon. friend refers, there are two ways of looking at this question. Are we to give higher compensation to the man who served the longer time or to the man who has a longer time to serve? Frankly I do not know
whether the man who has served five years and who receives eighteen months' salary by way of compensation is any more entitled to that than the man who has served eight and a half years and who gets the same compensation. Usually we consider that the longer the term of service the greater should be the reward, and it would appear to me that in this, as in every other normal case, salary for a year and a half, amounting to approximately $10,000, is a fairly reasonable amount to pay to those who are being retired. I do not think I could be reasonably asked, or the country could be asked, to pay any more.
Personally I certainly have not recanted the position I have taken in the committee for the last three years. With regard to how much they should be given, if it were possible to make it fifty cents, still it would be an over-payment.
I wish to dissociate myself entirely from remarks such as those just made by the last speaker, which I do not think are fair in any sense of the word. I believe the minister is looking at the matter from the wrong point of view. These men were appointed for a certain term of years; they came here on the understanding that they would be retained in employment for a certain length of time. I think that should be borne in mind when compensation is being granted. The same thing would apply if a firm hired a man for a set period of time. He would have a claim against the company if he were dismissed before that time expired. I suggest to the minister that the matter should be looked at from that point of view.
What difference does it make if a year and a half salary is reasonable? Does it make any difference when the term expires? Does my hon. friend want me to pay to the man whom he has in mind, to the friend whom he has in mind, five years' salary which would amount to $35,000?
There are four men. One man, Mr. Sherwood, is being paid his salary up to the end of his term. Another man, Mr. Justice Hyndman, is being paid his salary up to the end of his term. The third man is a civil servant; he is receiving a year and a half salary and will obtain superannuation. The fourth man, whom my hon. friend has in mind, has four to five years more to run.