March 24, 1944

NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

I am told that in some cases they have had to come long distances to the exchequer court. For that reason I made the statement I did and I stand by the statement I made. May I add that if the facts are as stated, the situation amounts to a denial of justice to litigants.

In conclusion, I hope that the appointment of the puisne judge envisaged by this legislation will not be used as a reward to someone who has been active in the political field. I believe that we in this country have been fairly fortunate in this regard. I am not going to raise the question at this moment, but I warn the minister that if there ever was a time when it was important to maintain and preserve the high prestige of the judiciary, and, indeed, to enhance it, it is in the perilous times through which we are passing. I plead with the minister to keep this high judicial appointment above any influences which might reflect upon the importance of the position. I like to see the Canadian judiciary preserved upon a plane in keeping with the kind of democracy for which so many of our men and women to-day are fighting.

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF THIRD JUDGE
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IND

Frédéric Dorion

Independent

Mr. FREDERIC DORION (Charlevoix-Saguenay):

I should like to make a few remarks on this bill, not to oppose it, because I believe it is an opportune measure, and I cannot refrain from congratulating the Minister of Justice (Mr. St. Laurent) upon having presented it, because it will help the administration of justice.

The other day, when this bill was read for the first time, a suggestion was made by the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson), which, I think, deserves special attention, and this suggestion has been repeated to-night by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Graydon).

Since 1930, divorce cases in all provinces except Quebec and Prince Edward Island have been decided by the local courts. I must state right away that, whatever one might think or say about the province of Quebec, we will never consent to have divorce cases decided by our provincial courts. But, instead of having cases come before parliament, I wonder

whether, with the nomination of one more judge to the exchequer court, this is not the proper time to study the question of extending the jurisdiction of this court to divorce cases.

It would be necessary to make special provisions regarding this kind of cases, and I think we Catholics would be ready to accept such a suggestion, provided-and I must insist on this point-a case could not be heard when the petitioner is a Catholic unless he can produce leave to proceed which has been granted him by the bishop of the diocese in which he has his domicile.

This suggestion would not interfere in any way with the rights of those who are not of the Catholic faith, and it could not then be opposed by anyone, because the only effect would be to restrain divorces of Catholics and help them to respect their faith, their religion.

I believe, Mr. Speaker, that if the Minister of Justice, who is a fervent Catholic, would discuss this matter with the religious and civil authorities of our province, something along that line might be done to enable the House of Commons to get rid of these bills which constitute a shameful burden in our statutes.

(Translation): Mr. Speaker, I wish to add a few words on this bill, and the appointment of an additional judge of the exchequer court. My remarks will, in a certain measure, support those made by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Graydon). As this hon. gentleman has stated a few moments ago, we have been fortunate so far in avoiding most of the dangers with which our method of appointing judges is fraught. The few mistakes we have made, in spite of all the precautions inherent with these nominations, are working to the prejudice of those who avail themselves of our courts of justice. Consequently, I believe we should attempt to prevent the appointment of judges who would not prove equal to the task. In my opinion we can never be too careful in this connection. One method would offer some guarantee in this matter. The government could ask the bar associations of the various provinces to supply, at the beginning of each judicial year, a list of lawyers whom they consider as competent to sit on the bench of the superior court or any other provincial or federal courts including the exchequer court. I feel this is about the only way to prevent unqualified persons from being appointed and I claim that this would help, as nothing else could, to restore the coat of arms of our courts of justice to its former lustre and give our citizens the guarantee to which they are entitled in connection with the dispensation of justice.

Exchequer Court Act

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF THIRD JUDGE
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CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. T. C. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

present library. That library is not fireproof. I fought to have a fireproof library. It exists in the sumptuous new building. The old one is just a place where rats eat books. They are not bookworms; they are book rats. There are judges who have died on account of the unhealthy and unsanitary conditions of that building. They complained to me. I fought their case with success and the new building was built. It was so much my case that I was given a copy of the inspection report which was made by an official from the Department of Pensions and National Health. I fought their case under the old regime and under this government.

There is no other country in the world where a beautiful and sumptuous building built for the Supreme and Exchequer Courts of Canada is serving as offices for recuperation and salvage bodies, while the old building that would be fit for the recuperation and salvage body is serving as the location of the highest court in this country and the exchequer count. It is only in Canada that things like that happen. It is only in Canada that things like that are looked upon as a natural matter of course. Nobody will complain about it. It is supposed to be the right thing. Judge, you go to the kitchen. Well, sir, it does not make sense. Everybody laughs. It is ridiculous. I again bring it to the attention of my good friend, the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Fournier), who is in charge of all the buildings of this country. I ask him if he will not give the order to tell recuperation and salvage bodies to go from there and to tell the judges that they should go to the quarters that are fit for them, that are worthy of their dignity and where they will have room enough to breathe. Apart from that, there are treasures there in the form of books that cannot be replaced with any amount of money. They are most valuable; yet they are exposed to fire, rats and vermin. They will be protected against loss if they are moved to the already fireproof library of the new supreme court building. I do not want the justices to die. I do not want the gentlemen who will be appointed by the Minister of Justice to these high functions in virtue of this bill to be exposed to the contracting of deadly illnesses in the present premises where the court sits. They should move somewhere else. Give the order which should be given, and which I hope will be given.

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF THIRD JUDGE
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. G. DIEFENBAKER (Lake Centre):

I listened to what my leader said with regard to the delays in the handing down of judgments by the exchequer court, as it is now constituted. I had not heard that feature raised before. I think it is a matter upon which the

minister should give information to the house and to the country. I think he should tell us whether or not judgments are outstanding and whether or not that is one of the reasons why this court is to be increased in number. I can very well understand that by reason of the exigencies of war there is a necessity to-day to increase the number of judges of the exchequer court. I favour an increase in that court, for the reason that if there is delay in the handing down of judgments it is a matter which more than anything else has been responsible for the very great increase in recent years in the trend to the establishment of administrative bodies which not only create the law, interpret the law, but enforce the law as well.

I believe that is one of the matters which should receive the attention of the minister, a most distinguished member of the bar, a man whose services to the legal profession of Canada may be measured by the fact that he has been president of the Canadian Bar Association. I look to him to make certain changes in the general set-up of the judiciary in Canada to ensure that not only will justice be assured by the quality of men appointed to the bench, but the independence of the judiciary shall be maintained.

If there is one thing that is necessary it is the maintenance of the public esteem of the judiciary. That esteem is not as high to-day as it was some years ago. I think the reason for that can be found in the fact that too often the members of the judiciary have been utilized and their services secured in connection with royal commissions set up for the investigation of various matters. If there is one matter more than any other that would improve the judiciary of this country it would be a declaration by the Minister of Justice that from now on no judge in this country [DOT] would be appointed as a member of a royal commission investigating any matter that savours in any way of a political nature.

I have every regard for the judiciary of this country and for the high standards that they have maintained, but all too frequently the idea is held throughout the country that a predominant prerequisite to an appointment i3 not always eminence at the bar or judicial merit but political considerations. I am not arguing that political considerations do not enter into the matter, but I suggest that in appointing judges the minister should first and foremost take into consideration the leadership at the bar of the. gentlemen who are candidates for the position. Good men can be found in his own party, and I do not believe in placing specious arguments before the house and say that he must necessarily go outside of it. The

Exchequer Court Act

aim should be to place in positions of judicial responsibility the best men that can be secured. I heard the minister enunciate that principle more than once while he occupied the highest position in the bar association of this dominion.

In making that statement I am not suggesting that any appointments have been made recently or since he occupied his present position that savour of political considerations having been paramount. But I do think, at this time when democracy is being challenged, that above all we must maintain the independence, integrity and security of the bench.

Most of the legislation affecting the people of this country at this time has never seen parliament. Most of it is a product of administrative boards, controllers and other persons holding similar positions. I realize that in time of war there must be a tendency in that direction to a certain extent. I consider that it is unfair to the individual that in almost all, if not all, of the legislation passed by administrative bodies to-day there is a denial of the right of the individual to seek recourse to the courts. Equality before the law and equal access to the courts are denied individuals to-day under some of the legislation that has been passed by administrative bodies, and I suggest to the minister that the exchequer court, which is national in character, might be one court to which powers should be given to enable individuals affected by orders in council or administrative orders, not as members of a class but as individuals, to have the right of appeal to that court. As far as orders in council and administrative orders are concerned which affect all the individuals within a class, I do not ask for the right of appeal; but when boards or administrators single out one individual and direct him to do that which other individuals within his own class are not required to do, then I submit that in the interests of justice and fairness, there should be a right of appeal, to the end that the private rights of the individual should not be made subject to the dictation or the caprice of an administrative body.

Therefore I ask the minister to take into consideration at a later date extending the powers of the exchequer court in order to protect the rights of individuals subject to individual orders made by administrative bodies, to the end that the first right of a British seaman, equality of access to the courts and the right of appeal, shall be assured to all who are so affected. Personally I can understand why there has been delay in the handing down of judgments on the part of the exchequer court during the last two years.

I might say that hon. members were pleased with the appointment of a former member of this house, a distinguished member of the bar, as a judge of this court two years ago. It is impossible for two judges, however eminent and diligent they may be, to hand down judgments in the order in which they should be handed down, having regard to the increasing numbers of cases that have been heard since the beginning of the war. I support the principle of the bill, increasing the number of judges of the exchequer court, and I submit for the consideration of the minister the suggestions I have made.

Mr. A. H. BENCE (Saskatoon City); Mr. Speaker, I should like to take this opportunity of suggesting to the minister and to the administration the advisability of revising the Judges' Act in at least one particular, namely, in connection with a matter which has been a subject of discussion in this country lately, particularly in the press. I refer to the anomalous situation that exists as far as the compulsory retirement of members of the judiciary is concerned. In 1913 a provision was placed in the Judges' Act under which county and district court judges were retired compulsorily upon attaining the age of seventy-five. Then in 1935 the Judges' Act was amended to provide that judges of the supreme court-

Mr. ST. LAURENT: Mr. Speaker, I regret to have to raise a point of order, because this is a very interesting subject and one which I think will require at the proper time to be considered and discussed in the house, but it does not seem to me that it arises under this bill. This is merely a bill to amend the Exchequer Court Act to provide for an additional puisne judge. The Judges' Act does contain a section with respect to the retirement of judges of the Supreme Court of Canada and of the exchequer court, so that the matter is not germane to this subject at all.

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF THIRD JUDGE
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PC

Alfred Henry Bence

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BENCE:

If I may speak to the point of order, it is true that this bill has to do with the amendment of the Exchequer Court Act, but it also contains this provision:

Whenever in any act of the parliament of Canada reference is made to the judge or a judge of the Exchequer Court of Canada for the purpose of conferring any power, authority or jurisdiction upon such judge, the same shall be taken to confer the said power, authority or jurisdiction severally and respectively upon the president and the puisne judges of the court.

That directly refers to the Judges' Act, and I would point out also that the minister is providing for the appointment of another

Exchequer Court Act

puisne judge to the exchequer court, but as far as I can see he does not provide for the payment of that judge. The only authority for the payment of the puisne judge is under the Judges' Act, and certainly if a discussion of the Judges' Act with respect to the payment of that salary and with respect to retirement is not germane, then I do not know what is.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: There is on the order paper a resolution providing for the introduction of a bill to amend the Judges' Act precisely for the purpose of providing a salary for this additional puisne judge; but the bill now before the house merely amends the Exchequer Court Act to provide that there shall be two puisne judges instead of one. It is not that I do not find the subject interesting, or that I shall not be glad to have the views of hon. members upon it to assist me in the administration of my office, but I suggest that this is not the time when such a discussion is in order.

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF THIRD JUDGE
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LIB

Thomas Vien (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member refers to section 1 of the bill, which contains these words:

. . . the same shall be taken to confer the said power, authority, or jurisdiction severally and respectively upon the president and the puisne judges of the court.

On the strength of that he suggests that he is entitled to discuss the Judges' Act. While on second reading a good deal of latitude is allowed as to the subjects that may be introduced, I must say I hardly think it would be relevant to discuss the Judges' Act under a bill such as this, which simply provides for the appointment of another puisne judge of the exchequer court. I do not think the hon. gentleman would be entitled to proceed. It has been pointed out that a discussion of the Judges' Act might be more relevant on the resolution on the order paper standing in the name of the Minister of Justice, to amend the Judges' Act.

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF THIRD JUDGE
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PC

Alfred Henry Bence

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BENCE:

I must bow to your ruling, of course, Mr. Speaker. If I may, I would point out that the puisne judge appointed under this legislation will be subject to the Judges' Act, but if as a result I may not discuss the Judges' Act I shall not do so. The minister suggests that I shall have an opportunity to discuss the matter when the amendment to the Judges' Act is under consideration, so that I shall wait until that occasion.

The other point I wished to raise was the point so ably dealt with by the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker), namely, the policy of this administration, and of some prior administrations, of using the judiciary

[Mr. Bence. 3

for purposes other than those for which they were appointed. At the present time we know of at least three cases where judges of superior courts have been appointed to boards in this country. We also know that one hon. justice from the province from which I come is, and for some years has been, high commissioner to Australia. It does seem to me that when it comes to a question of appointing judges, if the act provides for the setting up of a court, and for the appointing to that court of a certain number of judges, they must be appointed for the purpose of considering judicial matters, and that the administration should avoid the appointment of them for any other purpose. If they are to be judges, then let them be judges. If they are to be chairmen of boards or high commissioners to other countries, then let them be chairmen of boards and high commissioners to other countries. But so far as their position in the judiciary is concerned, I suggest that as long as they are judges they should confine themselves to their judicial duties.

I think it is extremely unfair that the administration has seen fit to appoint a number of these judges-and I do not for one moment criticize the judges; I am criticizing the administration for appointing them-to posts where they remain for months or years, and at the same time hold their appointments in what I would call cold storage.

I should like to make a suggestion to the. administration in connection with the matter of vacancies. It seems to me that vacancies in judicial bodies in Canada should not be allowed to remain for any length of time. I suggest that in proper time an amendment should be brought in to the Exchequer Court Act, and the other acts which would be applicable, providing that no vacancy in connection with the Exchequer Court Act or the Judges' Act shall remain for longer than three months.

At present in Saskatchewan we have a situation where there is a vacancy on the court of king's bench. That vacancy has existed for some months, and I suggest that to meet the ends of justice it should be filled as quickly as possible. I am sure that many eminent men are available for the position and would be quite willing to accept it. The feeling is that too much point is made of the holding up of these vacancies for political considerations. The feeling in the part of the country from which I come is that the vacancies are allowed to continue, and that the judgeships are dangled in front of the noses of prospective appointees until the eve of an election, on the basis or presumption that possibly they will be able to render a

Exchequer Court Act

1S47

greater and more effective service to their particular political party, and their adherents in the interim. It seems to me that this is a very bad practice, and that when these vacancies occur, in the interests of justice, in the interest of the bar and particularly in the interests of prospective litigants, such vacancies should not be allowed to continue in that fashion.

So far as the addition of a puisne judge in this instance is concerned, I presume, from the information which has been given rather briefly by the minister, that undoubtedly one is required. I believe it would be interesting if the house were given more information on the matter. It may have been asked for earlier, because I was not in the house during the whole of the discussion. Perhaps the minister might advise us as to the increase in litigation, and the number of judgments which have not yet been handed down. He might tell us how the situation compares with that of two or three, or perhaps five years ago. So far as I am concerned, as a lawyer I welcome the opening up of any additional positions like this. But as a representative of the people I wish to make certain that such additional judgeship is absolutely required in the interests of the people, and that it is the economically sound thing to do in the long run.

The minister mentioned that the salary of the judge would be discussed under the amendment to the Judges' Act. I have some observations to make in that connection, but I shall defer them until that time.

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF THIRD JUDGE
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Motion agreed to, bill read the second time and the house went into committee thereon, Mr. Bradette in the chair. On section 1-Constitution of court.


NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

I believe the minister is going to make a statement, x

Mr. ST. LAURENT: Mr. Chairman, I just wish to state most emphatically, in answer to the remarks of the leader of the opposition, that there is nothing behind this bill which would be in line with his suggestion that the government might be contemplating the creation of a court to administer the law of divorce for those provinces which at the present time do not have such a court.

I do not wish to discuss the matter of divorce. The only two provinces which have no divorce courts at the present time are those of Quebec and Prince Edward Island. In Prince Edward Island I do not know whether divorce jurisdiction is exercised by the governor in council. But I see from a very interesting

book on parliamentary divorce by Gemmill that there was jurisdiction in the governor in council to deal with divorce cases.

In Quebec not only is there no jurisdiction to deal with divorce, but there is a preconfederation law, which was continued in force by the British North America Act, and which will remain in force until this parliament chooses to deal with it, as it has jurisdiction to do under section 91 of the British North America Act. This pre-confederation law declares that marriage is dissolved only by the natural death of one of the spouses. No matter what jurisdiction you set up, so long as that is the law of the province, no divorce could be granted by any court.

There are applications for legislation which come before this parliament, and where divorces are enacted. This is not as a matter of right; no one has any right to a parliamentary divorce. That is a special legislative grant that is made under special circumstances revealed by the investigation carried on before a committee. I do not wish to enter into any controversial discussion of the matter, but for [DOT] those who admit the supreme authority of the Scriptures, the natural inquiry is, as stated in Gemmill: what law has the Saviour propounded on the subject?

Many Christian people believe that the law He has propounded on the subject was that divorce could be granted for adultery. Many other Christians believe that that exception in the Scriptures about adultery does not authorize the granting of a divorce, even for that cause. The latter view is that held by the Roman Catholics; the former is the view held by the other Christians who also take their law from the Scriptures, because of their reading of the Scriptures.

But for a great many years there has been the tendency in many countries to disregard that as the fundamental law, and to provide for divorces for causes other than adultery. I do not wish to discuss the merits or demerits of the case; but there is one province in which there is no right to a divorce under any condition-because of a positive statutory enactment existing prior to confederation, and confirmed by the British North America Act, which constitutes the law of that province until it is otherwise dealt with by the proper authority, which, in this instance, would be this parliament, and which denies absolutely that there can be any divorce or any dissolution of marriage otherwise than by the natural death of one of the parties. This bill has nothing to do with what some might consider advisable and others consider inadvisable, namely, to establish divorce as an institution where under certain conditions parties in the

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Exchequer Court Act

province of Quebec would be entitled as of right to obtain a judgment of divorce. That matter is not intended to be dealt with at all by this bill.

The only other point with which I wish to deal is the suggestion that there have been serious delays in the handing down of judgments in the exchequer court. Only one case has been brought to my attention. That was some time in January. I inquired about it and found that the hon. justice required, for the purpose of his judgment, a transcription of the evidence which had been taken; the stenographer had been prevented from transcribing his notes, and the judge was waiting for them. This information was transmitted to the litigant who had complained of the delay. He wrote again about a fortnight ago, and I made a further inquiry and found that just a week before I made the further inquiry the transcription of the evidence had been filed and that the judge hoped to be able to dispose of the case within a very short time afterwards. I have no doubt that there are cases in that court, as there are cases in all courts, where judgments are reserved for a period which seems unduly long not only to the litigants but to the lawyers who represent the litigants. I practised at the bar too long not to have found that to arise all too frequently, I thought, but I have not heard any serious complaint of undue delay in the exchequer court.

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF THIRD JUDGE
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

Have there been any complaints of delays by any representative of the Ontario bar to the minister?

Mr. ST. LAURENT: No, the only complaint I got was from a litigant who complained that his judgment had not been handed down. I have no recollection of receiving, over the last several months, any other complaint with respect to delay in any case in the exchequer court. The president of the exchequer court informed me when I inquired about the matter generally some weeks ago, that very satisfactory progress is being made in getting rid of the reserved cases both by himself and by his colleagues. But the number of cases has increased, and increased quite substantially. For instance, informations filed by the crown in 1935 amounted to twenty-five in number; in 1939 to sixteen; in 1943 to seventy-two. Petitions of right in 1935 were fifteen in number; in 1940, eleven; in 1943, fifty-three. Patent cases are not as numerous as they were before the war, because of the special situation arising out of the war, but it is anticipated that as soon as that special situation ceases to exist, the number of patent cases will very probably increase. There has been a substantial

increase in the amount of work to be done, and I am glad to know that all those who have taken part in the debate consider that it will be proper to have another judge there to carry on the work of the court expeditiously, because I admit that good justice must be expeditious justice. Otherwise, it is not really sound justice.

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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

There is too much work for the court to do at the present moment.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: I think there is. I see my colleague the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Fournier) is not here at the moment. He was listening attentively to what one hon. member had to say about the place where that court and the supreme court are housed. I am afraid the hon. member exaggerated a bit, because I have visited from time to time the premises in Downing street where the judicial committee of the privy council sat, and though I am not as a lawyer satisfied with the premises now occupied by our supreme court or by our exchequer court, they do have something of an age-old respectability that also pervades the premises where the judicial committee of the privy council used to sit.

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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

They certainly have an age-old atmosphere.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: With respect to the appointment of judges I have tried to make satisfactory appointments, and quite frankly I have been rather proud of the comments I have received about most of the appointments to the high courts in the several provinces that it has been my privilege to recommend. I may say to the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker) that a large number of the recommendations it has been my privilege to sign were in respect of gentlemen-but this did not have any effect upon it-who, I am told, were at one time or another connected with another party than that of the present administration.

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Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF THIRD JUDGE
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

There are an awful lot of people who are not connected with that party any longer.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: A number of excellent judges have been appointed who, I am told, were not at any time members of the party of this administration.

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PC

Alfred Henry Bence

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BENCE:

Was the minister referring to the elevation of judges already appointed or to brand-new members of the judiciary?

Mr. ST. LAURENT: To both, but I must say that there were more of the former category, the elevation to chief justiceships, or to another court of gentlemen already on the bench. I am sorry that any member of the

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bar would suggest in this house that I would be dangling judgeships before anybody's eyes. I do not feel that that is quite fair.

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Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF THIRD JUDGE
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PC

Alfred Henry Bence

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BENCE:

Will the minister expedite the appointment in the province of Saskatchewan?

Mr. ST. LAURENT: Does the hon. member suggest that there has been any undue delay in the administration of justice in Saskatchewan?

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF THIRD JUDGE
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PC

Alfred Henry Bence

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BENCE:

If five judges are required on the bench as provided by the act, then five ought to be appointed.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: I have very much sympathy with the hon. member who, I understand, is a member of the bar of that province, but the information that I have is that the amount of litigation prosecuted in that province is not such that there has been any undue delay resulting from the fact that one of the judges of the court of appeal has been serving his country in another capacity since the beginning of the war, or because since December another vacancy has occurred in the high court of that province.

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Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF THIRD JUDGE
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CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

I would point out, Mr. Chairman, that it is eleven o'clock, if the minister wants to discuss the bill further. Is my voice getting so weak that I cannot be heard? I am suggesting that it is eleven o'clock, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: I have no other observations to offer on this point, unless there are other questions it is felt I should answer.

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Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF THIRD JUDGE
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Section agreed to. On section 2-Power to appoint a deputy judge.


CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. DOUGLAS (Weyburn):

There are a number of questions we have to ask and it is now past eleven o'clock, Mr. Chairman.

Section stands.

Progress reported.

On motion of Mr. Mackenzie (Vancouver Centre) the house adjourned at 11:10 pun.

Monday, March 27, 1944

Topic:   EXCHEQUER COURT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF THIRD JUDGE
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March 24, 1944