Mr. Chairman, on behalf of the official opposition I may say that we have no quarrel with the general principle of the resolution, particularly that part of it which provides for an increase in the salaries of judges of both dominion and provincial courts.
We recognize that the judiciary should be independent, that independence includes financial independence, and that judges should have proper recompense for their work. I do not wish what I have to say now to be taken as modifying the statement I have made to the effect that we are not going to oppose the resolution, but I do wish to voice briefly on behalf of the official opposition certain thoughts we have as to weaknesses in connection with the appointment of judges generally.
We object to the present method under which judges are appointed in this country; perhaps not so much to the method of appointment as to the principles which seem to be followed by the government in making those appointments when, generally speaking, political qualifications appear to come first. I am not saying that is so in every appointment, but I think it is the fact in far too many of them. We believe that is one of the reasons the minister is experiencing difficulty in getting lawyers to accept positions as judges, because he looks only to one political group in this country to provide the main source of judicial appointments.
Subtopic: AMENDMENTS TO INCREASE SALARIES, PROVIDE FOR JUDGE IN NORTHWEST TERRITORIES, ETC.