May 12, 1914 (12th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Roch Lanctôt



Well, that is wrong. I
am against granting any pension to them. If both parties in this House are agreed as to the desirability of paying larger salaries to the judges, why not pay them while they are doing the work? There is no reason for that pension. It is . to that the people object.
Why is that pension granted to the Superior Court judges, instead of a larger salary? Why? Simply in order to enable the party in power to appoint as judges those who are unwilling to face public opinion, and that, by pensioning the retiring judges, so as to make room for others. The hon. Minister of Justice is posted in this connection. Possibly he will deny it, but 1 challenge him to come and discuss, that question on the hustings in the province of Quebec, and I am satisfied that he will not defend before the people the stand he is now taking.
The hon. Minister of Justice, stated that, by means of this resolution, he expected to effect a saving of $12,000 per annum by getting those three judges to sit in Montreal. The minister has thus adopted the right course; I may congratulate him right here, for those $12,000 will put us in a position to continue paying that pension to him for some time to come. But that pension will have to be dispensed with some day, and I beg of him to speak in my behalf to the right hon. Prime Minister, so that the 2281
House may be afforded an opportunity of discussing the Bill which I introduced at the opening of the session. The Government should not entertain any fears since they have the majority in this House.
I am not speaking for myself alone. True, I am not a lawyer, but what I say is in the interest of those poor people who work hard and strain every nerve to earn a few hundred dollars, and I am. waging war on the magnates who would gobble everything and leave nothing to others.
I see that the few hon. gentlemen who have taken part in this debate belong to the legal profession. I think they expect to be promoted to the Bench one of these days. Among them, there are some men of mature years, and others much younger. For instance, my hon. friend from Sourh Cape Breton is young; he is a good lawyer and he will be made a judge before long. My hon. friend from Queens, P.E.I., is anxious that the judges' salaries should be increased; I surmise that he will be made a judge pretty soon; his stand on the question would seem to indicate it. I must say in conclusion that I am strongly opposed tc any increase of the salaries of suen judges as are drawing just now $8,000, $7,000, or even $5,000, and I say that the country is at one with me on that point.

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