March 28, 1922 (14th Parliament, 1st Session)


Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)


Before this resolution is adopted, we ought to have some information under several heads. We should know, first of all, what the present composition of the Court of Appeal of Saskatchewan is in point of numbers, the composition of the Court of King's Bench, and secondly what reasons there are for the conclusion that an additional judge of the Court of Appeal is necessary. Are there any arrears of business? Has there been a demand from the people of the province, or what is the real purpose of the addition to the Court of Appeal? We should know, as well, how the number of judges in the Court of Appeal in that province compares with the number on the Court of Appeal of provinces of corresponding size. Our chief concern is to ascertain whether there is any real need for an additional judge. Under our constitution, of course, we all know, the province itself constitutes courts, and declares the number to compose the court so constituted. The Dominion Government, on the other hand, makes the appointment and

Judges' Act
the Dominion treasury pays the salaries and all expenses. Under that procedure which the British North America Act lays down, there is always a temptation on the part of the provinces not to exercise the utmost care to avoid, in the first place, overconstituting the courts and in the next place, over-composing them. We ought to be very careful in this and in every case, to see that the province, inasmuch as it is in no way responsible for the extra expense involved, is animated only by a desire to have the number of judges which is absolutely essential, and no greater number, to constitute the court.

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