September 15, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)


My hon. friend from East Grey (Mr. Sproule) has thrown out a challenge to the lawyers in a rather amusing fashion, and it is no doubt very instructive from a medical point of view. I do not think that there is any quarrel between the medical profession and the lawyers, and I do not want any. I think it would be dangerous for the lawyers, as we have to submit to the doctors at certain times, and had better keep in their good graces. There is no doubt considerable difficulty in settling the question of the judges' salaries. X do not believe in keeping them down to too low a point, but it is possible that we are wrong in thinking that gentlemen elevated to the bench should necessarily get as large an income as they were earning at the Bar. There are many anxieties connected with practice at the bar, and the strain cannot be kept up at the high rate necessary to command a large income for the whole of a man's lifetime. So that it might be quite possible that we are not bound to give such a large salary to a judge as he would make in practising at the bar. There is another point to which I might refer. We make a mistake in assuming that in all cases the most brilliant counsel makes the best judge. There are instances in which they do, but there are probably a greater number of instances to the contrary. It requires a different class of qualifications to constitute a good judge. I have noticed in the course of my professional career, as no doubt, not only members of the bar, but laymen, have done, many noticeable instances in which we have been disappointed to some extent 'n the appointment of very brilliant men to the bench, and there have been many instances in which men of isound judgment, but lacking in brilliancy, have made excellent judges. The matter will have to be considered calmly, without setting one class against another, and solely with the desire of securing such men on the bench as will do most credit to the position. The doctors do not want anything. They are not looking for any appointments, though I do not suppose they would refuse to take them if there were any to be had. I therefore disclaim any quarrel with my hon. friend from East Grey (Mr. Sproule) on this question, or on the question as to whether the lawyers earn the money they are paid. There is some difficulty in judging how much a lawyer earns, but there is no criterion by which you can judge, with any exactness, how much a doctor earns. It is a question of kill or cure, and in many instances the pay I is the same. There is also this about it, |
that the medical profession regulates its own fees. They say what their tariff shall be, and that tariff is recognized. The lawyer's tariff is regulated by law, so that I do not think there is any good purpose to serve by introducing comparisons.

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