James Kirkpatrick Kerr (Speaker of the Senate)
Subtopic: GARRISON ARTILLERY.
garrison artillery? . , 2. What regiments of garrison artillery is it the intention of the department to supply with these guns? 3. Are 12 pr. B. L. guns known as field artillery guns, and are they used for purposes of field artillery regiments? i. Is it the policy of the department to require regiments or units of garrison artillery to train on 12 pr. B. L. guns? 5. Is it the policy of the department to arm for training or other purposes regiments of garrison artillery with field artillery guns? 6. Is any useful purpose to be served by requiring No. 1 company of the 5th regiment of Canadian artillery to train upon 12 pr. B. L. guns? 7. Why was this company selected out of said regiment to train upon these guns? 8. Is it the intention of the department to supply the 5th regiment of Canadian artillery with horses in order to enable them to train as a cavalry regiment?
Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.
I would like very much, Mr. Speaker, to answer that question if some hon. member will put it.
I ask to be allowed to ask this question.
Has the hon. gentleman (Mr. Talbot) had the consent of the hon. member (Mr. Barnard) who gave notice of the question?
Sir WILFRID LAURIER.
No, that is not necessary.
But a member's question should not be taken from him by another member without his consent.
Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.
I may state that there has been some misunderstanding as to this particular matter as the result of a question and answer given some days ago. I have had a statement prepared by the Inspector General, General Lake, who, in fact, thinking there was misapprehension regarding the matter, volunteered the information and desired me to place it before the House. It will reflect on nobody and I think it will be a decided advantage that it should he given.
I am not raising the question whether it would be advantageous or not, but I am discussing the principle. It does not seem to me the best course to follow.
Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.
I could read the information some other time.
The hon. minister is not debarred from bringing it down.
The point being raised whether a question should be put in the absence of the member who gave notice of it, it had better stand.
On the notice of motion: That in the opinion of this House the prevailing system of party patronage constitutes a menace to honest and efficient government, incites to great waste of resources and extravagance of expenditures, tends inevitably to corrupt and lower the tone of public morals, and should forthwith be eliminated from our federal administration.
I wish to give notice to the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Launer) that next Wednesday, if this resolution is reached, I intend to move it.
Mr. F. D. MONK (Jacques Cartier) moved:
For a return showing the number of cases, en delibere, or in which judgment has been reserved, before the Superior Court of Lower Canada or the judges thereof sitting in and for the district of Montreal, said return to be confined to the cases of said court heard in the city of Montreal, and to such as were en delibere, or reserved, on the first day of December instant.
He said: This is rather a pressing matter, yet I do not intend to speak at any length upon it. I merely wish to call the attention of the government to a state of affairs which has now existed too long in the city of Montreal. There is, as the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid _ Launer) knows, a demand for additional judges in Montreal, by the bar, by the public, and, if they could take any action, I think, by the judges themselves. The judges have power, under our law, to call to_ their assistance the judges from other districts, and they do so, otherwise they could not get along at all. These judges come as much as they can and render as efficient service as possible, but what I wish to insist upon is that the insufficiency of judges of the Superior Court in that particular district is now apparent. As my right hon. friend knows, the provincial legislature has altered the law and has provided for two additional judges for the city of Montreal. The legislation by the province that is required was passed two years ago. As the House is aware, the organization of the tribunal is in the hands of the province, but the nomination and payment of the judges is with the federal power. The government here made representations, or I believe they did-certainly the Prime Minister expressed the opinion on one occasion-that it was not necessary to have new judges in Montreal but that there were judges in the outlying districts sufficiently unoccupied to be able to attend to the business of the district of Montreal and that a judicial re-
organization was necessary. There is no doubt that a judicial reorganization is necessary. There are districts in the neighbourhood of Montreal whose judges have very little to do-almost nothing to do. But to change the organization of the district and put more judges in the district of the city of Montreal would involve a complete change in our system of judicature in the province of Quebec. It has been spoken of for years, and a Bill has been introduced to that effect in the legislature of the province of Quebec, but for some reason or another the government of the province hesitate to change the system and change the districts, which change, if properly carried out, would give to Montreal sufficient judges without the nomination of additional members of the bench. The position of the provincial government, I understand, is this: Whatever may be said as to judges in certain districts not being busy, and as to the utility of changing the system, the people of the province of Quebec at present are not ready for that change. That I understand is the argument. Now the consequence of that is that we ought to have at present 16 judges in the city of Montreal.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER.
You have 14 now.
Well, there is another point to which I wish to call the attention of my right hon. friend. There was a long delay in replacing Judge Curran, I understand he has been replaced to-day. But the seat was long unfilled. There was- also a long delay in replacing Judge Loranger, or Judge Mathieu. Anyway, for the past year, in tiie city of Montreal, we have only had 12 judges. When the House considers the extent of legal business in Montreal, it must conclude that those judges are overworked. They all do their very best, but they cannot get rid of the accumulating business. Let me give the House a few figures. Here is the certificate of the deputy pTothonotary for the Superior Court in Montreal:
I do hereby certify that the number of cases inscribed for trial (enquete and merits) during the three last years was as follows: 1907, 1,817; 1908, 2,249; 1909, 2,758. On the 31st
December last there ivere 1,545 cases left unheard.
I do further certify that the writs issued during the same period were: 1907, 5,884;
1908, 6,701; 1909, 7,000.
JOS. LOZEAU, Deputy Prothonotary.
Montreal, January 3, 1910.
You can see how rapidly the business of the court has increased during the past few years. I have also another certificate from the Deputy Prothonotary in charge of the Court of Review, which is the Superior Court of three judges sitting in review on appeals from the judgment of the court below:
I hereby certify that the number of cases subscribed for hearing in review for 1907, was 225; in 1908, 244; in 1909, 278; and that on the 31st day of December, 1909, there were 128 cases left in hand unheard.
G. H. PLOURDE, Deputy Prothonotary.
Montreal, 31st December, 1909.
I have stated that during the last year we have had practically only 12 judges. Let me point out how their work is distributed. The Superior Court has jurisdiction over cases involving from $100 upwards. There is an appeal from the judgment of the Superior Court judges to the Court of Review, which is composed of three other judges of the Superior Court, and from their jurisdiction you can appeal to the Court of Appeals, to the Supreme Court, and to the Privy Council, under certain conditions. We have four judges in the city of Montreal who are required for the Court of Review, three judges sitting in the court itself, and another judge in case one of the judges is disqualified to sit in a casa. of his own from which there is an appeal, or for other reasons. At the beginning of the month, four judges must be set aside for the purposes of the Court of Review, one for a jury trial, of which this month there are seven inscribed in the Superior Court, and two for the practice division. This leaves five judges of the twelve for the general business of the court. Of course if we get fourteen in working order, it will leave seven judges for the ordinary routine business of the court. But from the volume of litigation which I have just mentioned, it is evident that even seven judges must be extremely hard worked, and the cases must be easily disposed of, if they are to get rid of such an immense number as I have mentioned. As a matter of fact, they are not able to do so. The Chief Justice has to summon judges from the country districts in order to get through the business, which comes before the court as well as they can. Under these circumstances, it seems to me that the province, having seen fit to alter the constitution of the tribunal and to provide two additional judges in Montreal, it is incumbent on the federal power to name those judges. This is the. way the question presents itself to me: Under the British North America Act you can constitute your tribunals as you like, but we will not name the judges. It seems to me that position is untenable. We are obliged to provide the judges after the provincial power has organized the tribunal. Of course, if it was a case of vexation, supposing a provincial government, without any valid motive, should change the tribunal so as to force the federal power to provide the judges, I suppose we might refuse the necessary supply. But outside