I have not fully determined that, but I think it would make for the convenience of the public if there were a board for each province, or at least for each section of the country, if the country could be divided into sections. I think it would be the object of the Government to provide sufficient boards to ensure the prompt hearing of appeals against assessments. My present view is that there should be a board for each province, but it may be found that a board of reference may be able to serve more than one province.
Has the minister in mind any class from which he will select the members of the board? I have had suggestions made to me by business men in my own province that it would be undesirable to appoint business men to the position. I suppose that,the objectors think that if men in general mercantile business were appointed, in a small province, they would obtain a knowledge of other people's business which would not be desirable. There might be something in the practice in Ontario where county court judges are not appointed for the district in which they have practised.
It being a business tax, I see the force of the suggestion of my hon. friend, and possibly it might be well to have members of the legal profession or county court judges. I shall give the matter very careful consideration. Certainly my own intention is to appoint high-class men, who will deal with absolute fairness with all appeals coming before them; because they will be exercising judicial functions, and the rights of the public must be protected.
against the minister's last suggestion, that they may be lawyers or judges. No county court judge whom I know knows any more about a business statement than a hen knows about holy water. The great mass of lawyers know nothing about business statements. There may be some lawyers who know something about business, but very few, according to my knowledge.
the country is concerned, no lawyer makes any business statement that I know of; the business men make the statements them-iselves. I think that the referees should be business men. I do not think that because they know something about the other man's business they would peddle. I will endorse my hon. friend's suggestion that partnership should be kept out as much as possible; but, whether manufacturers, commercial men, or accountants, the referees should certainly be business men who understand the compiling of business statements.