There are less than 9,000 people in the Yukon and it costs us about $1,000,000 to look after them. With all due deference to the gentleman who may be holding the office of judge, I cannot accept the proposition that we should spend any more money there under present conditions.
I am not in a position to say just what the administration of the Yukon costs as a whole. At the same time we are only dealing with this item of $687.50, which I consider a reasonable allowance to this gentleman for taking on those additional duties during the absence of Mr. Justice Macaulay. I think we could hardly be taxed with extravagance for recognizing this absolutely reasonable claim under the [DOT] circumstances.
He had leave of absence I think. With regard to one of the occasions I quite recall the facts. Mr. Justice Macaulay was given leave on account of the condition of his health and that leave wa6 prolonged by the fact that on his way home he met with an accident on the train which caused quite a long sojourn in the hospital.
We are paying a colossal sum of money for the maintenance of less than 9,000 people in the Yukon. It will be a matter of computation as to how much a head that would be. That is net merely the population of Dawson, but of the whole Yukon Territory. The judge there does what an ordinary police magistrate does in any eastern town for $800 or $900 a year, and glad to get it.
It would hardly be suggested that it would be desirable that we should have no Superior Court judge in the district. The judge has been called upon to deal with capital cases and some cases of very great magnitude on the civil side. When this Administration came into power there were three judges in he Yukon.
I think the dimunition had practically taken place at the time, because shortly after we came in we felt justified in doing away with two of these judges. We have but one judge, and, at Dawson, he performs the duties of a Higli Court judge, and also performs the duties of a magistrate sitting at the trial of criminal cases. There was some criticism of the fact that he should occupy the two positions, but still, from reasons of economy, we have thought it well to maintain that condition of affairs. The length of the absence of the judge in one case was certainly due to unavoidable causes. I think the circumstances justify the allowance. I have simply the direction of judicial matter? the total expenditure in connection with the administration of the Yukon Territory is not within my control.
I do not see any objection to passing this vote. It seems very reasonable that this man, who is performing important duties over and above those that he is ordinarily paid for, should receive some consideration for it. But it is quite obvious, if the Yukon Territory can get along for sixteen and a half months with-
out tne presence of a Superior Court judge, the presence of a Superior Court judge during all the time is not necessary.
I think that is quite true, but the opportunity for making that change will only arise to practical advantage when there is a vacancy in the position of judge. The judge is permanently 'appointed, and if we should make the change now I do not think we would be entitled to refuse to pay him his salary.
In view of t-he high cost of living, it has been decided to grant to those employees of penitentiaries who draw salaries of $1,000 and under a.bonus to tide them over this year. It is not an increase in salary, but a temporary payment for this year. It is in line with what has been done in several other departments and what was. done by the amendment to the Civil Service Act in the case of eome of the inside civil servants.
On what basis is the compassionate allowance to this widow fixed?
.Mr. DOHERTY: This is not under any fixed arrangement; otherwise we would not need to ask the vote. The circumstances make this case very exceptional. Under the penitentiary law, a man who is retired for illness is entitled to a gratuity which represents a proportion of his salary for the number of years he has served. That proportion is arrived at by taking the salary of the last three years. The husband of this widow served for over thirty-two years in the British Columbia penitentiary. He died from a sudden attack of heart disease, leaving his widow, with a large family of little children, in abject property. Had he been retired through illness, he would have been entitled to a gratuity of, I think, $1,700 or $1,800; but as he died suddenly his case does not come under the Act. On inquiry I find that it is most unlikely that other cases of a similar kind will occur, so that this will not be establishing a precedent. It is a compassionate allowance pure and simple.
I hope I shall not be accused of suggesting extravagant expenditures to the Government when I say that, while I feel we should be careful as to the amount of money we expend, I also feel that in the cases of many classes of officials of the Government- we should have some system
by which consideration will be given to them if they retire because of physical unfitness, or to their dependent families in case of death. Many of the great institutions of the country have adopted that principle. In the case of penitentiary officials and others where special trustworthiness is required and where the remuneration is by no means large, I believe the public interest would be served by carrying out the principle now invoked in the case of men retiring owing to physical unfitness. Where a faithful man. has left a dependent fami'y it would not be going too far to. .give to that dependent family the full amount of the so-called gratuity to which, under the .system adopted in the penitentiaries, the man himself would have been entitled had he been retired because of physical unfitness.
Post Office Department-civil government- To provide for an increase in salary of the superintendent of Mail Contracts Branch to $4,500, $750.