May 17, 1932

LIB

William Richard Motherwell

Liberal

Mr. MOTHERWELL:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   INCOME WAR TAX ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   SPECIAL TAX ON INCOMES OP JUDGES AND MEMBERS OF MILITARY, NAVAL, AIR AND POLICE FORCES
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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

-a time when an increase might have been granted. And why was it not granted? Simply because the temper of the House of Commons was opposed to it; that was the reason. I have not any doubt that my hon. friend himself was in favour of an increase-

Topic:   INCOME WAR TAX ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   SPECIAL TAX ON INCOMES OP JUDGES AND MEMBERS OF MILITARY, NAVAL, AIR AND POLICE FORCES
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   INCOME WAR TAX ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   SPECIAL TAX ON INCOMES OP JUDGES AND MEMBERS OF MILITARY, NAVAL, AIR AND POLICE FORCES
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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

-but the temper of the House of Commons was opposed to it. I think I am not going too far when I say that from anything we have learned during the present session of parliament, the temper of this present House of Commons is not in favour of excluding judges from any contribution to the finances of the dominion for the present year.

Topic:   INCOME WAR TAX ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   SPECIAL TAX ON INCOMES OP JUDGES AND MEMBERS OF MILITARY, NAVAL, AIR AND POLICE FORCES
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   INCOME WAR TAX ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   SPECIAL TAX ON INCOMES OP JUDGES AND MEMBERS OF MILITARY, NAVAL, AIR AND POLICE FORCES
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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

That is the operating

thought in my mind at all events; because in the main I agree with the position which my hon. friend has taken with regard to the judiciary of this country.

On the other branch of his case he submits we are not justified in taking this step because we should not impose taxation where there is no representation. Well, I submit that the judiciary of this country are represented in the House of Commons, not by themselves but by the representatives of the people of the country. If my hon. friend's argument is

correct, we could not impose taxation upon the civil servants, because the civil servants are not represented here except through the members of this house. Many bodies are not represented here; none of the officers of the government practically have a right to sit here or to be heard here. Now, I submit there is no foundation in fact for that objection; that this House of Commons represents the whole dominion, all classes of citizens of this country.

For these reasons I submit we are strictly on legal ground in bringing down this bill. I hope it will be only for a single year. The measure itself is so expressed; it will expire after the present year.

There is not unanimity among the judiciary themselves with regard to the measure. I have received letters supporting the proposal from a number of judges who desire to have this tax imposed upon them, or to make their contribution as others do; on the other hand, I have received communications from other judges objecting to the proposal. As I say, there is no unanimity among the judiciary in that respect. But judging the matter as a whole, reviewing the circumstances as we know them in this house since the bill was introduced, and particularly having regard to the desire on the part of everyone in Canada to reduce expenditure to the minimum, I believe the present bill is justified at this juncture and ought to be adopted.

Topic:   INCOME WAR TAX ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   SPECIAL TAX ON INCOMES OP JUDGES AND MEMBERS OF MILITARY, NAVAL, AIR AND POLICE FORCES
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

Would the minister state why the judges should not have been brought under the general act?

Topic:   INCOME WAR TAX ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   SPECIAL TAX ON INCOMES OP JUDGES AND MEMBERS OF MILITARY, NAVAL, AIR AND POLICE FORCES
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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

I think there is a very sound objection on constitutional grounds. I agree with my hon. friend who just spoke that the judges are in a class by themselves. They are not civil servants; they are not the servants of the crown, and the time may come when they will be the buffer between the crown and the people. I do not believe there should be any interference with a contract made with a man when he ascends the bench. We surround him with limitations. He cannot engage in trade; as my hon. friend pointed out, he cannot accept any public office and he cannot sit in the parliament of this country. To a very large extent he is removed from the ordinary people of his locality. He cannot practise the profession for which he has been trained, and to my mind it would be an unfair thing, after he has accepted office and continued therein for a number of years, by force of an act of parliament to say that although we made a bargain with him, now his salary is to be reduced without his consent. To my mind that would be an unconstitutional act.

Income War Tax Act

We know that an effort was made last autumn to reduce the salaries of judges in Great Britain, and we know that when the matter was discussed and fully inquired into the better opinion, both of lawyers and laymen, was that it would not be proper to reduce the salaries of the judges. Many very able legal opinions were expressed to the effect that it would be unconstitutional to do so. That is my own view, and that is why I would not feel free to support a statutory reduction in the salaries of members of the judiciary.

Topic:   INCOME WAR TAX ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   SPECIAL TAX ON INCOMES OP JUDGES AND MEMBERS OF MILITARY, NAVAL, AIR AND POLICE FORCES
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

I do not

wish to enter into a controversy with my hon. friend, but it seems strange to me that since parliament from time to time has increased the salaries of judges after their appointment, it should not have the authority to reduce them.

Topic:   INCOME WAR TAX ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   SPECIAL TAX ON INCOMES OP JUDGES AND MEMBERS OF MILITARY, NAVAL, AIR AND POLICE FORCES
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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

That is to the advantage of the judge. I submit that we are not permitted to do anything to his disadvantage.

Topic:   INCOME WAR TAX ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   SPECIAL TAX ON INCOMES OP JUDGES AND MEMBERS OF MILITARY, NAVAL, AIR AND POLICE FORCES
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

Being only a layman I am not prepared to argue that point with my hon. friend, but it seems to me that parliament has complete authority, and if parliament has the power to increase the salary of a man who my hon. friend argues is under contract, and who accepted the position on the terms of that contract, surely he is also subject to a decrease if one becomes necessary.

Topic:   INCOME WAR TAX ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   SPECIAL TAX ON INCOMES OP JUDGES AND MEMBERS OF MILITARY, NAVAL, AIR AND POLICE FORCES
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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

No, he is only obeying the will of parliament in that case.

Topic:   INCOME WAR TAX ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   SPECIAL TAX ON INCOMES OP JUDGES AND MEMBERS OF MILITARY, NAVAL, AIR AND POLICE FORCES
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I do not want to delay the house in connection with this item, but when the Minister of Finance was discussing the bill providing for the reduction in the salaries of civil servants he told us that this reduction was a contribution on the part of those civil servants. If that is the case I fail to see any distinction at all between the contribution made by way of reduction and the contribution made by a special income tax. The argument of the Minister of Justice that these men should not have their salaries reduced because they are precluded, by reason of their position, from taking part in public life or from carrying on the practice of law, to my mind applies equally well to this act. which we are now discussing.

Topic:   INCOME WAR TAX ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   SPECIAL TAX ON INCOMES OP JUDGES AND MEMBERS OF MILITARY, NAVAL, AIR AND POLICE FORCES
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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

No, I submit that we have no power to reduce the salaries although, according to the decision of the privy council, we have power to impose a tax.

Topic:   INCOME WAR TAX ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   SPECIAL TAX ON INCOMES OP JUDGES AND MEMBERS OF MILITARY, NAVAL, AIR AND POLICE FORCES
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

But the minister argued on the propriety of the matter, saying that we had no moral right to reduce the salaries of

judges because of their peculiar position. Now he goes ahead and moves that we tax them an additional ten per cent. I confess that, having a mind not capable of drawing fine philosophical distinctions, I cannot see the difference. If I may state the point of view which I hold in this matter, I believe that the salaries of judges should have been subject to the reduction imposed on every other member of the service. I am sorry to disagree in this matter with my colleague from Quebec East (Mr. Lapointe). I believe the same thing should apply to the members of the naval and military forces; I cannot find anywhere in the act any special contract with the members of those forces which would prevent us from reducing their salaries.

I do believe that this legislation is perhaps the most vicious that has ever been introduced into this house, in that it discriminates between different classes of citizens and proposes to penalize certain people because they belong to a certain class. In other legislatures they take that action in connection with people who have become nuisances, such as hucksters, peddlers and people of that sort. We impose a special tax on them. We are now degrading those who should be the leaders in our social structure, the judges, members of the militia, members of the police force and others, to the level of common nuisances, and I protest against that action being taken.

Topic:   INCOME WAR TAX ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   SPECIAL TAX ON INCOMES OP JUDGES AND MEMBERS OF MILITARY, NAVAL, AIR AND POLICE FORCES
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LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

Just before the motion is agreed to, in section 1 of the bill I find the following words:

9a. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this act or in any other statute or law, the members of the judiciary and the members of the military, naval and air forces of Canada and of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, other than enlisted men, shall be liable to pay a special income tax of ten per centum upon the salaries paid to them by the Dominion of Canada.

Yesterday when the resolution upon which this bill is based was under consideration I tried to argue that, in my opinion, if this tax was to be imposed on civil servants and judges it should apply also to ex-judges and others who are receiving pensions. At that time I made the statement that one of the lieutenant-governors was also getting a pension. I find that while a pension was paid to that distinguished gentleman in 1931 it is not being paid this year, so in that statement I was slightly mistaken. However, I am still of the opinion that ex-judges drawing pensions should be liable to this tax just as much as anyone else should be. If I understood the argument of the Minister of Justice it was that the judges should not have a reduction of ten per cent under the general act which

Income War Tax Act

we passed yesterday because they were in a particular class, and were under contract. I think the same thing applies to members of parliament; I believe we are equally under contract, and if we could be brought in under Bill No. 19 I believe the judges should have been included under that measure as well.

I do believe that the ex-judges, who receive pensions totalling about $1,000,000, should come under this act. Looking at the estimates for 1932-33, in the list of those receiving pensions authorized by statute, appearing on page 23 I notice the name of J. D. Hyndman, who receives a pension of $6,000 as an exjudge. I should like to know if this is the same gentleman who is chairman of the pension appeal tribunal and who, in that capacity, receives a salary of some $8,000 or $9,000.

Topic:   INCOME WAR TAX ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   SPECIAL TAX ON INCOMES OP JUDGES AND MEMBERS OF MILITARY, NAVAL, AIR AND POLICE FORCES
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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RHODES:

If my hon. friend will permit me, he does not draw his pension.

Topic:   INCOME WAR TAX ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   SPECIAL TAX ON INCOMES OP JUDGES AND MEMBERS OF MILITARY, NAVAL, AIR AND POLICE FORCES
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LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

Does my hon. friend say Mr. Hyndman does not draw his pension?

Topic:   INCOME WAR TAX ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   SPECIAL TAX ON INCOMES OP JUDGES AND MEMBERS OF MILITARY, NAVAL, AIR AND POLICE FORCES
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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RHODES:

I understand that the

arrangement when he accepted the position was that this pension was to become a portion of his compensation, under his contract.

Topic:   INCOME WAR TAX ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   SPECIAL TAX ON INCOMES OP JUDGES AND MEMBERS OF MILITARY, NAVAL, AIR AND POLICE FORCES
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LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

My understanding is that his

salary is $9,000 and that salary has been drawn since his appointment. As I said a moment ago, I hold in my hand the estimates for 1932-33, and in the first column under the heading of "1932-33" appears this gentleman's name with a pension of $6,000 opposite. I cannot understand why a gentleman who takes another position under the government should have his pension taken away. He has earned that pension for performing a certain public duty, just as the lieutenant-governor has earned his, and although it may be legal I cannot understand why the pension should not be paid this year when it was paid up until last year. I contend that these gentlemen who are receiving pensions as ex-judges should be treated in the same way as everyone else and although I will not move an amendment-I will leave it to the good judgment of the minister-I feel that after the word "judiciary" in the third line of section 9A there should be added the words "and ex-members of the judiciary to whom pensions are paid."

Topic:   INCOME WAR TAX ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   SPECIAL TAX ON INCOMES OP JUDGES AND MEMBERS OF MILITARY, NAVAL, AIR AND POLICE FORCES
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May 17, 1932