April 5, 1921 (13th Parliament, 5th Session)


Hugh Havelock McLean


Mr. McLEAN (Royal):

I thank the learned Minister of Justice for his lengthy and perhaps not very clear explanation, because I am still in a little doubt in comprehending all he says. What I understand him to say is this. We are making this poor man suffer by increasing his sal-
ary by $5,000. That is unfortunate. Before that he received $5,000 for the onerous duty of acting as deputy Governor General. Very good. The learned Minister of Justice has not brought before our attention this matter: that all the other judges were allowed extra remuneration for extra work when they served on Royal commissions. They were often taken off the bench and appointed on Royal commissions and on other special work for which they received extra remuneration. It is now put into the Judges' Act that the increase of salaries shall cover all extra work that judges may perform; that they shall not receive one dollar more for extra work, which they may perform on Royal commissions or other work. Are they not then on the same ground or standing as the Chief Justice? They are prevented from earning this extra remuneration. The learned Chief Justice is prevented from earning this extra remuneration. But to come back again, this is the principle on which I want to stand. I have no objection to the salary of the learned Chief Justice being increased. The position should carry an ample salary to command the highest legal talent in this Dominion, and $15,000 is too small a salary for the Chief Justice of Canada. Why, you are paying to counsel, retainers of $20,000 and so many hundred dollars a day. If you go to Montreal at the present time, you cannot obtain a leading counsel under $10,000 or $12,000. So I say, I am not objecting to the salary being increased; I am objecting to this roundabout way of doing the thing. It is not the right way of carrying out the increase in the Chief Justice's salary. I think the salary of the Chief Justice of this Dominion should be $20,000.

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