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Thursday, 12 July 1906

Mr ROBINSON (Wannon) -- The matters which the Justice will have to inquire into under this part of the Bill" will be, not matters of law, or of fact, but largely matters of opinion and of economics. If a Justice be appointed to decide .these questions we shall be exposing a high judicial officer, who ought ito be above all party considerations, to attacks in regard to the decisions he may give.

Mr Isaacs - Under the other portion of the Bill, the Justice will be required to do precisely the same work, and. moreover, the American Judges are called upon to exercise similar functions.

Mr ROBINSON - I am not certain that such is the case. The Board which was originally provided for would not command the confidence of any section of the public, and I regard the substitution of a Judge as an improvement. At the same time, I cannot approve of the growing disposition to call upon Justices to deal with questions which do not involve matters of law or of fact, but which require that they shall express an economic opinion upon subjects in regard to which men of equal ability may, in perfect good faith, hold diametrically opposite views.. I regard the practice as somewhat dangerous. In many parts of Canada and the United States, this practice has resulted in the impairment of the independence of the Bend and the exposure of the Judges to party attacks. However, I cannot suggest an improvement, and, therefore, 'I suppose I must let the matter pass. I had intended to refer to this question when we were dealing with the Arbitration Act, but the time then at our disposal was too short to permit of my doing so. I believe that the appointment of Judges to try cases such as would arise under that Act has not increased public confidence in the Bench, but has tended to shake it and to expose the occupants of the Bench to party attacks.

Amendment agreed to.

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