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Borden, who was then Premier of Canada, express his opinion as a jurist as well as a statesman, that among the many constitutions handed out by the Mother Country to the Dominions ours possessed the highest degree of excellence. He referred to the Australian constitution, which gives a great deal more power to the local authority and less power to the central authority than does the constitution of Canada; he referred, on the one hand, to the constitution of South Africa which reverses that order of things, conferring a great deal more power upon the central and less upon the local authority; and said that in his opinion Canada's constitution is the most nicely and evenly balanced of them all. Ever since, I have given that same idea much thought, and, as a result of years of reflection, I am convinced that Sir Robert Borden was right. We owe a special debt of gratitude to the Fathers of Confederation and to the Imperial Parliament that passed the British North America Act. Experience shows that we have just as good a constitution as human ingenuity could possibly have devised for us. Never, since 1867, has it been deemed necessary to amend Section 91 and Section 92 of the Act which contain the distribution of powers.
Your Excellency, we are all met here in a spirit of great submission to our constitution. Our only desire is to work it out, and by working it out properly we know we shall perpetuate British institutions as you have described them and as we ourselves know them. We are, it is true, a community of lawyers, but, for all that, we are not gathered here to advocate a multiplicity of legislation. Rather do we aspire to that minimum of legislation and maximum of freedom which, somebody once said, is after all the proper condition of a happy and wellordered society. That is part of our work here. We are endeavouring, some of us, from the various Provinces of Canada, by means of a consideration of principles, to lessen the quantity of legislation, to improve its form, to make it uniform, to make it more consonant with the interests of Canadians, which after all are the same in general principle in Nova Scotia or in British Columbia.
Therefore, Your Excellency, it is my great privilege and pleasant duty to thank you. I thank you most heartily, indeed, on behalf of the members of this Association, and once again I assure you that your kind words will remain with us during the days of our deliberations and, I may say, will long be remembered by each of us. (Applause).
The President then asked Mr. Ludwig to take the Chair, and proceeded to deliver the Presidential Address. (See page 160).
THE CHAIRMAN (Mr. Ludwig): The next order of business is the Report of Council.
The Acting Secretary and Treasurer then read the Report of Council (see page 151), which was adopted.
THE CHAIRMAN: The next order of business is the appointment of the Nominating and Resolutions Committees.
MR. D. J. THOM, K.C.: In regard to the Nominating Committee, it has been suggested that the present Vice-Presidents who know the men in their own Provinces, should act on that Committee. In one or two cases the Vice-President is absent and another name has been suggested. I move the appointment of the following members as Nominating Committee: Prince Edward Island-Mr. A. B. Warburton, K.C.; Nova ScotiaCol. J. L. Ralston, K.C.; New Brunswick-Mr. M. G. Teed, K.C.; Quebec-Mr. E. Lafleur, K.C.; Ontario-Mr. M. H. Ludwig, K.C.; Manitoba-Mr. I. Pitblado, K.C.; Saskatchewan —Col. J. A. Cross, K.C.; Alberta,—Mr. R. B. Bennett, K.C.; British Columbia- Mr. L. G. McPhillips, K.C., with Mr. Teed as Convener.
This motion was seconded by Mr. Nicol Jeffrey and was adopted.
It was moved by Mr. Angus MacMurchy, K.C., seconded by Mr. G. F. Henderson, K.C.:
"That the Constitution be amended to provide for the appointment of two additional members of Council from each Province, by striking out the word "twelve" and substituting the word "fourteen" and striking out the word "six" and substituting the word "eight" in Article III.
This motion was declared carried.
MR. J. C. LAMOTHE, K.C., LL.D.: I beg to propose as members of the Committee on Resolutions the following members: Prince Edward Island-Mr. W. E. Bentley, K.C.; Nova Scotia Mr. Stuart Jenks, K. C.; New Brunswick-Hon. J. B. M. Baxter, K.C.; Quebec-Mr. R. G. de Lorimier, K.C.; OntarioMr. Nicol Jeffrey; Manitoba-Mr. Theo. A. Hunt, K.C.; Saskatchewan-Mr. J. A. M. Patrick, K. C.; Alberta-Dr. James Muir, K.C.; British Columbia-Mr. R. M. Macdonald, with Mr. Theo. A. Hunt, K. C., as Convener.
This motion was seconded by Mr. R. J. Maclennan and was adopted.
CHAIRMAN: Hon. J. B. M. Baxter will now present his report dealing with the proposed incorporation of the Association.
Hon. JOHN B. M. BAXTER, K.C., D.C.L.: The submission of this report is after all a very simple matter. Copies of the Bill have been distributed. I do not know whether it is the pleasure of the meeting that I should read the draft Act or not. It may not take very long. I may say also that I had drawn up a memorandum based upon correspondence with representatives of the Association in different Provinces, which contains some matter as to the appointment, number and time of appointment
of the governing bodies of the legal profession in each Province, together with some information as to the bodies which are legal associations but which are not recognized as the official bodies. I do not intend to read this memorandum but simply to put it in your hands, Mr. Chairman, so that it may be available for any Committee which will have the work of revising the constitution for the purpose of meeting the provisions of the Act of Incorporation.
Now, with regard to the Act of Incorporation, there are only a few sections. The first section is simply a formal one. The second recites the objects of the Association and is, I think, almost literally a transcript from the objects as stated in the constitution of the Association.
"The objects of the Association shall be to advance the science of jurisprudence; promote the administration of justice; obtain uniformity of legislation throughout Canada so far as is consistent with the preservation of the basic systems of law in the respective provinces; uphold the honour of the profession of the law, and foster harmonious relations and co-operation among the incorporated law societies, barristers' societies and general corporations of the Bar of the several provinces and cordial intercourse among the members of the Canadian Bar; encourage a high standard of legal education and training; publish its own transactions as well as reports of cases and information and decisions concerning the law and its practice, and generally do all further or other lawful acts and things touching the premises.
I call your attention to the fact that this language is wide enough to enable this Association, should it see fit at any time to do so, to enter upon a scheme of perhaps unifying law reporting for Canada. That is something that may be very much in the future, but I submit that it is advisable at least to have the power.
The third section provides for the constitution of local sections or branches if considered advisable. The fourth is a rather extensive setting out of the powers which the Association may exercise by rules, regulations or by-laws. The principal one, of course, is the section to establish a
"Council of the Association with executive power; determine the method of election or appointment thereto or selection thereof; define the constitution, powers, duties, quorum, and term of office of such Council and fix the number, powers, duties and term of office of the officers and committees of the Association."
The fifth clause divides the membership into two classes that we have now, active and honorary members; and the sixth provides for the property holding power. You will all notice I am sure, with a feeling of supreme satisfaction, that the Association proposes to be able to borrow money; not merely to
receive gifts as donations from the several provinces, but also to exploit the financial field and borrow at a liberal rate so far as it is necessary to accomplish our purpose. The seventh section continues the officers and members of Council under the present by-laws until new officers are elected, in accordance with the Act of Incorporation. The eighth preserves the exixting constitution until we alter or repeal it.
CHAIRMAN: The Bill is open for discussion.
MR. R. G. DE LORIMIER, K.C. (Montreal): Mr. Chairman, in order to emphasize what I stated very briefly at the dinner last night, I have now the honour to move, as one of the members of the Quebec Bar, the following resolution:
"That the draft Act for the incorporation of this Association now submitted to this meeting, be approved in its general principles, and that a committee be appointed with full power to present a Bill formed on these lines to the Parliament of Canada for enactment.
MR. I. PITBLADO, K.C., LL.D. I agree with the resolution with the exception of the part that proposes the appointment of a special committee to take it up. I think that the
Council of the Association should be the committee to look after the putting through of the legislation. If necessary, they may appoint from among themselves a sub-committee. It is far better that the committee should be appointed by them than by this body, and I think perhaps Mr. deLorimier would change his resolution to make it read the Council of the Association look after the matter.
MR. DELORIMIER: I have no objection whatever.
Mr. deLorimier's motion was then amended to read as follows:
"That the draft Act for the incorporation of this Association now submitted to this meeting be approved in its general principles, and that the Council of the Association be authorized to promote and further the passage by the Parliament of Canada of a Bill framed on these lines,"
and unanimously adopted.
COL. W. N. PONTON, K.C.: I wish to ask for imformation. Have the American Bar Association and the various Bar Associations of the several States been incorporated, and does the result of their experience show that incorporation is beneficial and advantageous? Can anyone give me the information?
THE PRESIDENT: My impression is that the American Bar Association is not incorporated.
THE CHAIRMAN: Colonel Ponton seems to think that some of them are.
THE PRESIDENT: Might I suggest that the Vice-Presidents, or those who represent the Vice-Presidents, call the representatives who are here from the several provinces to meet as soon as
possible and to make suggestions as to those whom they desire elected to the Council. Then their suggestions can be made to the Nominating Committee.
At 12.30 the meeting adjourned.
FIRST DAY (LUNCHEON)
At 1 p.m. the members were entertained at luncheon by the Ottawa Bar. The Hon. William M. Martin, Premier of Saskatchewan, occupied the Chair, and, after the toast to the King, Mr. Martin said:
Your Excellency, My Lord, Ladies and Gentlemen :
I can assure you that I appreciate very much the honour that has been done me by the Canadian Bar Association in asking me to preside at this luncheon today. I appreciate the honour still more because it becomes my pleasant duty to welcome to Canada and to propose the health of the guest of this occasion, Mr. William Howard Taft. (Applause). We are all glad to welcome Mr. Taft to Canada. As citizens of Canada we welcome him as one who attained the highest office in the gift of the people in the great republic to the south of us. As lawyers, men interested in law and the administration of law, we are glad to welcome Mr. Taft, who is recognized this continent over as one of the greatest authorities on general jurisprudence and international law that we have on the North American continent. (Applause). We in Canada, particularly in Western Canada, have always felt very kindly towards Mr. Taft (laughter) and I know that our guest has a very kindly feeling towards the people of Canada as a whole. I find from conversation with Mr. Taft that he likes Canada so well that he spends every summer at a resort in the eastern portion of Canada and he tells me it is the best place he ever found in which to spend his sumVery recently I noticed that Mr. Taft had been appointed to a Canadian Commission so that he is becoming more and more of a Canadian every day and I propose that before he leaves Canada on this occasion we should take advantage of the opportunity and do away with, or suspend to some extent our naturalization laws and make Mr. Taft a full-fledged Canadian citizen. (Applause).
I am not going to say anything more except to ask you to charge your glasses and drink the health of Mr. William Howard Taft.
Hon. Mr. Taft then delivered his Address. (See page 186).