292 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 77 PART 2 MARCH 2019
time in qualifying ourselves in the knowledge of the law, its purposes and
effect and the manner in which it can be applied, should not be disregarded
in favour of those who do not know statutes from statues.
Surely and seriously, it should be admitted that, granting a reasonable
sense of public duty and responsibility to our fellow citizens, lawyers are of
all classes in the community the best qualified citizens to represent their
neighbours in Parliament.
The popular outcry among the ignorant is sometimes difficult to understand.
It would be equally inexplicable if there were a body of public opinion
continuously voiced against doctors having too much say about the
health of citizens, the running of hospitals, the performing of surgical operations,
and so on. We do not hear public clamor that there are too many doctors
and that the public health would be better served if more
well-intentioned, public-spirited and energetic citizens were allowed to conduct
such simple cutting as is requisite to the removal of an appendix.
For 35 years I have listened to infinite variations upon the theme that
lawyers are not honest. For 35 years you and I and all of us have earned our
living by reason of our fellow citizens in situations requiring the services of
men and women of entire and unquestionable honesty and integrity, putting
their varied affairs entirely in our hands and depending absolutely that we
will serve their interests not only honestly, but to the very best of our ability.
Surely in these years to come, when the increasing complications of governmental
responsibility with respect to the new conditions of education,
social services, housing and a dozen other matters, which were never contemplated
by the founders of this Dominion who framed the B.N.A. Act, and
which will require careful revision of the law, legislation should have the
benefit of the applied and informed intelligence of the best lawyers who are
available for election to Parliament.
Bruce Hutchison in his column the other day called the legal profession
a racket because we make it expensive for lawyers from other provinces to
come into British Columbia to practise. We all know that British Columbia
is the prime province of Canada, where the majority of the citizens of less
favored regions secretly or openly want to come and live. As a student, I can
remember that a fair proportion of the bar was made up of lawyers from
eastern Canada. Such a stream of immigration again would make it harder
for a young citizen of British Columbia to get his start and maintain his
But on the whole question of the Law Society being a close corporation,
I well remember the words of the late Joseph Martin, K.C. He said one day
to us students: