October 1st, 1924


OCTOBER 1, 1924


The vacancies on the bench of the Supreme Court of Canada have been filled. Judge Anglin, a son of the late Hon. T. W. Anglin of New Brunswick, becomes Chief Justice in place of the late Sir Louis Davies, Judge Rinfret, of the High Court of Quebec and Edmund L. Newcombe, Deputy Minister of Justice since 1892, become puisne judges of the court. Mr. Justice Malouin retires.

Mr. Justice Newcombe is a native of Kings County. He was born in Grafton – or the district now known by that name – on February 17, 1859, the eldest son of the late Mr. John C. and Mrs. Abbie H. Newcombe. His sister, Mrs. Margaret Trueman, resides in Berwick.

Mr. Newcombe graduated from Dalhousie College in 1878, at the age of nineteen years. He then began the study of law in the office of the late John Pryor Chipman, Q. C., of Kentville, afterwards Judge of the County Court. In 1883 he was admitted to the bar, passing his examinations "first in the first division." The law firm of Chipman & Newcombe was then formed, he being the junior partner. In 1886 he became a partner in the firm of Meagher, Drysdale & Newcombe, in Halifax. In 1892, when Sir John Thompson became Premier of Canada, the position of Deputy Minister of Justice was tendered to Mr. Newcombe and accepted by him. This position, which elevated him above the humdrum of ordinary court practice, was one well suited to his temperament and abilities and he was soon acknowledged to be at the head of the Canadian Bar. A tenure of office for more than thirty years in a most responsible position is indicative of his industry, his grasp of the principles underlying legislation and the practice of courts of law, and his knowledge of conditions affecting the Dominion of Canada, both inter-provincially and as related to dealing with other branches of the Empire and with foreign nations. It was to these qualities and not to any "pull," political or otherwise, that he owed his first appointment. According to precedent, he was entitled to a seat on the judicial bench years ago, but his services as Deputy Minister of Justice were indispensable.

A Halifax paper referring to the appointment says: The promotion was well earned. In his capacity of Deputy Minister, Justice Newcombe held the entire confidence of Ministers who presided over that branch of federal administration. His was always the judicial mind, profound and clear; giving him professional eminence as a counsellor and administrator in keeping with the tradition of the office.