On Friday, April 7, the right hon. the leader of the opposition raised the point that the house having control of its own records, the house should, before any statements are expunged from the official report of the debates, pass a resolution to that effect, and he submitted that the Speaker
being the servant of the house in this, as in all matters, the house itself should determine whether anything is to be deleted from any of its records.
In the case in point, the first opportunity I had of fully understanding the words complained of was when I saw the official report, and since I should have ruled them out when they were uttered I consider I was justified in ruling them out from the chair as soon as the house sat again. I agree that in dealing with Hansard the Speaker's authority is subject to the approval of the house.
Instructions for any alteration in the official report of the debates should not be given without communicating them to the house in session, and for this reason, whenever I have deemed it advisable to direct that certain statements be expunged, I have done so from the chair, thus giving a ruling which, under standing order 12, is subject to an appeal to the house. I have followed the precedent established by one of my predecessors who, on April 6, 1925, decided that an answer given by the government should be expunged, and he did so in the following words:
I therefore rule that the answer be expunged from Hansard, and if the question is put again, a distinct answer should be given.
I have dealt with all such cases as questions of order subject to the ordinary rules of parliamentary procedure.
Subtopic: EXPUNGEMENT OF OBJECTIONABLE STATEMENTS FROM THE RECORD