April 20, 1931 (17th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)


May I say that the same reasons which actuated the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King) in refraining from interrupting the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Murphy) influenced the Speaker in not interrupting the hon. gentleman. Now that great latitude has been allowed to a member of the government in speaking on the orders of the day and similar latitude to the leader of the opposition, I think I cannot do 'better than to draw the attention of the house to the rule in that respect, which I am bound to say has to some extent been evaded at this session. I will read to the house what Bourinot says, as summarized by Beauchesne:
When the orders of the day are called by the Speaker and before they are read by the clerk assistant, it is the practice sanctioned by usage but not by any positive rule, for members to make personal explanations or ask questions of the government, in reference to an inaccurate report of their speeches in the official records, or in the newspapers; or in denial of certain charges made against them in the public prints; or in reference to certain remarks which had been misunderstood on a previous occasion, and which they had not before had an opportunity of explaining; or in respect to delay in obtaining returns or to the incompleteness of certain returns brought down under the order of the house; or relative to the state of public business, or other matters of public interest. But these remarks should be brief as they are only tolerated, there being no question before the Chair when they are made, and no discussion should be allowed when a minister has replied to a question nor after a member has made his personal explanation. In asking a question, a member must not attack the conduct of the government. If a member wishes to make personal explanations in reference to remarks which have fallen from another member, the latter ought to be in his place.
I would also refer to standing order 45, which is explicit:
Forty-eight hours' notice shall be given .... for placing a question on the order paper.
I think members will agree with me that the nature of questions asked on the orders of the day should be something altogether different from questions that might well be put on the order paper, and I would therefore ask the cooperation of the house in future in observing both the rule and custom of the house.

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