Mr. JEAN-FRANCOIS POULIOT (Temis-couata): Mr. Speaker, now that your Honour is in the chair I have to rise, in the full house, on a question of privilege which affects every member of parliament. The matter is very serious. We have just heard an honoured guest state that we shall not be slaves of despots and tyrants, and that democracy shall be observed throughout the world.
There are three committees of the whole house. One of them is the committee of the whole, so-called; another is the committee of supply, and the third is the committee of ways and means. The house ignores officially what happens before one of those three committees, and, as I was victimized while one of those committees was sitting, it is my duty, sir, to inform you officially of what occurred
on Monday while the house was sitting in committee of supply, and when the item for general administration of the senate was before that committee. And I will do so with the feeling that the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) recalls the well-known grace of my race.
The question that is of the utmost importance to all members of parliament, jointly and severally, as well as individually, is to know how many times a member of parliament has to withdraw a statement made in the house; and also, sir, if a minister can distort with impunity a statement made by a minister, and then call on the Chair for the withdrawal of a statement which comes from the lips of the minister and not from the mouth of the member who is supposed to withdraw the statement.
There is a well-known rule of the house forbidding members of parliament to impute motives to their colleagues. It will be enough to remind Your Honour of standing order 43, paragraph (1):
No member may speak twice to a question except in explanation of a material part of his speech which may have been misquoted or misunderstood, but then he is not to introduce any new matter, and no debate shall be allowed upon such explanation.
Which means, as you know so well, sir, that provided that parliamentary language is used in a statement made by a member, if that statement is not reported correctly a member has the right to mention to the house what he has said. And how many times do members of parliament rise in this house to correct statements which appear in Hansard, in order to remove any doubt about the way they have expressed themselves on any matter which has come before the house? At page 3345 of Hansard we find the chairman stating that I had used the following words in speaking about the senate:
_ They have completely lost any sense of shame in the senate, and with the exception of two or three-