Mr. JOHN BRACKEN (Leader of the Opposition):
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege. It has to do with the report of the proceedings of this house yesterday.
Yesterday Your Honour ruled out of order a bill to amend the Judges Act introduced by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles). In giving your reasons Your Honour stated as follows, as reported in Hansard, page 1569:
I would draw to the attention of the hon. member the fact that I am under the impression that this bill is out of order, because it involves an expenditure of money. So I rule the bill out of order.
And a little later on Your Honour made the following comment:
As I have said, I believe that the bill as drafted deals with public expenditures, and therefore is out of order.
It is clear that Your Honour's reason for ruling the bill out of order was your impression that it involved an expenditure of public money. I have not seen the bill, so I have no opinion on that subject.
However, in Votes and Proceedings of yesterday, No. 37, which document I believe is the binding and authoritative record of this house, there appears the following statement:
Mr. Speaker ruled that the introduction of such a bill was out of order on the ground that alterations in the salaries fixed by the Judges Act and judges retirement annuities, even by way of reductions, cannot be moved in the house by a private member, but that they can only be proposed by a minister of the crown on the Governor General's recommendation to be considered in committee of the whole by resolution prior to the introduction of a bill.
Mr. Speaker, nowhere in Your Honour's words can be read or implied the reason that appears in Votes and Proceedings. The matter is of some importance, as it affects the rules of the house. I do not believe that Votes and Proceedings should ascribe ' to Your Honour words or reasons which you did not use in addressing this house and therefore create a precedent for the future. The reasons which Your Honour gave are not those recited in the Volei and Proceedings, and the reasons given in Votes and Proceedings are, I suggest with all deference, not well established. If allowed to pass without protest they might eventually lead to a precedent, which would make it impossible for a private, member to move in committee of supply for the reduction of an estimate.
I would respectfully ask Your Honour to take the matter into consideration and to communicate to the house, at a later date, your opinion on the matters I have raised.