With reference to the remarks made yesterday by the hon. the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bracken) regarding the report in the debates and in Votes and Proceedings of my decision on the introduction of the bill to amend the Judges Act, sponsored by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles), there is nothing unusual in the decision not being recorded in exactly the same words in these two reports.
It sometimes happens that the authorities are not at hand when a ruling has to be given from the chair, and it is necessarily given in a summary manner. It is afterwards reported in a less condensed form in Votes and Proceedings, which is the only official report of the things done and passed in the House of Commons, while Hansard is the official report of speeches.
The same practice obtains in courts of justice when a judge renders a judgment from the bench and then writes it up for the record. The main point is that the decision must not be altered. In this instance both Votes and Proceedings and debates report that the introduction of the bill was not permitted because it involved the expenditure of money. It cannot be said that my decision debars members from moving reductions in committee of supply, for that committee considers estimates brought down by the government and recommended by the crown. The government in that case takes the initiative.
Under section 54 of the British North America Act, no part of the public revenue can be appropriated to any purpose that has not been recommended by his excellency, and under standing order 60 no resolution for any public aid or charge upon the people can be presented on the day entered upon, but it must be adjourned and then referred to the committee of the whole. It does not matter whether the charge is an original amount, an increase or a reduction, no private member can introduce a money bill and skip the submission of a resolution to the committee of the whole.
Even if the bill were sponsored by the government it could not be introduced without a previous resolution. Mr. Speaker White decided in 1892, and his decision has held good ever since, that an amendment cannot be put when it disposes of the public revenue without the recommendation of the crown as required by the British North America Act of 1867.
The effect of the passage of the bill as presented by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre would be immediate obligation to pay; no future legislation would be necessary, and therefore the authority cited last night by the hon. member does not apply. It is needless to add that any comparison with this bill and the committee of supply is irrelevant, and private members will be free in the future as they always have been to move any reduction in, and even to reject, any of the estimates brought down by the government.
I hope it will be understood that I am not now giving a decision on the introduction of the bill. This I did yesterday. I am now only making a statement in pursuance of the remarks made yesterday by the leader of the opposition and the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre. The house I am sure will readily understand that there being no motion before the Chair, the incident is closed and the house shall now proceed with its business.
Mr. JOHN BRACKEN (Leader of the
Opposition): Mr. Speaker, may I take this
opportunity to thank Your Honour for your usual courteous consideration of the point I raised yesterday. As for myself I accept your ruling. If I interpret what you had to say correctly, I think the house will be pleased to note that your ruling will not interfere with any private member moving in committee of supply for the reduction of items of expenditures.
War Crimes Tribunal
Subtopic: REFERENCE TO DECISION OF MR. SPEAKER, OCTOBER 29, ON MOTION FOR LEAVE TO INTRODUCE BILL