The Deputy Chairman:
I have not before me yet the ruling made by Mr. Speaker. I understand it was made on the motion for second reading of this bill. If my memory serves me right, perhaps not on the occasion referred to by the hon. member for Vancouver East and the hon. member for Vancouver-Quadra but on some other occasion, I think the Speaker indicated that a bill could not be proceeded with if the sponsor was not here. But it would seem to me that as long as a representative of the sponsor is here,
we may proceed. The point of order should have been raised when the motion was made for the Speaker to leave the chair on this bill. I now have before me the ruling which was made by Mr. Speaker the other day, and which was referred to by the hon. member for Vancouver East and the hon. member for Vancouver-Quadra. It is to be found at page 2579 of Hansard. At that time he said:
... I will say that I have always considered that a private member who is sponsoring a bill stands in the same position as a member of the government who introduces a bill in the house. As hon. members know, when a government bill is introduced, it is introduced by a minister. There may be an amendment to that bill introduced by a private member. The discussion either on the bill or on the amendment does not proceed without the consent of the minister who introduced the bill. Why should a private member not stand in the same position? That has been the attitude that I have taken, and although I realize that it might appear that an injustice is being done, nevertheless I feel that I should not change the ruling which I made on Friday, .Tune 23. It has been said that the bill is now in the possession of the house, and that the amendment is in the possession of the house. That is so, and neither the amendment nor the bill can be withdrawn without the consent of the house. That also would be true of a bill introduced by a member of the government. A member of the government could not without consent withdraw his bill once it is in the possession of the house. As I say, I have given considerable thought to this. I think the rules of procedure might be amended. Until they are amended I feel I must abide by my ruling which I made on June 23, and allow the bill to stand.