With regard to the question as to the chairman of committees making a report when he was not in the Chair, it is the duty of the Clerk to take a note of proceedings in committee, and I now have these notes.
The decision of the house having been given, I wish to direct a remark to the hon. member for Parkdale (Mr. Bruce). He is an old member of the house, accustomed to the dignity and decorum of assemblies. Under circumstances
which are very painful to the house and to myself I would ask the hon. gentleman if he would withdraw his remark.
May I say to the Prime Minister that this pretty well indicates the degree of seriousness of the offence and, I think, shows the ridiculousness of the position which the Prime Minister and the government have taken in connection with it.
Then the members were called in and a division took place.
If a motion to censure a member were to be debatable and amendable, the purpose of the rule would be defeated. I am just told that in the case of Mr. Lacombe, the then member for Laval-Two Mountains, what happened was this. As soon as the motion was moved by Mr. Ilsley, as reported at page 1607 of Hansard of March 24, 1942, the Speaker said this:
It is moved by Mr. Ilsley, seconded by Mr. Crerar, that the hon. member, Mr. Liguori Lacombe, member for Laval-Two Mountains, be suspended from the service of the house during the present sitting. Is it the pleasure of the house to adopt the motion?
Then the motion was agreed to and there was no debate.
It must be remembered that at this moment, when a report such as this is made by the chairman of committees, there is nothing before the house but the report of the chairman of committees. I think I have established sufficiently that I cannot deal with the report but that it is up to the house itself to deal with it. The hon. member concerned in the report has a right to explain and he has done so. If the hon. member for Eglinton (Mr. Fleming) had chosen, for instance, to say "Maybe I was too hasty" or if he had given the house to understand that if he had the thing to do over again he would not do it, the situation might be different. Then someone
Northern Ontario Pipe Line Corporation could have moved that the statement made by the hon. member for Eglinton be accepted and the house would have been called upon, without debate, to vote on that motion immediately. Some one has to take the lead in these matters when the house has decided this point, and citation 136 of Beauchesne's third edition does indicate that the leader of the house has certain responsibilities with respect to this matter. The motion that is now before the house is one that the house is called upon to dispose of one way or the other at the moment.