If you have reference to yesterday's vote, I may say that I was doing a very good job on behalf of the government, and had I been near enough to get into the chamber in time I would have stood up and been counted. Let me say this, sir. These are the questions at issue. When should have objection been raised? Certainly it should have been raised when the first item of this description in the estimates came under discussion. As I have said, there have been two such opportunities. What type of method should have been used in connection with this expenditure? There is no doubt about how it had to be done. This was something that had to be accomplished in a hurry. It was something which was an emergency measure. It was something with respect to which the former minister of the department said there was no alternative in handling it.
How were the steps carried out? Strictly within the rules. There was publication in
the Canada Gazette within the time provided. There was tabling in the house, which in fact tied in the description of what the vote was for with the two previous descriptions. Under this method, what is the restriction on the type of information that is available to the opposition. I say, sir, that there is none.
If there is any member inclined to doubt that, I point out the fact that we have been able to carry on this debate all afternoon. Can anyone go out of this chamber feeling that there had been a restriction on his right to stand up? I include in that the former minister of the department because he has had his full say today.
Would the hon. member permit a question? Before he concludes his speech would he say at least a brief word about the real issue, namely the fact that the government has handled this matter after the report was tabled in the house in a different way from the way in which such matters have been handled in the past? Has he missed the point that previously not only was the document laid on the table as this document was but that supplementary estimates were brought before parliament so that parliament could deal with the matter in committee of supply? Will he explain why his government, for which he is in a position to speak, has chosen to change this pattern of doing things?
-that there are two phases to the matter. Does the hon. member feel that what is involved here is important as a question of principle; that is, the fact that this was never done before? If he does, he had an opportunity to show his displeasure, to show his non-confidence in the minister and in the government. He has chosen not to do so. On that basis I ask: Are we to take it that it is inherently wrong
4194 HOUSE OF
Supply-Citizenship and Immigration to pursue a course which is legal in every respect because in fact the hon. member says that it was never done before?
That is the answer to my hon. friend's position. I will say this, sir, that the hon. member's description of his treatment in this house by this government, compared with the treatment my hon. friend received a couple of years ago, is far from hitting the truth. He knows that had that type of treatment been meted out he would have been cut off by special instructions and told he was out of order before he had proceeded for five minutes.
I should like to answer this one first. My minister answered the question in this way. He said the reason he raised this point of order was that this hon. gentleman had an opportunity on two previous occasions to question the matter. I want to ask you, Mr. Chairman, do the rules in this house govern us all or is there an exception made for the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre? You know, Mr. Chairman-