Mr. Deputy Speaker:
First 1 should clarify the point of order raised by the parliamentary secretary. Standing Order 48(2) provides that a minister of the Crown be allowed to speak for five minutes at the termination of the 90 minutes allowed for the debate, following which the mover of the motion may speak for not more than five minutes.
I have looked through the precedents and found that this point has never been contested in the past. The only time it was brought to the attention of the House was on April 17, 1975 when the then Acting Speaker mentioned that the only way the parliamentary secretary could speak after the 90 minutes allowed was with unanimous consent. The House gave unanimous consent to the then parliamentary secretary to the minister of justice, which did not create a precedent.
In my opinion, a minister of the Crown is entitled to speak under this provision. I might add that if a parliamentary secretary is allowed to speak for his minister, it is not mentioned in Standing Order 48(2), in general at least. In this instance the Standing Order is precise. But there is nothing to prevent the parliamentary secretary from speaking at this time to refute whatever he wants to refute because we still have a further eight minutes of debating time left. This would allow the mover of the motion five minutes upon conclusion.
March 15, 1979
Subtopic: PRIVATE MEMBERS' MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Sub-subtopic: GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS WITH FIRMS AND INDIVIDUALS OTHER THAN CROWN CORPORATIONS AND AGENCIES