Mr. Speaker, I would like to have a little order when I am speaking decently and civilly in this house, but very often I do not meet with it, and I could name certain hon. gentlemen, too, from whom I do not meet with it.
The case before us is exactly as if the Minister of Munitions and Supply had said: I have an announcement which was made in the House of Lords and is enclosed in a private or a personal letter. That is exactly the case. One must look at the pith and substance and sense of the rules. The rule about tabling a letter is to prevent part of a letter from being read to the house when there is something in the context that alters the meaning of the part that is read. That is the principle underlying the rule. But when an hon. member of this house reads an official announcement it does not make any difference whether he takes it out of a letter or whether it was an enclosure with a letter. It does not carry with it the obligation of reading a personal letter in this house, and the hon. leader of the opposition is attempting to stretch the rule beyond any bounds of common sense when he says that that should be done. We are on an academic point, because the letter has been read to the house and made public at the instance of the leader of the opposition. It would be an irresponsible attitude for the leader of any party to take to press for the reading of a personal letter in the house when all that the member who was speaking was doing was giving to the house the terms of an official announcement.