April 21, 1967 (27th Parliament, 1st Session)


Gordon Harvey Aiken

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. H. Aiken (Parry Sound-Muskoka):

Mr. Speaker, I make no apology for raising the point of order, despite the comment I hear from hon. members on the other side and to my left. We operate under rules, and when there is a conflict between rules we are entitled to raise the matter. I thought we

DEBATES April 21, 1967
were wrong yesterday; I was doubtful when debating the allocation of time motion, in view of the provisions of standing order 16, whether our procedure in going on with the private members hour yesterday was correct.
Today a similar question arose, but today it was felt that we should not go on with private members hour.
Briefly, it seems that there is a conflict between provisional standing order 15A and provisional standing order 16. In considering the point, the Chairman acknowledged that really there are two conflicts one being within provisional standing order 15A(7).
To clarify the matter perhaps I ought to say this. Sections 7, 8 and 9 of standing order 15A refer specifically to the third day of debate after an allocation of time has been made. That is, they refer to the day of the third reading. I emphasize that third reading is particularly dealt with in those three sections.
Section 7 makes specific statements. First, that the order for third reading shall only be called on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday; second, that the order must be the first item of business; third, that the debate shall continue until the normal time of adjournment, and fourth, that such an order shall have precedence over all other items of business. The point at issue within section 7 arises from the words beginning at the seventh line from the bottom, which are:
Such an order having been called on any Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday-
I submit it is clear that those words refer to an order for third reading, because third reading is dealt with after the first sentence of the standing order. I submit that everything appearing after the first seven lines, which constitute the first sentence, refers only to third reading. This contention is strengthened because closer to the beginning of the section we find that the language says that third reading shall be called as the first item of business on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, and farther on in that section the words are, "Such an order having been called on any Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday," and so on.
Section 9 of the standing order says that Mr. Speaker shall have the authority to extend the sitting of the final day of debate for four hours. I presume that that is to make certain that the last day is as full and as complete as possible. There is no argument about any reference to the third day. Also it is clear that we are now in the committee
April 21, 1967 COMMONS
stage, and this brings up another point. The second point, or putting it more correctly, the second difficulty on which the Chairman ruled had to do with standing order 16 which says that private members' business shall continue. Quoting the relevant parts of standing order 16 we find these words:
The proceedings on private members' business,... shall not be suspended by virtue of the operation of the provisions of standing orders relating to the adjournment of the house ... or to the allocation of time to certain debates.
It is quite possible that that wording refers to the allocation of time to certain debates, or to the discussion about that allocation of time. That wording may also refer, and probably does refer, to all debates taking place during the allocation of time, and herein arises the uncertainty.
My final point is this. It is clear, I submit, that the private members hour should not be interrupted or dispensed with unless there are specific provisions to that effect in the standing orders. Nothing in the standing orders says that the private members hour under these circumstances shall be dispensed with, and there was nothing in the order of the house allocating time which said that the private members hour should be dispensed with. Under those circumstances we ought to proceed with private members' business.
I am not raising my argument to delay the house. Should Your Honour decide that private members' business is not to be proceeded with, I shall continue with my remarks that were interrupted at 5 p.m. Surely, however, if we have rules, then we ought to know what the effects of those rules are.

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