The Acting Speaker (Mr. Herbert):
The Chair would like to comment further on the point of order raised by the Hon. Member for Gander-Twillingate (Mr. Baker). The Chair proposes to read from Erskine May's Twentieth Edition a paragraph which is found on page 379 under the general heading "Rules governing subject-matter of motions". Under the heading "Matters already decided during the same session" one reads:
A motion or an amendment which is the same, in substance, as a question which has been decided in the affirmative or negative during the current session may not be brought forward again during that session.
May 29, 1984
Whether this rule would apply as between a motion and a bill is a difficult matter to decide, but it is unlikely that substantially the same question could be raised by a motion and a bill as a whole. A motion can do no more than affirm in general terms the desirability of legislation while a bill is likely to contain qualifying provisions and conditions, sufficient to differentiate its subject-matter from that of a motion. In any case a bill and a motion have different purposes. The question has been raised, but so far no case for the application of the rule has been made out.
The Chair has looked at the motion and at the two Bills to which reference was made. As the Chair has said, Bill C-204, which was presented to the House by the Hon. Member for Selkirk-Interlake (Mr. Sargeant), was defeated. Bill C-203, which on the surface appears to be essentially the same but has a few changes in paragraphs, was presented by the Hon. Member for The Battlefords-Meadow Lake (Mr. Anguish). Inasmuch as the motion which is before the House contains the key words "in the opinion of this House, the Government should consider the advisability of', and under those circumstances it is just an expression of opinion of the House, the Chair has no difficulty in allowing debate to continue on the motion.
However, the Chair will take this opportunity to suggest that it will be looking closely at the similarity of the two Bills, Bill C-204 which was defeated, and Bill C-203 which has been brought forward already for debate in this session. The Chair will consider whether there can be resumption of debate on Bill C-203 at the appropriate time. Therefore, for continuing debate on the motion, the Hon. Member for Thunder Bay-Atikokan (Mr. McRae).
Subtopic: NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT