April 25, 1919 (13th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)



The hon. member would be at liberty to discuss the point of order, if it is a point of order, but he would not be at liberty to raise a discussion or to present arguments as to whether it is now two o'clock or three o'clock. In the first place, I am not altogether clear in my own mind that the hon. gentleman has risen at the right stage. Although it is competent for a point of order to be raised at any stage of the proceedings, it has been the practice that no point of order may be raised until the proceedings of the House have begun. However, that question can be left open.
It would have been somewhat easier for 'the Chair if notice of this proposed point of order had been given. As I view it, the hon. member has not a point of order. A point of order, as I understand it, has reference to a violation of the rules of the House. It raises the question whether an
[The Deputy Speaker.]
hon. member may or may not be in contravention of those rules.
The rules of the House say that the House Shall meet at three o'clock. The time now may or may not be three o'clock within the meaning of the rule, but it does not seem to me that that is arguable as a point of order. It is a question of fact for the decision of the House. I have not the advantage of having been in the Chamber when the House rose on Friday night, but from a perusal of Hansard report of the proceedings, while it is not altogether clear, there certainly is at least prima facie evidence of the circumstance that the House by its decision upon that occasion determined that it would adjourn until three o'clock to-day, local time. It is true that the motion as entered in the Votes and Proceedings appears simply as an adjournment motion. The motion as put by the Acting Minister of Justice (Mr. Meighen) was:
That this House do stand adjourned until Monday at three o'clock, local time.
That of itself is to my mind sufficient evidence thalt the House is properly convened at this hour, and for this reason also: upon all other occasions the motion would simply have been "That the House do now adjourn," and ipso facto, under our rules, the House would stand adjourned until the nexlt day at three o'clock.
I therefore rule that the point of order is not well taken, at the same time observing that the House is the sole arbiter as to the day and the hour it shall sit. It is open for the House, at the proper time, and within the rules, to make any alteration it may choose as to the hour. But for the time being I rule that the point of order is not well taken, and that the House is properly convened at this hour.

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