February 13, 1925 (14th Parliament, 4th Session)


Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)



This puts me in a very
awkward position. When I looked at the Votes and Proceedings this morning I saw that the House adjourned at six o'clock last night; but the Deputy Speaker with characteristic frankness has declared this afternoon that the House was really adjourned after six o'clock. If I were dealing with this matter from the point of view of the letter of the rules of the House, I would be placed in a very awkward position, as I stated a moment ago, because the House could not but rescind the proceedings which took place yesterday after six o'clock, and this is a very grave course to take. If hon. members will refer to Bourinot- my guide in this matter-at page 328 of the fourth edition, they will find the following: Renewal of a Question During a Session
When a motion has been stated by the Speaker to the House, and proposed as a question for its determination, it is then in the possession of the House, to be decided or otherwise disposed of according to the established forms of proceeding. It may then be resolved in the affirmative or passed in the negative; or superseded by an amendment, or withdrawn with the unanimous consent of the House. It is, however, an ancient rule of parliament. . . .
Amd this is what I wish to emphasize-
-that " no question or motion can regularly be offered if it is substantially the same with one on which the judgment of the House has already been expressed during the current session." The old rule of parliament reads: " That a question being once made, and carried in the affirmative or negative, cannot be questioned again, but must stand as a judgment of the House."
It is on this that rule 19, cited by the hon. member for Joliette (Mr. Denis), has been based.
On the other hand I cannot forget that the rules of our parliament are based on common sense and on the broad principle of freedom of speech. Now, it is admitted by the Deputy Speaker, and by both sides of the House that a technical error was made; that after six o'clock the House continued sitting; and that someone was to continue the debate this afternoon on the main motion as moved by the hon. member for Rimouski (Sir Eugene Fiset) seconded by the hon. member for West Hastings (Mr. Hanna). If I should follow the letter of the rule, a motion would have to be made under rule 19 to rescind the decision of the House agreed to yesterday. However, I have it deep in my memory that, during the thirty years that I have sat in this House with my good friend the member for South York (Mr. Maclean), time and again when a technical error was brought to the notice of the Speaker, by unanimous consent, that error was expunged from the proceedings of the House. And
if a motion should be made this afternoon to expunge from the Votes and Proceedings, and therefore from the scroll, the proceedings which by inadvertence, took place yesterday after six o'clock, I would accept the motion, provided of course it received unanimous consent. For the objection by the hon. member for Joliette is well taken; by rule 40 notice has to be given for any such motion. But by rule 41 notice can be waived by unanimous consent.
I therefore, rule that under these circumstances, a motion to expunge from the proceedings the error which was made inadvertently yesterday after six o'clock is in order.

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