July 27, 1903 (9th Parliament, 3rd Session)



Perhaps some hon. memebrs are present now who were not present the other evening, and are not aware of the point involved in the motion. There are two forms of procedure in matters of this kind. The one is by way of a reference when the committee, not any member of the committee, may procure by vote a reference to the Speaker for the purpose of obtaining his opinion upon a given point. That is the procedure my hon. friend from Leeds is taking by his present motion. There is another form of procedure, which takes the form of an appeal which any individual member may take against the ruling of the chairman. The curious position we are in is this, that the hon. member appealed from the decision of the chairman, and that the appeal was taken by the usual method of the chairman leaving the Chair, the Speaker taking the Chair, and the appeal being decided by the House. Now, if we pass my hon. friend's motion as it is now presented, we shall be asking the Speaker to give his opinion upon a point which an authority higher than the Speaker has already decided, that higher authority being the House itself. When this matter was before us the other evening, those of us who differed from my hon. friend opposite, while maintaining that his motion was in order, held that it would be quite unseemly if we resolved to ask the Speaker to determine a point which in this same proceeding had already been determined by the House itself.

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