I thank the hon. member for Carleton-Gloucester for raising his point of order, particularly at this early stage in this 35th Parliament. I will quote for him two precedents that will enlighten us all, certainly including myself in the chair at this moment.
In the first instance I will refer to the Annotated Standing Orders of the House at page 144:
-preference in this period is to be given to Members of parties other than that of the original speaker, but not to the exclusion of Members of other parties-amendments to a bill cannot be moved-
And so on. In effect I largely founded my decision in the selection of members for questions and comments following the intervention of the hon. Minister of Canadian Heritage on the basis of my limited knowledge according to that annotated text.
On the same point of order raised by the hon. member, I have learned that there is also a greater latitude given to members from both sides-in this instance from the government side-when a minister of the government speaks.
I will refer him to the January 17, 1983 edition of Hansard as follows:
-the Chair will try, as much as possible, to give priority to Members representinga party other than that of the Member who made the speech. However, backbenchers on the Government side will also be entitled to ask questions following a speech by a Minister.
The point raised by the member for Carleton-Gloucester is an important one, as I said earlier, at the beginning of the 35th Parliament. I thank him for raising the issue at this time and making us in the chair even more sensitive to this procedure so that in effect we will address the matter with even greater justice in the days ahead.
I thank the member for Carleton-Gloucester for raising this point.