Mr. Speaker, I would like to respond to the points raised by the hon. member.
First, the member acknowledged that it is customary for these issues to be dealt with in the committee and not in the House. Having said that I want to respond to some of the matters that were raised because I believe there are some factual inaccuracies in what was said.
Second, there is an inaccurate knowledge of the rules, at least in my opinion. I would like to so submit, Mr. Speaker.
The matter of which position to be elected is dictated by the agenda duly prepared by the Committees Directorate of the House of Commons. I have a copy of the agenda in front of me which has the draft motions written on it as well as the various positions to be elected.
The member suggested there was no such thing as a vice-chair from the government. I read here from the draft agenda point number two, which I will gladly table or at least give a copy to you, Mr. Speaker, to consider. "Moved by" whatever member rises to make such a motion. Then there is a "that" and there is space for the person nominated "be the vice-chair from the government". It says so in the draft agenda prepared by the staff of Mr. Speaker, by the clerk staff, to be utilized by the person elected as chairman to then select names or invite nominations for those to be the two vice-chairs.
Even if such a draft agenda did not exist at all, the member across has acknowledged that two of the three positions had to be from the government and one from the opposition.
In view of the fact that the chair had already been elected from the government at the time that the two vice-chairs were elected, it stands to reason mathematically that at least one more position had to come from the government and one from the opposition. Otherwise, there are some mathematical differences in calculating things between the hon. member opposite and the majority of the rest of us.
In addition to that the hon. member makes a claim that there was some difficulty in having a point of order recognized. It should be brought to the attention of the Speaker that under our rules members of the committee are recognized by the chair at the chair's discretion. There is also a provision whereby members of the House who are present in the room but who are not members of the committee can be recognized at the chair's discretion.
In fact, the point of order was raised by the hon. member for Prince George-Bulkley Valley. The hon. member for Prince George-Bulkley Valley did not receive recognition for his point of order. He was not a member of the committee nor was he a substitute at that particular time because both members of the committee representing that party, the hon. member for North Island-Powell River and the hon. member for Surrey North, were present in the room. As the Speaker knows, a member can only be a substitute provided that the regular member is not in attendance at that particular meeting. In view of the fact that both of them were in attendance, then the other member was not a member of the committee at that particular time.
That should take care of that point.
Finally, I have before me the blues, or at least the rough Hansard of that particular committee, in which the hon. member, who in fact was not a member of the committee, the member for Prince George-Bulkley Valley, asked the chair for the following: ``Can we receive assurance that the vote on the nomination of Mr. Murphy will be called?'' In fact, this was the second nominee. He asked if we could have that assurance.
Furthermore, the hon. member stated the following: "What we asked, Mr. Clerk, was that both names be put on the ballot, which the members of the Liberal Party agreed to do", and so on.
Mr. Speaker, I am sure you are quite aware of citation Nos. 781, 782 and 783 of Beauchesne. Citation No. 782 states that the clerk of the committee conducts the election of the chairman by putting a motion moved by a member of the committee. It says further that if this motion fails successive motions are moved. In other words, there was no provision for the two names to be on the ballot. It is contrary to our practices and contrary to the standing orders. What the hon. member was asking the clerk to do was to be in breach of the rules in order to gain something that he wanted.
The clerk of the committee obviously followed the rules and so did the chairman subsequently. Just because the member has brought the matter to the House does not mean that the rules were breached. Perhaps it means that he did not have his way, but that is not the same thing as the rules not being observed.