I take it as part of my duties as your Speaker to ensure that there is a reasonable continuation of business in the House.
The hon. member for Sarnia-Lambton has quoted the passages in the rules which are germane to this point of privilege. The hon. member puts forward in his argument that he was not contacted24 hours prior to the period or surely he would have agreed to have his bill brought forward. I believe this is in Standing Order 94(1). If I am off on the number the clerks will correct me.
In Standing Order 94(2) of the rules of the House, which were established by us together in concert, it is quite clear that the Speaker should have notice some 48 hours prior to making any move. The reason the Speaker is given the 48 hours is so that he will be able to contact the member at least in the next 24 hours to have this member bring forward his bill.
The hon. member argues that sometimes written notice is not given. In my short experience here and because of the faxes that we now have, when a member calls to say he or she cannot bring forward a bill, we usually ask that a fax be sent and usually that is done.
Be that as it may, the rules are quite explicit. They state that notification should be given to the table officers, who will then inform the Speaker, so that there can be an orderly procedure in Private Members' Business.
I would rule that the Speaker did not get the 48 hours' notice and therefore I did not order the clerks to give the hon. member 24 hours' notice.
The hon. member for North Vancouver is here. He also confirms that he did not give the Chair 48 hours' notice.
What I find interesting in this whole matter is that you and the hon. member for North Vancouver are both here and you both seem to agree that this would be acceptable to the two of you. The suggestion put by the hon. member for North Vancouver might be the way to get around it. I will not take it upon myself to rule that your particular bill be ordered, but if you would care to put forward a request for unanimous consent that your bill be debated today, I would be interested in receiving such a request.