Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order in regard to a document that was quoted from by the minister of fisheries.
I first raised this matter yesterday after question period. I based my point of order on Beauchesne's sixth edition, citation 495, which reads:
A Minister is not at liberty to read or quote from a despatch or other state paper not before the House without being prepared to lay it on the Table.
The government House leader argued that the minister did not actually quote from the document and therefore did not have to table the document. I have reviewed the videotape and it clearly shows the minister quoting from the document. I have reviewed Hansard which indicates the exact statement in question in quotation marks.
As you are aware, Mr. Speaker, the authority of the House stems from the powers granted it by the Constitution, our standing orders and our longstanding practices. I would point out that any attempt to deliberately omit information from the House by disobeying the practice as outlined in citation 495 of Beauchesne's sixth edition would be considered a contempt of parliament.
The reason why the minister may be reluctant to table the document containing the accusation against me is because that document is a lie.