Mr. Speaker, I have had the opportunity to read a portion of the proceedings of the committee sitting in question, or at least a summary of that sitting. There are two points that should be brought to the attention of the Chair.
First of all, the fact that a decision by the chair of a committee may be appealed. An appeal can be made to the committee as a whole. Parliamentarians are free to do so, of course, but ultimately at that level whom a committee will or will not hear is under the committee's jurisdiction.
As for procedure, I would remind you of what it says in Beauchesne's sixth edition:
Article 760(3) states:
The Speaker has ruled on many occasions that it is not competent for the Speaker to exercise procedural control over the committees. Committees are and must remain masters of their own procedures.
This is from the Journals of December 4, 1973.
I recall having the occasion when I was in opposition of rising in the House to plead a similar case in the late 1980s which I lost.
I also want to remind you, Mr. Speaker, of article 760(4) which states:
On one occasion, after a grievance was raised in the House concerning procedure in a committee—
Again, we are talking about procedure here, not the matter of whether or not someone likes the quality of the decision, which is entirely different. It continues:
—the Speaker then undertook to write to all committee chairmen pointing out that when a grievance is not resolved satisfactorily in committee it often results in the time of the House being taken—
And so on. Then again there is not an instance where the Speaker personally intervened in that.
The two points I want to summarize are: First, this is not an issue of procedure per se; in other words whether someone has been aggrieved because he or she was not allowed to speak in committee, whether the chair went beyond the usual control the chair has over committee and so on. One is making a qualitative judgment here in terms of how the chair of the committee ruled.
Second, even if it had been a matter of procedure, His Honour has been constant in the past by saying that he—and your predecessors, Sir—has not seen fit to undertake to overrule such decisions before.