I thank the hon. member for Delta--Richmond East and the hon. member for Elmwood--Transcona for their comments, and other hon. members who earlier raised the point. I am more than happy to come back with a more detailed ruling in respect of this matter.
However, to respond promptly to the comments of the hon. member for Elmwood--Transcona's about question period, if he checks the letter from the Ethics Commissioner, he makes it very clear that he is unable and has no power to carry out an investigation in respect of the Prime Minister's chief of staff. It was for that reason that I allowed questions concerning the chief of staff because he is not and cannot be subject to an investigation by the Ethics Commissioner.
I was trying to be fair to hon. members. I recognize that there is a tie-in with other people but the questions did not do that tie-in. They stuck with the one person. Therefore, I do not know how, by enforcing what in effect is a standing order of the House because the appendix is there to the standing orders, I can say that those questions are not allowed. Had the questions concerned the minister, I think I would have intervened. Had they concerned the allegations directly that dealt with the taping per se, I would have intervened. However, they did not.
That is why what happened today happened today. I was listening quite attentively to the questions.
I thank the hon. members for their remarks and I will come back to the House with further clarification that I hope will help particularly the hon. member for Delta--Richmond East with the questions he raised.