The hon. member has raised a point of order. I agree that referring to the presence or absence of members is out of order in the House and I am sure that hon. members are aware of that.
I am certainly prepared to look at the words the minister used in this connection to see if in fact he overstepped the rules and, if necessary, I am sure the minister will of course retract, if it is necessary that he do so.
I see the minister is rising now. Perhaps he has something to say on this subject.