Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a point of order arising out of question period. A question was asked of a committee chair, and I am looking for clarification. I have had some personal experience with this in the chamber.
I would refer you to the 42nd Parliament. As a matter of fact, it happened to be the day the Prime Minister first decided to do Prime Minister's questions, where he answers every question. At that time, I was the second vice-chair of the access to information, privacy and ethics committee, and the chair and the vice-chair were both away on parliamentary business. A question was asked of the committee chair for that committee, and as the second vice-chair at that time, I stood to answer the question.
As it happens, the Prime Minister did not answer all of the questions that day, but more importantly, I think it served the House well to have someone who was an authorized spokesperson for the committee answer the question. There is often debate in this place about the appropriate role of parliamentary secretaries on committees and the right posture of the government toward committees, and I do not think it makes a lot of sense to have government members answer questions about committee business.
I wonder if the Chair might reflect on this point and come back with some guidance. I think the House would be well served if the Chair first looked to see if an authorized spokesperson for the committee is standing before proceeding to the government bench. I would welcome the Chair's reflection on that point at some appropriate time, whether that is right away or further down the line.