Michener, The Honourable D. Roland
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Reflections by the speaker of his own experiences in the Speaker's Chair of the House of Commons. Observing the appearances as well as the substance of political neutrality. His recalled promise: "My aim will be to understand and interpret the will and the moods of the house; to secure the transaction of public business in an orderly manner; to protect the minority; to enable every member to express his opinions within the limits necessary to preserve decorum; to prevent unnecessary waste of time, and above all to be non-partisan and impartial in my decisions." The Canadian practice of electing from the governing party a different Speaker at the beginning of each new Parliament alternating between one whose mother tongue is English and one whose language is French, in contrast to British practice. A detailed discussion ensues, under the following headings: British Parliamentary Institutions--In the Commonwealth/In Canada; Government by Debate; Routine and Non-debatable Proceedings; Debates. Some concluding remarks about the role of the Speaker.