At the time this article was
written Margaret Banks, a former Law Librarian at the University of Western
Ontario, was working on a biography of John George Bourinot.
Sir John George Bourinot,
journalist, parliamentary reporter, historian, litterateur, and officer of the
Senate and the House of Commons wrote widely on a great variety of subjects.
Today, however, he is remembered chiefly for his treatise, Parliamentary
Procedure and Practice l and for the book now known as Bourinot's Rules of
Order. There is a great deal of misunderstanding about these two books, one
often being mistaken for the other. To confuse the issue further, there were
originally three books. The object of this article is to trace the history of
each of them.
Bourinot was born in Nova Scotia,
in 1836. After being privately educated in Sydney, he attended the University
of Trinity College, Toronto, but left without obtaining a degree. He began his
career as a parliamentary reporter with a Toronto newspaper, The Leader; then,
in 1858, he returned to Sydney, where he entered into articles of clerkship
with a local lawyer, but soon decided against the practice of law as his life's
In 1860, in partnership with Joseph
Crosskill, Bourinot founded a newspaper, The Halifax Reporter. The following
year he began to report the debates of Nova Scotia's House of Assembly,
continuing his work both as a newspaper proprietor and editor and as a
parliamentary reporter until shortly before Confederation in 1867. Soon
afterwards, he returned again to Sydney and seems to have been engaged mainly
in freelance writing for the next two years. In 1869, he moved to Hull, Quebec,
on being appointed to "the vacant English Clerkship" in the Senate. A
year later, he took on additional responsibilities as "Short Hand Writer
to the Senate and Committees of the Senate". Finally, he moved from Hull
to Ottawa and from the staff of the Senate to that of the House of Commons. In
1873, he was appointed Second Clerk Assistant of the Commons and in 1879, First
Clerk Assistant. In December 1880, he realised his ambition to become Clerk of
the House of Commons, a position he held until his death in October 1902.
Parliamentary Procedure and Practice:
First Two Editions
In 1884, the first edition of
Bourinot's Parliamentary Procedure and Practice was published. In the preface,
the author declared his object to be to give "a summary of the rules and
principles which guide the practice and proceedings of the Parliament of
Canada." After noting that the rules and practices of the Parliament and
the Legislatures of Canada were originally derived from those of the Imperial
Parliament, he added "...in the course of years, divergencies of practice
have arisen, and a great many precedents have been made which seem to call for
such a work as this."
In the year before the appearance
of the first edition of Bourinot's book, a ninth edition of Erskine May's
classic work, Treatise on the Law, Privileges, Proceedings, and Usage of
Parliament, had been published by Butterworths in London. Sir Thomas Erskine
May was then nearing the end of his career as Clerk of the House of Commons at
Westminster. Unlike Bourinot, he had written the first edition of his work long
before his appointment as Clerk of the House of Commons. His interest in the
subject probably began when he was assistant librarian of the House of Commons,
a post to which he was appointed in 1831, at the age of 16. The ninth edition
was the last to be prepared by May, who resigned his post in April 1886 and
died in May of the same year. The book has been kept current by later clerks of
the House of Commons at Westminster, assisted by others.
As soon as Bourinot's treatise on
parliamentary procedure was published, it began to be compared favourably with
May's classic work. Timothy Warren Anglin, a former Speaker of the House of
Commons of Canada, declared its arrangement to be "more scientific than
that of May's work, the lines of which it follows in the main."(1)
Similarly, an Australian reviewer praised not only its method of arrangement,
but also its clearness of treatment, fullness of precedent, and indexing,
concluding that Bourinot "has had the opportunity of improving upon his
model, and has taken advantage of it. (2)
A reprint of the first edition of
Bourinot's Parliamentary Procedure and Practice was published by the Irish
University Press in 1971 and distributed in North America. Because cataloguers
often include the date 1971 in the call number of this reprint, it is sometimes
mistaken for a new edition and referred to incorrectly as the 1971 edition.
The second edition of Bourinot's
Parliamentary Procedure and Practice was published in 1892. In its preface, the
author explained that he had "not only revised, but considerably enlarged
it by bringing all the precedents down to the latest date, and by making it in
other ways as useful as possible..." For instance, the new rules of the
Senate in divorce proceedings were given at length and the practice concerning
such proceedings explained. Bourinot noted the favourable reception of the
first edition of his work "not only in Canada, but in the majority of
English speaking countries," expressing the hope that this new edition
would "meet with the same favour". He was not to be disappointed; The
Illustrated London News described him as "the Erskine May of Canada".
A Canadian Manual on the
Procedure at Meetings
After the publication of
Parliamentary Procedure and Practice, Bourinot received frequent inquiries as
to the correct procedures to be followed at municipal and other meetings. It
was to meet the needs of various types of organisations that he wrote A
Canadian Manual on the Procedure at Meetings of Municipal Councils,
Shareholders and Directors of Companies, Synods, Conventions, Societies and
Public Bodies Generally. The book, consisting of 444 pages, was published by
Carswell in Toronto early in 1894. In the preface, Bourinot explained one of
In the practice of many societies
and public bodies in this country some confusion appears to exist with
reference to the true meaning and object of "the previous question,"
and of such motions as "to lay on the table," "to postpone
definitely," or "indefinitely," and "to reconsider,"
which are drawn from the procedure, not of our own legislative assemblies but
of assemblies in the United States. 1 have attempted in this treatise to give
such explanations as will aid in preventing confusion or doubt in the
application of these methods of procedure.
It is important to note that
Bourinot did not object to the use of American motions at Canadian meetings so
long as rules regarding their use were properly adopted. In his manual he
frequently cited recognised U.S. authorities, such as Cushing, whom he described
as "an eminent authority," Robert, though he consistently misspelled
his name "Roberts," and Neely. Regarding the rules for motions that
had their origin in the United States, he did, however, note emphatically:
Unless the rules are made clear in every particular and there is a general
reference in all cases of doubt to recognised United States authorities, like
Roberts, or Neely, or Cushing, all such dilatory and subsidiary motions, as 1
have been reviewing in the foregoing paragraphs, can only be subject to the
rules that govern all motions in Canadian parliamentary procedure and to none
It is also clear that Bourinot's
intention was not to write a complete rule book, but rather to state "the
common law of parliament, to which reference can be made by those bodies which
find their own regulations insufficient to solve the questions of doubt that
must constantly arise in practice." The fact that he included in the
section of the book dealing with municipal councils a suggested uniform code of
rules for such bodies also shows that he expected organisations to adopt their
own rules and to rely on his statement of general principles and the
"common law of parliament" only in unprovided cases.
It soon became clear that the
444-page manual was too long and expensive for some of the groups that wanted
to use it, so later in 1894 Bourinot prepared and Carswell published an
abridged version which omitted the sections on meetings of municipal councils
and church synods. This version consisted of 152 pages and was described on its
title page as "An Abridgement of the Author's Larger Work." Since the
444-page manual is not well known, it is often assumed incorrectly that the
author's larger work referred to is his Parliamentary Procedure and Practice.
References in the abridged edition's footnotes to "Fourth Part" and
"Fifth Part" are to the sections on "Church Synods and
Conferences" and "Municipal Councils," included in the 444-page
manual, but omitted from the abridged version. Footnote references to
"Bourinot" are to the second edition of Parliamentary Procedure and
Parliamentary Procedure and
Practice: Third and Fourth Editions
Bourinot had done most of the
revision for a third edition of Parliamentary Procedure and Practice before his
last illness. It was published posthumously in 1903, being edited by Thomas
Barnard Flint, his successor as Clerk of the House of Commons. Flint noted in
the preface that the part of the book that Bourinot had been unable to complete
had "been edited and annotated along the lines suggested by him."
Whereas the first two editions had been published by Dawson Brothers in
Montreal, the third was published by Canada Law Book in Toronto.
A fourth edition, also edited by
Flint, was published by Canada Law Book in 1916. It omitted some of the
introductory historical material. Flint explained the reason for this in the
preface: "The valuable historical introduction contained in the previous
editions though instructive and interesting has been greatly condensed and many
portions re-written, such parts only being retained as may throw light rather
upon Canadian parliamentary usages than upon the general constitutional history
of the country."
Flint had wanted to change the
title from Parliamentary Procedure and Practice in the Dominion of Canada to
Procedure and Practice in the Parliament of Canada, noting that "the work
deals purely with the parliament of ,3
Canada rather than with the
Dominion.(3) However, Lady Bourinot, who retained copyright in the work,
objected to any change in the title,(4) and Flint, who 'laid no stress on the
matter" agreed not to make the change. (5) He sought only "to make
the new edition as perfect as possible - bringing it and the notes up to date
and making only such changes as experience has led me to think would make the
work fully practical and useful."(6)
Parliamentary Procedure and
Practice: Proposed Fifth Edition
Flint retired from his position in
March 1918 and died on 8 April 1919. His successor as Clerk was William Barton
Northrup, who served from 1918 to 1924. It was in 1922, during Northrup's term
as Clerk, that the first edition of Beauchesne's Rules and Forms of the House
of Commons of Canada was published by Canada Law Book. Arthur Beauchesne, the
author, was then Clerk Assistant of the House of Commons. It was not his
intention to replace Bourinot's work or the standard English authorities, but
rather to produce a handbook that would provide Members of Parliament
"with annotations which can be used on short notice whenever questions of
procedure arise in the course of debate."
Beauchesne succeeded Northrup as
Clerk of the House of Commons in 1925. Both Lady Bourinot and her son, Arthur,
were soon after this date thinking of having a fifth edition of Bourinot's
Parliamentary Procedure and Practice prepared. Arthur was Bourinot's youngest
child, the younger son of his third marriage, and the only one of his children
to become prominent in his own right. Arthur earned his living as a lawyer, but
he had obviously inherited his father's literary and historical tastes and
became well known as a poet. Although he was only nine years old when his
father died, it was he, rather than the older children, who developed a strong
interest in his father's life and work. He had a detailed knowledge of his
father's private papers and he edited the twelfth edition of the elder
Bourinot's book, How Canada is Governed, published by Copp Clark in 1928.
Writing to his mother on 14 January
1927, Arthur Bourinot reported that he had seen Arthur Beauchesne the day
before and taken up with him the matter of a new edition of Parliamentary
Procedure and Practice. Beauchesne thought it would take about a year to
complete the work and he seemed favourably disposed to Arthur Bourinot's
suggestion that he should work with him in the preparation of the new edition.
Arthur Bourinot was clearly anxious to do so. He remarked to his mother that he
was sure it would benefit his law practice and that perhaps he might be able,
on his own, to edit any future editions. Beauchesne had suggested to Arthur
Bourinot that Lady Bourinot write to Mackenzie King, then the Prime Minister,
to try to get the government to guarantee a large order.(7) Lady Bourinot did
so, and King referred the matter to the Speaker, Rodolphe Lemieux, who took it
up with the Board of Internal Economy.(8)
The proposal to prepare and publish
a fifth edition of Parliamentary Procedure and Practice came to nothing mainly
because the Speaker, presumably on the advice of the Board of Internal Economy,
did "not feel justified in asking for a new amount in the Supplementary
Estimates for this purpose.(9) The reason for this decision seems to have been
that copies of the fourth edition had been purchased from time to time for the
use of Members of Parliament and several copies were still 1eft on our
shelves."(10) Even if the government or parliament had guaranteed a large
order, there might have been difficulty in reaching a mutually satisfactory
financial agreement between Lady Bourinot and her son on the one hand and
Arthur Beauchesne on the other. Beauchesne wanted $1200 for his work, an amount
which the Bourinots considered too high. Flint had been paid only $300 for his
work on the third edition and probably not much more for the fourth.
"While 1 think the amount paid Dr. Flint was rather low 1 think this
amount rather high," wrote Arthur Bourinot to his mother. (11)
Later in 1927, a second edition of
Beauchesne's Rules and Forms of the House of Commons of Canada was published.
This no doubt made it even less likely that the government or parliament would
support the publication of a fifth edition of Bourinot's work. Nor would Canada
Law Book, the publisher of both Bourinot's and Beauchesne's works, have been
likely to be interested in publishing a fifth edition of Bourinot, which would
have competed with the second edition of Beauchesne.
In 1933, Arthur Bourinot went
through the second edition of Beauchesne's work "rather carefully"
and questioned whether, under the copyright law, the author had the right to
quote without permission as extensively as he had from the elder Bourinot's
work, even though credit was given, as it generally was. He became especially
disturbed when he discovered in Part V of the book a section entitled "The
Forms Necessary to Giving Validity to a Statute," which was, for the most
part, the text of an opinion given by J.G. Bourinot to the Lieutenant Governor
of Quebec in 1897. Although Arthur Bourinot does not note this, the opinion was
published without the question to which it was a response and it was adapted to
apply to the Canadian Governor General and Parliament, rather than to the
Lieutenant Governor and Legislature of Quebec. No reference was given as to
where the opinion had been obtained, and indeed, it was not presented as an
opinion, but as a statement of fact. Lady Bourinot had died in 1930, and Arthur
Bourinot outlined the situation in a confidential letter to the Royal Trust
Company, which along with him, was the executor of her estate.(12) Some thought
was evidently given to taking legal action, but in the end nothing was done.
"In regard to 'Parliamentary Procedure," [sic] we are inclined to
agree with you that to take any action more cost would probably be incurred
than benefit," wrote C.A. Jerry of the Royal Trust Company to Arthur
Bourinot on 30 October 1935. (13)
A Canadian Manual on the
Procedure at Meetings: (Bourinot's Rules of Order) - Reprints
There were reprints of the abridged
152-page version of A Canadian Manual on the Procedure at Meetings in 1911 and
1914. The 1911 printing has the word "Reprint" on the title page,
whereas the title page of the 1914 printing describes the book as a "Third
Reprint.- However, 1 have found evidence of only the 1911 reprint before that
date. Perhaps the word "reprint" was used by mistake for
"printing." Since the abridged version was originally published in
1894, the 1911 reprint could be correctly described as a "Second
Printing" and the 1914 reprint as a "Third Printing."
Further reprints appeared in 1918
and 1924, and with them other changes took place that are somewhat difficult to
explain. The 1911 and 1914 reprints were issued by Carswell, the original
publisher, but the 1918 reprint (described as "Fourth Reprint") lists
on the title page "McClelland, Goodchild & Stewart" as the publisher,
though the Carswell copyright notice appears on the back of this page. There is
no revision of the text, but changes were made in 1918 in the title, format and
pagination. For the first time the title Rules of Order is used, the complete
title on the title page being Rules of Order being a Canadian Manual on the
Procedure at Meetings of Shareholders and Directors of Companies, Conventions,
Societies and Public Assemblies Generally. Also in 1918, for the first time,
the title Bourinot's Rules of Order appears on the cover.
Shortly after the publication of
the 1918 reprint, McClelland, Goodchild & Stewart became McClelland &
Stewart. The 1924 reprint lists the latter as the publisher and also as the
owner of copyright in the work. The title, format, and pagination remained the
same as in 1918. There must have been many printings of the 1924 version, some
made in later years, though no later date is noted. There exist different
copies with "Fifth Edition," "Sixth Edition," and "Seventh
Edition" on the title page, and others with no reference at all to an
edition or reprint. Some are printed on much heavier paper than others. The
dust jackets on some are fawn; on others they are green. The references to
editions are incorrect, there being absolutely no revision. All are reprints of
the 1894 abridged edition.
Neither Carswell nor McClelland
& Stewart has retained records which would explain the change in publisher
and copyright owner. Fortunately, however, correspondence in the Arthur S.
Bourinot papers throws some light on the situation. An understanding of
Canadian copyright law of the time also helps to explain what happened.
The term of copyright under the law
in force before 1924 was twenty-eight years, renewable under specified
circumstances for an additional fourteen years. The author, having obtained
copyright, could assign it "either as to the whole interest or any part
thereof." Presumably Bourinot had assigned copyright to Carswell for the
full twenty-eight-year term because the required notice on the back of the
title page is in Carswell's name on both 1894 editions and on all reprints up
to and including that: of 1918. The first term of copyright expired on 13 April
1922, twenty-eight years after its registration by Bourinot on 13 April 1894.
Copyright was registered in the original 444-page edition; this would have
covered the abridged. version as well, since registration gave the author the
sole, right to publish the work "in whole or in part."
Under section 19 of the Copyright
Act then in force, it: was the author, if living, or his widow, child, or
children, if the author had died, who had the right to apply for renewal of the
copyright for an additional fourteen years. Thus, it was Lady Bourinot, not
Carswell, who made the application. There was a requirement that the title of
the work be registered a second time within one year after the expiration of
the original term. In fact, the certificate of "Renewal of Copyright"
is dated 13 April 1923, exactly one year after the original term had expired.
As with the original registration, it is the unabridged version of A Canadian
Manual on the Procedure at Meetings that is registered. A new Copyright Act
which changed the term of copyright to the life of the author plus fifty years
had been passed in 1921, but it did not come into force until 1 January 1924.
Thus, renewal of the copyright was necessary to cover the time period before
the new Act came into effect. Once in force, copyright in all Bourinot's
writings published before his death was automatically extended to 13 October
1952, that is, fifty years after his death.
In 1936, when some confusion arose
because of a mistaken assumption that the copyright renewed in 1923 was about
to expire, Arthur Bourinot became aware of the copyright notice in Carswell's
name in the 1918 edition and made inquires as to how McClelland & Stewart
had obtained copyright in the work. A letter from the latter company to Arthur
Bourinot explained that in 1918 McClelland & Stewart [actually, McClelland,
Goodchild & Stewart] had made an arrangement with Carswell to print an
edition of the book which McClelland & Stewart then published under the
title, Rules of Order. The letter added that in April 1923, McClelland &
Stewart made a contract with Lady Bourinot, taking over the entire publication
of the book and purchasing the remaining stock from Carswell.
A copy of the April 1923 Memorandum
of Agreement between Lady Bourinot and McClelland & Stewart is in the A.S.
Bourinot papers. Lady Bourinot assigned copyright to McClelland & Stewart
for a period of ten years. It was permissible to do this both under the
Copyright Act in force in 1923 and under the new Act which came into force in
1924, the latter allowing the owner of copyright in a work to assign the right
"either for the whole term of the copyright or for any other part
By the time the agreement between
Lady Bourinot and McClelland & Stewart was about to expire, Lady Bourinot
had died and the copyright was in the name of the estate, the executors of
which, as noted earlier, were Arthur Bourinot and the Royal Trust Company. The
agreement was renewed for another ten years from 24 March 1933. Correspondence
in the A.S. Bourinot papers indicates that there was a further renewal from 24
March 1943 to the end of the term of copyright on 13 October 1952.
An unsolved mystery remains
regarding a reprint of the complete 444-page edition of A Canadian Manual on
the Procedure at Meetings, which, on the title page, lists McClelland &
Stewart as the publisher. Because Carswell's original 1894 notice required by
the Copyright Act then in force appears on the back of the title page,
cataloguers and bibliographers have sometimes assigned the date, 1894, to this
reprint. Clearly, this is incorrect because McClelland & Stewart did not exist
in 1894. It seems probable that the reprint was issued shortly after the
publication of the 1918 reprint of the abridged version, which was printed by
Carswell and published by McClelland, Goodchild & Stewart. The name,
McClelland & Stewart, came into use later in 1918; a probable date of
publication of the McClelland & Stewart reprint of the 444-page edition is
1918 or 1919. The 1923 agreement between Lady Bourinot and McClelland &
Stewart related to both the complete and the abridged editions, but the company
chose to reprint only the shorter version, having found no demand for the
larger one. The 1933 agreement mentioned only Rules of Order, the title
McClelland, Goodchild & Stewart had adopted in 1918 for the shorter
Bourinot's Rules of Order:
Bourinot's Rules of Order entered
the public domain in October 1952; McClelland & Stewart no longer had the
exclusive right to publish it. Clearly there was a continuing interest in the
book, sales being steady throughout the years that it had been available. It
was a good idea to consider having a new edition prepared not only because much
of the information and especially the citations in the footnotes were badly out
of date, but also because a new edition, revised and updated, could be
protected by copyright.
Shortly before the copyright in the
work expired, there were discussions between McClelland & Stewart and Leon
J.. Raymond, Clerk of the House of Commons, concerning the possibility of his
preparing a revised edition. (14) An internal memorandum dated 9 June 1952 to
J.G. McClelland records a meeting in Ottawa between Raymond and a
representative of the publishing company. Apparently this was not the first
approach to Raymond because the memorandum notes that he had not been able to do
any work on the revision for the past year, but that he had expressed an
interest in preparing it, and expected to have more time during the coming
year. There was a further approach to Raymond in April 1953, seeking to make an
agreement with him in the hope of bringing out a new edition in the spring of
1954. No record exists in the McClelland papers of a reply from Raymond.
However, between that time and the beginning of 1955, some work was done,
probably by the editorial staff of McClelland & Stewart, on a revised
edition. Because Bourinot had included as examples of rules of order those of
specific associations and labour organisations, Sally Newman, Associate Editor
of McClelland & Stewart, telephoned or wrote to officers of various
organisations to obtain up-to-date information., requesting "a copy of
your constitutional rules, and any by-laws or amendments relating to the
conduct of meetings. (15) The replies indicate that she received the requested
documents from several of them. It appears that the part of the book dealing
with company meetings was submitted to a person qualified to judge whether it
needed much updating and that it was revised by him. In December 1954 - January
1955, there was some correspondence between J.G. McClelland and George Stephen,
Clerk of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan, regarding the possibility of
Stephen's supervising the revision, on which preliminary work had been done.
Nothing seems to have come of this. Perhaps the publication of Arthur
Beauchesne's book, Procedure at Meetings in Canada, by Canada Law Book in 1954
had some effect on the failure of McClelland & Stewart to proceed with the
revision of Bourinot's Rules of Order at that time. The main problem seems,
however, to have been the difficulty in finding a qualified person with the
time and the interest to undertake the revision.
At last in November 1961 a suitable
person was found. A hand-written memorandum dated the4th of that month notes
that Cordon Dubroy had agreed to proceed with the revision and directed the
preparation of a contract. The manuscript of the second edition of Bourinot's
Rules of Order, "revised by J. Gordon Dubroy, Second Clerk Assistant:
House of Commons," was received by McClelland & Stewart in September
1962 and the book published the following year. The original author's name is
incorporated into the title not only on the cover, but also on the title page,
thus making Bourinot's Rules of Order the official title of the book. It is a
much shorter book than the abridged version of the first edition partly
because, instead of updating the footnotes, the second edition simply omits
them. The rules of the Canadian Labour Congress are given as "an
illustration of the nature of the rules in vogue among such organisations and
their affiliates," but much less attention is paid to this type of
material than in the first edition. References to specific American authorities
disappear, and there is much less emphasis on the use of American motions.
On the back of the dust jacket of
the second edition of Bourinot's Rules of Order are comments by Davie Fulton,
Stanley Knowles, and J.W Pickersgill, then prominent members of the
Conservative, New Democratic, and Liberal parties respectively. The comments of
Fulton and Pickersgill illustrate the confusion that exists regarding
Bourinot's Parliamentary Procedure and Rules of Order. Fulton is quoted as
saying "I am delighted to learn that a new edition of Bourinot's
Parliamentary Procedure has been prepared." Of course, the new edition was
of Rules of Order, not Parliamentary Procedure. According to Pickersgill,
"Bourinot's Rules of Order has been throughout the years the 'Bible' of
the House of Commons." Bourinot's Parliamentary Procedure may have been
its Bible, but his Rules of Order was never intended for use by the House of
Commons. Only Stanley Knowles understood that it was the manual, not the large
work on parliamentary procedure, that had been revised and published. The book,
he stated, "relates the theory and practice of parliamentary procedure to
the requirements of meetings of all kinds, large and small!'
A French translation of the second
edition, called Bourinot: Règles de procédure was published by Les éditions La
Presse in 1972. The translator was Réginald-L. Boivin, Chief of the French Journals
Section of the House of Commons.
Bourinot's Rules of Order: Third
The second edition of Bourinot's
Rules of Order was sufficiently popular to warrant the preparation of a third,
which was published by McClelland & Stewart in 1977. Unlike the first two
editions, the third was prepared not by a person with experience in legislative
procedure, but by one more familiar with procedure at other types of meetings.
Geoffrey Stanford, a Torontonian, had already written a book called The Conduct
of Meetings, published in 1958 by Oxford University Press in Toronto and
reprinted several times. He therefore had no difficulty in writing about
"Rules and Usages for Assemblies Generally," but his knowledge of the
parliamentary basis of these rules and usages and of Canadian company law, both
of which were needed to update Bourinot's Rules of Order, seems to have been
limited to what he had read in the second edition of that work. He copied
statements from that edition which were correct when published in 1963, but
were no longer true in 1977. (16) The manuscript should have been checked by
persons experienced in legislative procedure and with company meetings before
being published. However, since the book is not generally used at company
meetings, Wainberg's Company Meetings including Rules of Order, being more.
suitable, and since the section on the parliamentary basis of rules and usages
is of interest mainly as background material, these mistakes have had little
effect on the use of the book. The third edition has been reprinted several
times, most recently in 1991.
It is somewhat ironic that
Bourinot's Rules of Order is most widely used by municipal councils, although
the section on meetings of these bodies was omitted from the abridged version
of the work back in 1894. The reason for the book's popularity with municipal
councils is, however, easily explained. Most of them adopt their own rules of
order, often called a procedure bylaw, and rely on Bourinot only in unprovided
cases. Although other types of organisations also use the book, those which
want a complete rule book are more likely to adopt the well-known American
authority, Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, or an earlier edition of this
work. Another possible choice is a recent Canadian book, Kerr and King's
Procedures for Meetings and Organisations.*
1. Toronto Tribune (undated
newspaper clipping in Bourinot Scrap Book, MC 1, Vol. 147, p. 211, in the
Public Archives of Nova Scotia). Anglin was Editor of the Toronto Tribune.
Bourinot identified him as the author of the review.
2. The Argus, Melbourne, Australia,
9 August 1884 (Public Archives of Nova Scotia, Bourinot Scrap Book, MC, 1, Vol.
147, p. 204).
3. National Library of Canada, A.S.
Bourinot Papers, T.B. Flint to Henry Aylen, 9 October 1915. Aylen, a lawyer,
who was married to Desir6e Elise (Daisy), daughter of J.G. Bourinot and his
second wife, Emily Pilsbury, was representing Lady Bourinot, his
step-mother-in-law, in negotiations with Canada Law Book regarding the
publication of the fourth edition.
4. A.S. Bourinot Papers, Isabelle
Bourinot to Henry Aylen, 16 September [19151.
5. Ibid., Flint to Aylen, 9
7. Ibid., A.S. Bourinot to
Lady Bourinot, 14 January 1927.
8. Ibid., Isabelle Bourinot
to Mackenzie King 26 January 1927 (Draft); Rodolphe Lemieux to Mackenzie King
29 January 1927; Mackenzie King to Lady Bourinot, 1 February 1927.
9. Ibid., Rodolphe Lemieux
to Mackenzie King, 6 April 1927.
11. Ibid., A.S. Bourinot to
Lady Bourinot, 14 January 1927.
12. Ibid., A.S. Bourinot to
the Royal Trust Company, 3 April 1933. The opinion referred to was published in
Beauchesne, Rules and Forms, 2nd ed., 1927, pp. 343-5. It had also been
published in the 1 st edition, 1922, at pp. 272-4. It was repeated in the 3rd
edition, 1943, pp. 357-9, but not as a separate section in later editions,
though some of the statements in the section appear elsewhere in the later
editions. For instance, although those who prepared the sixth edition are no doubt
unaware of it, some of the wording in the section on "Royal Assent"
appeared originally in J.G. Bourinot's 1897 opinion. See Beauchesne's Rules and
Forms of the House of Commons of Canada, 6th ed. by Alistair Fraser, W.F.
Dawson, and John A. Holtby (Toronto: Carswell, 1989),218, especially the last
two paragraphs. The original opinion given by J.G. Bourinot to J.A. Chapleau,
Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, along with Chapleau's letter, is contained in a
volume entitled Opinions and Questions of Parliamentary and Constitutional
Procedure, by J.G. Bourinot, presented by A.S. Bourinot to the Public Archives
of Nova Scotia. The volume consists mainly of handwritten and typescript
opinions on a variety of topics. Handwritten notes by A.S. Bourinot on the opinion
given to Chapleau indicate its inclusion in Beauchesne's Rules and Forms.
13. The letter is in the A.S.
14. Information on the preparation
of the revised edition is contained in Jack McClelland's papers in the
McClelland &Stewart Archives, Mills Memorial Library, McMaster University.
For directing me to this material 1 am grateful to Alvin L. Potter of
McClelland & Stewart. 1 also express my thanks to jack McClelland for
giving me permission to see his papers, and to Charlotte Stewart-Murphy and
Carl Spadoni of Mills Memorial Library for making them available to me.
15. The wording is used in several
letters written by Sally Newman in August 1953 and preserved in the McClelland
16. For examples of this and other
comments on the third edition, see "Book Review: Bourinot's Rules of
Order," by Margaret A. Banks, Parliamentary Journal, vol. xix, no.
3 (July 1978), 33-5.