Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):
Mr. Speaker, I regret that I must again rise on a question of privilege. I do so with reference to a document that has come to all of us. It purports to be from my friend, Bruce Phillips, president of the National Press Club.
At the outset I should like to make it clear that all of us in this place know the difference between the National Press Club and the Parliamentary Press Gallery. As I say, this matter relates to the National Press Club which has its quarters in a government building located at 150 Wellington Street. This letter starts off as follows:
Honourable Members of the Senate and the House of Commons,
All of us received a copy of this letter. I checked with my friend the hon. member for Vancouver-Kingsway (Mrs. Maclnnis). She received it although it was just stuck in the box with no envelope. She does not know whether she is invited or not. She received the document but she is no gentleman. I understand the same dilemma obtains in respect of women members of the other place.
I know that in grammatical terms the masculine includes both masculine and feminine. I know that in the Interpretation Act the masculine is to be read both ways. But in the context of current events and in view of the fact that the National Press Club has in its constitution a ban on the admission of women to its membership and in view of the fact that this matter has been raised several times recently in Parliament, it seems to me this document is either an act of gross discourtesy to Members of Parliament, particularly the hon. member for Vancouver-Kingsway and women members of the other place, or it is a calculated insult because of the questions we have raised about this matter.
The document is an invitation to all of us to attend an event which I should like to attend, for it has to do with recalling the anniversary of the night the House burned, but how can I? I point out that one reason for this question of privilege is that in the letter there is a specific request that the Speakers of both Houses and the leaders of all parties be in attendance. It seems to me that so long as the National Press Club practises discrimination we should consider seriously whether with propriety any of us, including Your Honour, can accept this invitation. I have not drafted a motion-
Subtopic: MR. KNOWLES (WINNIPEG NORTH CENTRE)- NATIONAL PRESS CLUB INVITATION