August 11, 1988 (33rd Parliament, 2nd Session)


John Patrick (Pat) Nowlan

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nowlan:

I rise in deference to the Chair but not in deference to common sense. I did not mean to stimulate a national debate yesterday. I really thought we were going to go on to serious things yesterday. In view of the ungainly, unseemly conduct of the New Democrats on something so fundamental as child care, I suggest today, because of the way the New Democrats treated child care yesterday, that my question of privilege on dress for Members is most relevant indeed. If the legislators of the land cannot be dressed comfortably in the halls that make laws, what hope do we have for child care, Mr. Speaker?
Having said that, I am not trying to impede the progress of the House. I sit on the far right wing of the front bench of the Tory Party, and I am glad to be a member of the Tory Party and/or sit on the right wing. Having raised the question of dress I would like to show to my colleagues and to you, Mr. Speaker, that I am not necessarily right wing totally in most situations. If we are inane and stupid enough to meet here on August 10 in the middle of the summer, then I suggest it is time we got our dress code to conform to the realities of the land.
I wrote a letter to you yesterday, Mr. Speaker, after, with respect, you gave a very impetuous and interesting decision.
To quote your words, you would not recognize me "because he was not dressed according to the customs and traditions of the House and, until he is, he will not be recognized". This was your reply to my hon. friend, the Hon. Member for Okanagan-Similkameen (Mr. King), whose area raises second grade apples.

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