Address issue of poor protocol – Leacock
During a sitting of the House of Assembly on November 22, 2011, parliamentary representative for Central Kingstown.
St Clair Leacock complained that he and other members of the Opposition are being subjected to poor protocol practices.
Leacock said on independence day, October 27, he took offence at being denied parking in a certain area when he arrived at the Victoria Park for the Independence Day parade.
According to the representative for Central Kingstown, a sergeant of the police force indicated to him that the area where he wanted to park in was reserved for specially invited guests.
The issue was quickly resolved, but Leacock contended that he was in for another episode when upon arriving at the pavilion, he noticed that the seats assigned to him and other Opposition parliamentarians were simply labelled âMisterâ.
âAll of us on that day were âMistersâ, and everybody on that side were âHonourableâ,â Leacock said.
He said that he wanted to bring the issue to the attention of the protocol department within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs etc.
While acknowledging that it may not have been a deliberate act, Leacock said that he thought the issue was serious and needed to be addressed.
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves promised to raise the issue with the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs etc.
âIâm quite sure, as he has put it quite kindly, that there was no real disrespect, but we have to get these things right,â Gonsalves said.
He said that he had encountered the issue of inattention to protocol on a number of occasions before.
âAnd for some of them that do not touch and concern me in any personal way, I raise them – those that do, I simply smile because I have come from the earth and to the earth I shall return,â the prime minister continued.
Nevertheless, Gonsalves said that persons who hold public office should be accorded the requisite protocol.
Hendrick Alexander, Speaker of the House, was also in agreement that the issue of protocol needed to be addressed.
âIt appears that proper protocol seems to be walking on its head in this country,â he contended.
He said that the issue was one of importance because it could be embarrassing to the country.
According to Alexander, there were previous occasions when protocol was either abused or lacking.