Hon. R. J. MANION (Fort William):
rise to a question of privilege. I do so at this moment, because the Minister of Labour (Mr. Heenan) is in his seat, and he might not happen to be when we reach the orders of the day. As a question of privilege is in order at all times, I presume I may bring it up at this moment. The question I wish to deal with is the report of a speech made by the Minister of Labour at Sioux Lookout and reported in various papers. It was reported in the Fort William paper and the Port Arthur paper along the same lines as I shall read from the Toronto Star of April 15, 1930. The heading is:
Proud of his birth. Heenan scores critic. Answers remarks of Hon. Dr. R. J. Manion but sees he is unaffected.
The despatch is dated Sioux Lookout, April 15. It says that this was a nonpolitical banquet. Then the following paragraph occurs:
During his short address Mr. Heenan declared that the occasion did not warrant the discussion of politics. In connection with interruptions and apparent attempts by certain members of parliament to throw him off his equilibrium, particularly a speech made by Dr. R. J. Manion (Conservative, Fort William) during which remarks were made in connection with the mediocrity of Mr. Heenan's early life and the humble surroundings in which he was born, the minister said: "Far from feeling down-trodden by the honourable gentleman's exposure, I am proud to let it be known that I was born under the thatched roof of a humble cottage in Ireland. In spite of the sarcastic reference by Dr. Manion, I was blessed with a home influence that cannot be equalled."
Asked if he were not a bit shaken by such unusual remarks made by Dr. Manion in connection with his birth, he smiled. "Why should I be shaken by an exhibition of bad manners on the part of another member?" he said.
Neither in the House of Commons nor on a public platform did I ever in any shape, manner or form refer to the place or the condition or the surroundings of the birth of the Minister of Labour or of any other hon. member. I am one of those who believe that the condition of a man's birth has nothing whatever to do with his attainments in life. If the minister is correctly reported, he stated what is absolutely and wholly untrue. Furthermore, if he is correctly reported, he stated what he knows to be untrue. I am hoping the minister will rise in his place and say that he is misquoted, and I am also hoping that the Toronto Star and the other papers that published this false information will give as much importance to the correction as they have given to the statement.