September 7, 1903

L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

Was this a committee of the Press Association ?

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I do not think it was a committee of the Press Association; it was a committee representing half a dozen journals, the leading newspapers of Canada, including papers of both parties. The matter has been since that time in the hands of a committee of gentlemen, of whom Mr. Brierly, of the Montreal 'Herald,' and Mr. Atkinson, of the

Toronto ' Star,' have been, perhaps, the most active. They assure me that they are acting in harmony with the members of the press generally, and have furnished me with a list of the papers which are expected to participate in the service. X cannot say that this aid is all the gentlemen would like; like most other parties who are receiving government aid, they would not object if we made the sum larger, but X think they are satisfied that this is a reasonable and generous allowance. The grant is larger during the first few years because our im-presssion is that within a few years a larger number of papers will come in, and with their contributions there will then be less need of government assistance. I am advised that they will seek incorporation-I do not know whether at Ottawa or Toronto or Quebec-but they will, at any rate, place themselves in the position of an incorporated body, entitled to receive this money. The essence of the matter is that it is to be an absolutely fair service, open to every newspaper in Canada which is prepared to avail itself of this offer. The press must provide dollar for dollar of the grant given by the government.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

Does the proposal contemplate cablegrams from England and the continent solely, or is it also intended to undertake the transmission o'f news from Canada to the old country?

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

That point was also dealt with in the previous discussion, and on both sides of the House it was agreed that while a broader scheme such as my hon. friend suggests would be desirable, we are not in a position at present to accomplish it. As to what is to appear in the Canadian newspapers, our editors can decide for themselves; they can publish what they wish and what they will pay for. But they cannot control the publication of news in the English papers. It may, of course, lead to some such extension of the system, but for the present the scope of the scheme is to supply the Canadian press with cablegrams from Great Britain.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

Is it contemplated that this association will have officers in the old country for the purpose of forwarding news from there ?

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

They are already established there.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

Under the nuspices of these gentlemen who are named here ?

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

Under the auspices of a committee, of which, Mr. Atkinson, I think, is chairman.

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria. I think it would be advisable for the minister also to consider the class of news that might be sent from Canada to the old country.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

It would be very desirable.

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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).

A little more so than the other.

Motion agreed to ; Bill read the second time and House went into committee thereon.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I may say to the committee that this Bill is an exact transcript of the resolution we have agreed to in the committee, and therefore I do not think it necessary to add anything further to what I have said.

On section 1,

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I think the object of the Bill is a praiseworthy one, but I would point out that we are not dealing with an association which is a legal entity, and it would be desirable, I think, to know if the committee representing the press, or the association such as it is, has the adherence of a great many of the largest newspapers my hon. friend has mentioned. My hon. friend has mentioned two names. Are there any of the Montreal papers who have given tbeir adherence to this question ? I would sugggest to my hon. friend also that it would be much more advantageous for us, in dealing with this question, to have a regular incorporation, and to have before us the charter giving the powers and objects, and tlie means the company will have at its disposal of obtaining its object. I would like to ask the Minister of Finance if he has received the names of any papers from the province of Quebec ?

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I did receive the names, but I have not the list at hand, because I did not anticipate that the matter would be further inquired into. Speaking generally, I can say to my hon. friend that the leading papers in the larger cities of Canada have all joined this arrangement. Though I cannot give all the names,

I can say that the Montreal ' Herald,' Montreal ' Star,' and Montreal ' Gazette,' are in the arrangement; also the Toronto ' Globe,' the Toronto ' Mail and Empire,' Toronto ' Star,' Toronto ' Telegram,' the Toronto ' News '-in fact as I have said the leading papers in the leading cities. Though the matter has been before the House and the country for some time, no objection of any kind has been raised by any part of the press. Of course, it is only in the larger cities we can look for those who are to participate in this arrangement for the present. As each newspaper has to bear a share of the expense, the smaller newspapers and smaller communities can hardly be expected to enter into the arrangement. Eater on, they may be brought in and contribute a reasonable proportion.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I suppose that before any of the money is paid for carrying out the service under this Bill, the government will

see to it that there is a regular legal organization, some incorporated association governed by certain rules. The question also arises with regard to the weekly newspapers, for instance papers published only on Saturday. Will these newspapers be admitted to the privilege of publishing the latest cablegrams, and, if so, will they be required to pay the same amount as daily newspapers ? Has any provision been made with regard to that ? The interest of the weekly newspaper depends largely on its publishing the latest news from all over the world, yet, on the other hand, it would be unfair if a newspaper receiving the benefit of the service only one day a week were required to pay the same rate as the daily newspaper. I suppose that some arrangement will be made with regard to that.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

These are matters of wliat I may call internal economy. I am quite confident that the details will be worked out in a satisfactory manner by the press men themselves. The fact that they have the arrangement in their own hands may be taken ns a guarantee that tlie details have been, or will be, satisfactorily arranged.

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

I suppose it is not intended that this news should be copyrighted ?

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

That will bn for them to arrange. The body is not at present incorporated, but I am advised that it will be, and if they like to arrange for the copyrighting of their news for a certain time, that is a fair question for consideration.

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

I should think it would be for the consideration of the government as they are contributing to the service; for the very reason stated by my hon. friend (Mr. Monk) a newspaper might take advantage of this and publish the news within a few hours of its first appearance. There is no reason why it should not be copyrighted-

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

For any reasonable period.

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

Is it the intention of the government to take cognizance of this question of copyrighting ? That is to see that it is not for too long a time V

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September 7, 1903