September 7, 1903

CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

That is all very well, but it is important that this arrangement should be commenced properly. I do not think the press association should have the right to fix these charges without the approval of the Governor in Council. There may be something of a special nature taking place in Great Britain, of which every newspaper in Canada would desire to get the news. Very many might not be in a position to become members of the association. The fee may be fixed at a very high figure ; and unless there is a great deal of caution on the part of the government, they may be establishing a monopoly in the country in the interest of a few of the great daily newspapers.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I do not

see how we can do otherwise than leave the matter to be arranged by the press themselves One of my hon. friends who happens to be connected with the press has placed in my hands one of the circulars which have been issued. This is signed by James S. P.rierly, Provisional President, Canadian Associated Press. I find that I was wrong when I said that Mr. Atkinson was the president. The executive committee of the association had a meeting on the subject at which the following gentlemen were present : Mr. John Ross Robertson, ' Telegram,' Toronto; Mr. W. J. Douglas, ' Mail,' Toronto; Mr. J. A. Macdonald, ' Globe,' T-

ronto; Mr. W. F. Maclean, M.P., ' World,' Toronto; Mr. J. E. Atkinson, ' Star,' Toronto ; Mr. A. H. U. Colquohoun, ' News,' Toronto; Mr. Jas. S. Brierly, 1 Herald,' Montreal. In some of these gentlemen I have not the utmost confidence on a certain class of questions, but for this particular business I have every confidence in them.

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CON

Edward Frederick Clarke

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARKE.

You may be prejudiced against them.

The MINISTER OF FINANCE I may be. Some of them, I am afraid, are a little prejudiced against me, so that there is reciprocity in that respect. But in a matter of this kind, affecting the interest of the press generally, I am willing to take the position that these gentlemen will deal justly and fairly. It would be better not to anticipate difficulties; but if they arise we will deal with them as they come.

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L-C

Edward Hackett

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. IIACKETT.

I brought this matter up because I find this clause in the Bill :

Provided, however, that no payment shall bo made under the authority of this Act until the Minister of Finance has satisfied himself that the benefits of the service are open, on fair and reasonable terms, to all newspapers published in Canada.

I take it that Prince Edward Island is a part of Canada, and I would ask the hon. Minister of Finance, when he is considering this question with the gentlemen representing the newspapers of Canada, to see that justice is done to the newspapers of Prince Edward Island. I have pointed out to him the difficulties under which we have laboured for so many years, and if lie allows the same condition of things to continue, it will be simply perpetuating that monopoly upon the people. But I have to a certain extent lost confidence in the Minister of Finance. I was pleased to find the hon. member for King's (Mr. Hughes) stand up to a certain extent for the people of Prince Edward Island.

Mr HUGHES (King's, P.E.I.) To every extent.

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L-C

Edward Hackett

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HACKETT.

But I have lost some confidence in him since I heard him state a few moments ago, when I was explaining that we had no night service in the island, that there were many places in Canada where the telegraph offices closed their doors at eight o'clock in the evening and did not open them again until the next morning. That may be the case in some little backwoods villages

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

Name them. There are none.

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L-C

Edward Hackett

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HACKETT.

And are we in Prince Edward Island to be compared to a little backwoods hamlet or village ? I insist that the government shall see in this matter that justice is done to the people of Prince Edward Island, and that this Anglo-American

Telegraph Company shall enable the people of Prince Edward Island to receive the despatches from the motherland on the same terms as other parts of Canada

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

I am very sorry that my hon. friend will insist on mixing and muddling two things which are entirely distinct. There is no earthly connection between the telegraphic arrangements of Prince Edward Island and the arrangements provided for in this Bill. All I can say is that if the proprietor of any newspaper in Prince Edward Island notifies me that it is not being treated fairly, I shall be prepared to see that it is given the same consideration as any other paper in Canada, no more, no less.

Mr. HUGHES (King's, P.E.I.) Did I understand the hon. member for West Prince (Mr. Hackett) to say that I compared Prince Edward Island to some small backwoods hamlet ?

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L-C

Edward Hackett

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HACKETT.

No, I referred to the Minister of Finance.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

But my hon. friend. I would point out, is not courageous: he would not name that backwoods hamlet. There are no backwoods hamlets in this country. They are all thriving and flourishing towns and villages.

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L-C

Edward Hackett

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HACKETT.

Can the hon. Minister of Finance name the places he referred to where the telegraph offices close their doors in the evening as they do in Prince Edward Island ? .

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

Yes, I can; their name is legion.

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LIB

Aaron Abel Wright

Liberal

Mr. WRIGHT.

In Renfrew we have a thriving town, where twenty express trains leave every day, and still our telegraph office closes at eight o'clock in the evening and does not open again until the morning. I did not know before that we had a grievance. I am delighted that my hon. friend from Prince Edward Island has given us one.

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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I do not know that my hon. friend is wrong in speaking of backwoods hamlets. We have some in every province of the Dominion, and we want to provide that they shall get the news like the larger places. As there are, .1 suppose, some of these backwoods hamlets in Prince Edward Island, they are entitled to the same advantages as the rest of Canada in this respect. The hon. Minister of Finance has given us a list of names of the gentlemen heading this movement. 1 do not see in this list the name of any gentleman from Montreal except Mr. Brierly. There are. I presume, some people connected with newspapers in the city of Montreal, representatives of the Montreal ' Star,' the Montreal ' Gazette,' and the Montreal ' Witness,' who bad some knowledge of this movement and

of this arrangement and there are also the representatives of the French newspapers in Montreal. Has my hon. friend (Mr. Fielding) any intimation from these papers how they can avail themselves of this service ? The French newspapers receive despatches in the English language and translate them into French. I would like to know if these gentlemen have been invited to co-operate in this new movement to obtain cable news V

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

Every daily newspaper in Canada, I am informed, has been invited to co-operate and participate in this arrangement. I may say that the meeting of the committee was held in Toronto, and that led to the representatives of the Toronto press being present. I know as a matter of fact from information given to me, that the leading newspapers in Canada are participating in this movement, and are receiving the service to-day, and it is expected that the other newspapers will come in.

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CON

George Adam Clare

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARE.

I would like to ask the minister if the weekly newspapers throughout Canada will have the right to use this news, or whether this association will copyright its news and prevent weekly newspapers from using it ?

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

That would be a question for the association ; they may copyright it for a short time, I think that would be quite legitimate.

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CON

George Adam Clare

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARE.

If that is the case, I cannot understand why the editors of weekly newspapers were not invited to join this service. It is apparently confined to daily newspapers only.

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The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

Because it is likely that only daily newspapers will be disposed to pay the money. If any weekly newspaper wants to pay its share, its contribution will be equally acceptable.

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CON

George Adam Clare

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARE.

Is it not the fact that weekly newspapers get their news very largely without paying for it ? If that is the case, then this association, by copyrighting their news, might prevent weekly newspapers from using it. This would certainly constitute a monopoly assisted by the government.

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September 7, 1903