I have the honour to inform the House that I have received the following letter:
Members of the House of Commons,
Your kind expressions of sympathy are deeply appreciated and gratefully acknowledged.
Mrs. T. H. Thompson and daughter.
Mr. SPEAKER presented the report of the Editor of Debates on the paid circulation of Hansard as affected by the publicity ordered by the House of Commons on recommendation of the committee on Debates as follows:
Ottawa, June 17, 1925.
To His Honour
The Speaker of the House of Commons.
Sir:-We have the honour to report the procedure and results of the effort to increase the paid circulation of Hansard which was ordered by the House.
The command of the House was given by adopting on July 3rd last the report of the Debates Committee submitted by Mr. Boivin, Chairman, on 30th June. The report read in part as follows:-
"Your Committee have had under consideration certain recommendations providing for a wider and more general distribution of the unrevised edition of Debates at the actual cost of the extra printing, paper and mailing, which has been ascertained to be approximately three dollars per session.
"Your committee recommend that the required steps be taken by the proper officers to inform the general public that the said unrevised edition of debates is available to subscribers, and will be mailed to them daily, upon application to the King's Printer, at the said rate of three dollars per session."
Consulting with Your Honour we were instructed that the members of the editorial staff of Debates were the "proper officers" to carry out this duty. We prepared a plan which, when approved by the Chairman of the Debates Committee, was put in execution. The plan was to ask members of the House for lists of names of those in their several constituencies likely to be interested and then to circularize the partie so named.
We append to this report copies of the printed forms used in this work.
Letters to members of Parliament were mailed January 25 to February 1, those most distant from Ottawa being first. In response 52 lists of names were received, the total number of names being 2,121, an average of about 40 per list. Circulars were promptly sent to the parties named.
When this matter was under discussion in the Debates Committee several members expressed the opinion that the press would probably take an interest in the movement and would promote the circulation of Hansard. Acting on this suggestion we communicated with the Canadian Press, the resident members of the Press Gallery, and others. The result was that Hansard as a subscription proposition was mentioned in many papers from coast to coast. Editorial articles recommending the purchase and reading of Hansard were published by some of the foremost newspapers, including those of Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver.
A special notice was published by the U.F.A. advising readers to send for free booklet explanatory of Hansard. About 100 letters were received as a direct result of this article. Copies of the booklet herewith and samples of Hansard, together with return envelopes were sent to the parties who wrote.
In all, letters were sent to about 2,400 prospective subscribers.
In every case the party was asked to send his subscription direct to the King's Printer.
It was not possible to "key" these items of publicity in such a way as to trace results in detail. But it would seem that the movement as a whole was markedly successful. The King's Printer advises us that.whereas the paid list of Hansard up to the end of last session was about 700; the present list is 1,245. In judging of this result it is necessary to allow for the fact that of recent years there has been a steady, though slow, growth in the number of Hansard subscribers. The experience with regard to the plan as above would indicate that further publicity would greatly increase the number of Hansard subscribers.
We have the honour to be, Sir,
Your obediant servants,
A. C. Campbell,
Editor of Debates. George Simpson,
Associate Editor of Debates.
Associate Editor of Debates.
Fifth report of the select standing committee on Railways, Canals and Telegraph Lines.- Mr. Hughes (for Mr. Cahill).