June 6, 1935

CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

This matter has been under careful consideration by the government and we have come to the conclusion that we should ask the house to extend the life of the commission to the end of this fiscal year. The commission has been in operation only since January 1, 1933, and it was thought that it should be continued a few months longer and we should let another parliament decide whether it should be abolished or its powers modified. A bill will be presented shortly to extend the life of the commission to the end of this fiscal year.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
Permalink
CON

John Anderson Fraser

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FRASER (Cariboo):

This is the vote under which extension of services will take place. The sendee in British Columbia is

S up pi y-Marine-Radio

very unsatisfactory and I should like to know what works are to be undertaken to bring about improvements.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
Permalink
CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

I am not in a position to give details but I may say that the commission has in mind the construction of powerful stations throughout Canada, one to be located in Vancouver. The commission hopes to be able to start this program of construction within a very short time.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
Permalink
CON

John Anderson Fraser

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FRASER (Cariboo):

Is anything provided in this vote for that work?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
Permalink
CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

I understand that the commission intends to use a certain part of this vote to start its program. I believe it intends to commence the construction of the station in Vancouver as soon as it is authorized by the government.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
Permalink
CON

John Anderson Fraser

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FRASER (Cariboo):

The minister has just indicated that the commission proposes to construct a high-powered station in Vancouver. As briefly as possible I should like to outline the situation in British Columbia. Vancouver and its immediate environments on the lower mainland is situated in the southwest corner of the province and I believe this is one of the reasons why we have such unsatisfactory service. There are six private stations operating in Vancouver and even though -the city and its immediate surroundings contains two-thirds of the population of the province I believe it has pretty fair service at the present time. The government should consider carefully before it decides to construct another high-powered station in Vancouver. The minister should consider if it would not be for the general benefit of the outlying sections of the province to locate such a station at a more central point than the city of Vancouver. The reception received by points in the interior of the province is exceedingly unsatisfactory and the construction of a high-powered station in Vancouver will not improve the situation. One quarter of the power of such a station will go out over the Pacific ocean while another quarter will go south across the line where the American people are well served with their own stations. The people in the interior of the province have no reception at all except when they turn on the American stations. The general complaint throughout the province is that they can only get reception from the American stations. -I therefore appeal to the minister to have this situation looked into carefully and to see whether a 'better location could not be secured than the city of Vancouver.

(Mr. J. A. Fraser.]

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
Permalink
CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

I shall ibe pleased to call the attention of the radio commission to my hon. friend's remarks, which I am sure they will consider carefully.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
Permalink
LIB

Joseph Oscar Lefebre Boulanger

Liberal

Mr. BOULANGER:

Is it the intention of the commission to discontinue broadcasting French programs in the western provinces?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
Permalink
CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

I have no intimation or knowledge of any such intention on the part of the commission.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
Permalink
LIB

Albert Edward Munn

Liberal

Mr. MUNN:

It is recognized that Vancouver is the most central point in British Columbia as regards population, and I would impress on the minister the advisability when the station is built of having it sufficiently strong and sufficiently high powered that interior points will be taken care of, especially in tihe riding of Cariboo, from which my hon. friend comes.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
Permalink
UFA

Robert Gardiner

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARDINER:

What progress has been made in the last year by the commission either in acquiring stations or in building new ones?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
Permalink
CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

I have not the details before me of what they have done in the last twelve months. I know however that the commission has built and opened a station in the city of Quebec and another one, more than a year ago, at Chicoutimi. Another one is in operation at New Carlisle in Bonaventure county, and I believe a station of 1,000 watts was purchased and is operated at Windsor, Ontario. There are other stations which have been opened up by the commission, not very powerful however-1,000 and 5,000 watt stations.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
Permalink
UFA

Robert Gardiner

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARDINER:

What progress has been made by the commission in talcing care of outlying districts, not only in Quebec but in other parts of Canada, which do not get very much service from the ordinary stations?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
Permalink
CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

The aim of the commission is to cover every section of Canada as far as possible, but as I have already stated the appropriations that have been voted have not been sufficient to allow the commission to build expensive stations such as are built in other countries. The commissioners have been doing all they possibly could with the moneys available, 81,000,000 odd voted last year and the amount being voted this year; but they cannot maintain first class programs and build powerful stations all over Canada in one year. Everyone will admit, I think, that the amount is inadequate, but it was our view that in these years of depression we should not have been justified in asking this house to vote large amounts to build powerful stations

Supply-Marine-Radio

throughout the country. I hope that during this fiscal year the commission will be in a position to execute a part of its program.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
Permalink
UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

Last year,

Mr. Chairman, your were the chairman of a radio committee which, with a good deal of care and time, undertook to make an examination into the conditions that had affected radio broadcasting in this country up to that time. Your committee reported, making certain recommendations, which I think were well thought of. One of them advised the government to undertake the further consideration during the recess of amendments to the act to meet the suggestions made by the committee. I should like to know what the government has done in regard to the report of the radio committee of last year-whether an investigation has taken place with respect to its recommendations and whether the government proposes to amend the act and, if not, why not?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

When the bill is introduced extending the life of the radio commission until the end of the next fiscal year, as it will be, I desire to make some observations touching the whole radio situation in this dominion. The real truth is that the effort to destroy this publicly owned utility is very well known and is very active, and whether or not the utility can be saved will depend upon the attitude of the House of Commons towards it and their willingness to realize that a country that is as poor as we are cannot spend at once the money that is required to make this facility as perfect as it should be. I may say to this committee very frankly that it will require a very large sum of money to give a country of the size of this that coverage which would approach perfection. I had occasion the other day in England to make some inquiries regarding the manner in which they were proceeding with their broadcasting corporation. It will be known to members of this committee that Sir John Reith, who is managing director of the British Broadcasting Corporation, went to South Africa to make them a report, and he reported-I think the report has been published; if not, I am not divulging any confidence when I say that he reported in favour of a publicly owned service. The same applies to Australia and New Zealand. We in this country are in an exceedingly difficult position. We have ten and a half millions of people and we have to rent several thousands of miles of wire in order to broadcast on an efficient scale. That is very expensive having regard to the existing rates for leasing wires both from railways and telephone 92582-213

companies. And then always insidiously is the attack made against the publicly owned facility and the effort made to destroy it. I will deal with that at somewhat greater length, but I should like to say this to the hon. member for Bow River (Mr. Garland). Possibly he realizes that sometimes in our anxiety to be critical-I am not referring to anything that has taken place to-day but more to what occurred last year-we do the thing itself an injury. I think that perhaps that is recognized by most men who have studied the situation. I have a considerable amount of information and I shall be pleased to place it before the house on the second reading or when the bill is in committee. I am convinced that at the present time only one of two things can be done. Whoever is on the treasury benches will have to ask parliament for a grant of money to enable these facilities to be provided, if they think the conditions in the country will stand it, or to utilize the revenues to the extent that may be possible, gradually to build the stations necessary-gradually.

That is one in the east, one in the west and one somewhere else, in order that there may be a complete coverage. I do not know how the committee feel about the matter, but the more I see of it and know of it, the more determined I would be, if I were here, that I should not yield this facility to any private enterprise. That is my firm conclusion with respect to the matter. I say that very strongly, and the more I see of the matter, the more convinced I am.

I also realize the committee must take cognizance of the fact that we must proceed gradually or else parliament must be prepared to provide a larger sum of money than we feel we can ask at the moment, in order to give effect to some of the recommendations that were made last year. I should like to ask the tolerance of the committee at the present moment in order that when the bill is moved, they may be presented with such facts as various officials have been able to gather together during the past few months and there may be added to it, such observations as are prompted by the information that I have received, for, as the members of the committee possibly know, a committee has been set up again to consider the broadcasting situation in Great Britain. I think it is headed by the former speaker of the House of Commons, the present Lord Ellsworth. That is my memory; I speak subject to correction in that regard. I shall endeavour to

Supply-M arine-Radio

place before the committee at the proper time, when the bill is being moved, such information as I have on the subject.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
Permalink
LIB
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Right away.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
Permalink
LIB
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

No.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
Permalink

June 6, 1935