May 26, 1936

CANADIAN RADIO COMMISSION

THIRD AND FINAL REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE


Mr. A. L. BEAUBIEN (Provencher) presented the third and final report of the special committee appointed to inquire into the operations of the Canadian radio commission and its administration of the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Act of 1932 and amendments, and the regulations made under authority thereof, as follows:- Your committee held twenty-five meetings and heard thirty-seven witnesses, including three members of parliament, and after careful consideration of the evidence presented not only before this committee, but also before the 1932 and 1934 committees, we desire to endorse the conclusion reached in 1934, viz., that: "It has been made evident to your committee that the establishing of national broadcasting in Canada presents many difficulties, for the correction of which time, experience and large expenditures of public money will be necessary." 1. It has been amply demonstrated that a commission of three cannot be moulded into a unit that can formulate and execute policies successfully. Evidence adduced before this committee has made it apparent that under the existing organization there has been lack of coordination in dealing with some major questions. (a) After carefully reviewing the administration of radio broadcasting we have reached the conclusion that recommendation number one of the 1934 committee, viz.:- "That in the opinion of your committee radio broadcasting could be best conducted by a general manager" is justified in all respects, and your committee hereby endorses and repeats this recommendation. 2. We recommend that the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Act of 1932 be repealed and that a new act be substituted therefor, which will place the direction of broadcasting in the hands of a corporation with an honorary board of nine governors chosen to give representation to all parts of Canada, this board to operate through a general manager and an assistant general manager, who will be responsible to the board for the conduct of all business of the corporation. Members of the honorary board of governors should be men of broad outlook, having a knowledge of the tastes and the interests of the listening public and who can make a definite contribution to the solution of the problem before the corporation. The general manager should be appointed by the governor in council, upon the recommendation of the board of governors, and should be an executive of the widest experience in the field of radio broadcasting. 3. We recommend that the corporation be given substantially the powers now enjoyed by the British Broadcasting Corporation (see appendix attached), and, in addition, that it be given exclusive control over:- (i) the character of all programs, political and otherwise, broadcast by private stations, and the advertising content thereof: (ii) all wire line networks used for carrying broadcast programs. 4. Your committee is of the opinion that the corporation should enjoy the fullest possible freedom, in so far as its internal activities are concerned, including full authority to engage, dismiss and control its employees and fix their remuneration. 5. Your committee endorses the recommendation of the Aird commission in regard to the technical control of stations and reaffirms the views of that commission as set out in page 11 of their report, viz.:- " Control The Minister of Marine and Fisheries under the Radiotelegraph Act is the licensing authority for all classes of radio stations, which includes radio broadcasting stations and receiving sets, direct control over such technical questions as wavelengths, power of stations and the collection of licence fees should we consider, remain with this authority. In order to promote good reception conditions, it is most desirable that the radio activities of other departments of the government should conform



Radio Commission-Final Report to the regulations and be subject to the authority of the Radiotelegraph Act. We are also of the opinion that the radio branch of the marine department should continue to carry on the service to broadcast listeners, which includes the suppression of inductive interference." Certain of the technical duties now carried out by the department in regard to the radiotelegraph and radiotelephone stations in the dominion appear to be duplicated by the commission in the case of broadcasting stations and the preponderance of evidence presented before your committee was strongly in favour of the handling of all this work by the department. 6. We regard it as a fundamental requirement that complete cooperation be established and maintained at all times between the minister and the corporation, and that the minister before taking any action towards the authorizing of any new private stations, changing the power of such stations, assigning wavelengths and other correlated questions, shall first consult with and obtain the recommendation of the corporation to the end that if and when it is decided to extend the national system, the location and organization of private stations will be such as to permit of the efficient absorption of any or all of them into the national system. 7. We reaffirm the principle of complete nationalization of radio broadcasting in Canada. Rending the accomplishment of this, radio listeners will continue to be dependent on private stations for much of their entertainment, and your committee is of the opinion that the fullest cooperation should be maintained between the corporation and the private stations. 8. We desire to reaffirm the principle set out in the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Act of 1932 that in detennining the compensation to be paid for the taking over of any private stations, no allowance shall be made for the value of the licence terminated by the taking over of such station, and that no person shall be deemed to have any proprietary right in any channel allotted, and that no person shall be entitled to any compensation by reason of the cancellation of the allotment of a channel or change in a channel. 9. Your committee recommends that the corporation immediately consider ways and means of extending national coverage, either by linking additional existing private stations to the corporation's network or by the establishment of new stations. 10. In order to provide for the establishment of new stations from time to time to give further coverage, it is recommended that the corporation be authorized to borrow from the government sums not exceeding a total of $500,000 under such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by the governor in council. The interest and amortization charges on such loans as may be granted shall be a first charge on the revenue of the corporation. 11. Your committee recommends that power be given to the minister of marine to control the use of electrical apparatus, machinery, or any device which cause local interference with radio reception. 12. Your committee finds that during the last election there was serious abuse of broadcasting for political purposes and that lack of a proper control by the commission was apparent. The most glaring instance brought before the committee relates to the "Mr. Sage" broadcasts, in which offensive personal references were frequent and to which no proper or adequate [Mr. Beaubien.j political sponsorship was given. Some of these offensive broadcasts originated in the Toronto studios of the radio commission. We also find that credit was issued to political parties in direct violation of the rules of the commission, which rules prescribe that all political broadcasts must be paid for in advance. Generally speaking from the evidence presented before your committee we are forced to the conclusion that there was a loose administration of commission affairs. Your committee recommends that the following points be incorporated in the new legislation: (i) That dramatized political broadcasts be prohibited. (ii) That full sponsorship of all political broadcasts be required. (iii) That the limitation and distribution of time for political broadcasts be under the complete control of the corporation, whose duty it shall be to assign time on an equitable basis between all parties and rival candidates. (iv) That no political broadcasts be allowed on an election day or during two days immediately preceding same. 13. Your committee recommends that, as soon as it becomes possibles, to review, readjust or amend the contracts for wire line networks, consideration be given to the inclusion in such networks of the telephone line systems, particularly those owned by provincial governments of the prairie provinces. 14. Your committee recommends that, in the matter of news broadcasts, the closest possible cooperation should maintain between the broadcasting corporation and the Canadian press. 15. Your committee recommends that legislation be introduced in parliament at this session to give effect to these recommendations. A copy of the minutes of proceedings and minutes of evidence adduced before your committee, together with exhibits and papers relative thereto, are herewith submitted with the report, for the information of the house. All of which is respectfully submitted. Appendix to Report Synopsis of Powers of the British Broadcasting Corporation (As set out in paragraph 3 of their charter of incorporation) (a) To carry on broadcasting service. (b) To acquire any undertaking, stations, plant, etc., for carrying on the corporation's work. (c) To establish and maintain stations. (d) To publish papers, books, magazines, etc. (e) To collect news. (f) To acquire copyrights in literary, musical and artistic works, gramophone records, etc. (g) To purchase and acquire patent rights. (h) To enter into arrangements with the government or other authorities subject to certain limitations. (i) To establish and support pension schemes for employees. (j) To purchase and lease real and personal property. (k) To invest corporation money not immediately required. (l) To borrow money. (m) To sell or lease property. (n) To do such other things as may be conducive to the objects of the corporation. C.N.R.-Retirement oj Trustees


MISCELLANEOUS PRIVATE BILLS


Third report of the standing committee on miscellaneous private bills-Mr. McPhee.


VIMY RIDGE MEMORIAL


On the orders of the day:


LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to inform the house that His Majesty the King has graciously accepted the invitation of His Majesty's government in Canada to unveil the Canadian war memorial at Vimy Ridge on July 26. I have also pleasure in stating that on the same occasion Canada will be honoured toy the presence of the President of the French republic.

Topic:   VIMY RIDGE MEMORIAL
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CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES

REPORTED REQUEST FOR COMMISSION TO CONSIDER POLITICAL UNION


On the orders of the day:


CON

Herbert Earl Wilton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. H. E. WILTON (Hamilton West):

Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day are called I would appreciate the indulgence of the house in order to make a brief statement in reference to a newspaper report recently published to the effect that a member of the United States congress has asked for the appointment of a commission to consider the advisability of granting Canada the privilege of becoming a part of that country.

Topic:   CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES
Subtopic:   REPORTED REQUEST FOR COMMISSION TO CONSIDER POLITICAL UNION
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

Topic:   CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES
Subtopic:   REPORTED REQUEST FOR COMMISSION TO CONSIDER POLITICAL UNION
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CON

Herbert Earl Wilton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILTON:

Is that in order?

Topic:   CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES
Subtopic:   REPORTED REQUEST FOR COMMISSION TO CONSIDER POLITICAL UNION
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LIB

Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order.

Topic:   CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES
Subtopic:   REPORTED REQUEST FOR COMMISSION TO CONSIDER POLITICAL UNION
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SMALL PROPERTY OWNERS

PROPOSED STUDY OF THEIR FINANCIAL SITUATION LOOKING TO EQUITABLE TREATMENT


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. FERNAND RINFRET (Secretary of State):

Mr. Speaker, at the last sitting of the house the hon. member for Parkdale (Mr. Spence) asked whether the government was taking any action in connection with the resolution regarding small .property holders moved by the hon. member for St. Mary (Mr. Deslauriers) and passed by the house on February 27. In reply may I say that it was at that time and still is the opinion of the government that the question of granting relief or assistance to small property holders is primarily a municipal one. In the preparation of the budget and other government policies due consideration is being given to this class of Canadian citizens.

Topic:   SMALL PROPERTY OWNERS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED STUDY OF THEIR FINANCIAL SITUATION LOOKING TO EQUITABLE TREATMENT
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May 26, 1936