May 10, 1939

ELECTORAL MATTERS-FOURTH REPORT


Mr. C. E. BOTHWELL (Swift Current) presented the fourth report of the special committee on electoral matters, as follows: Your committee was instructed by order of reference dated March 13, 1939, to study and report on "Methods used to effect a redistribution of electoral districts in Canada and in other countries, and to make suggestions to the house in connection therewith," but regrets that it has been unable to give this order of reference the consideration it merits, owing to the number of meetings necessarily devoted to consideration of suggested amendments to the Dominion Elections Act, 1938, the last of which meetings was held on the second instant. Your committee gave consideration to the methods in use in Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa and in the United States, together with suggestions made by the counsel as to how redistribution could be effected in Canada. Your committee, however, concluded that there are many important questions, including that of the relation of urban to rural population, as it may be affected by the next decennial census, that should receive detailed study before a definite decision is made. Your committee therefore submits, without further comment, a statement of the methods employed in other countries, and the suggestions made, for the consideration of the house. All of which is respectfully submitted.


ELECTORAL MATTERS-FIFTH AND FINAL REPORT


Mr. C. E. BOTHWELL (Swift Current) presented the fifth and final report of the special committee on electoral matters, as follows: [The Chairman.] Your committee was instructed to consider and report on methods whereby lumbermen, fishermen, seamen and miners in the province of British Columbia may be enabled to exercise their franchise under the Dominion Elections Act, 1938, and, having considered this order of reference, has come to the conclusion that the act as now drafted amply ensures the right of all electors to exercise their franchise. Your committee also recommends that the following amendments be made to the Dominion Elections Act, 1938: That subsection (1) of section six be amended by deleting the words " two stenographers and three clerks " from the third line of the said subsection, and substituting the following therefor: "one secretary to executive and four clerks." That rule (3) of schedule A to section seventeen be repealed and the following substituted therefor: " Candidates and political organizations may nominate to the returning officer an enumerator for each urban polling division as aforesaid. The returning officer shall, except as hereinafter provided, appoint from among the number so nominated, one enumerator to represent the political interest that at the last preceding election was elected to office, and one to represent the different and opposed political interest that received in the last preceding election the highest or the next highest number of votes, as the ease may be." That rule 23 of schedule A to section seventeen be amended by deleting the word " six " in the twelfth line thereof and substituting the word " two " therefor. That subsection (4) of section forty-five be amended by inserting the words: " forthwith examine it to ascertain if it is the ballot paper given by him to the elector " after the word " shall " in the fourth line thereof, and by adding the words: " It shall be an illegal offence for an elector to wilfully tear up or otherwise destroy any ballot paper supplied to him, by the deputy returning officer." after the word " elector " in the last line thereof. By inserting the word " Cobourg " between the words " Chapleau " and " Cornwall " in the paragraph entitled " Ontario " in schedule II. A copy of the minutes of proceedings and evidence is attached hereto.


RADIO BROADCASTINC

FOURTH AND FINAL REPORT


Mr. A. L. BEALTBIEN (Provencher) presented the fourth and final report of the select committee on radio broadcasting, as follows: The select committee appointed to consider the annual report of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and to review the policies and aims of the corporation and its regulations, revenues, expenditures and development, begs leave to present the following as its fourth and final report. 1. Your committee was impressed by the increasing scope and importance to Canada of the corporation's work. It feels that more Radio Broadcasting effective steps should be taken, through broadcasting itself and other appropriate methods of disseminating information, to familiarize the public with its varied activities. 2. Your committee is satisfied that the financial policies of the corporation are sound. The corporation has consistently achieved a prudent surplus. Your committee believes that increased revenue should result from improved coverage and service. 3. Your committee notes with satisfaction the development of the plan of national coverage especially in the prairie and maritime provinces, where 50,000 watt regional transmitters are being added to the national network. In the further development of the plan, the committee approves in particular of the corporations intention to proceed at an early date with much needed improvements in coverage and service in southwestern Ontario and British Columbia. 4. In regard to programs, Canada is in the happv position of having at her disposal a wide variety of material both from outside and -inside the country. The corporation's policy and practice appear to take advantage of this situation, while giving the maximum encouragement to Canadian talent. The plans for the king's visit are noted with approval. The committee especially endorses the corporation's proposals for a larger number of programs for rural listeners. It is felt that broadcasting can be an imoortant agency of practical service to farmers, fishermen and other primary producers, and of bringing the riches of music, drama and other forms of entertainment and culture into their homes. Your committee also feels that the corporation can do much to instil an appreciation of the value and advantages of the rural way of life. 5. Recognizing the necessity of planning and balance in public service broadcasting, your committee notes with approval the corporation's determination that the present ratio of commercial to sustaining network programs should not be increased. 6. The committee of last year emphasized the importance of establishing, at as early a date as possible, a high power short wave broadcasting station, financed as a national undertaking, but operated and controlled by the corporation as an integral part of its system. Such a project would facilitate the exchange of programs with otlier countries, would serve to advertise and interpret Canada abroad, and supplement the domestic program service. Canada is the only leading trading nation without such facilities. We desire to draw the attention of the government to the imminent possibility that further delay in proceeding with the undertaking may result in Canada losing altogether the short wave channels registered in her name, and as a consequence, being shut out of the field entirely. 7. Your committee approves, as in the widest interests of the nation, the corporation s policies regarding short wave, television and facsimile broadcasting. The corporation hopes shortly to occupy the field of high power short wave transmission. As regards television and facsimile, the policy is to alienate no part of the public domain to private interests. The corporation intends, as soon as possible, to undertake experiments in facsimile broadcasting. 8. Your committee recognizes that the responsibility of controlling and coordinating all broadcasting in the public interest rests upon the corporation. In this connection your committee wishes to express its gratification of a better understanding between private stations and the corporation, recently attained. 9. Your committee is seized of the difficulties of working out the principles of freedom of speech in relation to the peculiar characteristics inherent in the medium of broadcasting. In view of the limitations, both of time and of the number of channels available for broadcasting, as well as the exigencies of program planning, your committee is convinced that fairness in the presentation of controversial material can best be assured by means of any system of network broadcasting on a sustaining 10. Your committee shares the view of the corporation that network broadcasting of programs of opinion on current affairs should not be available for commercial sponsorship, more adequate time to be provided for commercial sponsorship, more adequate time to be provided free for this purpose. The committee believes that the corporation's policies respecting broadcasts of opinion are designed to ensure the largest possible measure of fairness and equality of opportunity. We wish to emphasize the importance of placing before listeners the widest variety of points of view. It is desired to stress the importance of flexibility and experiment in forms of presentation. 11. Certain of the corporation's policies affecting the public generally have not been sufficiently made known resulting in misunderstanding and inconvenience. Your committee approves of the corporation's intention to make such policies known more fully and widely in the future. While recognizing the rapidly changing and developing character of the enterprise, the committee wishes to stress the need of duly publicizing policy decisions of this kind. 12. On the matter of prfitical network broadcasting, your committee is of the opinion that serious consideration be given to placing such broadcasting during federal and provincial election campaigns, on a sustaining basis exclusively, with the understanding that the time so provided will be divided equitably among the political parties. Your committee is also of the opinion that network party political broadcasting between elections should remain open to purchase, subject always to consideration of fair distribution and program planning. 13. Your committee recommends that the licence fee for privately owned broadcasting stations be revised in relation to power and population served, and that the new scale be effective for the current fiscal year. 14. Your committee believes that the existing regulation which imposes on the vendor of a radio set the obligation, before making a sale, of ascertaining that the purchaser possesses a licence, should be rescinded. It recommends that the vendors of receiving sets be in future required to report monthly to the Department of Transport the names and addresses of all purchasers of sets, including the date of each sale. [DOT] 15. Your committee wishes to record its warm appreciation of the public spirited manner in which the board of governors and the management are discharging their duties as trustees of the national interest in broadcasting. The corporation is developing a broadcasting system of increasing service to the people of Canada. A copy of the minutes of proceedings and evidence is annexed hereto. All of which is respectfully submitted. Questions


MISCELLANEOUS PRIVATE BILLS

MOTION TO SIT WHILE HOUSE IS SITTING

LIB

George Washington McPhee

Liberal

Mr. G. W. McPHEE (Yorkton) moved:

That the standing committee on miscellaneous

rivate bills be granted leave to sit while the

ouse is sitting.

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Subtopic:   MOTION TO SIT WHILE HOUSE IS SITTING
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Motion agreed to.


QUESTIONS


(Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk).


ROYAL VISIT-APPOINTMENT OF DOMINION ARCHIVIST AS HISTORIAN

LIB

Mr. FLEMING:

Liberal

1. Has the dominion archivist been appointed historian for the royal tour?

2. If so, who will act as dominion archivist in case the dominion archivist is absent during the royal tour?

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Subtopic:   ROYAL VISIT-APPOINTMENT OF DOMINION ARCHIVIST AS HISTORIAN
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LIB

Mr. RINFRET: (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

1. Yes.

2. The senior official of the department as recognized by the civil service commission.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   ROYAL VISIT-APPOINTMENT OF DOMINION ARCHIVIST AS HISTORIAN
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CHEESE PRODUCTION

CON

Mr. STEWART:

Conservative (1867-1942)

1. What quantity of cheese was produced in the county of Leeds in the year 1935?

2. What was the total amount of bonus paid on cheese produced in the county of Leeds in the year 1935?

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Subtopic:   CHEESE PRODUCTION
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LIB

Mr. RINFRET: (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

1. The production of cheese in the county of Leeds in the year 1935 amounted to 7,173,366 pounds.

2. Bonus paid on cheese manufactured between July 1 and December 31, 1935, 375,392.34.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CHEESE PRODUCTION
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EXPENDITURES UPON MILITIA, AVIATION AND NAVY

May 10, 1939