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
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.