I thought the leader of the government said yesterday that this was not to go on Hansard.
Mr. LaFLECHE: My hon. friend has asked why more details were not given in advance. May I say that the whole announcement was made at the request of the British Broad-[DOT] casting Corporation. Negotiations and discussions as to exactly how it should be done went on until the middle of Wednesday evening. At the specific and repeated request of the British Broadcasting Corporation the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation did not, because it could not, say who would be the speaker, for the very simple reason that had the enemy known that the houses of parliament at Westminster were meeting together
and that the great war leaders and notable figures were present they might have attempted a bombing expedition against that house.
Topic: RADIO BROADCASTING
Subtopic: ANNOUNCEMENT THURSDAY MORNING AS TO PRIME MINISTER'S SPEECH IN LONDON
I should like to direct a question to the Minister of Munitions and Supply. Has a brief sent to all members of parliament by the United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America on behalf of the employees of Dominion Arsenals Limited of Lindsay, Ontario, protesting against their difficulties, come to the minister's attention, and if so, does he care to make a statement?
Topic: LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic: DOMINION ARSENALS LIMITED-BRIEF OF UNITED ELECTRICAL RADIO AND MACHINE WORKERS OF AMERICA
PROVISION FOR GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY AID FOR ' NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY
The house resumed from Friday, May 5, consideration in committee of a resolution to grant to His Majesty certain sums of money for the carrying out of measures consequent upon the existence of a state of war-Mr. Ilsley-Mr. McCann in the chair.
DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL WAR SERVICES
Administration $ 18,345
Information and records branch 171,900
Postal censorship 1,515,260
Censorship of publications.... 135,355 Telegraph and cable, etc., censorship 337,040
I have just a few words to say about censorship. In the first place, we asked for a copy of the censorship regulations but it was never tabled. There are, of course, the defence regulations that must be
War Appropriation-War Services
observed by the press, as by any individual; they are for the protection of the country in time of war, as is censorship itself. Lord Macmillan, who was the first British censor, held the view that the news which should be withheld from the public was that which would be detrimental to the war effort, not at all that which w'as in criticism of the government. It is a great mistake for legitimate criticism to be considered a personal insult by any minister; it shows how far away we are from true democratic principles. The idea of having all heads shaped in the same mould is absolutely totalitarian; for only by constructive criticism can we improve the standard, quality and efficiency of the war effort.
Having said that much, I protest most strongly against the actions of the so-called liaison officers of all departments who prevent the press from publishing news which is of value as well as interest to the Canadian people. I remember that at the beginning of the war the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was crazy enough to carry an address which was delivered by Adolf Hitler in Germany. That was most stupid; it was German propaganda carried by the C.B.C., one agency of government, and passed by the board of censors, another agency of government. Against that sort of propaganda I protest most strongly. There is an old Latin axiom which is well known; it is "errare humanum est"-to err is human. As long as it is the business of the censors to prevent information from reaching the public, in order to create a sanctimonious atmosphere in which our infallible men may sit on the treasury benches, we have no democracy in this country. Emile Fague, a French academician, wrote a treatise on friendship in which he said that two friends may differ at times in order that they may realize that they are two. I am an old timer; I am for public discussion. I admit the right of any hon. member to disagree with me, but on the other hand members of parliament as one should condemn most strongly the propaganda which makes members of the cabinet above criticism. It is to their own benefit that they should be criticized; but to my great surprise I see evidence of scissors having been used in the reports of the Canadian Press and British United Press. The newspapers attach little importance to what is said here in parliament, though they devote full pages to reports of the debates and discussion in provincial legislatures. Take any newspaper published in Ontario or Quebec, or any other province. Its pages are full of what has been said in the provincial house, but sometimes there is just a word about what has been said here in
Ottawa. And what is broadcast to the Canadian people? The C.B.C. broadcasts matters of little interest, but when it comes to vital questions the people of Canada are not informed. The private stations are doing a much better job of informing the Canadian people than is the C.B.C. I wonder if it is not the censors who prevent the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation from informing the public about national issues. The people of Canada are anxious to get true information. They want an exact summary of what is being said and done in parliament. That is their right, and one which nobody can deny. At times small news items are given, but when it comes to the most vital questions the people are not informed at all.
For instance, this afternoon the Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe) spoke with respect to the draft of the international air convention, to which Lord Beaverbrook has given a cold shoulder. If the press had been fair it would have said that in order to save humiliation for the minister two private members rose in the house, the hon. member for Gaspe (Mr. Roy) and myself, to protest against the convention. Other hon. members, too, expressed views that should have been noted. It was precisely to save the Minister of Munitions and Supply the humiliation of a rebuff from Beaverbrook that we took that stand. But the press did not mention it.
Then, the other day the hon. member for Souris (Mr. Ross) moved to secure information with respect to Claire Wallace. Unquestionably that was his right, but it was most *strange to find him exercising it, because he belongs to a party, the national chairman of which has decided that Claire Wallace should be paid S200 a week. I cannot conceive how it is that a gentleman whose party will be directed in the next election by the former Justice McTague, the man who gave that order-
Here it is, under date of February 17, 1944. I was not going to read this, but to satisfy the mind of the hon. member for Peel (Mr. Graydon), the leader of the opposition, I shall read this order issued by the national war labour board, at the time when Mr. Justice McTague was chairman of the board. And it will be noted that this gentleman is now national chairman of the Progressive Conservative party. These are the reasons for the decision:
Re Advertising Agencies of Canada and Mrs. Claire Wallace Stutt.
War Appropriation-War Services
This part of my remarks is dedicated particularly to the hon. member for Souris. And, by the way, I did not know she was Mrs. Stutt. The reasons continue:
This is an appeal from a decision of the Ontario Regional War Labour Board refusing to authorize an increase in remuneration for Mrs. Claire Wallace Stutt (Claire Wallace) from $170 weekly to $200 weekly.
As we view the matter, the sole question to be determined is the status of Claire Wallace. Is she an employee within the meaning of the wages order, or a salaried official within the meaning of the salaries order, or is she within the class of those persons whose emoluments are not under control at all? In other words, has she similar status to the doctor or the lawyer, and is she subject to the same lack of restriction in so far as war-time controls are concerned?
This is written in judicial language.
Two of the members of this board are quite familiar with her radio programme and her personality
-as reflected over the ethereal waves, and we both approve.
"Personality as reflected over the ethereal waves"!
The other member is prepared to accept our estimation. So much for the principle of solidarity.
Having established that background we are all of the opinion that she is an artist, and a very fine artist indeed. As we understand the situation, she enjoys with the national war finance committee a retainer for her services which does not exclude her-
Mark this, Mr. Chairman; you will be interested in this.
-from accepting a similar retainer or retainers with others.
She can get money from everybody.
Her position is rather analogous to that of :he lawyer who is free to engage himself in the service of various clients, even though he may for a certain period be engaged in the service of one. Perhaps she could be more closely likened to the portrait painter who can hardly be said to be an employee of the person whose portrait he paints.