August 23, 1946

SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. HANSELL:

Oh, I suppose I can.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   CORPORATION TO RECEIVE LICENCE FEES- ADVANCES ON ACCOUNT OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
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LIB

Ralph Maybank

Liberal

Mr. MAYBANK:

Thank you, even though you seem to be reluctant. Would the hon. member be able to quote the page where these reluctant answers which he has been describing were given?

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   CORPORATION TO RECEIVE LICENCE FEES- ADVANCES ON ACCOUNT OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
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PC

Arthur Leroy Smith

Progressive Conservative

Mr. SMITH (Calgary West):

They are so obvious.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   CORPORATION TO RECEIVE LICENCE FEES- ADVANCES ON ACCOUNT OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
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LIB

Ralph Maybank

Liberal

Mr. MAYBANK:

You were there?

Radio Broadcasting

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   CORPORATION TO RECEIVE LICENCE FEES- ADVANCES ON ACCOUNT OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
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PC

Arthur Leroy Smith

Progressive Conservative

Mr. SMITH (Calgary West):

I was there.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   CORPORATION TO RECEIVE LICENCE FEES- ADVANCES ON ACCOUNT OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. HANSELL:

We are going into committee on the bill, and I will give my hon. (riend the page and the line that I referred to and read the question and answer exactly as it was asked and given. I say that a private radio station must have an audience. Suppose there were two great networks on the air, one broadcasting Fibber McGee and Molly, and the other Lux Theatre. Perhaps they are both on the same network to-day. But suppose two great networks were broadcasting two popular programmes like that. How many people do you think would tune in to the local station to hear perhaps the local piano teacher putting on a recital, with her little junior pupils playing the piano? How many people would listen to that programme?

It is true that the radio corporation can say to the private stations: We are giving you a licence; you are still in business. But that is not. the thing. I know what will be said. It will be said that radio broadcasting has always been under parliamentary scrutiny, that the C.B.C. acts upon the recommendation of parliamentary committees, and that parliamentary committees have confirmed this and that policy over the years. When it is suggested that the policies of the C.B.C. are likely to become hard-and-fast, as immutable as the laws of the Medes and Persians, the cry always goes up from the radio officials: Succeeding radio committees have the right and the power to recommend changes. That is so in theory, but it is not so in practice.

Suppose, for instance, there should be a change of government, and there will be some day. I do not know when, but it is a foregone conclusion that the government that is in is on its way out. It must be. I do not know how long it will take, but that must be so. Then suppose another government takes office and changes the policy with respect to radio broadcasting. They may say: "We believe that there should be two networks on the air and that one of these networks should be absolutely controlled by the private stations. We believe in a separate regulatory body." A committee is set up and, the majority on the committee being members from the government side of the house, the committee brings in a report that changes the whole radio picture. Would you say, Mr. Speaker, that that government would not be accused of political interference? Certainly they would. It is all very well to say that the C.B.C. is run on the recommendation of parliamentary committees, and that the operations of the corporation and its regulations are under parliamentary scrutiny and can be changed any time parliament sees fit. I say again that may be so in theory but not in practice.

I have not much time left. I have a few more things to say when the bill is in committee. In conclusion, let me say there is not the slightest doubt in the world that there is a radio monopoly in Canada under government ownership. My hon. friend the member for Rosetown-Biggar, who is championing this bill, I should not say more ably but as vigorously as the minister himself could, is against monopoly, so I understand. I believe I have heard something to that effect from my hon. friends who sit immediately to my right. I have a press report here of the recent C.C.F. convention in the province of Saskatchewan, and I find that Professor Scott made a speech to the convention in which he said:

This Canada we live in, despite all that was promised during the war, is still dominated, except in Saskatchewan, by monopoly and private profit.

Mr. David Lewis, the national secretary of the C.C.F. also spoke, acording to the report in the press:

The same note ran through the national executive's report read by David Lewis, national secretary. " The report stated that monopoly was "king in Canada," that it was dictating national policy.

Further on in the report I find this:

National Leader M. J. Coldwell told the convention that the return of the country to private enterprise "is subjecting Canada to economic and social problems which could have been avoided if a proper system of democratic planning for reconstruction had been introduced."

Here are three men, one talking against private enterprise and the others deploring monopoly in Canada. Let me ask the leader of the C.C.F. or his deputy leader or the deputy to the deputy leader, or whoever of them wants to answer it, this question: Is there a monopoly in radio networks in Canada to-day?

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   CORPORATION TO RECEIVE LICENCE FEES- ADVANCES ON ACCOUNT OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
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PC

Arza Clair Casselman (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. CASSELMAN:

No answer.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   CORPORATION TO RECEIVE LICENCE FEES- ADVANCES ON ACCOUNT OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. HANSELL:

I still pause for a reply.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   CORPORATION TO RECEIVE LICENCE FEES- ADVANCES ON ACCOUNT OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. KNOWLES:

Is there not all the difference in the world between a private and a public monopoly?

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   CORPORATION TO RECEIVE LICENCE FEES- ADVANCES ON ACCOUNT OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
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CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. NICHOLSON:

Is there a monopoly in the postal service in Canada?

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   CORPORATION TO RECEIVE LICENCE FEES- ADVANCES ON ACCOUNT OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. HANSELL:

My hon. friend asks me if I know the difference between a private monopoly and a public monopoly. My reply to that is that in principle there is absolutely no difference. His colleague asks, "How about the post office?" Well, -we are always hearing about the post office when they want to talk government ownership.

Radio Broadcasting

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   CORPORATION TO RECEIVE LICENCE FEES- ADVANCES ON ACCOUNT OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
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CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. NICHOLSON:

Do you object to that monopoly?

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   CORPORATION TO RECEIVE LICENCE FEES- ADVANCES ON ACCOUNT OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. HANSELL:

The post office is the king's royal mail-

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   CORPORATION TO RECEIVE LICENCE FEES- ADVANCES ON ACCOUNT OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
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CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. NICHOLSON:

It is a monopoly.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   CORPORATION TO RECEIVE LICENCE FEES- ADVANCES ON ACCOUNT OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. HANSELL:

-and has always been that.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   CORPORATION TO RECEIVE LICENCE FEES- ADVANCES ON ACCOUNT OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
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CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. NICHOLSON:

Oh, not always.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   CORPORATION TO RECEIVE LICENCE FEES- ADVANCES ON ACCOUNT OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. HANSELL:

Well, it has been since the pony express, anyway. And another thing: nobody has ever proved that the post office is doing any better than private enterprise could do.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   CORPORATION TO RECEIVE LICENCE FEES- ADVANCES ON ACCOUNT OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
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SC

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. JOHNSTON:

It goes in the hole every year.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   CORPORATION TO RECEIVE LICENCE FEES- ADVANCES ON ACCOUNT OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. HANSELL:

How does anyone know that private enterprise could not do the same job for two cents instead of four?

I wanted to say something on commentators, but I do not know whether I should go into that at the moment, because it is quite a long subject. But the matter of taking over the class 1-A channels has given us some considerable concern. I am not going to repeat what the hon. member for Eglin-ton (Mr. Fleming) said. He gave an excellent speech and reviewed what had happened with respect to notification being given or not given-not adequately given-to the stations that were about to lose their channels. But I will deal with the alternative suggestion that was made by those who now operate Canadian station CFCN on wave length 1010. They proposed to the C.B.C. some months ago-I believe it was last fall-that they might be able to retain their wave length and that the same purpose would be gained if the corporation should take another wave length, namely 1060, step up its power, and operate from another location, and the argument was, of course, .that that wave length was the wave length on which a station in Mexico wras operating. The officials of CFCN said, "Well, now, we believe that you could do the same job and cover the same people in that area of the country in Alberta if you would negotiate with Mexico for the use of that channel and set up directional antennae that would not interfere with the Mexican station covering all that they require." That was a reasonable suggestion. However, the point I want to put over is this, that when the officials were asked if they had investigated that suggestion the answer was, no. The only conclusion I can gather from that was that it was already predetermined, that they were going to take this wave length anyway, and regardless of any suggestion or negotiation with other countries-that could

go by the boards-"we are going to have this thing anyway." I think that at least they could have investigated the situation and sought out the possibilities which may lie in that direction.

In that connection I have a suggestion to make which may be a new one; I am quite certain it will not be acceptable to the C.B.C. It is this, that we permit CFRB and CFCN to stay on their present wave lengths and let them go up to the 50-kilowatt power, thereby reserving for Canada those channels, and let the C.B.C. wait before investing any money in new radio equipment. My contention is that, with the present rapid development in frequency modulation and in other branches of radio science, perhaps even in television, although that may be further away, it may not be many years until the new equipment which they contemplate using will be absolutely obsolete and that the money we are now voting for them will be a mere flash in the pan which will be spent, and nothing realized thereby. It may be of interest to some to know that the national broadcasting system in the United States has already spent in the neighbourhood [DOT] of 815 million on frequency modulation and television research alone, without getting a nickel out of it. That is what the C.B.C. is faced with in the next few years. And goodness knows what would happen if television ever came into its own.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   CORPORATION TO RECEIVE LICENCE FEES- ADVANCES ON ACCOUNT OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. KNOWLES:

They will be broadcasting the House of Commons.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   CORPORATION TO RECEIVE LICENCE FEES- ADVANCES ON ACCOUNT OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
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August 23, 1946