August 24, 1946

PC

Douglas Gooderham Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

The Toronto Star.

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

Arthur Leroy Smith

Progressive Conservative

Mr. SMITH (Calgary West):

I will come

to that. You let me run this show for a minute. In the province of Quebec there were forty-three papers; the number of editorials was eighty, the number favourable was eighty, and there were none against. The maritime provinces have nine newspapers; there were nine editorials, eight of which were favourable and one opposed. The grand total is 120 newspapers; the number of editorials is 194; those favourable were 189, and those opposed were five.

There is the newspaper survey. I have the list of papers, and I should be glad to supply any hon. member with information as to his own home town paper. Of the five editorials supporting this legalized theft from these people, the Marmora (Ontario) Herald was one, the Owen Sound Sun-Times was another, the Toronto (Ontario) Saturday Night was another, and that is edited by one of the governors of the C.B.C. Another was the Toronto Star, which has a hand-out of $42,000 a year in time from this corporation. There was also the Glace Bay (Nova Scotia) Gazette.

I have here a number of things that I am not going to bother the house with. May I once more appeal to the minister in charge of this bill to give it some further thought. Take this $528,000; of all the camouflage one ever saw, that really is the prize. What does it mean? It means that we turn over to the C.B.C. $528,000. Why not let us do it honestly? Why not just let us vote the taxpayer's money, instead of saying, we are giving you the gross licence fees instead of the net? The country pays the $528,000 anyway. If they need that sum or a greater sum I am in favour of giving it to them, but I am not in favour of giving it to them by the porchclimbing back-door method which has been adopted in this proposal.

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

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. M. MACDONNELL (Muskoka-Ontario):

It is perhaps rather bold for someone who is not on the committee to try to speak after so many of those who have had the advantage of sitting on the committee have spoken, but perhaps there is room for the voice of ignorance as well as for the voice of experience and knowledge. At any rate the voice of ignorance will be very brief, I think not more than ten minutes at the outside.

I rise because it seems to me that this is one of the most important matters which have been before this house, and far more important than the matter of a few million dollars. I think it goes very deep into the fibre of our constitution, and of our democratic way of life which we are so fond of talking about. I really want to do what my hon. friend the member for Calgary West (Mr. Smith) has done, to ask one or two questions of the minister.

Two things have emerged from this interesting debate and they are perfectly clear and unchallenged. The first is that what is proposed will make it so difficult for private enterprise that it is highly questionable whether it can go on in any effective manner. The second is- and no one will dispute it-that this proposal will greatly aggrandize and strengthen the position of the C.B.C. I am one of those who

Radio Broadcasting

wish to have national broadcasting; I believe in national broadcasting. But I do not believe in the various powers-going, coming and staying-which this commission is given in addition to its power to broadcast. I wish to ask why this is necessary.

First of all, why is it necessary to take away the powers and privileges which have been exercised by private interests? There is usually one of two reasons given when private interests are sought to be penalized and *weakened. The first is that they have been trying to act in a monopolistic manner. That cannot be said here; the shoe is entirely on the other foot. Not only have they not been so acting, but they have had no chance of becoming monopolistic. The second is that private enterprise has neglected the public interest, or has been inefficient, or what you will. There is no suggestion whatsoever of that here.

The second point I wish to raise is this. Why is it necessary to aggrandize the C.B.C.? Can they not carry on as they are? Is it usual to treat public enterprise in this way? Let us examine both these.

Is it usual for public enterprise to be, as lias been pointed out, the plaintiff in the case, the judge and jury, policeman and everything else? It is not. It is not true in the railway world where we have the Canadian National and the Canadian Pacific. I need not press the point, for it is clear that what is proposed is not usual.

Then what is the reason? Now this is why I am on my feet. I want to know the reason, and I have not yet heard any reason given except one, which I believe is unfounded and is unsound, and which was given last night by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell). And the only reason I could understand from him, apart from a lot of chat about Messrs. Sifton and their enterprises in the newspaper and radio fields, the only reason he gave, or the only thing approaching a reason, was that it was necessary, as I understood him. that in this way the C.B.C. should get sufficient coverage. He said that they had not sufficient coverage, and he mentioned particularly the Windsor area.

I have listened with interest to statements made by the hon. member for Calgary West (Mr. Smith), the hon. member for Eglinton (Mr. Fleming) and1 others refuting that position taken by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar, and if his view is mistaken, then no reason of any kind has been given for this proposal. Well, I come to what I consider the real reason, evidence of which we see around this place.

What is that reason? It is power. There is nothing that has interested me more in my brief life as a member of parliament than the study of power, the things it does to people, and the desire they have to get more and more of it. We have seen it in a matter now before the other place, in the case of the foreign exchange control board. I was interested to hear some of the things said there about power, and it is power here again. The point has been made-and I do not dwell upon it-that ministers sometimes hardly realize that they are being made advocates for civil servants who want power.

Like my hon. friend, I have great respect for the chairman of the C.B.C., and I have no doubt that if I knew the other members of the corporation I would have the same respect for them. But I do not- like to see power growing in this way, because there are real dangers -and they have been pointed out-inherent in it.

There is one more thing I have to say, and it is in fact the only real excuse I have for standing on my feet now. We know what the English situation is. There they have the

B.B.C., and there they hare a socialist government. I have here an English periodical, The New Statesman and Nation, which is strongly pro-socialist, and I should like to read two sentences from what they call the " London Diary." It is signed anonymously, but I have reason to believe it is signed by a man wholly in sympathy with the policies and principles of the New Statesman, and therefore I believe I am justified in saying that what I am about to read represents the views of one who is a convinced socialist. That gives additional point to the quotation. He refers to an incident which occurred recently in England, where a distinguished United States commentator who had been about to broadcast was, for some reason which I need not go into, refused that permission. Authority was taken away at the last moment.

I wish to ask the minister and hon. gentlemen opposite, who are Liberals with a big "L"-some of them would like to think they are liberals with a small "1" too-to listen to this quotation:

The effect of incidents of this kind is to make me think that we ought to have more than one broadcasting network in this country.

Here is the sentence to which I direct attention particularly:

I believe in competition in all things of the mind.

It has been pointed out here that the great danger of this proposal, as was demonstrated last night, is that, if it goes through, we shall

5?52

Radio Broadcasting

come out with but one means of influencing public opinion, and the effect of that we have seen clearly in other parts of the world. In other words, some other hon. gentlemen in this house who are as opposed as I am to other kinds of monopolies, as opposed as I am to monopolies in material things, are apparently prepared to have a monopoly of a far worse kind, an infinitely worse description of monopoly, namely, a monopoly in things of the mind. For this reason, ana Tor other reasons given by more practical men, who have a greater knowledge of the subject, I urge the government to consider the question very carefully. I urge them to consider whether they are not setting up a monopoly in things of the mind.

Mr. H. 0. WHITE (Middlesex East): I rise as a farmer to say a word or two on the bill, and first I want to compliment the hon. member for Macleod (Mr. Hansell) and the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Reid) on the stand they have taken on this question. Some time ago I received a letter regarding radio broadcasting. I know very well that the letter was inspired by others than the people from whom it purported to come. I am beginning to wonder who the society for adult education is and who the people are that are behind it. I have heard the C.B.C. referred to as a red network, and from -what I have heard to-day I am convinced that possibly that is the case. This information was forwarded through a federation of agriculture office and it makes me begin to wonder. The Canadian federation of agriculture has been very careful not to get mixed up with any political party; in fact, I believe it has leaned backwards to stay out of politics. It is the voice of agriculture for the Dominion of Canada, but I am wondering if it is being enticed backwards into a socialist rat-trap.

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

Lawrence Wilton Skey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. L. W. SKEY (Trinity):

A little less than a year ago I made my maiden speech in this house, and at that time I said I hoped my term of service here would be a useful one. That is what causes me to rise to-day, because I feel I would not be serving as useful a purpose as I could if I did not rise to speak against this bill. I shall be brief and I guarantee you, Mr. Speaker, that I shall be through before six o'clock.

We have seen in the course of this year a discussion of control of prices. The party to which I belong has advocated a policy of decontrol which would set our economy free to produce. We have seen the licensing under the prices board which gives the same power to the government in many ways that this bill gives to the C.B.C. We have seen controls

over wages and labour troubles and strikes and stabilization, and so on. We have seen agricultural and wheat agreements, agreements which give the government control over agriculture. W'e have seen the foreign exchange control board bill, a bill which gives the government control over money. We have seen the government endeavour to control housing and fail miserably. We have to-day a demonstration on parliament hill of veterans calling for houses for their wives and children. We have had evidence in the industrial relations committee that the government has the industry of the country in a strait-jacket. That is all control; that is all power; that is the thing about which the hon. member for Muskoka-Ontario (Mr. Macdonnell) spoke. I shall tell the house where it leads. It leads to some of the things which are happening to-day in the United Kingdom, where they have to fill out a form to get a form to fill out. That is what power and control will lead to in this country. The only measure that we have is the evidence before the committee which endeavoured to establish that the necessity for these controls was culture. For a moment I should like to bring the minds of hon. members back to the rise of the nazi party in Germany and the kultur which they tried to inflict upon the whole of Europe.

May I close with these words. It is a reminder to the people of Canada that this bill seeks to put power into the hands of a government commission. The old saying is still true, that all power corrupts, and that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

On motion of Mr. Cleaver the debate was adjourned.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: Before Your Honour calls it six o'clock, I wonder whether I might have the unanimous consent of the house to refer to motions, so that the Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell) may table an order in council which was passed to-day?

And unanimous consent having been given.

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

LABOUR CONDITIONS

APPOINTMENT OP CONTROLLERS FOR STEEL INDUSTRY-AMENDING ORDER IN COUNCIL REPEALING SECTION 9 OF ORIGINAL ORDER TABLED

LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Hon. HUMPHREY MITCHELL (Minister of Labour) :

I wish to lay on the table copy of P.C. 3594 passed to-day amending P.C. 2901 of July 10, 1946, by which the government appointed a controller of the three basic steel companies of Canada, namely, the Steel Company of Canada at Hamilton; the Algoma Steel Corporation at Sault Ste Marie; and the Dominion Steel and Coal Corporation at Sydney.

Labour Conditions

The amending order in council repeals section 9 of the original order which provided as follows:

It shall be the duty of every person in the employ of any of the said companies at or in any of the aforesaid establishments of the companies to perform the duties of his employment until the authority of the controller is revoked; and every person who fails to perform his duties as aforesaid as herein required without lawful excuse, the onus of proof of which is upon him is guilty of an offence and liable upon summary conviction to a fine of twenty dollars for each day or part of a day on which he fails so to perform his duties.

Hon. members will appreciate that the effect of the amendment is to remove the requirement that men remain at work and also the penalties which might be imposed upon men tvho remain away.

It is the government's belief that this action will meet the views of the majority of the members of the house. However, I wish to reiterate the belief that it was an error in judgment on the part of the steel workers in joining in a strike which is contrary to the requirements of the law. It is the opinion of the government that there is a moral duty resting upon these workers in their own interests and the interests of all Canada to cooperate with the controller and arrange to return to work at all three plants and take advantage of the machinery provided for the final settlement of the dispute as has been done by thousands of other workers in Canada.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP CONTROLLERS FOR STEEL INDUSTRY-AMENDING ORDER IN COUNCIL REPEALING SECTION 9 OF ORIGINAL ORDER TABLED
Permalink
CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

May I ask the Minister of Labour a question arising out of the order? Does this order change the person of the controller? Has the controller yet approached the steel workers to return to work?

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP CONTROLLERS FOR STEEL INDUSTRY-AMENDING ORDER IN COUNCIL REPEALING SECTION 9 OF ORIGINAL ORDER TABLED
Permalink
LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

This order does not change the name of the controller. To my knowledge, the controller has not approached the steel workers. I say to my hon. friend that all the facilities of the Department of Labour are at the disposal of either the steel workers or the steel companies themselves to bring to a conclusion this regrettable dispute. My department is open at any time, on the application of either party to the dispute, to render any possible assistance we can in a settlement of the difficulties.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP CONTROLLERS FOR STEEL INDUSTRY-AMENDING ORDER IN COUNCIL REPEALING SECTION 9 OF ORIGINAL ORDER TABLED
Permalink
PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

I should like to ask one question before this matter is disposed of. Will the minister give us copies of the order in council which he has just tabled?

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP CONTROLLERS FOR STEEL INDUSTRY-AMENDING ORDER IN COUNCIL REPEALING SECTION 9 OF ORIGINAL ORDER TABLED
Permalink
LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

I can read it, if the hon. member wishes it in Hansard.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP CONTROLLERS FOR STEEL INDUSTRY-AMENDING ORDER IN COUNCIL REPEALING SECTION 9 OF ORIGINAL ORDER TABLED
Permalink
PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

I wish to have it to study it.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP CONTROLLERS FOR STEEL INDUSTRY-AMENDING ORDER IN COUNCIL REPEALING SECTION 9 OF ORIGINAL ORDER TABLED
Permalink
LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

I shall send a copy to the leaders of the three parties.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OP CONTROLLERS FOR STEEL INDUSTRY-AMENDING ORDER IN COUNCIL REPEALING SECTION 9 OF ORIGINAL ORDER TABLED
Permalink

STEEL STRIKE-INQUIRY WITH RESPECT TO MAINTENANCE OF LAW AND ORDER IN HAMILTON

PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. JOHN BRACKEN (Leader of the Opposition):

I am not rising at this time to say anything about the order in council which the minister advises has just been passed. I think all hon. members will agree that an order in council of that nature should have some consideration before any hasty comment is made on it.

I should like the consent of the house to permit me to ask a question of the Acting Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) with respect to this very matter. I understand the wire services have carried dispatches this afternoon with respect to the situation in Hamilton. These dispatches are to the effect that since noon the cabinet has had under consideration the question of the dominion government sharing with the provincial government in the maintenance of law and order in Hamilton, and in providing security for non-striking workers going into and out of the steel plant. Has the Acting Prime Minister any statement on that particular aspect of the strike situation which he could make for the information of the house and the country?

Right Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Acting Prime Minister): I do not know that there is much I can say at the present time beyond this: I think it is well known that the authorities of Hamilton have applied to the government of Ontario for assistance for the purpose of maintaining law and order in the city of Hamilton. All I would care to say is that the government of Ontario and the federal government have been in consultation and that both governments recognize that such assistance as each can supply for the purpose of aiding the local authorities in the maintenance of law and) order should be supplied.

Topic:   STEEL STRIKE-INQUIRY WITH RESPECT TO MAINTENANCE OF LAW AND ORDER IN HAMILTON
Permalink

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE


Mr. ST. LAURENT: I move that the house do now adjourn to Monday morning. We have worked strenuously all week. A number of hon. members have said to me that they did not feel quite equal to having to come back from eight to eleven o'clock tonight, and that they did not think we would really make progress which would be com- ' mensurate with the inconvenience to hon. members if they were required to come back this evening. Business of the House



On Monday morning we shall take up item No. 4 on to-day's order paper. With respect to item Nos. 5 and 7, National Defence Act amendment, these are measures which it would be very convenient to have passed at this time for the purpose of enabling the recruiting of the army to be uninterrupted. The Militia Act fixes a limit of 10,000 upon those who can be recruited, for the permanent force, and that is a limit which it was felt the government should not modify by order in council under the Emergency Transitional Powers Act. But I understand that several members have gone away feeling that these two items were not to be considered at this session. Under these circumstances, the government would be disposed to defer the consideration of these items, but making the statement at this time that it is only because of the desirability of deferring them that it will resort to the Emergency Transitional Powers Act to remove the limitation of 10,000 that might be an impediment to the recruiting for the army now going on. Then at the very opening of the next session it will reintroduce legislation for the purpose of having this limit removed by parliament, because we feel that it is something which should be done by parliament. I am just making these remarks because I should not like to have the reproach made, when we have come to parliament at the next session, that we had in the meantime presumed to deal with it by order in council. Then, after disposing of No. 4, we should take up No. 6, to amend the National Emergency Transitional Powers Act, to extend to sixty days after the opening of the next session, instead of fifteen days, the duration of the measures adopted under that act. Then we shall take up the Militia Pension Act, item No. 10 on the order paper. Then supply in transport (air service), reconstruction, national defence (air), external affairs-and other departments, if there is time for it.


PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

I should like to ask the Acting Prime Minister two questions. First of all, has the government yet decided whether it still proposes to proceed with the Canadian information service measure?

Mr. ST. LAURENT: The Canadian information service measure is a measure with which the government would like to proceed. But the government would not feel, if it appeared that it was going to take considerable time, that it would be proper to ask the house to continue in session for that bill alone, after other matters had been disposed of.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink
PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GRAYDON:

Would the government

consider dropping it for good?

Mr. ST. LAURENT: No, the government would not consider dropping it for good. That is something upon which the opinion of the house will have to be taken.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink

August 24, 1946