August 24, 1946

PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GRAYDON:

You have undertaken a life time job.

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

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

The trouble is that I might have to live too long to do that. I am sincere however, in my opposition to this. It may not be popular in my riding or in the government. I feel keenly about this usurpation of power rvhich belongs to the Canadian people, this placing of power in the hands of boards which are becoming our masters rather than our servants. Every time I know that a man is up against any body or official I am going to do my utmost to see that justice is rendered; for where else can the appeal be taken?

While one of the hon. members from Toronto was speaking the other night I asked him a question. I was wondering whether he was in favour of giving newspapers the right to operate radio stations. This is something we should be very careful about. The newspaper is one of our media of free expression, and it is able to control news and other items which it publishes. If a man however is denied his rights, if he is not permitted the use of a

Radio Broadcasting

newspaper, he should be able, if he wishes, to use the radio to tell the people about it. If the same people are to also have control of the radio station that in my opinion would be placing too much power in the hands of one person or business concern. I am going to suggest that when the committee meets next year it deal with this very matter and bring in a recommendation that newspapers be not also granted the right to operate radio stations.

I know everyone wants to get home, and I may be accused of delaying the house, but I felt that I must get up in my place and say what I have. I contend that there should be an appeal board. I have referred to the case of CKNW in New Westminster, which found itself thwarted because the corporation would not grant it its just request. I went before the corporation with this case on the suggestion of a minister. I asked if it would be all right, and he suggested that I go before the C.B.C. This was a worthy case and there was no reason why this station should not have been permitted a change in frequency or granted more power. It would not have interfered with any other station. Their present frequency of 250 covers the Vancouver area. The nearest station having a greater frequency was 600 miles away at Prince George. For this and other reasons I am protesting against the present bill.

Mr. SOLON E. LOW (Peace River): Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Reid) has made a most gracious speech, and one with which I can agree very largely. I take it that we are discussing two things to-da3', the report of the radio committee and the bill which is before us for second reading. Inasmuch as I was not a member of the committee I must confine myself to the discussion of the bill.

Before saying what I have to say I should like to pay a tribute to the men who pioneered radio and brought it to the state of efficiency that existed a considerable time before there was any Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Those men performed a signal service for the people of Canada. I should also like to pay a tribute to the group of private stations which are performing a great service for this country and which are assisting the achievement of a standard of democracy evidenced by the reports that have been made to the people through the broadcasts - known as "Reports from parliament hill." Their representatives have been very helpful, especially their genial manager, Mr. James Allard. This does not say that I am not also appreciative of the services rendered by the C.B.C.

I do not intend this afternoon to debate the question of government ownership of radio. Last night I thought that we were getting into that sort of debate. About all I heard from my friends to my immediate right was the need for more and more overriding ownership of radio by the C.B.C. As a matter of fact radio in Canada to-day is under the control of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. It is a fait accompli, so there is no sense in our discussing the merits or demerits of government ownership at this stage. However, I think the leader of the C.C.F. (Mr. Coldwell) was presumptuous when he attempted to compare the merits of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and its administration of affairs in Canada with what is being done in the United States by private corporations. It seems to me that the people in the United States are pretty happy with their arrangements. Who is the leader of the C.C.F. to say they are not satisfied? If they were not satisfied they wrnuld change and get something like the C.B.C. or worse.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has been given wide powers, and it is my observation that they have assumed some powers that were not intended to be given. As the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Reid) has said, they have been entrusted with great responsibilities-we might even say, with sacred responsibilities. I should like to mention some of these. One of their sacred and grave responsibilities is to give the people of Canada clean and wholesome entertainment, to provide cultural education. They have the obligation to bring to the people factual information in the form of news. We all listen to the newscasts which are an important part of the work of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. It is also their obligation to present over the waves points of view on events, both current and historical, by means of what- we call commentaries. That also is an important responsibility. Then they have the obligation of presenting political and economic programmes to stimulate the thinking of the people. Finally, they are to control the airwaves of Canada in the national interest.

How well the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has measured up to these responsibilities can be judged only in the light of its record. I believe the corporation has done some good work and a number of commendable things. I believe it has filled a need in Canadian life. I am not in position to criticize the idea of having a corporation like the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, but I certainly have criticism to make of the powers that have been assumed and the way in which they have been exercised by the C.B.C.

Radio Broadcasting

It is not always realized, nor is it always remembered, that sacred responsibilities are usually accompanied by great danger. In the case of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that danger is definitely to the Canadian people as a whole, and not merely to the members of the corporation. Dangers are inherent in the type of set-up represented by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and it seems to me it is of urgent necessity that this parliament build up adequate safeguards against them. I do not mean against the corporation, but against dangers inherent in that particular set-up, so that the responsibilities of the corporation may be discharged as fully as possible without in any way endangering the things that Canadians hold most dear.

To-day, Mr. Speaker, I claim that the very freedom of the Canadian people is at stake. It does not require very much vision to see that personal freedom is rapidly being put in jeopardy in Canada. I am not pretending for one moment that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is alone responsible for this condition. I would say it is a result of a combination of circumstances and of forces that are at work in our society. But while the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is an institution potentially capable of bringing the understanding of the Canadian people up to that point where freedom is made secure in Canada and where democracy is real and virile, that same institution is perfectly capable of contributing in very large measure to the enslavement of the people under a totalitarian state. Adequate safeguards against such a dreadful contingency have not in my judgment been provided by the government and this parliament. There is still plenty of room for either malevolence or stupidity to get in their deadly work within the organization of the corporation. I am not so sure that some of it has not been in evidence over the years.

One great danger of government by commission, especially monopoly commission, is that the commissions are apt to become very powerful and a law unto themselves. They become sacrosanct, so that very few people in the land have the courage to criticize them or to demand a thorough investigation of their affairs. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is fast becoming a law unto itself, and I suggest too that there has been developed a sacrosanctity about the corporation which in time could remove it entirely from the realm of democratic and parliamentary control. It would be a very sorry day for Canada if that should happen.

One of the main reasons, Mr. Speaker, why the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has been able to exercise authoritarian power and 63260-336

has been able to assume wider and wider powers as the days have gone by, is that there never has been a' well-defined government policy laid down to guide them. That has been perfectly evident. This afternoon I am going to give to the members of this house an example of the abuse of power by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, to illustrate the effects of a lack of a well-defined government policy to guide it. I am also going to say that this material which I shall present indicates the existence of a condition which is a complete prostitution of the responsibility of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

In 1927 the university of Alberta purchased a broadcasting station from a private corporation which was operating in the city of Edmonton. In 1939 certain capital funds were required by the station if it were to perform the functions for which it was purchased from (he private corporation. Accordingly an application was made to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in that year for an increase in the power of the station from 500 to 1,000 watts, and also for permission to enter into the commercial advertising field as a means of assisting the university to pay the expenses of the larger and more powerful station. The university in that year was granted permission to increase the power of the station up to

1,000 watts, but it was refused the commercial privileges. The university therefore was compelled to seek assistance from the provincial government in the form of a grant. They did obtain that assistance to the extent of $25,000, and immediately set about to increase the power of the station. Between 1939 and June, 1944, the university, in connection with the educational pursuits of that institution and in collaboration with the Department of Education, developed one of the finest and most outstanding examples of education by radio that has ever been developed in America. This experiment, which proved finally to be a very wise and important one, resulted in the establishment of the School of the Air through which more than a thousand boys and girls in the far reaches of the northern part of Alberta were enabled to complete their high school courses by correspondence and by radio instruction. Anyone desiring to investigate the effects and the results of that experiment can apply to the university of Alberta for a brochure that has been issued called the Chalmers' report on the School of the Air.

The station was found not to be adequate to the needs in the frontier places, and as a result, the university decided that they should step up the power further, beyond 1,000 watts, and rebuild the station- relocate the trans-

Radio Broadcasting

mitter and build a new studio that would take care of the demands for space and of the equipment which they required. After discussing the matter with me while I was in the department of education it was decided in June, 1944, that the university should make an agreement with the Alberta Government Telephones for a transfer of the licence held by the university of Alberta for CKUA on the channel 580 kilocycles, and for power of

1.000 watts. Accordingly an agreement was reached between the Department of Telephones and the university for that transfer. The reasons that were given to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation at the time for desiring that transfer were these. A very large additional grant would become necessary if the university were to carry on the station themselves. This large additional grant would throw out of balance the per capita tuition costs of the university of Alberta as compared with the costs of other universities, and it was felt that that would put the university at a disadvantage in attracting students from other quarters of the globe.

The second reason was that in view of the existing procedure with respect to government accounting at that time, the disposition of funds by the university was not subject to scrutiny in the legislature as it would be if the operation of the station were in the hands of Department of Telephones.

The third reason was that the Department of Telephones of the government had the engineers and technicians and the transmission lines over which the network arrangements had to be made. They had the money, and they had the management to make a real success of the operation of the station CKUA. This was no means a unique arrangement. Already in the province of Manitoba the Manitoba Telephone Department had been operating for some years two radio stations, CKX and CKY.

The fourth reason why the government and the university desired that this transfer be made was this. The people through their representatives in the legislature twice passed, by overwhelming majorities, resolutions to the effect that the transfer should be made. There is no better reason in the world than the expressed wishes of the people.

Another application accompanied the application for transfer of licence. This was an application for a private commercial broadcasting station licence. I contend that this was a reasonable request, for the following reasons. In the first place, the frequency of 580 kilocycles with a 1000 watt power gave station CKUA a very large listening audience. In the next place, from surveys made it

[Mr. Low.l

was evident that Edmonton could readily support three commercial stations, having at that time only CFRN and CJCA. Calgary, with a similar situation and a smaller listening audience, has supported three commercial stations for some years. Particulars of the surveys and supporting statistics were filed, along with the application for the private commercial licence. It was pointed out at the time the application was made that radio station CKUA could not possibly compete with existing commercial stations in Edmonton on a fully competitive basis, by reason of the fact that the university would be given first call upon such time as they required to continue the regular university programmes and also to enlarge the educational programmes generally, both for themselves and for the department of education. The policy of the government of Canada expressed through the policies of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was that radio stations should be operated on a commercial basis. I make that contention, supported by the following evidence.

Various unsuccessful attempts over the years have been made by the university of Alberta to obtain from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation financial assistance in providing educational programmes. I say, unsuccessfully; that was in itself a tacit admission that the stations were expected to be operating on a commercial or semi-commercial basis. Further than that, in April 1943, in response to the university's application for a commercial broadcasting licence, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation indicated its approval- I -want you to note that, Mr. Speaker-of a commercial licence, subject to these two conditions: first, that the gross advertising

revenue for CKUA should not exceed 825,000 per annum; and second, if CKUA took in any existing business from CFRN, then in Edmonton, the commercial licence of CKUA might be cancelled. I maintain that never has such an authoritarian thing as that been done by any government commission in Canada before this, in my time and within my knowledge. I do say, however, that this approval, although qualified, establishes the principle of the right of CKUA to a commercial licence; and further, it indicates that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation policy was dictated, not by the needs of the people, but by the financial appeals of the Edmonton station CFRN.

I suggest, sir, that any objection to permitting a university-owned and operated station to enter into commercial broadcasting had certainly disappeared by virtue of the fact that station CKUA by this time was the property of the Alberta Government Tele-

Radio Broadcasting

phones, and that the relationship between Alberta Government Telephones and CKUA was almost identical, if not identical, with the relationship that existed between the Manitoba telephone system and radio station CKY in Winnipeg and CKX in Brandon.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, at the time the application was made, were assured that they could expect the same cooperation from the radio department of the Alberta Government Telephones as they were then receiving from the radio department of the Manitoba telephone system. The province of Alberta felt, with perfect reason, that it was entitled to exercise its right of ownership of radio station CKUA by engaging in the' business of commercial broadcasting. The C.B.C. contended that if CKUA were granted a commercial licence it would detrimentally affect radio station CFRN. There is no force at all in that contention, for the reason that CKUA had no affiliation with a broadcasting corporation, either the trans-Canada network or the dominion network, as did the other stations in Edmonton. CFRN had affiliations with and was sustained by fees-large fees every year, from the dominion network of the C.B.C. CJCA, the other station in Edmonton, which, by the way, was the top money maker for 1,000 watt stations in the whole of the Dominion of Canada-and that is an important point and has a bearing on this whole case-was affiliated with the trans-Canada network, and received from C.B.C. large fees to sustain it in the field, in addition to its commercial gatherings. I say to you, Mr. Speaker, that the statistics which were submitted by the department of telephones to the government of Alberta at the time indicated very clearly that the Edmonton area afforded ample business for three radio stations.

An objection was raised by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that radio station CKUA, being government owned, would pay no income tax, while the other competing stations would be subject to payment of income tax. The answer to that proposition is that this identical situation existed in the province of Manitoba with respect to CKX and CKY.

To cut a long story short, eventually, after several months of deliberation and handing it back from one board or bureau to another, Mr. Walter A. Rush, the controller of radio, notified the department of telephones in Edmonton that C.B.C. had recommended a denial of the application, and1 he did so in the following terms:

In reply to your inquiry, I may say that the board of governors-

63260-3361 .

I want hon. members, Mr. Speaker, to note this particularly.

-have not recommended favourably on your application for a transfer of the licence of radio station CKUA from the university of Alberta to the department of telephones of the government of Alberta for commercial operation, for the following reasons:

Having noted that the present licence to CKUA-

Note the barefaced audacity of that.

-ivas issued for educational broadcasting purposes, and having reviewed all circumstances surrounding the radio station in Edmonton with respect to the commercial field, the board feels obliged to recommend denial of this application' for transfer of the licence.

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):

What date is that?

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

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. LOW:

That is dated August 25, 1944. Now, I was interested in finding ou.t whether or not the licence had actually been granted to radio station CKUA for educational purposes only, and this is what I found. Mr. Clem L. King, executive assistant to the president of the university, examined personally the licences, and this is the statement which he provided:

So far as I have been able to determine, the licence was secured by purchase from an Edmonton company which had a commercial licence. The licence then issued-

In 1927.

-to the university of Alberta was a private commercial licence.

He further says:

The licences were issued as private commercial licences prior to April 1, 194.1, and the first licence upon which any restrictions as to the basis of operation appeared was that for the year April 1, 1941 to March 31, 1942. This restriction read as follows:

"This licence is issued subject to the condition that the station be operated on a non-commercial basis."

I have already pointed out that following that, in 1943, when the university of Alberta made application to the C.B.C. for a commercial licence, they were granted permission to have such licence on a restricted basis. I have already pointed out that the station was to be restricted to an income of $25,000 per annum gross, and secondly they were told they could not take any business from CFRN. Now, who were CFRN that they had to be protected by the C.B.C.? As a result of the refusal of the board to grant a licence in 1944 the government of Alberta, after making further applications and being turned down, then made application for a powerful station of 50,000 watts to be set up at Red Deer with power enough to serve the great northland. The application was refused.

Radio Broadcasting

I suspect that right here was born in the minds of C.B.C. the idea that they had better get in to Alberta and put up a 50,000 watt station somewhere before the province of Alberta made itself too vocal. I am satisfied that had pressure not been put on by the department of telephones and the university of Alberta we would never have this present move by the C.B.C. to take over the channel now held by CFCN in Calgary.

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

John Thomas Hackett

Progressive Conservative

Mr. HACKETT:

Who is the owner of the station whose income of $25,000 a year had to be protected?

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

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. LOW:

The Sunwapta Broadcasting

Company, which is affiliated with the Edmonton Bulletin.

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

John Thomas Hackett

Progressive Conservative

Mr. HACKETT:

What is the Edmonton Bulletin?

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

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. LOW:

That is a Liberal paper. I do not know whether that has anything to do with it.

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

John Ritchie MacNicol

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacNICOL:

Just a coincidence.

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

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. LOW:

I have given the facts with respect to this whole business, and I give them simply to show to the members of this house, and to get it on the record for the people of the country, what we are up against in relation to this fast growing and ever expanding octopus or Frankenstein monster the C.B.C. I believe it would be well for parliament to reject the bill now before the house at least for this session. I do not favour in any way the expansion of the C.B.C. until such time as we have assured ourselves that we have built up adequate safeguards against a system of creeping paralysis that is being cooked up for Canadians by forces behind the scenes for the definite purpose of curtailing individual right of free speech and free thinking in Canada.

I am not accusing the C.B.C. of being the force in society that is cooking it up. There are plenty of others that are doing that-cooking up, I say, a definite curtailment of the right of free speech and free thinking in Canada. I do not want in any way to lend my hand or to contribute to the creation of a bigger Frankenstein monster until we have learned how to control the one that we have.

There are four short suggestions which I should like to make, and which I think would be adequate to keep the government busy until next session at least. I like to be constructive, and I do not want the minister to feel that I am criticizing him. I know he is new in the business and has his hands full. However, I should like to be helpful, and in everything I do I hope I shall always strive to be constructive.

I think the government should busy itself in the drafting of a well defined policy subject to complete review by this parliament every year; that it should be satisfactory to the people of Canada; that it should be laid down in no indefinite terms-a policy which will at least make certain that the oyster does not control the man rather than the man the oyster. When I was on the west coast some years ago a native showed me with pride the great oysters produced out there, almost as big as my hand. Those were the oysters they could produce in the warm waters off the coast, and they told me there was a tradition there that men did not know whether the oyster controlled the man or the man the oyster. I believe, when I see what the C.B.C. has been doing, that it is high time we decided whether parliament shall control the C.B.C. or whether the C.B.C. shall control the people. Instead of section 2, subsection 4, of the bill as it is now before us, I suggest that the general manager and board of governors of the C.B.C. should all be removable at any time for cause- observe, I say for cause-without our having to submit to the condition that the recommendation shall come from the board itself. That condition I suggest, is a monstrous thing, and I shall fight it every step of the way. Imagine expecting us to put in a general manager who may be removable for cause at any time-how? On the recommendation of the corporation! Bless ray soul! Talk about making a closed corporation to get them away from the control of parliament and to enhance their sacrosanctity! No. I cannot believe that is the thing to do. It certainly is not a safeguard against the potential power and danger in such a set-up as the CJB.C.

My next suggestion is this. I believe that the policy laid down by the government should allow competitive networks of private stations in the provinces. The proposal made by my colleague the hon. member for Macleod last night is an excellent one. I do not know just what way could be found to do it, whether it would be wise to grant a certain channel to each province to be used as they see fit, either for a government-owned station or for a privately-owned concern, but I do say that there should be left sufficient private stations in the province to take care of local needs, and also to be able to form networks whenever they think it wise and desirable in order to get to the people the things the people want.

There is no argument under the sun that can convince the members of this house and the people at large that the C.B.C.. from its regional stations, can meet the needs of all the various localities in the dominion. They cannot do it. We have built up in Alberta a fine

[Mr. Low.)

Radio Broadcasting

listening audience around CFCN in Calgary, with a certain desirable wave channel. I understand the C.B.C. proposes to take over that channel and set up a great 50,000 watt regional station.

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

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue; Minister of National War Services)

Liberal

Mr. McCANN:

That is from the Liberal newspaper you were criticizing.

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

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. LOW:

I do not think it was from the Liberal newspaper.

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

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue; Minister of National War Services)

Liberal

Mr. McCANN:

You say it is CFCN.

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):

CFCN has nothing to do with any newspaper in the world.

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

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. LOW:

I said CFRN. At least I intended to say CFRN.

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

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue; Minister of National War Services)

Liberal

Mr. McCANN:

I beg your pardon.

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

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. LOW:

I hold in my hand a map showing the area in which the facilities of this proposed new C.B.C. station should give service. I notice that the station is to be located somewhere about Red Deer. Is that not a coincidence? I wonder what put that idea into the minds of the C.B.C. Furthermore there is a large circle around the area in which the station would serve the people. I notice that the area of coverage is entirely in the southern half of the province, in the populated areas which are now adequately served by the private stations, and it does not extend into the far north at all. The station which the university of Alberta, in conjunction with the department of telephones, had proposed to put up at Red Deer was designed to cover that whole north, and would have covered it. We had in mind, sir, that the American broadcasting services were to be withdrawn. I understand that they have since been withdrawn and that their directional transmissions into that great north land have been discontinued. These people in the north need facilities; they need broadcasting programmes of every description in that north country. As time goes on the need will become greater. I cannot see anything in the present proposals of the C.B.C. in setting up the regional station which can possibly serve the needs of these people in the north country.

There is one other thing. The C.B.C. already have a regional station at Watrous, Saskatchewan. I live away down in the very southwestern part of Alberta, and at almost any hour of the day or night when Watrous is on the air we get the signal clear and strong enough to suit our needs. Who will answer this question:, why in the name of common sense does C.B.C. have to come into Alberta and take away the channel which has been used so successfully in building up the

finest listening audience in the populated sections of western Canada when they could not possibly present- a programme which could in any way take its place?

It is argued of course that the air waves are the property of the people of Canada. I agree, as did my colleague, the hon. member for Macleod in his splendid address last night, but that does not mean that the air waves are the sole property of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. I say to you, sir, that the people themselves have some rights, and they should have the right to speak their mind. I submit to you, that they are already doing that. The statistics covering the listening audiences will amply demonstrate exactly what they are thinking.

The fourth suggestion that I should like to make is that there should be a board of appeal, as was suggested by the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Reid). I thought that was a splendid idea. I do not know why it was that I thought of it; perhaps it was a case of two minds thinking alike; but certainly there must be a board of appeal. I noted in the correspondence between the university of Alberta, the government telephone department of Alberta and the various departments down here in Ottawa including the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's offices, the Prime Minister's office, the Minister of Transport's office, and the Minister of Reconstruction's office, all of which correspondence I have before me, that nobody seemed to know exactly who had the responsibility to do what. Everybody seemed to rely entirely upon the advice of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's board, as has already been pointed out two or three times. I do not need to labour the point. Certainly the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation cannot give just administration when it sits in the chair of both the judge and jury; nor can it, as the hon. member for Macleod said, give justice if it is the pitcher and at the same time is allowed to call the strikes. I say, too, that we should exercise care in selecting the board of appeal. If there had been a board of appeal to whom the university of Alberta could have gone in 1944 we would not have had nearly the difficulty we did have, and there would not have been the miscarriage of justice that there was in connection with that station.

I wish to say a word about commentators. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation should exercise great care, much greater care than they have ever exercised before, in the selection of commentators. There, sir, is one of the gravest responsibilities resting upon the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation at the

Radio Broadcasting

present time. People should be told who their commentators are; they should be told what philosophy they follow. Too often men posing as commentators find their way into a position without the people knowing who they are, what they are, and what philosophy they follow. As a result of day after day broadcasting they are able to mould the thinking of the people, and direct it into channels which may be questionable and injurious. They are able to pour out uncalculated quantities of that type of poison which brings results such as we have suffered from in this country, namely, discordant loyalties. It is high time that we began to use much more care in their selection. I have no objection to any person getting on the radio, to any particular philosophy having its spokesman over the radio, but I do say that the people ought to know who they are and what they represent. If they know that they can make up their minds whether to listen and whether to believe. The position of commentator is a most important one, and the commentator should be chosen with care.

I am certain that no one in this house, if he stops to think at all, wants to see the people of Canada forced into a straitjacket where free speech and free thinking are the privilege only of those who control the daily lives of the people. I do not, and I shall fight against any such possibility with all my strength. I will not support the bill now. When I am certain that our freedom is assured and that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is in reality subject ^o the democratic control of the Canadian people, then I shall be pleased to vote for the appropriation of as much money as they may require to take care of their expansion, their research and their activities.

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

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. G. DIEFENBAKER (Lake Centre):

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

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

Yes, and as the hon. member for Stanstead suggests, highly improbable. And let it be emphasized that I believe in the C.B.C. as a national institution. There are some who are endeavouring to place certain hon. members in the position of opposing government ownership; but there is no reason for that viewpoint. What we are asking is that there should be fairness under the law established by parliament in the relationships between the C.B.C. and the private stations. They are entitled to justice, under the law-no more, no less.

An independent body set up for the purpose will interpret the law as passed by parliament. It will determine whether or not the C.B.C. is properly carrying out the wishes of parliament. To argue that a body composed of one of the litigants can determine impartially and without bias the rights of one of the opposing litigants is certainly contrary to experience and reason. I submit that unless such a body is set up, a paralyzing blow will be struck by parliament at "freedom of the air," or at least at what is know'n as "fairness of the air." If the C.B.C. continues uncontrolled, private stations in this country will become vassals, permitted to survive only at the sufferance of the overlord. The great danger of that is the danger of developing totalitarianism in this country.

The other day the Minister of Reconstruction rose in his place and reversed a stand he had taken two years ago, which in turn was a reversal of a stand he had taken in 1937. All honour to him. This is one of the few times a minister in this House of Commons has ever admitted that experience had proven that an opinion he expressed tw'o years ago had not been borne out by subsequent events.

Experience in continental Europe has been that placing control of radio in the power of any government has given government control of the thinking of the country. In asking for the setting up of an independent board such as this, the great and abiding principle at stake is freedom of the air. Can there be freedom when all power rests in one institution? Freedom of the air is often believed to be the same thing as freedom of speech. But there is this difference between the two: a newspaper circulates among those who accept its general viewpoint. Broadcasts go into the homes of people of different opinions. The limitation on broadcasting is the limitation that it shall not contravene the law of libel and slander; and there is another social limitation, namely that the listener has the right to use his thumb and forefinger when things are being said with which he disagrees. What is

Radio Broadcasting

happening here to-day is that the thumb and forefinger controlling what is to be broadcast is a body under the control of the government of the day. Human nature being what it is, can you expect that broadcasts dealing with current events will be not tinged or tainted by the individuality or views of the person using that instrument?

The hon. member for Peace River mentioned commentators. While I may not be in general agreement with his viewpoint, I will say that whoever has charge of commenting on the news .controls the future thinking of the nation. When day after day certain points of view are pounded into the subconscious minds of the listeners, the ultimate effect is that those subconscious minds are changed by the continued operation of the propaganda, whether designedly done or not. That is why every effort should be made to ensure that the private stations shall have an opportunity to broadcast points of view different from the points of view currently represented by the government of the day.

However free the C.B.C. programmes may be from direct influence, there will be a bias in the government sponsored announcements that are made from time to time. The government has a preferred place in the mobilization of public opinion. It does not need to be intentional, but the bias is there. Whatever announcement is made, always behind it is projected the personality and point of view of the person broadcasting. It is because of that fact that I believe public policy decrees that there should not be unified control of radio in a national body independent of control. Government monopoly of the broadcasting facilities of this country will in the end lead to all thinking alike, and as some one has said, when all think alike, no one thinks much.

In Rose's book on radio broadcasting he uses these words, which I shduld like to appropriate as my own:

Democracy's only protection is an awakened and informed public opinion. This public opinion can be obtained only when no one is allowed to dictate what the radio shall, or shall not carry, or is permitted to present its point of view without adequate rebuttal by the opposition.

I am not in opposition to national control of broadcasting, but I contend there is a field for the private broadcaster who should be assured that he will be permitted freedom to the end that what he is broadcasting shall not be subject to the direction of the C.B.C., a government owned institution.

Mention was made of commentators, and I gathered from the remarks of the hon. mem-

ber for Peace River that he was referring to what I have heard criticized on a number of occasions, the communistic turn to some of the comments that are made. There is no medium more effective for mobilizing public opinion than the radio. Canada cannot compromise with communism. While I have been a critic of the operations in certain particulars of the Taschereau-Kellock royal commission, I have always agreed that it did a fine work when it brought to light of day the insidious activities of communism in our midst. If democracy is to live, we in Canada, in the empire and in the United States must show that democracy is the superior form of government in a world divided between two contending beliefs. In the place of programmes tinged with a communistic viewpoint, let there be a continuation of certain programmes now being broadcast over the C.B.C. wherein will be brought home to the people of Canada the benefits of democracy, its meaning, and what its antithesis will mean if ever control is secured by communism in our country.

There are those who will not agree with me, but I think good work has been done by the present government in Saskatchewan in bringing parliament to the people by means of broadcasting the proceedings of the legislature. I have found all over the province that while the session is on the people are interested and are ready to take advantage of this opportunity offered. How many people in our country would like to have the opportunity of being present to hear parliament in session, of seeing democracy in action. I believe consideration should be given at an early day to broadcasting the proceedings of parliament. A great work has been done by private, broadcasters in that connection. I think James Allard and those associated with him should be congratulated upon having given the opportunity to members in all parts of this country to broadcast the doings of parliament. These broadcasts have done much to increase the knowledge of the Canadian people as to what is taking place in parliament.

Then there is another type of programme which I think the C.B.C. should put out. We in Canada are alongside the United States, and many programmes originating from stations in that country' glorify crime and lawlessness. Our people are bound to be affected. Programmes advocating obedience of law would be of benefit to all; for without law enforcement the whole process of democracy is destroyed. We are living in a period of increased lawlessness, and I refer particularly to offences against the criminal code, which have multiplied over I he last few years-why,

Radio Broadcasting

I do not know. But we have a medium at hand to bring into the homes the necessity of obedience to the law, which if properly utilized would have the immediate and effective result of imbuing the people of our country with a greater appreciation for law and order.

What is the situation in our country? There is a growing contempt for law. Lawlessness does not become lawful because of the numbers engaged in breaking the law. Anarchy is the absence of law or, where there is law, the lack of enforcement. Destroy the law and ve destroy the principle of equality, and ultimately democracy within our nation cannot survive. I make this appeal to the minister, that in order to offset the effect of the glorification of lawlessness so often heard on the air waves, the C.B.C. has an opportunity to render a service which will pay great dividends in citizenship; for if lawlessness ever achieves primacy over parliament, or if lawlessness is condoned, then there will be anarchy. If the law can be circumvented or scoffed at or unenforced, the moral fabric of the nation will be destroyed: Is that the work of the radio? The great uplifting bodies are the pulpit, the press and the radio. There is an opportunity for service in citizenship in this direction which can mean much to the people of this country.

Radio has no boundaries. Some countries may have set up an iron curtain against the invasion of new thought, but those curtains are no defence against democratic broadcasts. All of us are influenced by broadcasts, and being so influenced the work of the C.B.C. could be greatly enlarged by making citizenship and the creation of better citizens its prime purpose and its main aim.

I am going to deal for a moment with the financial situation. Looking over the accounts of C.B.C., I have been struck by the fact that in repent years, while its advertising is increasing, deficits are approaching. In its report dated March 31, 1945, the net operating deficit is shown at $72,000. According to the statement of C.B.C., that loss included an allowance for depreciation and obsolescence amounting to $227,000. For the year ended March 31, 1946, the tentative financial statement shows a loss of $78,400, but without taking into consideration any allowance for depreciation and obsolescence. In other words, if depreciation and obsolescence were no greater in 1945-46 than in 1944-45, the loss this year to March 31 would be $305,000. Therefore I ask the minister this: is there any reason why one newspaper in this country, the Toronto Star, should be bonused to the amount of $135 per day, 313 days in the year, amounting to a total of $42,000? How loose the business administration was is indicated by the fact that I came upon this transaction by chance in the course of an examination. There was no resolution on the books of the C.B.C. dealing with it, nothing in the books to support it. No action had ever been taken by the board at any time with regard to it. It indicates a looseness which ought not to characterize a government body. I asked the chairman of the board, Mr. Dunton, when he first found out about it, and he replied that it was several months ago, but he had not done anything about it or brought it to the attention of the board of governors because he was so busy getting ready to meet the parliamentary committee which he thought would be set up earlier in the session than it actually was.

In August, 1937, the matter was brought to the attention of the general manager and apparently there was disagreement among the directors as to the propriety of this transaction. In August, 1937, the present Minister of Reconstruction and Supply (Mr. Howe) wrote a letter to the general manager of the broadcasting corporation suggesting to him that he continue the Toronto Star in its position because there was some moral justification for that being done. Whatever the rights were in the past, those rights have long since ceased demanding that the people of Canada continue to bonus the Star, and I think the time has come to put an end to the preference. To me it seems passing strange that a matter as serious as this, involving $42,000 a year- because that is the amount it is worth to the Star; it is worth less to the C.B.C. as that amount is subject to advertisers' commissions -should not have been brought officially to the notice of the board. I think, too, that the relevation of this bonus indicates the degree to which the C.B.C. was under the control of the government.

I am going to refer to two or three letters in this connection, quoting only the pertinent portions because my time is almost up. Here is a letter to the Toronto Star signed by the general manager of C.B.C., dated May 17, 1938. In part it says:

I have felt that your zealous support and your pioneering have deserved special treatment; nevertheless, it has to be kept in mind that sooner or later the situation will have to be regularized in terms of the press as a whole.

That was in 1938. Even up to this date nothing has been done to regularize this matte*. I have before me a copy of another

Radio Broadcasting

letter dated September 30, 1938, directed to the Toronto Star and signed by the general manager of C.B.C., in which he says:

As you know, I have always done what was in my power to keep the Star in the picture at CBL; but, as I think I mentioned to you once or twice, the arrangement has not got the normal elements of permanence.

That was in 1938, and though the arrangement had none of the normal elements of permanence then, it apparently had the elements of perpetuity; for it has continued up to date. The reason why it should be continued is given in these words by the manager of C.B.C. in this letter:

I feel that it would be unfair to the Star, especially in view of its support of public service broadcasting, to deprive it of any place on the air as long as its competitors enjoy such a place.

I do not know who the competitors were, but whatever others have enjoyed they enjoyed as a result of payment for their privilege of broadcasting. In a letter from the commercial manager, Mr. E. A. Weir, dated April 19, 1938, to the Toronto Daily Star, the following appears:

We are not unmindful of the many courtesies and the broad general support which the Star has given to the corporation and the principle for which it stands. That has meant much to us and the whole plan of nationalization.

I think the time has come for reconsideration to be given to this matter. My hon. friend the member for Eglinton (Mr. Fleming) points out that the majority of the committee refused to put a recommendation in the report that this privilege should be withdrawn. Whether or not the committee of parliament would make such a recommendation, my suggestion is that the time has come to bring an end to that, especially in view of the fact that the broadcasting corporation is now budgeting for deficits, and two periods paying $135 a day would go a long way towards reducing those deficits.

Now, sir, I conclude. I reiterate in my conclusion the suggestions I have made. One, which I have made over the years, is the setting up of an independent body or the board of transport commissioners in order to adjudicate as between the claims of the C.B.C. and the private broadcasting corporations in accordance with the law passed by parliament. There can be no criticism of setting up an independent body for appeal, unless it be that an independent body administering the law would come to a different decision than a body, itself the litigant, appearing before itself.

Second, the necessity of attention being given by the C.B.C. in an ever-increasing degree to showing the ramifications of com-

munism, the dangers of communism securing a grip on our country, and pointing out the benefits of democracy and what democracy means to every man, regardless of his position, in the land.

These are matters which I think will receive the support of the corporation. There must be equality as between all citizens in this land, between all private groups claiming rights of broadcasting in this country, subject to the predominant right of national broadcasting continuing to remain a national institution.

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

William Alfred Robinson

Liberal

Mr. W. A. ROBINSON (Simcoe East):

Mr. Speaker, I always enjoy listening to the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker) even when I disagree with him in some respects. I would, however, like to associate myself with some remarks which he made, and those were the remarks in appreciation of Mr. Allard and his work in connection with our reports from parliament hill. I think that has been appreciated by all hon. members, and I am very glad to mention it at this time.

I have listened with a great deal of interest to the previous speakers on this measure, mostly, I am afraid, in criticism, and I feel impelled to rise at this time to say a few words in support of the measure.

The expansion plans of the C.B.C. are not by a~ny means an innovation. They are merely part of a well settled principle which has had the approval of successive governments and successive parliamentary committees. I think most. Canadians, including most members of this house, approve the idea of a nationally owned broadcasting system, and I think it has always been contemplated that this system should be expanded and enlarged to serve the needs of the listening public.

Perhaps it will not be out of place at this time if I review briefly some of the major steps in the development of our thinking on this subject of radio broadcasting.- I do so, not with the idea of suggesting that we should be bound by the past, but rather to show a certain continuity of development.

Following the haphazard development of radio in the early twenties, the Aird commission was appointed in 1928. This valuable body established, amongst other things, three facts of major importance. They were: that broadcasting was tending to concentrate in more densely populated areas, leaving more lightly populated areas ineffectively served; also, that the majority of programmes heard was from sources outside Canada; again, that there was a great demand and need for the development of Canadian broadcasting in the

Radio Broadcasting

interests of Canadian listeners and in the national interests of Canada. The commission came to the conclusion that the interests of the listening public and of the nation could be served adequately only-

... by some form of public ownership, operation and control behind which is the national power and prestige of the whole public of Canada.

This conclusion of the Aird commission became the keynote of the subsequent develop^ ment of radio in this country.

In later years, committees of this house reaffirmed and enlarged this basic principle. The first parliamentary committee met, I think, in 1932 and recommended in part as follows:

. . . that a nationally owned system of radio broadcasting be instituted and that all stations required for its proper organization be eventually acquired.

Following some years of operation, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was brought into being in 1936 by act of this parliament. Subsequent committees reaffirmed that basic principle, and I should like particularly to refer to the report of the committee of 1942-43:

Your committee now desires to reaffirm these principles as stated in the reports of the committees for the years mentioned in brackets:

(a) The paramount importance of a single national authority to control all broadcasting in the public interest; (4932)

(b) The public ownership of all high power stations under a national system of broadcasting. with low power stations individually operated or coordinated in relation to the dominant system; (1932)

(c) The coordination of all broadcasting in Canada through exclusive control being vested in the nationally owned system of:

(i) The character of all programmes, political or otherwise, broadcast by all stations

and of the advertising content thereof; and

(ii) All wire-line networks used for carrying broadcast programmes; (4936)

I think it is clear that the broad principles behind the development of the C.B.C. have been plainly enunciated. We must realize, however, that the corporation is only in its infancy. It was created in 1936, and is now only at its tenth or tin anniversary. If we have any pride in our national system, surely we can cooperate now to put it on a gold, or, at least, on a silver basis. Its development, its approach to maturity has been retarded for two very good reasons. First, it has been feeling its way in a rapidly developing art where the premature expenditure of money might prove unwise. Secondly, of course, the war has naturally restricted its orderly expansion. Surely, now that the war Is over and the corporation has an experience

of ten years behind it, we can allow it to develop in the manner which has always been contemplated.

It is inevitable but at the same time, in some respects, I think, regrettable that the expansion of the national system foreshadows the allocation of new wave lengths to certain private stations which had previously used clear channels allotted to Canada under the Havana agreement. I think I can say without. fear of contradiction that all members who sat on the recent committee were very much impressed by the able representations, made on behalf of two of the stations affected, and I refer to CFCN, Calgary and CFRB, Toronto.

We could not fail to recognize, and have recognized in the report, the good community service which has been rendered by these and other private stations. Nevertheless I cannot agree, as has been suggested by one hon. member opposite, that the private stations are not receiving "fair play" or that insecurity of their tenure of a particular wave length constitutes a "sword of Damocles" hanging over their heads. As a matter of fact, the two private stations I have mentioned, in their representations to the committee, attempted to show that they were taken by surprise to some extent by the present proposals, and I think it can be fairly said that they failed in this, and for three reasons. First, the statute law is perfectly clear that a proprietary interest in a wave length cannot be obtained. Secondly, since 1941, endorsements have been placed on the licences issued to these stations by the Department of Transport, which endorsements the department intended to operate as notice of a possible change in the future. I quite agree that the endorsements were not phrased as clearly as they might have been to indicate such an intention. That was made quite clear in the committee. But at the very least, these endorsements should have had the effect of giving to the affected stations good cause to weigh carefully the insecurity of their occupancy of these channels. Third, and I think possibly most importantly, the principle of public ownership of high-power stations was enunciated in parliamentary committees as far back as 1932. The committee of 1942 was particularly clear on this point, and I should like to refer to some of the proceedings of that committee.

In the committee of 1942, Doctor Frigon of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was examined at some length by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell). I will read a portion of that examination as reported in the proceedings of the committee.

Radio Broadcasting

First, I might explain that the hon. member for, Rosetown-Biggar was referring to the three stations CFCN, Calgary; CFRB, Toronto, and CKY, Winnipeg, which were not owned by the corporation. I quote:

Q. These are not all corporation stations?

A. No. There are two that are not corporation stations.

Q. What two are they?

A. CFRB, Toronto and CFCN, Calgarj.

Q. I understood there was another.

A. CKY, Winnipeg; that is owned by the Manitoba government.

Q. That is three stations that have been allotted clear channels.

A. Yes.

Q. That can be occupied up to fifty kilowatts?

A. Right.

Q. Have they an understanding with you that they will be required to vacate these channels?

A. First of all, the frequencies are allocated annually and the Minister of Transport has always the right to make a transfer in each year.

Q. And there is no possibility of any misunderstanding that these stations have a vested interest in those channels?

A. No.

Q. None whatever?

A. No.

Q. So that they can be renewed at any time that the corporation needs those channels?

A. They can be turned over to the C.B.C.

Q. For its own purposes?

A. Yes.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   CORPORATION TO RECEIVE LICENCE FEES- ADVANCES ON ACCOUNT OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
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August 24, 1946