May 24, 1950

CCF

William Scottie Bryce

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

Mr. Bryce:

Because the city of Winnipeg is building up a debt at the bank. If the money is to be paid to the provincial government, then make an interim payment now, and let them get going. Do not hold it up.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mayor Coulter and Mayor MacLean, and I learned that the amount of money they have to spend each day is very great. They have nothing to back it up, but they must have the money to keep going. I believe in the sincerity of the Prime Minister and I believe the premier of Manitoba means well. That being so, let us give the people of Winnipeg something to work with, instead of having them run up an interest bill at the banks. The government has said, "We will stand by you." Yet, when it comes to the final say-so, the municipalities and the city of Winnipeg will have to foot the bill and pay the interest. Even now they have a large overdraft. The deputy mayor of Winnipeg told me that they have four hundred trucks operating at $2 an hour. That has been going on for three weeks. No municipality or town can stand that drain on its resources.

Call it a token payment or an interim payment, call it whatever you like, but send them some money. Send them a few million dollars so that they may save themselves this bill of interest which is gathering at the banks. They should have prompt and proper treatment coming to them. The Prime Minister has said he will help; then, help now, and do not wait until it is too late.

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SEX COMICS AND SALACIOUS LITERATURE

SC

William Duncan McKay Wylie

Social Credit

Mr. W. D. Wylie (Medicine Hat):

Mr. Speaker, before you leave the chair I have a matter I should like to discuss at this time. Possibly I could have dealt with this subject either in the debate on the address in reply, or in the budget debate. Perhaps I could have waited until the estimates of the Minister of Justice (Mr. Garson) were before the house. However I feel this is an important matter, and I make no apology for discussing it now.

My subject is that of sex comics and passionate literature. It will be recalled that during the last session of parliament we passed Bill No. 10, to amend the Criminal Code, in connection with the portrayal of

crime. That act, sponsored by the hon. member for Kamloops (Mr. Fulton), has done a wonderful job, and I am sure many citizens feel that it has been worth while.

However certain publishers in Canada have found a loophole, with the result that today they are bringing out something that is perhaps worse than some of the crime comics. Bill No. 10, as I see it, and as many others see it, did not go far enough. Certain publishers in Toronto and Montreal have taken advantage of the situation and are flooding the newsstands with literature not fit to appear on any newsstand.

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James Ross Fulton

Mr. Fullon:

It is not literature.

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SC

William Duncan McKay Wylie

Social Credit

Mr. Wylie:

I believe I should place on

record the names of some of the publishers who are publishing this literature. The ones I have before me all publish in Toronto. I have always been told that Toronto was a good city, and I have heard it described as "Toronto the good". No wonder it is styled as "Toronto the good', because they must ship all the bad out of it.

Some of this trash bears on it three initials. One might see the initials S.D.D., which refers to Superior Distributors located at 21 Wellington Street East, Toronto. Another is C.D.L., Colonial Distributors Limited, located at 2001 Eglinton Avenue East, Toronto. Then there is Magazine Distributors and Sales Limited, 149 Church street, Toronto. I am sure if one of our late members were here today and heard mention of Church street he would get up and say that he had nothing to do with that company. Those are some of the publishers.

Every newsstand in this country is being flooded with trash published by these companies, which have a monopoly on the printing of sex comics and obscene literature. They tell the distributors in the small centres that they must put these books on their newsstands or they will lose their licences. I should like to read an article that appeared in the Medicine Hat News of Wednesdayj February 15 of this year, under the heading of "Watson to ban shack-up girlies." It reads:

Local news dealer takes own action to clear stands of salacious literature published ini Toronto.

The most erotic, two-bit pocket editions about the "shack-up girl" and the "reckless maiden" in the "furnished room" in the flood of licentious literature now sweeping Canada will disappear from local newsstands on Saturday. Oscar Watson, proprietor of'Watson's news agency, the principal magazine distributor of Medicine Hat, announced today he has cancelled contracts with Crow library and Newsstand library publishers of Toronto for this type of "torrid tales of turbulent passion."

I admire what Mr. Watson has done in that respect. The trouble is that under the present act the publishers in Toronto and 55946-179

Sex Comics and Salacious Literature Montreal are allowed to publish this junk which is sent out to the distributors in the cities and small towns across the country who are expected to decide what should be placed on the newsstands. That is entirely wrong. The responsibility should be placed upon the publishers. I am not alone in this and I intend to read letters or excerpts from letters I have received from various organizations across this country. The first letter I should like to read is from the Local Council of Women in Medicine Hat. It is dated February 21, 1950 and reads:

Dear sir:

The Local Council of Women of Medicine Hat would like you to know that they strongly approve of the stand you have taken against the salacious literature that is appearing on our newsstands today.

We wish you every success in getting an amendment to Bill No. 10 to cover this literature.

Yours truly,

Mrs. Marjorie Copp, Corresponding Secretary for L.C.W.

Another letter is from Macleod, Alberta, dated February 17, 1950, and reading:

Mr. W. D. Wylie,

Medicine Hat, Alta.

Sir:

Your campaign to curb the sale of cheap trashy literature is in my opinion highly commendable. I wish you every success in your endeavour in this matter.

Olive R. Killoran

The next one is from New Brunswick and this should interest my hon. friend from Saint John. It is from the Catholic Women's League of Canada, dated March 10, 1950, and reads:

Dear Mr. Wylie:

Through an editorial in our paper printed from the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, I note your efforts in regard to the banning of crime comics and salacious literature. On behalf of the Catholic Women's League of Canada of the diocese of Edmundston, I wish to express to you our sincere appreciation of your work in this matter. We realize that the law recently passed against crime comics, et cetera, is by no means adequate, but we feel sure that if we continue to work on the matter we can accomplish a great deal of good. Be assured that we wish you every success in the move you are making, and that, in this matter, you have our complete co-operation.

Sincerely yours,

Mrs. Frank J. Toner,

President, Edmundston Diocesan Council, C.W.L.

Then I have a letter from Arthur L. Davis of Moose Jaw, but as it is rather lengthy I shall not read it. The next item I should like to place on the record is a copy of a newscast which was sent over station CKY, at 8 p.m., February 16, 1950. It reads:

The possibility that the federal government will be asked to investigate the distribution of "lurid"

Sex Comics and Salacious Literature literature at this session, indicated today that "clean-up" legislation would have a considerable effect on local sales.

Social Credit member of parliament, W. D. Wylie, promised recently that he would ask parliament to take immediate action on the sales of what he termed "filthy sex magazines." His contention was that while last year's bill which banned crime comics in Canada was praiseworthy, Canada's newsstands still carried a tremendous amount of indecent literature. He indicated that while children have been denied their diet of cops and robbers, they don't have to go hungry if they want top-flight-if sexy-excitement.

A group of CKY reporters made a survey of Winnipeg newsstands today, and their reports showed that while gangsterism in print has disappeared, what has taken its place is much worse. For every decent or "family" magazine, the survey showed, there appear to be two others which are crammed with lewdness and sensationalism. The "come-on" is usually an alluring title or photograph, and the publications are available to anyone, including children.

Here are some of the titles and stories available almost anywhere in Winnipeg to young children as well as adults. Are Canadian women sex starved? Why European Women are the Sexiest; Smouldering Secrets of Sultry Sirens; Lover's Triangle; A Daring Expose of How a Woman Snares a Man; Sex Comes to Tarzan; Marriage in a Chemise; Pre-Wedding Madness; I Had to Marry; Wicked: She Was Easy With her Kisses and Free with her Charms; I was Hungry for Love; Striptease Goes West; What Sells You-Sex or Facts; Long Lost Passion; My Scandalous Affair; My Husband's Infatuation; and Vice in Los Angeles.

It was noted that these magazines were exposed prominently on newsstands, and in some cases purchasers had difficulty in concealing their embarrassment. The provincial government department under whose authority these matters are handled says there have been no complaints, and therefore no action is contemplated toward cleaning out newsstands. However, church and youth groups in eastern Canada have gone on record as condemning the magazines, and challenge the government to pass a law similar to the one which last year made the sale of crime comics illegal. Observers stated that if and when such a law is passed it would leave newsstands a little bare but clean.

This newscast was broadcast over CKY, Winnipeg, and that is what they found on the newsstands in that city. I want to refer to one paper in western Canada which is very much worried about the censorship of sex comics and passion literature, the Calgary Herald. This newspaper went all out in an editorial on February 15, 1950, against myself and expressed alarm over the censorship of crime comics, sex comics and passion literature. I must admit this same paper supported the hon. member for Kamloops (Mr. Fulton) when Bill 10 was introduced in the house. I am not going to read all of the editorial because most of it is so silly that it does not even make sense. However, I am going to read what they say in the last two paragraphs.

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An hon. Member:

Read it all.

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SC

William Duncan McKay Wylie

Social Credit

Mr. Wylie:

You would not enjoy it if I did, and you might consider where it comes from. The last two paragraphs read as follows:

If Canada as a nation has any sense of morality at all and if Mr. Wylie's private book collection is as dangerous as he says it is, then it may be assumed that moral pressure will cause these books to be withdrawn. In the meantime, we suggest that Mr. Wylie devote his attention to the more important matters with which the Canadian parliament would do well to concern itself.

The Calgary Herald surely must realize, Mr. Speaker, that Canada's most valuable asset is the youth of the country. Their good citizenship depends entirely on the bringing up they have in their own homes, and the education they receive in the early days of their youth. For a paper such as the Calgary Herald to publish such an editorial certainly demonstrates their ignorance. I am greatly surprised at their doing so. The Medicine Hat News in an editorial on Monday, February 13, 1950, showed the need for sex comics control. I want to read the editorial because I believe it is a good one and should cause many members of the house to think as I do. It reads:

The need for governmental action to dam the flood of "passion" literature now evident on the shelves of newsstand retailers must be apparent to every thinking adult. It is a wicked business conducted by a few men who are profiting by this mental seduction of youth. It is a deliberate move to compensate for the loss of the crime comic book trade and it replaces one evil with another, an even more serious threat to the moral fabric of this nation.

It is a flouting of the good intentions of Bill 10, designed at the last sitting of the Canadian parliament, and the only way in which it can be stopped is an attack on the fountainhead. The Toronto and Montreal publishing cartel which is trafficking in this epidemic of salacious literature is the group against which restraining legislation should be aimed, not the wholesalers, distributors and retailers who are compelled to handle the filth. In order to obtain the slicks and standard periodicals for distribution dealers are told to take a certain quota of the romance pulps and "comics."

That is the editorial which appeared in the Medicine Hat News, and I believe it is worth while. I am going to read a few titles of books that have appeared on newsstands in Medicine Hat and which were removed by Mr. Oscar Watson, the distributor of this literature in Medicine Hat. One is "Eager is the Flesh", a tale of violent men and surging passions. The trouble is that in every case the cover is the most prominent part of the book; it always shows a picture of a nice looking girl to attract everyone's attention. Another one is "WeekEnd Girl", an intimate story of reckless love. Then there is "Reckless Maiden"; her love was a mad obsession. Another one shows a picture of a nude girl through a window and its title is "Furnished Room". The minute

you look at the cover you think the book will be a spicy one and that you had better buy it and read it.

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PC

Gordon Knapman Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fraser:

She should have pulled down the blind.

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SC

William Duncan McKay Wylie

Social Credit

Mr. Wylie:

They have no intention of pulling down the blind. I have another one showing a girl in the nude, and its title is "Shack-up Girl".

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LIB
SC

William Duncan McKay Wylie

Social Credit

Mr. Wylie:

You should know. I hope the hon. member does not expect me to explain it to him. These 25-cent novels are brought out in such a way that the cover looks good. They are printed on the cheapest paper that can be obtained.

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An hon. Member:

It looks bad to me.

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SC

William Duncan McKay Wylie

Social Credit

Mr. Wylie:

These are 25-cent pocket editions of trash. Then they brought out some more in the comic book style: "Women in Love. Here is my sin. My heartbreak, plus other real love secrets." The picture shows a very nice girl. Here is another: "My life. Her kisses were tainted. I hated my home, plus other true to life stories." These are what are taking the place of crime comics, and they are much worse. "Miss Beverley Hills." "Secret loves. Thrilling tales of intimate romances. I had two loves." "First romance. True love stories." Then I assume this one is very good: "Saddle romances. Western love." Here is another one: "Flaming love." I have many more here that I can let hon. members have to read, if they wish.

Today all these love stories I have shown you are on the newsstands. Then on the back of some appears an advertisement, telling you that you can send to the Herald Publishing Company, 2382 Dundas Street West, Toronto-you will notice I am giving the address in case any hon. member wants to take it down-and get twenty-four of these books for $1. Bargain prices! These other books are not on the newsstands, but you can get them by sending to Toronto. When I came down here I wasted a dollar sending for twenty-four more of these books. I really never expected to get them, but when they came I found them to be the same as those selling for 10 cents on the newsstands. Apparently they have more trash they cannot get rid of, so they try to fool you by offering a bargain. I may as well put a few of these titles on Hansard as well. The first is "Nellie the nurse." Then "Teen-age diary secrets," published by Superior Publishers Limited, Toronto. "Aggie Mack," "Dogpatch," "Horse

Sex Comics and Salacious Literature Feathers," "Black diamond," "Venus." There are fifteen or sixteen more, but I do not think it worth while to read them all.

I believe something should be done to prevent this type of literature going out across Canada. I do not think it should be left entirely to the distributors in each town or city to look through all this trash before it appears on the newsstands. Furthermore I believe anyone publishing this sort of thing should be-one hon. member says "shot" and another says "prosecuted"; perhaps "prosecuted" is the best word. People across the country are up in arms about this sort of thing. The only way we can get action is through the House of Commons, as we did with Bill No. 10 last year, which did away with crime comics. Let us do away with these sex comics disguised as literature, which are just as bad if not worse.

I hope the Minister of Justice (Mr. Garson) will see his way clear to do something in this matter, and not leave it entirely to the provincial authorities. After all, this trash is published in Toronto and shipped to every province in Canada. No doubt complaints have been made; no doubt the minister has received many complaints with respect to this literature. It should be stopped at the source, where it is published. I am sure the minister would have the support of hundreds of organizations throughout this country, as well as every member of the House of Commons.

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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

Mr. Speaker, the grievance I am going to bring before the house concerns the Post Office Department-

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CCF

Robert Ross (Roy) Knight

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

Mr. Knight:

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the hon. member for Eglinton (Mr. Fleming) would permit me to continue the discussion initiated by the hon. member for Medicine Hat (Mr. Wylie). I shall take only two minutes, if that. Of course it is for the hon. member to say.

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PC
LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Beaudoin):

If the

hon. member for Saskatoon (Mr. Knight) wishes to speak on the subject introduced by the hon. member for Medicine Hat he must do so now, unless the hon. member for Eglinton intends to speak on sex comics as well.

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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

I do not wish to speak on that subject.

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LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Beaudoin):

If not, no other hon. member can go back to that subject.

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CCF

Robert Ross (Roy) Knight

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

Mr. R. R. Knight (Saskatoon):

Mr. Speaker, there is one phase of the subject introduced by the hon. member for Medicine Hat, in regard

5594&-1791

Sex Comics and Salacious Literature to this business of the debasement of womanhood, to which I want to draw the attention of the house and the people of this country; that is, the willingness of certain people in business and certain business institutions to sell anything to anybody, irrespective of the harm that may be done, as long as it is within the law and there is profit in it for them. Thus it is that we must have laws in this country to keep people from selling narcotics and other kinds of dope to high school pupils, or cigarettes and liquor to children.

There is one aspect which I should like to draw to your attention with respect to what I call this debasement of womanhood. This is the stuff we have been hearing about, which is purported to be the glorification of womanhood, the glorification of the female body and all that sort of thing. Let me point out to you, sir, that it is not the glorification of womanhood as motherhood that we get. It is not the idea contained in that old song "Mother Machree", which you may remember:

I love the dear silver that shines in her hair,

And the brow that's all furrowed and wrinkled

with care.

That is not the sort of thing we get in these articles. It is the glorification of another type of womanhood, and that is responsible for the creation of false ideas, and wrong human values.

I should like to say that one of the greatest causes of this very type of trash being produced, about which the hon. member has told us, is the low debasement to which the publications known as the "slick" magazines have descended in the matter of their advertising. The United States publications are mostly guilty in that respect, but I blush with shame at some of our own magazines. One or two of them boast about being national publications. I believe this thing is our fault, because we put up with it in those magazines. I might sum it up in this way. The habitual use of the female human body as a means of promoting the sale of anything from gas engines to canned peas is an abomination, and I think it should be eliminated. 1 do not know how. I do not know to what extent legislation will effect this, because there are ways of getting around legislation. The liquor interests are not supposed to use our magazines for advertising, but what do you see? You see that a brewery is promoting the breeding of good race horses, or a distillery is doing something else for the fine young boys and girls of Canada or promoting some worthy object. I had a letter this morning from some cigarette outfit stating that they are trying to keep down fires in Canada. You and I know that the papers on their cigarettes are saturated with saltpetre, or some other chemical and if you light a cigarette, as one often sees a public

speaker do, even though he does not know it is there, it is finished long before he has completed his speech. A speaker may even lay down his cigarette, but it keeps on burning. Any part of a cigarette discarded in the woods is a fire hazard if conditions are right. A lot of our advertising is untruthful, insincere and immoral. Is it any wonder that it creates in the minds of the young false values and wrong ideas, and makes them susceptible to the kind of lurid trash the hon. member for Medicine Hat has just described?

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May 24, 1950