March 18, 1953

LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. Stuart S. Garson (Minister of Justice):

I wish to thank my hon. friend for sending me notice of his question, which I got just a few moments before the house opened. I have made a hasty inquiry, through the deputy minister of the department, without having so far established the identity of the departmental official who is alleged to have made this statement. However, the statement as it reads in the paper is a little different from what my hon. friend stated in his question. It reads as follows:

In Ottawa, a justice department official said he believed municipal councils could do what they liked about renting public buildings. He said there are scores of municipalities in Quebec where reds cannot rent halls.

My comment upon that is asked for. I have had no opportunity in the short interval of time between the asking of the question and the present time to make any check but having regard to the fact that municipalities do not come under federal jurisdiction, it is unlikely that there are any federal statutes which would interfere with discretion of municipal officials in this regard. As to whether there are provincial statutes which do interfere with that discretion, not having examined the relevant provincial statutes, I can offer no comment.

Topic:   MUNICIPAL COUNCILS
Subtopic:   RIGHT TO RENT PUBLIC HALLS
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BROADCASTING

APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE


The house resumed, from Tuesday, March 17, consideration of the motion of Mr. McCann that a select committee be appointed on broadcasting, to consider the report of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and to review the policies and aims of the corporation, etc.


PC

Walter Gilbert Dinsdale

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. G. Dinsdale (Brandon):

Mr. Speaker, when the house rose last evening several complaints were being registered as to some of the comments I was making at the time, and a suggestion was made that I might be trying to delay the setting up of this committee on broadcasting. I wish to point out that that is not my intention, because I, along with many other hon. members, agree that we have delayed much too long thus far. It is at least seven weeks since we previously discussed this particular resolution, and I can only conclude that the complaints raised last evening were an attempt by the government to seek out a scapegoat for the delay.

I was dealing with certain misconceptions concerning the effectiveness of the broadcasting media in the realm of the communication of ideas, and I concluded it is quite possible that the impact on the arts, letters and sciences has been exaggerated. This being so it is also quite possible that the threat to Canadianism may not be as great as we have been led to believe.

Just before leaving that point there is one other observation I should like to make. It is to be noted that the influences on broadcasting in Canada come largely from urban centres. As we listen to the various programs presented we find that they originate largely in the four major metropolitan areas in this country, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver. It occurs to me that urban influences of that kind are not necessarily typical of true Canadian culture. Indeed, I would say that if there are any influences that come close to the typical American influence in this country they are those that come from the larger urban centres. In fact, the American way of life can, to a large extent, be related to or identified with the rise of urban culture in the modern world. Thisi is a point to which we might well give some attention in the committee. The fact that we do not have an opportunity to hear too many programs originating in smaller local communities might be a deterrent to the possible impact that broadcasting may have upon this country. And of course under the television program policy that has been presented thus far to the House of Commons, it appears that television is going to be almost exclusively urban, and therefore the dangers of urban influence would be exaggerated to an even greater extent.

I might mention one example of personal frustration in this regard. My own city of Brandon depends for its broadcasting outlets upon a private broadcasting station. Three years ago we endeavoured to take part in

Special Committee on Broadcasting an educational series known as University of the Air. We were deprived of a wider broadcasting outlet because there was no possible way whereby the programs originating in our local studio could be transmitted over C.B.C. stations. So that our contribution, which was of particular interest to the southwestern portion of Manitoba, was denied access to the larger listening audience. A possible solution for this difficulty might be the provision of some network facilities for the numerous private stations now in our midst.

I shall leave that topic and move to a positive note for a moment, in regard to C.B.C. broadcasts. One of the great contributions the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has made to the cultural life of Canada is through its educational programs. I think it is in this regard that the C.B.C. has obtained its greatest and most favourable reputation. There is the Wednesday night program, the program known as Citizens Forum, the program called Farm Forum, another known as In Search of Ourselves, and many others I could mention that have drawn international notice because of their excellence. I think this is the most important contribution that our publicly-owned broadcasting system has made to Canada. But on that point let me say that the success of these programs with educational emphasis has been assured only through the enthusiastic co-operation of organizations at the local, community level.

For example, connected with the program Citizens' Forum we have the voluntary group known as the Canadian association for adult education. A good deal of the credit for the success of this program must go rto the initiative that the association has manifested in this regard. For several years the program Farm Forum has been sponsored by the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. They have encouraged the development of listening groups in the local farm communities. Of course the program Farm Forum as well as the program Citizens' Forum would be quite useless and meaningless unless there were these groups of interested citizens meeting weekly to listen to the programs, and to discuss in intelligent terms the various topics presented, from a background of material supplied in pamphlets printed by the Canadian association for adult education, and by the various groups sponsoring the Farm Forum program. .

I would point out further that the adult education departments of the various provincial universities have given enthusiastic support to these programs of an educational

Special Committee on Broadcasting nature. In this regard I must almost take back some of the statements I have already made regarding the ineffectiveness of mass media in the field of cultural development; but let it be noted that the success of the educational programs is due to the cooperation of the -local voluntary groups and the establishment of a situation of interaction where the needs of the communities can be brought to the attention of those who are responsible for the presentation of those very excellent programs.

One more point, and here I think is one of the reasons why we should be very cautious in our approach to the problem of policy for broadcasting in- Canada. The major emphasis from this group, a suggestion put forward over a period of several years, is the need for an independent regulatory body. I think that is the only major change in so far as radio broadcasting is concerned that this group has put -forward. Thi-s suggestion is made because broadcasting conditions have changed rather remarkably sin-ce the Aird commission first submitted its report. At that time the commission considered that broadcasting would become a state monopoly in Canada. They were patterning their thinking after B.B.C. experience in the old country, in, England; but, of course, the geographic situation and the general cultural situation are quite different in the United Kingdom from what they are in Canada. In spite of the fact that a complete state monopoly was projected by the report, we have seen private stations become increasingly numerous down, through the years until, at the present time, we have 135 private stations operating and making an important contribution to the total field of broadcasting activities, especially on the local level.

Now, in the light of these changed circumstances there seems to me to be a need for reformulation of the -policy of control. With government encroaching continually on private affairs it would be wise to avoid even a suggestion of state monopoly by moving toward an independent regulatory body appointed by public authorities but free from even the slightest suspicion of state monopoly or state manipulation. I would consider a move of that kind rather important in the case of a government which has acquired the reputation of having an authoritarian and autocratic complex. A government in that situation should, I believe, shun the very appearance of evil.

As far as T.V. is -concerned it is a new medium, still in the experimental stage. We seem to be proceeding along the policy lines that have -been followed for the past twenty

years in connection with radio broadcasting; and it might be that the policies! adopted for radio do not fit precisely the new medium of telecasting. As the committee meets, I hope there will be extensive discussion concerning the rather ambiguous -policies' that have been adopted so far in regard to television in Canada.

One of the major problems in television, which does not necessarily apply in radio broadcasting, is the tremendous expense involved in establishing stations-just providing the mechanical equipment. Before even considering the huge expenditure necessary for programming it i-s necessary to sink millions of dollars into the provision of mechanical equipment. It may be, with the excellent facilities for television programming available through the national film board, we might emphasize the Canadian viewpoint much more effectively and much more cheaply, by the use -of national film board resources under a policy of control by an independent regulatory body, thereby assuring that the programs that appeal to Canadian audiences would be presented even though telecasting facilities may be provided by private sources. All those details remain to be discus-sed in committee, and I trust that the members taking part in the -committee will be able to give some intensive thought to those problems.

Finally, this point which I raise in conclusion is presented more in the form of a query. In regard to the democratic process in- Canada, it used to be that when a government lost the confidence of the people, that government no longer remained in -control of the administration. It seem-s- to me that today with the trends in our modern complex world leading us relentlessly towards the allpowerful state, the principle is being reversed; the people are being suffered and allowed to carry on their -activities -only so long as they retain the confidence of th-e government. I think, Mr. Speaker, that has very ominous implications for any democracy, particularly in the light of the topic under discussion.

Topic:   BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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CCF

Wilbert Ross Thatcher

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

Mr. W. Ross Thatcher (Moose Jaw):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to take two or three minutes in this debate to speak on the subject of television.

I do not suppose the minister will be surprised when I say that I do not rise to tell the government I think they are doing a good job. Like other members of this group, I do believe that the C.B.C. can most effectively and most efficiently operate television. At the same time, I feel compelled to say that, in my opinion, the Canadian record on television so far is ineffective, disappointing, and maddeningly slow. I do

not blame the C.B.C. too much for this fact, because they have been so far hobbled by government policy.

I admit that I do not know too much about the mechanics of television but I do know that in the United States and most European countries, they have had television for a good many years. I know, for instance, that the Americans saw their 1948 presidential election campaign on television. A few days ago, I had dinner in the parliamentary restaurant with a gentleman from Mexico. He told me that they had television in a number of cities down there.

Why is it that Canada, with all our vaunted expansion, with our wealth and resources, still lags so far behind in this particular field? I say the lack of progress is caused by the indecision, the vacillation and the hesitancy of this government. They cannot seem to make up their minds whether to let the C.B.C. go ahead and make a job of television, or whether to call in the assistance of private capital.

In opening this debate some weeks ago, the minister made this statement at page 1358 of Hansard:

My own policy would be, so far as any advice that I might give is concerned, that we have got to go slowly on this, . . .

Well, Mr. Speaker, that is just what this government has been doing for the past ten years-going slowly. What I want to know is when they are going to speed up. If they are in office, and go as slowly in the next ten years as they have in the last ten years, most people in this country still will not have television. I cannot agree that such a policy is sound. Most Canadians, I think, want television, but they want it in their lifetime.

Those of us who live in the outlying provinces of this country feel that if it is government policy to subsidize television stations in central Canada with the people's money, it is only fair to do the same thing in the other provinces.

I said a moment ago that I believe the C.B.C. should direct and control television in Canada. I think that a truly Canadian network is needed for cultural reasons, for educational reasons, and for reasons of national unity. Television is too important a medium to be used primarily for commercial purposes. However, I repeat that Canadians in the outlying provinces are getting tired of waiting for television.

This government and the C.B.C. have completely overlooked the province of Saskatchewan in allocating television. As happens so often under this government, once again we appear to be the forgotten province. The

18, 1953 3059

Special Committee on Broadcasting minister was asked about Saskatchewan some weeks ago, and, at page 1358 of Hansard, he made this statement:

We might hope that probably Saskatchewan could be supplied with programs, on the one side from Manitoba or on the other from Calgary, . . .

I do not think that is good enough. As I say, I am not a technician, but I do not think it is possible to bring television roughly five hundred miles from Winnipeg or Calgary to our main cities. I do not think it is feasible.

The minister went on to say:

-if not, we would have to give consideration, to the establishment of a C.B.C. transmitter in the province of Saskatchewan.

Well, Mr. Speaker, I want to tell the minister that the people of Saskatchewan feel such a policy is too indefinite. It gives us no assurance that we will have television for many years. We do not think it gives us the same treatment as other provinces are being given.

I believe that it would be possible for the C.B.C. to establish a tower some place in the middle of the Saskatoon-Moose Jaw-Regina triangle. Such a powerful station would only be about 80 miles from each of the three main cities, and it should be possible for that station to serve not only those three centres of population, but also the surrounding rural areas. So, I hope that when this committee sits that it will give consideration to such a station. In any event, I hope that when the committee does sit they will clarify the air as far as Saskatchewan is concerned.

Is the C.B.C. going into our province? If it is not, is this one of the areas which are going to be declared open for some private stations? The people of Saskatchewan, I think, would like to know.

I support the setting up of this committee.

Topic:   BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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PC

John Angus MacLean

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. A. MacLean (Queens):

Mr. Speaker, I too support the setting up of this committee and I am delighted to see that eventually action is to be taken towards that end. I hope that the committee will be set up very shortly, consistent of course with the rights and the obligations of the members of this house to debate fully this very important subject.

I listened with interest yesterday to the speech of the Minister of Transport (Mr. Chevrier) and I was especially interested in his opening remarks with regard to the fact that in many fields of endeavour in this country we have a situation where there are privately-owned enterprises in a field which is shared by some publicly-owned enterprises as well. In that connection he

Special Committee on Broadcasting cited, and very properly, the fields of transportation' where we have the publicly-owned Canadian National Railways and the privately-owned Canadian Pacific Railway. Then, again, he cited another case-Trans-Canada Air Lines and Canadian Pacific Air Lines.

There are many other cases of this type of situation which one might cite. For example, one could refer to the distribution of electric power in most of the provinces of our country. Then there are our telephone services, some of which are provided by private companies and some by publicly owned crown companies of one kind or another. In the field of broadcasting we have the same situation. We have places where the field is shared by the publicly owned broadcasting system and privately owned broadcasting stations, and consistent with the condition which exists in other fields I think that is right. There is definitely a place for each in our country. There are some services that the publicly owned broadcasting system can provide best. There are some services which by their very nature are money-losing and which the private companies cannot always supply.

On the other hand there are certain services that the publicly owned system cannot very well provide such as local services and so forth. Because there is a place for publicly owned radio it does not necessarily mean that there is no place for privately owned stations, although that is what many people try to argue. However, I think all parties in the house recognize the fact that there is a place for private broadcasting, and I think that the vast majority of the Canadian people recognize that as well. The royal commission on national development in the arts, letters and sciences also recognized that fact. I should like to quote from page 281 of their report where they say in part:

It is necessary here only to refer to the functions of the privately owned station. In this broad country we still have inadequate radio coverage; without the supplementary outlets of the private stations many more areas would be deprived of the national programs of the C.B.C., and could be reached only at great additional public expenditure. Apart from this direct national service, the private stations perform community services which, as they rightly point out, are important to the nation: local advertising is in itself a service of value to the community; local news, information and the promotion of worthy causes are essential services, as many individuals and groups have testified. A third proper function of the local station is the encouragement and development of local talent. As we have stated in part I, this third function has in general been neglected.

Having seen that there is definitely a place in this country for both the privately and publicly owned systems, I should like to

point out that all parties in the house as far as I am aware-certainly this party- recognize the great benefits which have accrued from our nationally owned system, a system which was organized by the party to which I belong. The C.B.C. has provided and is providing many excellent services. I only need to mention a few of them in passing, the farm radio forum, the national news service, weather reports, educational programs and many others that are of undoubted benefit and for the most part are performed in an excellent manner. It is absurd to suggest that this or any other party would fail to continue that service if it came into power. We all recognize the necessity of that service, and I think we support it 100 per cent.

However, public ownership does not automatically find itself on the side of the angels merely because it can say it is a body that is publicly owned. Public ownership has no monopoly on virtue. It may have a monopoly in some other fields but it certainly has no monopoly on virtue. I should like to point out that the private broadcasting stations provide without cost many services of a beneficial nature to their communities for which they seldom get just credit. I might mention in passing the excellent services rendered by private broadcasters to their communities for many projects that are of general benefit to the communities. They give free broadcasting time to almost any group that approaches them-at least they do in my part of the country-tor time on the air so that some need can be brought to the attention of the public.

Then too, private broadcasters can and do provide most beneficial services in times of national emergency. A case in point is the Winnipeg flood of two or three years ago at which time the private stations provided a great deal of very useful service to that community in its time of distress. I think it might also be well for us to remember that the private broadcasters provide many services of a national nature which benefit the welfare of the country generally. In that regard I should like to cite the program "Report from Parliament Hill", of which most members take advantage, and which is very well received throughout this country. This service is provided free of charge by the private broadcasters, and I think anyone who takes the position that only the publicly owned service provides these facilities to the public is trying to defend a completely untenable position. In that connection many people falsely take the stand that everything that the private broadcasters do is automatically wrong and what the public service does is automatically right. On the other hand, other people take the opposite stand.

I am not one to go to excesses and I believe there is some virtue in both points of view. So far as advertising is concerned, for instance, the private broadcasters are accused of contaminating the air with unsuitable types of advertising. They are accused of having only one method by which they gauge what will not be broadcast, namely, who pays the most money. It should be remembered with respect to advertising that the publicly owned system accepts advertising, and it should also be remembered that the advertising it accepts is not always of a high standard. If we had the system of public ownership of radio broadcasting that exists in the United Kingdom, where no advertising is accepted, then that criticism might have some foundation; but since our publicly owned system does accept advertising I think it is not very becoming for them or anyone else to criticize the private broadcasters too severely when they resort to advertising as a means of gaining the revenues which they require to continue in existence.

I have already mentioned public services. There again the provision of beneficial public service is not a monopoly of the publicly owned system. In many cases such services are also provided free of charge by the private broadcasters. It is said too by some people that only the public system provides entertainment of a high standard. This statement, too, is false, because many of our best programs are made available to the Canadian people by large private concerns. I grant you that in most cases they are channelled over networks which are owned by the public system. Nevertheless, these programs are made possible by the advertising of large corporations. Again, if one takes the position that all that is good comes from the publicly-owned system and from that only, I think the position is false.

The private broadcasters are accused of having a higher percentage of foreign content in their broadcasts than is the case with the public service. This may be true, and it probably is. I should like to remind you, Mr. Speaker, that in my humble opinion in any event the private broadcasters do not do that out of malice or for some insidious reason they desire to undermine our Canadian culture or that they want to poison our Canadian way of life with Americanism. The private broadcasters do this sort of thing because they have no other choice. They do so because live talent is not available or is too expensive, and they must resort to the canned programs. In many cases they find there are no canned programs of Canadian origin, so they are forced to resort to the United States field. This is a field in connection with which I think the C.B.C. might

18, 1953

Special Committee on Broadcasting render the country a real service by providing canned programs of Canadian origin and content for both audio and television broadcasting, which could be broadcast both by the privately-owned and by publicly-owned stations.

The C.B.C. on occasion-I think possibly there are occasions when this criticism is justified-is accused of being jealous of the private stations because, for some reason of which I am not aware, in those localities in which there is competition between private stations and the C.B.C. the private stations get the biggest percentage of the listening audience. This is true even for television in the Toronto area where the C.B.C. programs are available. It has been shown that almost 80 per cent of the viewers in Toronto are viewing United States programs, even during the hours when the C.B.C. programs are being telecast. This criticism may or may not be fair, but there are large numbers of people who believe that, in this connection, the C.B.C. is a bit jealous of the private broadcasters. I think it was Lord Macaulay who said that the puritans hated bear-baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear but because it gave pleasure to the spectators. Occasionally one is tempted to believe that the C.B.C. objects to the private broadcasters, not because they are lowering the cultural value of Canadian radio programs but because they are giving pleasure to the audience.

It goes without saying, I think, that all hon. members in this house, and most Canadians, recognize that there is a certain objective which we should like to reach so far as radio and television programs are concerned. We should all like to have programs which are entertaining, which are cultural and which do not contain a high percentage of objectionable advertising. I think I am correct in making those generalizations. But if one assumes from these premises that the only way to attain this end is by complete public ownership or by a continuation of the present system exactly as it stands, I think that conclusion is false.

Let us look at this in a rational manner. I think it is quite possible that our present system can be improved; as a matter of fact, I am convinced it can be improved. It is with that end in view that the party to which I belong has put forward certain suggestions. We could say with equal force that we in this country desire that we should have suitable food. After all, I think food is more important to us than radio programs. We at least require that we have milk which is pasteurized and which has a certain butter-fat content; but that does not mean that the only way to attain that end is to collectivize all the dairy farms in this country. There

3062 HOUSE OF

Special Committee on Broadcasting are people who would suggest that, as is the case in Russia. However, I do not believe such an extreme measure is necessary to obtain the desired result. There are people who quote a sort of apt phrase, without thinking very deeply of its meaning, when they say the air belongs to the Canadian people and should, therefore, be publicly owned so far as broadcasting is concerned. The same line of reasoning could be applied to the production of food in this country.

There was a time when there were large areas of potential agricultural land which were owned by the state. At that time we had two choices. We could have made those areas into one vast collective farm, because they belonged to the nation, or we could give people the right to own sections of this land in compliance with the laws of the country, provided they produced a product which met certain standards and was acceptable to the Canadian people. I maintain therefore, Mr. Speaker, that complete public ownership is not necessary. I am convinced that it would not be even a good thing. For one to say that broadcasting is not an industry, simply because the air belongs to the people, is no more logical than to say that agriculture is not an industry because the agricultural land of this country originally belonged to the crown. I am not saying that even in agriculture there is no place for publicly-owned farms. They can fulfil a very special function. We have our large experimental farms which are publicly owned, and their function is to give leadership and to do experimentation, which will not be profitable in itself but which will in the end provide great advantage to the industry. In the same way, the publicly-owned sections of our broadcasting system could render great service to the public generally.

I should like to refer for a few minutes, Mr. Speaker, to the question of television, because that is an extremely important thing. We in Canada have not yet felt the full impact of television, but when broadcasts are more generally available we will. The people of the United States have felt the impact of this new medium of television. I was amazed to read just recently figures which showed that in seven or eight cities in the United States there are already more television receivers than there are private telephones and that in the city of Chicago there are more television receiving sets than there are bathtubs. When we realize the meaning of these statistics, we recognize the desire that people have to have a television receiver when there is a broadcast available to be received.

In connection with television broadcasting, I am not at all satisfied with the present state of affairs. We have in the maritimes, in my province of Prince Edward Island, a position where there is no television available and none to be available in the foreseeable future. I feel that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation should utilize private stations in areas where they are willing to provide the service and that they do it on a competitive basis. I should like to see the C.B.C. willing to accept competition in the field of television broadcasting in the large centres of this country. In that connection may I say that we in this party feel this way about the C.B.C. Although it is doing an excellent job in the field of broadcasting generally, we have great doubts as to its ability to supervise the industry generally as well. In that connection I should like to quote again from the report of the Massey commission with regard to the dual function of the C.B.C. At page 40 they say:

Our special investigation appears to bear out the comments which we received throughout the country to the effect that the C.B.C. is in general performing its duties satisfactorily,-

And that is true.

-sometimes even admirably, in providing appropriate and varied programs; less admirably does it exercise its responsibilities of control. The national system, however, has constantly kept in view its three objectives for broadcasting in Canada; an adequate coverage of the entire population, opportunities for Canadian talent and for Canadian selfexpression generally, and successful resistance to the absorption of Canada into the general cultural pattern of the United States. Much remains to be done, but the record of the past fourteen years is most encouraging.

I agree with that statement completely. But one should not read that paragraph without noting this language:

Less admirably does it exercise its responsibilities of control.

We in this party recommend that a separate board should be set up for the control of broadcasting generally; that the C.B.C. should continue its function of providing a publicly-owned service in the field of broadcasting but that the whole enterprise of broadcasting should be controlled by a separate board.

I know that great scorn has been poured on that suggestion from various quarters, and that is not surprising because great scorn has been poured on the suggestion made by this party that radio licences be abolished. However, I notice that they have been abolished; and the day may come when the virtue of this suggestion may be seen by more people also. It is not a harebrained or ill-conceived suggestion. It is one which is

patently logical. It is one that is already functioning admirably in another dominion of this commonwealth.

In that connection I should like to quote from an act of the Commonwealth of Australia. It is an act respecting Australian broadcasting. I may say that in Australia there is in existence exactly the system which this party recommends for this country. They have a publicly-owned broadcasting system, which, incidentally, does not broadcast any advertising. Parallel with that publicly-owned system they have a system of privately-owned stations. Both are controlled by a board which is set up and which is responsible to the postmaster general in that country. I should like to quote briefly from this act which outlines the purposes of this board, which is called the Australian Broadcasting Control Board:

Powers and Functions of the Board

(1) The functions of the board shall be-

(a) to ensure the provision of services by broadcasting stations, television stations and facsimile stations, and services of a like kind, in accordance with plans from time to time prepared by the board and approved by the minister;

(b) to ensure that the technical equipment and operation of such stations are in accordance with such standards and practices as the board considers to be appropriate; and

(c) to ensure that adequate and comprehensive programs are provided by such stations to serve the best interests of the general public, . . .

Then again it says:

(a) The board shall, in relation to programs of the commission-

That is the publicly-owned service.

-consult the commission and, in relation to programs of commercial broadcasting stations, shall consult representatives of licensees of commercial broadcasting stations; and

(b) The board shall, in particular-

(i) ensure reasonable variety of programs;

(ii) ensure that divine worship or other matter of a religious nature is broadcast for adequate periods and at appropriate times and that no matter which is not of a religious nature is broadcast by a station during any period during which divine worship or other matter of a religious nature is broadcast by that station;

(iii) ensure that facilities are provided on an equitable basis for the broadcasting of political or controversial matter;

(iv) determine the extent to which advertisements may be broadcast in the program of any commercial broadcasting station; and-

It does not refer to the publicly-owned system because they do not broadcast advertising.

- (v) fix the hours of service of broadcasting stations, television stations and facsimile stations.

Mr. Speaker, I fail to see how there can be any grave objection to that system. I think it has advantages which our system has not. We have a system where we have

Special Committee on Broadcasting the C.B.C. filling a dual role of controller and competitor at the same time. By members supporting the present system we shall be told that this is the best system possible, and they will ask: How could the C.B.C. possibly be accused of any prejudice or unfairness in dealing with the private broadcasters? But, Mr. Speaker, if the intentions of the C.B.C. are as good as they say they are with regard to control, why are they so loath to give up their powers of control? In that connection I should like to quote from Thomas a Kempis. He has been dead now for about 500 years and I suppose there were not any corporations at that time. But what he says applies, I think, to corporations as well as to men. He said: "No man ruleth safely but he that is willing to be ruled." That is a quotation which I should like to see the C.B.C. read and take to heart.

A great deal has been said with regard to the merits of public ownership and I agree with most of it; but, Mr. Speaker, I do not agree that public ownership should have a monopoly in the field of broadcasting or television broadcasting in any area. I do not feel that the publicly-owned broadcasting system should also be the controller of its competitor. I know there are many people who are extremely enthusiastic about complete public ownership, and that they go out with a missionary zeal to convert the general public to an appreciation of the advantages of these socialistic ideas. In many instances people are taken in. They say, "Why, the man is so sincere".

Topic:   BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. Gillis:

You are surely helping public ownership this afternoon. You are making a case for public ownership.

Topic:   BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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PC

John Angus MacLean

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacLean (Queens):

Up to a point, but I am not making a case for a monopoly of public ownership. There are many people whose missionary zeal and enthusiasm-this does not apply only to the socialists; it applies to many other people, and as a matter of fact it applies to some of the ministers of the government-for what they support seems to be so great, and who seem to be so bubbling over with delight at their own accomplishments that the general public say: "Well, surely a man with that enthusiasm and a man so happy with the present state of affairs must have an easy conscience. He must be convinced of the rightness of what he sees, and therefore because he is happy with the situation, perhaps he is right."

I would just like to make one comment with regard to that, Mr. Speaker. It is an observation that has been made by Ogden Nash. There are two ways to be happy on

Special Committee on Broadcasting this terrestrial ball. One is to have a clear conscience. The other is to have none at all.

Topic:   BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. J. H. Blackmore (Lethbridge):

Mr. Speaker, broadcasting in Canada can exercise a tremendous influence in the moulding of the Canada of tomorow. The matter we now are discussing therefore is one of major significance. I have felt a bit ill at ease because of the amount of political fervour which at times appeared to me to be allowed to creep into the debate. I am almost afraid that if we allow the Liberals by any chance to be returned next time-

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Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

Unthinkable!

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. Blackmore:

-because they had advocated the kind of controls which they have all already advocated and the people returned them, they would think that meant that people all over Canada wanted their broadcasting policy. You may find many reasons why people may vote for the Liberals or against the Liberals. No voter has time enough to think of everything a party stands for when he casts a vote. All of this has a bearing on making this radio matter too political.

I do not believe that a broadcasting policy ought to be a matter of politics at all. We ought to have certain aims in our minds as a people, and I believe we all do. Then we should set out with the utmost calmness and wisdom to determine how to attain those aims, because they will affect us and our children no matter to which party we belong or do not belong.

When I am confronted with any real problem I turn to the Bible and base my thinking fundamentally on the teaching of that great book. Throughout the Bible I find stated, emphasized and re-emphasized the transcendent importance of three eternal realities. The first is truth, the second understanding, and the third the fear of the Lord. We find truth stressed for us in St. John 8 and 32. I trust the house will pardon me if I read the Bible. I seem to be the only one who ever reads the Bible in the house. Therefore probably it will not offend the house too much if I indulge my liking for the Bible occasionally. May I read the passage which the Saviour uttered:

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

If there is one thing the Canadian people want to be, every one of them, it is to be free.

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?

An hon. Member:

What is truth?

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. Blackmore:

" 'What is truth?' said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer".

Understanding that, the man that asks the question puts himself in rather unenviable company.

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CCF

Alistair McLeod Stewart

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

Mr. Stewart (Winnipeg North):

The devil can quote scripture.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. Blackmore:

That is right-for his

purpose. Now we come to understanding, and we turn to Proverbs 4 and 7. I have always been greatly impressed by the words we find there:

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

And now, fear of the Lord. We have fear of the Lord stressed time and time again, and particularly very well in Psalm 111, verse 10, which I crave permission to read to the house:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good- understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth forever.

It may seem a bit strange that I should quote these passages of scripture before beginning to discuss the C.B.C., but maybe I have been unfortunate in the programs I have heard coming over the C.B.C. I cannot recall since the C.B.C. came into operation any speech or sermon that was designed to teach the people the fear of the Lord, but I have heard a lot of them that taught and indoctrinated the opposite. I say that is a very serious accusation to make against the C.B.C. Somewhere someone has fallen down.

I do not mean that the C.B.C. needs to teach the doctrines of any particular church. I would say it would be quite out of order to do that unless each of the various churches had an opportunity to present its case; but the great fundamental verities which underlie the Bible, which all men accept who are well trained, could be taught under the direction of the C.B.C.

It must be our constant aim, I believe, to provide the people truth and understanding, and to teach them the fear of the Lord. I think there would be no serious disagreement with that position on the part of any hon. member of the house, to whatsoever party he happens to belong. The big problem with us, as I see it, is to try to set up a mechanism for the control and regulation of our broadcasting under which we shall have the greatest possible chance of having these three great objectives attained. I do not believe that up to the present time these objectives have been attained by the C.B.C. I do not believe the organization we have at the present time will attain them.

There is an ever prevailing danger of undue influence, of hidden hands, guided by evil forces, acting unknown to the people. Anyone in this country or in this house who fails

to recognize the truth of what I have just said is betraying the trust which has been imposed upon him.

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CCF

Alistair McLeod Stewart

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

Mr. Stewart (Winnipeg North):

Will my hon. friend permit a question? I should like to know who these hidden hands are, to whom they belong. I think we ought to know this.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. Blackmore:

I think you ought to know it. I think one of the hon. member's deficiencies in this house is that he does not know it. If he will come to me outside the house I will put him through a course of training that will teach him these things; and it would be greatly to his benefit.

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CCF

Alistair McLeod Stewart

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

Mr. Siewart (Winnipeg North):

In secret?

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. Blackmore:

My room is no secret place.

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March 18, 1953