March 30, 1953

RAILWAYS, CANALS AND TELEGRAPH LINES CONCURRENCE IN SIXTH REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE


Mr. H. B. McCulloch (Pictou) presented the sixth report of the standing committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines, and moved that the report be concurred in. Motion agreed to.


TELEVISION

STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY

LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Hon. J. J. McCann (Minister of National Revenue):

In order to clarify statements

which already have been made and to answer questions asked by several hon. members with reference to television, I wish to make this brief statement.

In my statement of December 8, 1952, I mentioned six centres in which Canadian Broadcasting Corporation television stations are to be established immediately, and indicated that applications would now be received for private stations to serve other areas. I pointed out that under the plan the private stations licensed would carry national program service of the C.B.C., besides having time for programming on their own. I also said, as reported at page 409 of Hansard of December 8, 1952:

Since the objective will be to extend services as widely throughout Canada as is practicable, no two stations will be licensed at the present to serve the same area. A television station can serve only a comparatively small area. Canada is very large and it will require a good many stations before television can be brought to the people in most parts of our country. It is desirable to have one station in as many areas as possible before there are two in any one area.

These words make it clear that it was not the policy of the government to create monopoly in television or to limit any one area indefinitely to one television station.

The principle of one station to an area is to apply only until an adequate national television system is developed. At the rate that applications for stations are now being received it may not be long before there is a sufficient degree of national coverage to justify the government and the C.B.C. giving

consideration to permitting two and perhaps in some cases more than two stations in certain areas. It is anticipated that, in due course, private stations will be permitted in areas covered by C.B.C. stations, and the

C.B.C. may establish stations in some areas originally covered by private stations.

The ultimate objective of the C.B.C. is to have at least one station in every province of Canada where that is practicable. We understand that private applications have been under development in the five provinces where no C.B.C. station is now under way, and the government does not want to discourage immediate establishment in these areas of private stations which will further extend national service coverage. For that reason licences granted for private stations in those provinces will contain a provision that, before establishing a competing station, the C.B.C. will ascertain whether the area is likely to afford adequate financial support for two stations. If not, it may offer to purchase the private station at a fair and reasonable price rather than set up a new one.

Topic:   TELEVISION
Subtopic:   STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

In connection with that, may I ask whether the understanding is that the minister would regard an adequate national television service as having been established if there is at least one station in every province.

Topic:   TELEVISION
Subtopic:   STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY
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LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. McCann:

That is the ultimate objective, and that, along with private stations, will constitute the national coverage.

Topic:   TELEVISION
Subtopic:   STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Well, am I not correct in my

understanding that the distance that one can be reasonably sure of good television broadcasting conditions is not more than fifty miles at the present time?

Topic:   TELEVISION
Subtopic:   STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY
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LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. McCann:

That is correct, as far as my knowledge goes.

Topic:   TELEVISION
Subtopic:   STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

That is correct, is it? With the recognition-

Topic:   TELEVISION
Subtopic:   STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY
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LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. McCann:

That is the minimum.

Topic:   TELEVISION
Subtopic:   STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

With the recognition of that limitation, do I gather that the minister says that one television station established in each province would be regarded as adequate television facilities across Canada?

Topic:   TELEVISION
Subtopic:   STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY
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?

Some hon. Members:

No.

Topic:   TELEVISION
Subtopic:   STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY
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LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. McCann:

No, I did not say that. I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that probably if the

3394 HOUSE OF

Inquiries of the Ministry statement were studied any questions might be asked at a later date.

Topic:   TELEVISION
Subtopic:   STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

May I ask the minister a

supplementary question in view of this statement? Has attention been given to the representations that were reported to have been made that the corporations controlled by foreign capital should not have a dominating interest in stations licensed by the C.B.C.?

Topic:   TELEVISION
Subtopic:   STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY
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LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. McCann:

I am unable to answer that because my knowledge is not official; it is only what I have seen in the newspaper, and I have not yet had a report from the C.B.C. with reference to the meetings last week.

Topic:   TELEVISION
Subtopic:   STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY
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INQUIRY AS TO ESTABLISHMENT OF STATION IN NEWFOUNDLAND


On the orders of the day:


PC

Gordon Francis Higgins

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. F. Higgins (St. John's East):

should like to direct a question to the Minister of National Revenue arising out of his statement on television made earlier this afternoon. I understand that the corporation plans to set up stations-

Topic:   INQUIRY AS TO ESTABLISHMENT OF STATION IN NEWFOUNDLAND
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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr, Speaker:

The hon. member should not make a statement. I will allow him to ask his question, but he should not make his statement.

Topic:   INQUIRY AS TO ESTABLISHMENT OF STATION IN NEWFOUNDLAND
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March 30, 1953