February 6, 1959

LIB

Guy Rouleau

Liberal

Mr. Rouleau:

Mr. Chairman, we are being asked this afternoon to make $2,193,552 available to the C.B.C. It seems that in recent weeks the Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Nowlan) has sought to shirk his responsibility towards the C.B.C. And yet today he is asking the house to vote $2,193,552 to the C.B.C. which comes under

his jurisdiction. It is common knowledge that we of the Liberal party have always given the C.B.C. the funds required for its operation.

Before going any farther, I would like to pay tribute to the C.B.C. for having organized our French network from scratch and, in doing so I would like to refer to an article by Father Jacques Cousineau, which I read in the magazine Relations of February 1959, page 47, and I quote:

The C.B.C.'s progress in the field of television has been amazing. To make CBFT in six years, the world's number one French television station, ranking with top U.S. and British stations, has called for a considerable effort which is all the more admirable because those in authority and chiefly responsible for this result are hardly 40 years old.

Mr. Chairman, if the C.B.C. has thus managed to build up our national French network in particular, it is mostly due to the teamwork which prevailed within C.B.C. Therefore I would again quote Father Jacques Cousineau who said, in the same issue of Relations:

The collective effort achieved by the C.B.C. in Montreal since the end of the second world war constitutes the greatest cultural achievement in the history of French Canada:

If that result could be obtained, Mr. Chairman-as it was under C.B.C. management-it is due to thorough and intelligent teamwork. It was done under the direction of the C.B.C. board of governors, but also through the teamwork of management personnel.

The C.B.C. now employs 2,700 people, 500 of them in management; it has 800 clerks, 50 newswriters, 55 caretakers and cleaners, 93 members of the Societe des Auteurs dra-matiques, 800 members of the Union des Artistes, 650 stage and studio employees, together with 450 technicians and 85 producers.

It is all those people together, Mr. Chairman, who have made the C.B.C. and are keeping it alive. If the C.B.C. ranks first among French networks of the world, it is because of this teamwork.

In his short remarks before the adjournment, the hon. member for Joliette-L'As-somption-Montcalm (Mr. Pigeon) said that the C.B.C. was costing too much money. He referred to extravagance on the part of the C.B.C., to recorded programs, and to programs filmed on the Riviera. Among those programs filmed overseas, and particularly in France, he might have mentioned-and I 66968-9-49J

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do not know just what he had in mind-the magnificent film shown on the French C.B.C. network, showing the charming wife of the Prime Minister, Mrs. Diefenbaker visiting stores in Paris. I do feel that this is not what the hon. member for Joliette-L'As-somption-Montcalm had in mind.

He also referred, without actually identifying them, to other 30 minute programs which, he claims, constituted extravagance on the part of the C.B.C. Aware as I am of the views held by the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm about the C.B.C.,- for having heard them repeated here during the last session-I have a fair idea of what he had in mind. At this point, I would take the liberty of quoting what is probably his master's voice, words from an article by Mr. Robert Rumilly, in Nouvelles lllustrees for January 24, 1959:

This strike is affording the government an opportunity to rectify its mistake by firing the person chiefly responsible (Alphonse Ouimet). In a matter of 24 hours, it would change the whole atmosphere of the organization. This sole execution would ... be sufficient.

This would be proper warning to the Liberal press washouts, the Liberal organization discards and misfits, the leftists of all kidney that have been crammed into this government organization.

The strike also provides an opportunity to launch the indispensable investigation into C.B.C. wastefulness.

That is no doubt what the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm had in mind when he referred to wastefulness in the C.B.C. In another article, in the same paper, Nouvelles lllustrees, Robert Rumilly feels that:

Mr. Mark Drouin is practically Prime Minister Diefenbaker's sole advisor in matters which concern the province of Quebec.

Further, he adds about Mr. Mark Drouin:

Very poorly qualified as a spokesman for the people of French Canada he does a bad job of informing and advising his leader.

His dealings and relations with the C.B.C. have led him astray.

Those are the words used in the newspaper Nouvelles lllustrees, by the friend of the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm.

As far as we are concerned, Mr. Chairman, we don't think there is any extravagance in the C.B.C. As in any other concern, there might be room for improvement, but we are convinced that the C.B.C. is doing a good job with the work assigned to it, and is doing so because of the co-operation and effort of

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all its employees. Anyway, it there is any waste and extravagance in the C.B.C., it is surely not with respect to the C.B.C. French network producers in Montreal and, for the information of the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm, I must say that, according to our information, those producers are getting $2,000 to $5,000 less than producers of the same class in Toronto.

It is because of this teamwork by C.B.C. employees that we have managed to get what we have got, and it is that same team of workers which, to prove its solidarity, refused to cross the picket line, and in a generous gesture, decided to support the C.B.C. producers in their demands.

Since December 29 last, Mr. Chairman, since the C.B.C. producers decided on the work stoppage, this parliament of Canada has had a serious problem to settle, as the hon. member for Laurier (Mr. Chevrier) said this morning.

On account of the strike, because of this dispute at the C.B.C., five million televiewers are deprived of favourite programs. The hon. member for Laurier also stated this morning that our French network is being disrupted.

What did the government do? The cabinet members, who have been sitting in the parliament of this country since January 15 last, failed to agree on the matter, and did nothing. The Liberal opposition had to track down the government to rouse public opinion and the government itself.

As I said a while ago, it was made under the inspiring leadership of Hon. Lionel Chevrier, thanks to whom the C.B.C. strike will be settled.

Mr. Chairman, the hon. members on the government side, instead of deriding the members from Quebec, should have risen before it was too late and made fair demands on behalf of the C.B.C. employees. Mr. Chairman, to arouse public opinion and the government, the C.B.C. artists, technicians and other employees in the province of Quebec, and particularly in Montreal, had to send large delegations to Ottawa to meet members of all parties, and members of the cabinet, to make them realize that this was a serious problem that had to be settled not only for the sake of the province of Quebec, but of the country as a whole.

The member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm (Mr. Pigeon) stated this morning in his brief remarks that the C.B.C. was in trouble because of the way it has dealt with its employees. In my opinion, it took quite some time for the hon. member to realize that there was something wrong in Montreal. I feel that he should have risen the first week

of this session and that he should have brought the situation in Montreal to the attention of the government. Furthermore, he should have intervened earlier in the dispute. In fact, this French speaking cabinet member should have suggested to the government the steps to be taken to settle the dispute instead of letting an English speaking member make these suggestions. It was he, as a French speaking member, who should have come up with constructive suggestions.

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LIB
LIB

Guy Rouleau

Liberal

Mr. Rouleau:

As for us, Mr. Chairman, who are sitting on this side of the house, we showed interest in this issue right from the start. We took an interest in this dispute because we are more particularly involved. We have followed this dispute very closely because it concerns more particularly one third of the country's population, the Frenchspeaking population. Every right-minded Canadian across the country, whatever his country of origin and the language he speaks, must show concern for this problem which affects one third of his fellow countrymen.

I understand, Mr. Chairman, that this strike, that this dispute of the C.B.C., is about to come to an end. I welcome this possibility and I wish with all my heart that everything will return to normal at the C.B.C., for the benefit of the population and of those more directly concerned, the C.B.C. employees.

I sincerely hope that the teamwork to which I referred in my opening remarks will be resumed so that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation might remain that of which we are so proud: the world's best French network.

(Text):

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CCF

Douglas Mason Fisher

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

Mr. Fisher:

Mr. Chairman, judging by what the previous speaker said, there is not much point in worrying about the dispute in Quebec. It seems that the hon. member for Laurier has it all in hand. Therefore I should like to ask the minister a couple of questions. One of them is an old one and relates to the provision of television service to some of the smaller, local points in the country. There was some discussion about it last year when C.B.C. matters were before the house and there was also reference to it in the Fowler report. Has the C.B.C. gone any further in its plans in that regard?

Related to that, I wonder if there is any possibility of some form of compromise or middle way in providing such facilities whereby if certain communities were prepared to raise the money to underwrite the installations the C.B.C. would then provide the

service. Then I have a third question. I realize that any arrangements concerning investigation of the operations of the C.B.C. and the board of broadcast governors lie within the province of the special committee that will be set up, but has the minister any idea when that committee will begin to function? What arrangements will be made for the board and the C.B.C. directors and permanent staff to come before the committee?

The last question I should like to ask the minister relates to some remarks he made in the house with regard to the relationship of the press gallery and the C.B.C. He indicated at that time that he would never take the position of telling the C.B.C. who should appear on their programs. That is all very fine, but he also indicated that in his view the C.B.C. may have gone too far in restricting the choice of people from the press gallery in the way they have.

My own opinion about this particular problem is that the C.B.C. should have the guts to appoint its own people to handle this chore but somehow it does not seem to be ready for it. I should like to know what the minister's views are on this topic and if there is any way out of the divisiveness that seems to be created by the fact that the C.B.C. considers that only a small number of members of the press gallery have the requisite facility with language and the requisite television glamour, shall we say, to appear before the cameras.

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CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. Herridge:

Mr. Chairman, I am going to be very brief as usual but I do want to ask the minister this question. Will any of this grant be used for the erection of low power relay stations to serve districts that are without radio communication at the present time or without satisfactory communication? The minister knows the situation in the Kootenays. I have repeated it time and time again in the house. There is a need for three or four of these stations to serve between 4,000 and 5,000 people who to-day are being denied satisfactory Canadian radio reception. Will the minister tell the house what the policy of the government is at the present time with respect to providing such stations to serve districts suffering from this disability? Can he tell the house particularly what the C.B.C. has in mind with respect to the constituency of Kootenay West this year?

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LIB

Hédard-J. Robichaud

Liberal

Mr. Robichaud:

Mr. Chairman, the very brief remarks I want to make on this item will also be on a different topic. I know that my constituents are concerned about the strike of the French network C.B.C. producers although they are not directly affected thereby so far as television is concerned because, as I have said before, in northeastern New

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Brunswick and along the Gaspe coast we have a concentration of population amounting to 200,000 people who are deprived of all television service and facilities.

On Wednesday the minister replied to a starred question I had placed on the order paper and I was pleased to hear him inform the house that a study is being carried out so as to arrange for the inauguration of such service. I know that the minister might answer that a private concern was issued a permit last year to operate a television station on the Gaspe coast at New Carlisle. This station is supposed to serve a certain area of northeastern New Brunswick with programs 65 per cent in French and 35 per cent in English. Such a service will not be satisfactory to our population. We have in northern New Brunswick certain towns such as Campbellton, Dalhousie, Bathurst, Newcastle and Chatham where a percentage of the population is English speaking. I am rather concerned because I know that some of the officials of the private company wishing to inaugurate a system at New Carlisle, when they are speaking at those centres which are predominantly English say, "You do not have to worry; although our licence calls for 35 per cent of English programs, if we only get on the air you will realize that most of our programs will be in English." When they are addressing a French speaking area, they say the same thing, that the people do not have to worry because most of the programs will be in the French language.

Before I resume my seat I should like the minister to intervene with the C.B.C., in the same way that he has to give facilities to his own constituency in Nova Scotia. I know the minister realizes that in northeastern New Brunswick and the Gaspe coast the 200,000 residents are Canadian taxpayers who pay their share of the amount which is being voted in this house to the C.B.C. In a few months we will be asked to vote another $69 million for the operation of the C.B.C. These 200,000 taxpayers in eastern Quebec and New Brunswick, will contribute to this fund and they have a right to have their share of service. It may be that even a very small proportion of this northern vision might be diverted to New Brunswick, and then we would have the service for which we have been asking.

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L L

William Moore Benidickson

Liberal Labour

Mr. Benidickson:

While this item is under discussion, I should like to make a few remarks about what I regard as a rather neglected area with respect to C.B.C. services, particularly in the television field, namely the constituency I represent. The Prime Minister during the last election campaign chose our area as a very fitting platform from which to indicate certain promises that the people were

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-led to believe would be fulfilled if he were [DOT]elected. When appearing at Kenora he made an announcement on March 18 that he had [DOT]certain changes to make with respect to the .governing body of the C.B.C.

A press report in the Winnipeg papers on the following day said that the Prime Minister made what was a surprise disclosure during his political speech at Kenora. These newspapers went on to say that Mr. Diefenbaker received one of the loudest rounds of applause when he virtually promised this area a television station.

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?

An hon. Member:

Virtually.

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L L

William Moore Benidickson

Liberal Labour

Mr. Benidickson:

Yes, virtually. I just want to remind the minister that last session there were several questions and answers concerning this problem, and on January 30 of this year the minister did provide me with a reply on some follow-up material I had advanced. At page 568 of Hansard, he indicated that the C.B.C. had a budget of $100,000 for satellite stations across Canada in accordance with the program that he announced last June 25 in the house. I wonder, Mr. Chairman, if the minister would comment on the fact that to date, after this great lapse of time, Kenora has had only an expenditure of $702 in this direction, and I think he would agree most of that was probably for travelling expenses and so on. I was a little bit disturbed to find that, in contrast with these very poor figures with respect to Kenora, St. Boniface and Trail, B.C., there seems to have been very rapid progress with respect to satellite T.V. service in the area in which the minister himself is particularly interested, Nova Scotia, in that Liverpool, Shelburne and Yarmouth last year had expenditures by the C.B.C. of $54,492 out of the $100,000. I wonder if the minister would just look at this situation in other parts of Canada and try to equalize this progress that has been achieved along the lines that he spoke about last June.

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PC

Robert Simpson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Simpson:

I have been listening with some considerable interest to the hon. members who have spoken on this subject today. I have been listening also with some concern and amazement because of the way in which hon. members have been congratulating the C.B.C. for the work they have done in providing a national broadcasting and television system. I believe we should take quite a long look at the situation before we start patting anybody on the back over this so-called national television system. Until the day comes when all the sections of our country are covered by television I could... not agree with the statement that we have a national television system.

Some members of the opposition have been throwing criticism at the government benches with regard to what they call the inaction of the government in connection with this strike. I must admit I have very little to say in that respect at this time but I should like to point out that during all the years of the Liberal regime we suffered from a lack of television and radio services in the area which I represent, the constituency of Churchill, which embraces about three-fifths of the province of Manitoba, does not have one small portion which is serviced by C.B.C. television. There are 14 constituencies in all in Manitoba, and I think I would be quite safe in saying that well over half of them are not serviced by C.B.C. television.

I do not intend to go into detail on this subject at this time, because later on in this session I hope to be presenting a resolution to the house respecting the desirability of supplying television service to these areas. I should like once more to impress upon the house this one fact; let us all work toward a truly national broadcasting and television system by taking a good look at the expenditures of the C.B.C., with a view to providing those services in those areas which are not already serviced.

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Official Opposition House Leader; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Is the minister not going to reply to the questions which I raised?

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PC

Laurier Arthur Régnier

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Regnier:

I believe that last June the minister announced in the house that a satellite television station would be constructed in St. Boniface. We still have confidence that this is going to be done. However, I would appreciate a word of assurance from the minister before we have a vote on this matter.

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CCF

Murdo William Martin

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

Mr. Martin (Timmins):

I am going to add a few words at this time. During this debate we have heard hon. members from the various parts of Canada requesting the minister to see that their particular areas are serviced by the C.B.C. We have also heard from hon. members and have seen in the press throughout the country condemnation of the C.B.C. as a waster of the taxpayers' money. I think that is something we should keep in mind. The general trend of thought is-and I certainly do not agree with it- that the C.B.C. should stay carefully out of any area in this country which is lucrative, and that they should merely serve the ones which private stations dare not enter. At the same time that the C.B.C. is expected to perform this service, it is being condemned as a waster of public funds. We cannot have it both ways, Mr. Chairman. If the C.B.C. is to be expected to serve the non-lucrative areas of this country, surely

it is also entitled to serve in the places where it can get some return and thus help to offset the expense. Certainly I do not think that many members are taking a realistic view of this particular matter.

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PC

George Clyde Nowlan (Minister of National Revenue)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nowlan:

I was waiting, Mr. Chairman, to see whether hon. members had anything else to say on this estimate before it was carried. It is an extremely difficult situation in which I And myself this afternoon. As hon. members well know, negotiations are going on at this very moment, or at least I hope so. They started at 12 o'clock and I trust that if they have concluded it will be in a satisfactory way. There are many things that I might perhaps like to say on the matters which have been raised today but which I think perhaps it would be inadvisable for me to raise at the moment. Perhaps they could be discussed later on when the question is again revived when our main estimates are up for consideration.

I think the Minister of Finance made the situation plain this morning. I should like to reiterate the nature of this vote which we are called upon to pass this afternoon. It is rather unfortunate that the vote is headed "grant towards the anticipated operating deficit" of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. As the minister pointed out, in the estimates for this year which concludes on March 31 there was included an item of $12 million, the estimate of the money which would be received from the excise tax on radio and television sets for this fiscal year ending March 31. When the new act was proclaimed some weeks ago that provision lapsed. Of this $12 million the C.B.C. had already collected some $9 million which left a balance which is shown in the estimate today. Hence it is not a contribution toward a deficit at all. It is not an increase item such as that which is usually found in the supplementary estimates. It is simply a bookkeeping item to compensate the C.B.C. for the money which they would have received if the act had not been repealed.

I can go further than that, Mr. Chairman, and say that this item is rather unfortunate from the standpoint of the C.B.C. because, owing to the prosperity which has been engendered in this country by this government and which is so obvious on all sides, the estimate of $12 million which we anticipated as the revenue from this tax was really much less than the amount which we would have collected. The amount has risen to such an extent that it probably will be between $15 million and $16 million which would have been collected from this tax as compared with the $12 million which was estimated. Hence the C.B.C., instead of getting

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a contribution towards a deficit as if this were an additional amount, is actually foregoing some $2 million or $3 million which would have been received had the tax remained in force until the end of the year.

I want to make that fact plain.

There has been some talk of waste, extravagance and so on and so forth here in this committee today. I have not any doubt in the world, Mr. Chairman, that there is some waste and extravagance in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. I would be extremely doubtful that there is not waste and extravagance in any corporation or any business organization or any department of government. In the estimates which the Minister of Finance brought down yesterday I think he proved that point to a certain extent by reducing controllable expenditures by some $39 million despite the expanding services of the government. I am hopeful that in the days to come or in the year to come, when this board of directors working with the management are able to review the entire operation of the C.B.C., it will be possible to effect economies and streamline the organization. If there is extravagance and waste

as undoubtedly there is in some quarters; as I say, it is inevitable-I hope and expect that that situation will be remedied in the days to come.

I want to join with everything that has been said by hon. members here in their tribute to the C.B.C. with respect to the service which it has rendered to this country and particularly with respect to the tremendously rapid growth of television, both on the national network and on the French network. I think the C.B.C. in the development of this television service has established a record which is unequalled in the whole world. Undoubtedly it grew rapidly. It was obliged to grow rapidly. It grew too fast. Undoubtedly in that expanding service there are elements which mushroomed over a period of four or five years and provided an adequate service, both French and English; two networks in this sparsely settled country and I say "sparsely settled" advisedly. Canada has a population of 17,500,000 in comparison with that of our neighbour to the south which has a population of 165 million but has really only three national networks. We have established here a record of which we ought to be proud.

I want to pay my tribute to the management, the employees, the producers, the artists and all the rest of the people who have made it possible to establish this record. I also want to pay tribute, Mr. Chairman, to the management of the C.B.C. for the way

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in which they have conducted themselves during this strike. This has been the most unfortunate and unnecessary episode in labour relations in Canadian history, in my opinion. It is something which never should have happened. However, having happened, it has been extremely difficult to organize the situation and get control of it and re-establish relations, something which could easily have been dealt with if the strike had not happened. I am the first to admit that there were minor difficulties between management and producers in Montreal which needed attention and which should and could have been dealt with in half an hour if they had been brought to the attention of the management here in Ottawa. But they were not brought to the attention of the management here in Ottawa and the situation went on until, as I said, the strike came.

I think it is justifiable, Mr. Chairman, for me to draw the attention of the committee to the circumstances under which the strike arose and the time factor in connection with it. I think it was on December 29 there was a conference between representatives of the producers and representatives of the management in Montreal, there having been a conference earlier in the month. The producers had raised certain grievances. The management said that they would deal with them. They suggested that the producers form an association. That matter was agreed upon. The association was supposed to meet again and try to iron these things out. Then on December 29, at nine o'clock in the morning, a conference started between representatives of the producers and the representatives of management, and that conference went on during the day. There were breaks for discussion with the principals, breaks for luncheon, of course, and all the rest of it. Then at five o'clock in the afternoon the picket lines were marching around the C.B.C. building. The ultimate weapon, the last weapon, the last weapon that should have been used, was brought into play on the first day.

This fact made it much more difficult to deal with this situation. As I said, if the strike had not happened then, I think that whatever minor differences there were-and I am free to admit there were some-could have been settled very easily. During that conference that day suggestions were made and discussed. One was that the producers name or form an association similar to one in Toronto and that the C.B.C. would be glad to deal with that association. That was refused. The question of organizing a union was dealt with, and I want to make it plain that there has been some talk about that which has not particularly been mentioned

here today, but it has been referred to. This concerned the question of the intransigence and stubbornness of the corporation in dealing with this matter. When it comes to the organization of a union, under our law the union should be certified by the Canada labour board, and should apply to that board for certification. When it has been so certified, then the corporation, of course, would deal with the union. The corporation made it very plain on the 29th that they would be prepared to deal with the union should they apply to the Canada labour board and get certification. That was the second proposal that was made that day. The representatives of the producers said that they wanted the union, but they would not apply to the Canada labour board.

Now I would suggest this. It is true that a settlement or arrangement can be worked out in recognition of the union without going to the board. But the law is there. This is a federal crown corporation created by this parliament and responsible to this parliament. The law of this land was passed by this parliament. I ask you, Mr. Chairman, as I would ask any hon. member of this house, if a corporation can be accused of being intransigent and stubborn when as a crown corporation it suggests to the parties in a labour dispute how they could carry out the labour laws of this country? I do not think it could and I do not think any responsible person can suggest it could.

The third proposition which was put up that day was that each side should appoint a lawyer to negotiate and discuss the question of adjourning for a month, or two weeks, or a week, and try and bring their grievances into focus and deal with them. That too was refused. Altogether there were six or seven propositions discussed that day but in the end they came to no avail, and this unfortunate strike resulted. I think the record is fairly clear that, although the C.B.C. management, as I said, is subject to some criticism in minor matters of administration in Montreal, matters which should have been settled and which will be dealt with, they were not of the subject matter which would justify a strike within the space of eight hours from the commencement of the discussion until the picket lines were in action around the building. So much for that.

The suggestion has been made by the hon. member for Dollard-and I appreciate the very, very responsible and objective speech by the member for Laurier this morning in dealing with this matter-with regard to the fact that during this strike there has been a sense of responsibility and objectivity, as I think is expected of all hon. members

at this time. I must say that I thought the hon. member for Dollard sounded, shall I say, as if he thought the time was ripe for an election. I think in that event it would be more in sorrow than in anger.

He inferred that the government had failed in not dealing with this matter. I think that is the first time that suggestion has come from, shall I say, a responsible member of the official opposition. It is rather refreshing, Mr. Chairman, to hear such a critical statement made. This was not a criticism which one would expect to be made of this government. It is not a criticism of which we were warned. This was a government which was going to wreck the C.B.C. This was a government which would interfere with the C.B.C. It is rather ironic, Mr. Chairman, that the minister who was so diligent in making sure there was no interference with the C.B.C. in any way, shape or form, is now being criticized because he has refused to intervene in this matter. I have been insistent from the beginning, since I took on the responsibilities of the office of minister reporting for the C.B.C. to this house in maintaining the position that the C.B.C. is an independent crown corporation. I have reported to parliament that I would not interfere in any way, shape or form with the management of this corporation. I do not think any hon. member in this house should expect me to do so. This government has not interfered in any way, shape or form since this strike has commenced.

An analogy was suggested in this matter with regard to the government taking certain action in dealing with the railway strike. There is no analogy or comparison at all between a competing business like the Canadian National Railways, serving the whole nation, and this intangible, indefinite, but most important organization which affects public opinion, which affects Canadian culture, and which if it once became a political football or a subject of political interference could be wrecked. If we establish a precedent now of interfering with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in the labour field, then there is a precedent established for interfering with it in some other way, and we could destroy this organization which is a part of French Canada, English Canada, in fact all of Canada. That is why the government has taken that position and will maintain it.

I hope the discussions which are going on today will be successful. The area of difference is very, very small at the most, I understand. They were sitting until 5.30 this morning, and quite probably they have slept in this morning and have resumed 66968-9-50

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negotiations at 12.00 o'clock. I am sure that one way or the other those negotiations will probably conclude within the next few minutes, or within an hour or two, if they conclude successfully. But they will conclude in any event.

That, generally, Mr. Chairman, is the position which this government has taken and this is something of the background of this strike. The way has been open at any time for the producers to apply to the labour board for certification. I do not want to weary the committee by going into detail, but I think this should be cleared up. It is true that in 1952, I think it was, there were two applications for certification before the labour board by unions of the C.B.C. In one case the union, I am told, asked the labour board to exclude the producers. The producers agreed, and they were excluded. That was a matter of agreement. A subsequent application came up shortly after that. In this case it was not a union of producers but a union of, shall we say, technicians or some other branch of the employees of the corporation. There were a few of the producers in that group, but no one suggested to them that they be included in the union. The inference was drawn, rightly or wrongly, that they wanted to be out of it, and the Canada labour board excluded them. Then because of those two precedents, Mr. Chairman, I think the producers, inadvisedly and wrongly, thought a precedent had been created there which would prevent them from making a successful application to the board. Legislation and practice move, laws and decisions change, and I suggest that by a decision formed on such an intangible, narrow and doubtful basis, and made six years ago, the board would not refuse and should not refuse an application. If the application had been made it would have been resolved. I am not sure whether there is a time limit during which the board has to sit, but I am sure it would have been resolved long before this. The corporation has at all times been ready and willing to recognize the association. It has been functioning successfully now in Toronto for a year, and the same offer was made to the producers and was refused.

Someone-I think it was the hon. member for Dollard-referred to the salary differentials between Toronto and Montreal. I am instructed by the C.B.C., and I have no doubt my information is correct, that the differential between the salary which the top producer in Toronto receives is in the neighbourhood of $1,000 more than is paid to a top producer in Montreal, and that in the case of 75 or 80 per cent of the producers

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the salai'ies paid are exactly the same, though, of course, the producers in Montreal have done a remarkable job. We must, I think, remember another factor which affects this question. I am surprised that the salary differential is not greater because of competition from the networks in the south, competition from all the English speaking networks. The pressure on English speaking producers is far greater, of course, than is the pressure on producers in Montreal where the competition factor is not very important. I can assure hon. members that there has been no discrimination with regard to salaries, or so, at least, I am told. At least, it lies within a margin of $1,000, and we all realize that in top management in any field a differential of $1,000 is insignificant and not a matter for discussion.

It has been suggested that the French network has been disrupted. It is most unfortunate that these programs, which are a great tribute to the producers and which reflect tremendous credit on the artistic ability of our friends in the province of Quebec who have organized this great French Canadian network, should have been largely disrupted, but I must say that there has not been the disruption which has sometimes been suggested here. The network has been operating. Shows have been put on, and films have been put on. Perhaps the people in Quebec, from the standpoint of films, are more fortunate than those who watch the English networks. As hon. members know, the service draws on banks of old films, and those shown on the English network are often fairly old. On the other hand, the French network has been getting recent films from European centres and I am told they have been most thankfully received.

As I have said, Mr. Chairman, there are many factors I could discuss. I have received a tremendous amount of mail on this question myself, a tremendous amount from the province of Quebec, and certainly the opinions which have been expressed in the correspondence I have received would not suggest -unfortunate as the situation has undoubtedly been-that there has been any great blow dealt to the French network or that the corporation has been wrong in the stand it has taken. The corporation has been carrying on these negotiations for many weeks. It is indeed most unfortunate that a great Canadian of French origin, the president of the corporation, one of the first to obtain the presidency of a great national corporation, should have been stricken at this time. I refer, of course, to Mr. Ouimet, the man who made the television service of Canada what it is.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

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PC

George Clyde Nowlan (Minister of National Revenue)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nowlan:

It has been suggested in some places-not here, and not by the producers- that there is a racial element in this; that these Englishmen-English Canadians-are doing things to our boys that should not be done. I want to congratulate the producers, because I have talked to them about it. I have talked to Mr. Querion and Mr. Duceppe and they both told me they were satisfied about this and that they would do everything possible to suppress it. And they have.

I also wish to say this in fairness to the management of the C.B.C. All the steps which have been taken-all the letters written by the C.B.C. management-were signed by A1 Ouimet that Sunday morning before he was stricken with a heart attack, and the C.B.C. management, apart from negotiations carried on personally around the table, have taken no stand on this question whatsoever except that authorized by Mr. Ouimet, who had been working under great strain before he suffered this unfortunate attack. I realize it is most regrettable that he was not able to carry on. I want to pay tribute to Mr. Carter and to Mr. Bushnell who insisted that negotiations should be carried on with these Canadians of French origin through this period and I want to pay tribute to everyone concerned and to the employees who have kept the system operating, working long hours, as long as 15 or 18 hours at a stretch, sometimes at great risk.

The hon. member for Timmins made reference-I still do not understand it-to something said about assaults and so on. Certainly, there is no one in the C.B.C. who has been engaged in assaulting or threatening people who are working in the C.B.C. I think that is obvious. I am sure there is no one who thinks for one moment that the C.B.C. has anything to do with it. I may say that some of the wives of employees who are working are getting as many as 100 telephone calls a day saying that their husbands may not get home or what might happen to their child when he goes to school. Those are the things that are going on beneath the surface.

I have just been handed a note which says that negotiations adjourned a few moments ago and are to resume in half and hour. T^at is the news with respect to the latest situation in connection with these negotiations.

There were questions asked by the hon. member for Kenora-Rainy River, by the hon. member for Port Arthur and others with respect to developments in their own areas. I think that these questions had, perhaps, better be left until the committee meets, at which time the officials of the corporation

will furnish accurate and detailed information, rather than that the hon. members should rely on the replies I am able to make at the moment, which can only be general in nature. However, I can assure the hon. member for Kenora-Rainy River that the extension in his area was provided for in the estimates last year and that it is the intention of the corporation to carry this out. If there has not been such a development on this project as should have taken place, or as he expected, it is regrettable, but the item is there and if the money cannot be expended this year it will be provided in next year's estimates. This is a matter for the C.B.C. They work out these various areas and every one of these plans which was named last year in Kenora-Rainy River, in Shelburne-Yarmouth-Clare and in Manitoba-there are six or seven-are being, and will be proceeded with by the C..B.C, I hope they will be completed in the relatively near future.

I think there is nothing more I could usefully add at this moment. I have probably overlooked some of the matters to which hon. members have referred, but there are times, as I have said, when silence is golden, particularly when the negotiators have adjourned for half an hour.

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Official Opposition House Leader; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Chovrier:

Is the minister not going to say whether or not there is a member of the board of directors sitting contrary to the provisions of section 22 of the Canadian Broadcasting Act?

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PC

George Clyde Nowlan (Minister of National Revenue)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nowlan:

I do not think there is a member of the board of directors sitting contrary to the provisions of section 22 of that act. As he said, the hon. gentleman is referring to Mr. Raymond Dupuis. I am very happy that a distinguished Canadian of outstanding business experience is prepared to sit on the board of directors of the C.B.C. at a great sacrifice of time and effort. Mr. Dupuis is not responsible in any way whatever for any decisions which have been made in connection with this strike. I think I am right in drawing the inference from what was said- and if I am wrong the hon. gentleman will correct me-that Mr. Dupuis may have been considered responsible in some way for decisions to resist the strike or to defer a settlement. Neither Mr. Dupuis nor any of the executive members took part in any discussions about this matter until after Mr. Ouimet became ill.

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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Official Opposition House Leader; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Mr. Chairman, if I may interrupt I should like to state that I neither said that nor could that interpretation be placed upon the remarks I made.

66968-9-50i

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PC

George Clyde Nowlan (Minister of National Revenue)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nowlan:

We shall see, Mr. Chairman.. We will look at Hansard tomorrow morning and see what was said. That is the inference I drew. If I am proven to be in error I shall certainly withdraw the suggestion immediately. I thought that is what the hon. member had in mind. I read in the newspapers and drew the inference from remarks made here that it was because Mr. Dupuis was a director of Dupuis Freres, a large department store in Montreal. Like anyone in the retail store business he is engaged in the retail sale of radios and television sets. Certainly that was never in the minds of those who drafted the legislation. The definition of the words "radio apparatus" were inserted in the act to guard against something else entirely and I believe the definition did serve to guard against it although perhaps by being too stringent in the language used. The definition was inserted to avoid pressure being brought to bear upon the corporation by the manufacturers of radio apparatus or equipment. That is why the word "apparatus" was used.

It is true that there is a technical definition of the words "radio apparatus" in the Radio Act, just as my hon. friend said. We know why it was put there. It is no more related to this, of course, than daylight is to dark. Under the terms of the Radio Act in the early days a licence fee was charged. Most of us in this chamber can remember when we had to buy radio licences. Efforts were made to avoid non-payment of the radio licence by saying, "I do not have a radio; I have only tubes or part of a radio."

The definition of radio apparatus was designed in such a way as to cover any apparatus whatever that might be capable of receiving or transmitting a signal. Unfortunately the words "radio apparatus" which appear in the Broadcasting Act, also appeared in the Radio Act years ago, the same term exactly. They were inserted in the Radio Act to make sure that people could not avoid paying a radio licence fee by claiming that they had only part of a radio set as opposed to an operating radio.

Mr. Dupuis drew this matter to my attention and we spoke about it on one occasion. I told him that the intention of the government was to make sure that no one would be in a position to bring pressure to bear on the corporation with respect to the manufacture or sale of radio apparatus. The corporation, of course, buys apparatus. What we were thinking of were expensive installations running into thousands and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars in cost. Certainly no one in his right senses at that time or since would have inferred that it could have been designed to apply to a person who happened to

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sell a radio or television set on the floor of -his retail store whether it be a huge department store or a little country store at some crossroad corner. I thank the committee for its indulgence. I overlooked dealing with that point when I spoke.

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February 6, 1959