February 25, 1944 (19th Parliament, 5th Session)


John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, in rising to speak to this motion I wish to place before the house for the consideration. of the committee certain views and suggestions. I do this with only one thought in mind, namely, the wishes, welfare and interests of the Canadian people as a whole.
I accept the cardinal principle that radio, as an important medium of enlightenment and entertainment, should in its major aspects be national in scope, and should be and continue to be free from control by private interests. Experience over the years has shown that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has not been able to fulfil its functions without the assistance of private radio stations. I believe tome seventy-six of these stations are permitted to operate subject to certain limitations in respect to increase in number, and increase in power of those already in existence. Their facilities have been used throughout the last few years for the distribution of many of the programmes of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. There is an advantage in the national system and the privately-operated stations working in cooperation; it provides stimulated competition, mutual competition, if I may say so, in the improvement of programmes. .
The report of the committee which sat last year was tabled but not concurred in. Page 656 of Votes and Proceedings of July 22, 1643, contains a summary of the recommendations which had been made by previous committees. With your leave I should like to run over the various recommendations, to the end that I may be able to discuss the suggestions I have in mind. In 1932 they emphasized the paramount importance of a single national authority to control all broadcasting in the public interest. There can be no argument about that recommendation, but later on I

shall submit that, since the national radio in recent years has become ever increasingly commercial in its scope and aetivities, there must be set up a new type of national authority to control broadcasting in this country. In 1932 it was recommended that the public ownership of all high-powered stations under a national system of broadcasting-

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