March 3, 1944 (19th Parliament, 5th Session)


John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

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

On Monday, February 28, I directed certain questions to the Minister of National War Services in regard to the control and censorship of news commentators, and in particular Mr. Philpott in reference to the McNaughton case. The minister undertook to give me a reply. I brought up the matter again a day or so later. Is the minister in a position now to give me an answer to these questions?
Hon. L. R. LaFLECHE (Minister of National War Services): I brought some information to the house this afternoon, but the hon. member for Lake Centre asked this question before I had the opportunity of giving him the information he asked for the other day. I wish to table a copy of Mr. Elmore Philpott's week-end review of February 20, 1944.
In regard to the matter of censorship, I have looked it up and I shall read into the record directive No. 1, to be found in the censorship directives handbook which was tabled in this house on January 28, 1944. It is headed "Onus of Responsibility," and is as follows:
Broadcasters are reminded that the full' onus of responsibility for observance of the defence

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of Canada regulations, in so far as they affect radio, is vested in them. To this end, every precaution should be taken to safeguard against the broadcast of any information likely to help the enemy, or inimical to the national interest. Irrespective of their position or function, all speakers should be fully familiarized with the censorship restrictions now or hereafter in force.
Broadcasters in all categories should be thoroughly conversant with the censorship requirements in order that all danger of violation may be reduced to an absolute minimum.
Information was sought also on the point of "the limitations short of censorship placed on the commentator." I find nothing explicit in that connection. But I understand that the limitations are those of good taste and good judgment, and, of course, observance of any C.B.C. regulation which may be applicable to any case in point.
I am advised that the script in question was not sent to Ottawa. I surmised that the other day; I now confirm it. I am told that no one in Vancouver read through Mr. Philpott's script before it was broadcast.

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