August 24, 1946 (20th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Douglas Gooderham Ross

Progressive Conservative

Mr. D. G. ROSS (St. Paul's):

Mr. Speaker, when the house rose last night I had made a few remarks on the monopolistic position of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. With more and more power being placed in

Radio Broadcasting

the hands of the corporation, the situation is getting worse. The corporation writes its own regulations, both for itself and for its competitors. It dictates to the private stations what they shall carry, and it controls completely the dissemination of all radio news when broadcast over its own network and indirectly, through restrictive orders, when carried over private stations. The corporation has power over all broadcasting, and there is no appeal from its decisions except through the channel of parliament. Yet it can be dominated by any political party which might favour the continuation of this semi-public system as the most important and powerful factor in political control. I think the country should be freed from this unhealthy state of affairs.
I think also that the private broadcasting stations should be afforded some relief. That is why they came before the parliamentary committee. From the evidence given before the committee there is no doubt that the corporation does not intend to give up the power it has unless it is forced to do so. As has been stated, it is in the peculiar position of holding in its own hands legislative, executive, judicial and police powers, and that pertains not only to its competitors but in seme degree to the listeners as well, because C.B.C. can and does decide what the listener shall hear and when he shall hear it. With the development of television and facsimile the situation will get worse. The range of facsimile being so small, and the facsimile stations having to be fed from one source-a complete monopoly. I submit that no government which pretends to be democratic would allow such powers to be placed in the hands of the corporation. The Canadian Association of Broadcasters indicated how therr had to go about making any representations to the corporation. The situation as stated by them, and this is on evidence in the record, was that they were required to state their case to the board of governors in the presence of senior officials of the C.B.C.-

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