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

SC

Norman Jaques

Social Credit

Mr. NORMAN JAQUES (Wetaskiwin):

I just wish to make two or three remarks. Although not a member of the radio committee I have listened to the debate with great interest. With the exception of probably two members from the C.C.F. party, all members have spoken against the danger of the growing monopoly of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation over radio. The leader of the C.C.F. (Mr. Coldwell) quoted the words of the then Minister of Munitions and Supply (Mr. Howe), who said:
The aim of broadcasting should be a complete coverage by government facilities, and the present situation demands complete control over all forms of broadcasting, whether public or
private.
From the record I am not sure when that statement was made, but in the light of what has happened elsewhere in the world as a result of government monopoly it now seems to me to be a terrible statement. The leader of the C.C.F. apparently endorses it, because he goes on to say, as reported at page 5297 of Hansard of yesterday:
In view of all that is happening to-day, in view of I will not say lobbying because that would not be true, but in view of the tremendous press campaign that has gone on across Canada in the last year, to limit the powers of the present broadcasting corporation ...
I take it from that that the leader of the C.C.F. is against limiting of the powers of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. I wonder what would be said if the government were to apply the same ideas to the press. I do not see much difference between the press and the radio. If the government has absolute control over the one, why should it not have absolute control over the other? It seems to me that it is a most dangerous situation.
I should like to acknowledge my thanks to the private stations for the privileges which they have accorded hon. members in their broadcasts over local stations. There, again, that was a privilege granted by private stations, not by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. As a member of the house I have never received any facilities whatsoever from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. On the contrary, when time on the air was allotted to the various parties in the house this group of thirteen members was given the same time as a group which no longer exists in the house; the only member they had is now serving a sentence as an enemy of his country. The Labour Progressive party, the communist party, is given the same facilities over the nationally controlled Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as the Social Credit party with thirteen members in the house, and the movement which has formed the government of the province of Alberta since 1935. It is my personal view that members of parliament should be given a great deal more time and' greater facilities in the use of radio, over local stations. As it is to-day, listeners hear comments and interpretations of news from people who, so far as we know, are not responsible to anybody. We do not know their politics; we do not know what they stand for; we do not know for whom they are speaking.
My impression is that commentators should be limited to the giving of actual factual news. If commentators are to be permitted to interpret that news and thereby to influence the thinking of the people of Canada, then the people should know exactly who is speaking and for whom he is speaking. Put a label on all commentators.
Radio Broadcasting

I could name one or two of them; in fact I do not mind naming two. I would refer first to Dyson Carter, a man who frequently speaks for the C.B.C.

Topic:   RADIO BROADCASTING ACT
Subtopic:   CORPORATION TO RECEIVE LICENCE FEES- ADVANCES ON ACCOUNT OF CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
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